Monday, April 03, 2006

Two acts of stupidity don’t make a right.

The ABC producer who wrote the email saying he would puke the next time Bush said “mixed messages” was suspended without pay. ABC can do whatever it wants, of course, but suspending this fellow pretty much sends the message that you can’t express yourself freely. The most telling thing about the whole incident isn’t that the producer hates Bush, but that he felt comfortable sending his email to a number of his coworkers with the understanding that they felt the exact same way. Suspending the producer won’t change that, but it will make the email recipients feel restrained from voicing that opinion – which is bad any way you look at it. No doubt, those people will think it is part of the Bush-stifling-dissent-in-a-vast-rightwing-culture-of-corruption-and-fascism-world they believe they are living in. ABC seems more concerned about the embarrassment of the ordeal than it is about the free expression of ideas and opinions among its employees. It’s vitally important in a free society that jackasses feel free to show themselves as jackasses.

One part of the story that made me snicker was the producer’s supposed remorse:

"John would be the first to say this has been a real lesson to him. John is abjectly sorry for all the comments that have come to light, and that's appropriate."

Something tells me it’s the fact that the comments came to light that he regrets.

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