Background: local Florida reporter for the News-Press goes to Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, says a lot of rude things about it on Facebook, gets canned for it. So, here’s how it looks to me, after the fact:
- On the one hand, when I say ‘rude things’ I mean ‘really rude things.’ The guy clearly came to the event spoiling for a fight, or at least for something that could be usefully filmed; and he didn’t seem to find any that could be documented. In fact, the guy’s accusations of racism and horrible behavior is not backed up by his former newspaper’s own reporting. Which is undoubtedly why the guy was fired by the News-Press; he was saying stuff in public that was actually calling into question the newspaper’s professional ethics.
- On the other hand: this isn’t really a story about reporters hating Chick-fil-A: it’s a story about whether the stuff that you post as a private individual should impact your employment status. In this case, there was sufficient provocation: the guy was essentially saying that his own paper was lying about the event, and he got caught doing it*. But what would have happened if the reporter hadn’t lied? If, instead, he had simply used his personal site to be a hate-ridden bigot who wasn’t making false accusations? Would he still have gotten fired? …Maybe; and I have to say, I have a certain inclination towards allowing people to be schmucks on their own time.
- On the gripping hand: if we’re firing people, can we somehow fire this godawful Lefty poet defending said schmuck? SCANSION. METER. RHYME. OUR ANCESTORS DEVELOPED THEM FOR A REASON, SPARKY. LEARN IT. LIVE IT. LOVE IT.
OK, I’ve now gotten that out my system.