Yes, but this is a bit like saying “She shouldn’t have been wearing that tight dress.”
There is no ethics scandal here. There’s nothing ethically wrong with having an opinion, she didn’t use her position as an NPR employee to advance that opinion, and she certainly didn’t deserve to be fired.
Agreed; she wasn’t working as journalist and she didn’t deserve to be fired for what’s effectively an unrelated-to-work activity. There’s no conflict of interest between opera and a widespread political movement. But at the same time, it’s just like … I can see that reason not flying with NPR, considering how they’ve handled this type of thing before. None of this is to say “this is how NPR should handle this.” But it’s more to say “this is how NPR probably will handle this.”
I find it puzzling that NPR objects to my exercising my rights as an American citizen — the right to free speech, the right to peaceable assembly — on my own time in my own life. I’m not an NPR employee. I’m a freelancer. NPR doesn’t pay me. I’m also not a news reporter. I don’t cover politics. I’ve never brought a whiff of my political activities into the work I’ve done for NPR World of Opera. What is NPR afraid I’ll do — insert a seditious comment into a synopsis of Madame Butterfly?NPR freelancer Lisa Simeone • Discussing her firing as the freelance host of two NPR music shows, Soundprint and World of Opera, for playing spokesperson for Occupy DC. (EDIT: Simeone only got booted off Soundprint, not World of Opera, which is run by an NPR affiliate who is standing by Simeone. The earlier version of the article we used was incorrect.) We can to some degree see her point, but … this is NPR we’re talking about here. They’ve had to fight off two pretty significant controversies in the past twelve months, and they’ve approached them with some hardcore seriousness. So, yes, while the Occupy movement has nothing to do with opera, she’s also working with what’s perhaps the organization that needs to walk on eggshells the most regarding ethics scandals. Say what you will Lisa — you do have some valid points — but you should’ve been aware of how NPR would’ve handled this based on what happened with Juan Williams.
As far as anyone knew I was part of this cause — a cause that I had infiltrated the day before in order to mock and undermine in the pages of The American Spectator — and I wasn’t giving up before I had my story. Under a cloud of pepper spray I forced myself into the doors and sprinted blindly across the floor of the Air and Space Museum …American Spectator assistant editor Patrick Howley • Discussing his role in the Air & Space Museum protests on Saturday, which (in a story since deleted from the site, but repeated elsewhere) he claims to have helped escalate. Howley claims he did this in an effort to commit an act of journalism (and to mock the protesters in the process, which his article most certainly did), but the result appears to have been a large amount of negative press for a James O’Keefe-esque act. source (via • follow)
jron said: So…people should only protest away from families? I don’t understand the disagreement w the venue. Not one I’d participate in, but made sense to do it there.
» SFB says: No, it’s not necessarily that. Rather, this feels like a situation where it turns off people moderately interested in the cause by taking it a notch too far. The point could have been made in better ways — say, by not attempting to storm the doors and get past security. Let’s face it — detractors will be looking for any reason possible to dismiss this movement, and this is one of those cases where it gives those people additional fodder, instead of taking it away. That’s the concern with this particular protest. — Ernie @ SFB