I'm only now able to get around to writing about something that's bothered me for some time: the suspension for one month last Friday of an ABC "Good Morning America" producer named John Green for something he wrote in an e-mail EIGHTEEN MONTHS AGO critical of President Bush and almost TWELVE MONTHS AGO in an e-mail critical of Madeleine Albright. To its credit, the New York Times got around to reporting the story only yesterday, three days after the dutiful Howard Kurtz wrote it up in the Washington Post.
What's the scandal here? Clearly the only reason for the suspension is that the contents of the e-mails were made public, and thus suggesting that Green is not the objective creature big media folk are supposed to be. Shock, shock. ABC's action was nothing more than corporate cowardice. Green's only crime is getting caught. If ABC were truly interested in respectful journalism, it would have fired him outright. Green, in turn, instead of defending his honor against his tormenters, has officially caved in as readily as Harvard's Lawrence Summers did after he upset the feminists that be.
It would be more interesting to know why the Albright e-mail got leaked to the New York Post, nearly a week after the anti-Bush comments were first reported by Drudge. Was Green in need of evidence to prove his bias can be directed at liberals as well?
Or was he simply your typical ornery producer, tactless as a matter of course? If he comes back a milquetoast, ABC will no doubt be less well served, and the brave new world of Big Foot journalism will become eerier still.
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