From Danny Schechter:
ABC NEWS Suspends Staffer for E-mail
ABC NEWS SUSPENDS PRODUCER FOR WRITING PERSONAL ANTI-BUSH E-MAIL
Readers of my current Mediachannel piece on the unbrave world of media will note that I referenced a DRUDGE REPORT “expose” of a private e-mail sent by an ABC GMA producer expressing his personal disgust with our President’s way of communicating.
Read it–and then read this item in Today’s Saturday Washington Post. The ABC producer in question, John Green, has been suspended and forced to make a groveling apology to the White House, a gesture that sounds straight outta Stalinist Russia.
Talk about a chilling effect on personal expressions by any and all network producers. You can’t even have a personal opinion and work in news anymore. Note to Kerry Marash, a former colleague I once admired and who as an ABC Exec did the dirty deed of dissing Green: employees are entitled to personal opinions and being open-minded doesn’t mean being empty-minded. You shouldn’t lose your right to free speech when you go to work for a network. (Although his views have yet to be represented with any frequency on the air). Walter Cronkite speaks about this in a statement on Mediachannel.org)
When the anti-war and media activists recently sought to meet at ABC to discuss war coverage, the request was referred to Kerry’s office. SHE DID NOT CALL BACK, to my dismay even though we have always been cordial. No meeting was held. Now I understand how corporate environments work, almost by osmosis.
This is so ironic because her husband Dave Marash, a great journalist who I once worked alongside, was not rehired by ABC when Ted Koppel retired, only to have his program, Nightline, replaced by “Nightline-lite.” He has now joined AlJAzeera International. I am sure
he has sent many an email to his wife about his dismay at working at ABC. I have expressed mine in the book, “The More You Watch, The Less You Know.”
Here’s Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post today on the great e-mail threat to the integrity the Republic and ABC News, whose president of News, former corporate lawyer David Westin, admitted publicly that ABC News was “not critical enough” its coverage of the run-up to the
invasion of Iraq.
“We let the American people down,” he said.
Now, he’s let the cause of free speech down. Read all about this petty act of corporate ass-covering and pay-back with disgust:
ABC Suspends Producer Over Bush-Bashing E-Mail
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 1, 2006; C01
ABC News suspended the executive producer of the weekend edition of “Good Morning America” yesterday over a pair of leaked e-mails in which he used inflammatory language to slam President Bush and Madeleine Albright.
John Green, whose unpaid suspension will last one month, apologized to the White House in a call to communications director Nicolle Wallace, while two ABC executives called the former secretary of state to apologize.