"It isn't simply an issue of expressing one's opinion," [said Jeffrey Schneider, vice president of ABC News.] "It's also the vituperative nature of those comments."...The problem with email is that it feels so breezy and transitory. By contrast, things written on paper seem more substantial to the writer. But things written in email are writing too, and they are much easier to send around. You may think you're just having some fun and blowing off steam when you shoot out an office email, but you're clueless and incompetent if you don't picture it bursting out into the general public. (Green's email appeared on The Drudge Report.) Kinsley and Kristol are in denial about what office email is. You think every single person in your office loves you and wants to preserve a tight circle of confidence for your sake? What a bizarre delusion!
"What did this guy do wrong?" asked Michael Kinsley, a columnist for Slate and The Washington Post who in a recent column argued that the concept of objectivity is so muddled as to be useless. "Was it having these views, or merely expressing them? Expecting journalists not to develop opinions, strong opinions even, goes against human nature and the particular nature of journalists."
"I guess there are limits — if a guy's e-mail showed him to be a Nazi, you might not want him as a network TV producer," he added. "But unless the views themselves are beyond the pale — and millions of Americans hold views like those this guy expressed — expressing those views shouldn't be beyond the pale either."
William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, said he was troubled by the blurring of the public and the private. "For me, I think people should be held accountable for what they put on the air or in print," he said. And there is no proof this expression of private views affected news coverage, he said.
April 9, 2006
John Green, a "Good Morning America" producer, was suspended from his job for writing e-mail like that.