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Scott Galloway of Firebrand Partners scored a coup recently: The New York Times Co. agreed to nominate him and a fellow activist investor for a seat on its board. Did the Times do any due diligence on him? Galloway's chief accomplishment online is cofounding RedEnvelope, a San Francisco-based online retailer.

An online retailer whose CEO just quit. An online retailer whose credit line was just revoked by Wells Fargo. An online retailer whose stock fell more than 50 percent today, heading towards penny territory. Actually, Galloway seems uniquely well qualified to serve on the Times board.