×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

CNN Fires Producer Over Personal Blog

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the team-players-who-realize-their-team-sucks dept.

The Media 461

dangerz writes "CNN has fired one of its producers because of his personal blog. Chez Paziena, the ex-producer, has stated that he started the blog 'mostly to pass the time, hone my writing skills, resurrect my voice a little, and keep my mind sharp following the [brain tumor] surgery.' After a few months, CNN found out about it and ended up letting him go because his 'name was "attached to some, uh, 'opinionated' blog posts" circulating around the internet.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

461 comments

They don't like competition (5, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22493978)

Maybe CNN doesn't like the competition scattered independent bloggers are providing to its all-encompassing media empire, and are taking out their anger on one of their own who dared embrace new media?

Re:They don't like competition (5, Interesting)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494272)

Maybe CNN doesn't like the competition scattered independent bloggers are providing to its all-encompassing media empire, and are taking out their anger on one of their own who dared embrace new media?

Are there any respectable news sources left on US TV? If it wasn't for the internet I would have been left believing that we are surrounded by terrorists and that our northern neighbour is hell bent on invading us. Heck, at what point did our news channels become 'based on a true event', instead of being 'about a real event'.

Re:They don't like competition (5, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494440)

...our northern neighbour is hell bent on invading us.

Nice try there, Johnny Canuck, but watch the spelling next time.

Democracy Now! (4, Informative)

srobert (4099) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494582)

"Are there any respectable news sources left on US TV?"

Yes. You could watch Democracy Now with Amy Goodman on Link TV or Freespeech TV. They come in on satellite at least. I think the local cable company where I live has blocked them out.

Re:They don't like competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22494480)

Should companies allow their own employees to compete with them?

Re:They don't like competition (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494596)


He was fired, overall, for violating a type of non-compete agreement, but I wonder how enforceable that particular bit of contract is. Non-competes are tricky and are often written in a way that is not legally valid. I am not a lawyer and really wouldn't know, but I would be curious if this particular one is even valid.

Re:They don't like competition (2, Informative)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494586)

Maybe CNN doesn't like the competition scattered independent bloggers are providing to its all-encompassing media empire, and are taking out their anger on one of their own who dared embrace new media?
I think it has more to do with the fact he used his real name, said some stuff that is okay by /.'r standards but was defiantly pretty racy to your average CNN view and as well he knew that he was suppose to get his outside work okayed with standards & practices. Really there is nothing to see here, the guy had it coming. IMO

Remember Peter Arnett (4, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494622)

CNN and other organisations need to toe the line otherwise they get poor responsiveness from the Pentagon, Whitehouse etc. That's why people like Peter Arnett (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Arnett) get fired for doing good investigation.

The media know that if they don't keep their reporters in line they will get screwed over. Instead of having their field staff embedded with frontline fighters to send back sexy footage they'll get embedded with the people washing trucks at the transport park. Instead of getting geed feedback from WHitehouse/Pentagon/whatever press officers they'll get delayed responses.

The media know they must keep their noses clean to stay in the game and that's why they'll repremand or fire anyone that looks like a loose cannon and will upset theri relationships with these organisations.

In the words of the Clash: "You have the right to free speach, unless you actually try it."

it's just him (5, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#22493984)

After a few months, CNN found out about it and ended up letting him go because his 'name was "attached to some, uh, 'opinionated' blog posts" circulating around the internet.'

MORBO DOES NOT FEAR CNN. MORBO WILL BLOG WHATEVER HE LIKES!

No comments (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22494002)

No comments, otherwise my boss will find out that my name is attached to the opinionated news site Slashdot, and will be "forced" to let me go.

repost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22494016)

ya. this is a repost

Brain Tumor! (1)

teasea (11940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494022)

I see storms of shit in shit-canning a guy recovering from brain surgery.

Not that that should be the focus, but it likely will be.

Just goes to show.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22494032)

You blog, you jog, bro.

Filtered by websense (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494050)

I can't get to the blog itself at the moment, presumably because the IT folk here have turned up websense to "paranoide" and "deusexmalcontent" can be scanned as having the word "sex" in it, so I can't evaluate the content--

What, exactly, did he post that was so damn controversial that CNN felt the need to let him go?

Re:Filtered by websense (1)

Thirdsin (1046626) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494216)

From TFA,

My admittedly worthless opinions on pop culture, politics, the media and my personal past were quickly linked by sites like Fark, Gawker and Pajiba and I found my readership growing exponentially. During this time, I still didn't consider telling my superiors at CNN what I was doing on the side, simply because, having never been provided with an employee handbook, I hadn't seen a pertinent rule and never signed any agreement stipulating that I wouldn't write on my own time. I hadn't divulged my place of work and wasn't writing about what went on at the office. The views expressed on my blog, Deus Ex Malcontent, were mine and mine alone. I represented no one but myself, and I didn't make a dime doing it.

Re:Filtered by websense (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494250)

Yes, I saw that, but other than a brief mention of a 'liberal' bias from the article, there's really no indication of what, exactly, was controversial.

Re:Filtered by websense (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494256)

What, exactly, did he post that was so damn controversial that CNN felt the need to let him go?
 
He doesn't say exactly, although while complaining about being fired for controversial material he called Lou Dobbs a 'fascist demagogue'. It isn't too hard to guess from there. If you need help, just go through any of the 'politics' categories here on slashdot and look at the rants against Bush & krew.

NOT his job (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494306)

He explicitly states that he did not blog about his job or CNN.

Re:NOT his job (5, Insightful)

gruntled (107194) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494520)

(Disclaimer: I too was once a producer at CNN)

Unfortunately when you're a traditional journalist, any public expression of opinion is about your job...

I feel bad for this gentleman for losing his day job, but, seriously, anybody who works in the mainstream media understands that your boss is quite likely to impose certain limitations on public expressions of your personal opinion. It was only a matter of time before something this guy wrote on his blog ticked off somebody enough that a critical resource would refuse to provide necessary information to CNN. If you think this is crazy, Linda Greenhouse, who covers the Supreme Court for the New York Times, has been under absolute siege just because of who she's married to: Eugene Fidell, an expert on military law who's filed a number of briefs relating to the Guantanamo detainees. Note that nobody has been screaming that Greenhouse is doing a bad job or presenting the facts about Guantanamo in a biased fashion; they're simply claiming that it's impossible for her to do so because she is married to somebody who's a player in that arena. (I should probably note both that Greenhouse is considered the best reporter covering the court, and that in 1989 she was publicly chastised by the NYT for participating in an abortion rights march).

So editors are generally pretty intolerant of reporters who mouth off in a public fashion. The idea is that it's hard enough to create a story that presents the positions of both sides fairly if you're already on the record as saying, for example, that you wish the President could run for a third term. Filtered through that gem, your otherwise fair representation of the positions of all sides might appear to be somewhat slanted.

I'm a little astounded that this fellow didn't adopt an online pseudonym...

Re:Filtered by websense (2, Interesting)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494474)

What, exactly, did he post that was so damn controversial that CNN felt the need to let him go?
I'm not entirely sure, but he see does seem critical of the mainstream press in general. Some stuff on the election [deusexmalcontent.com] (with the title "Is Barack Obama Gonna Have to Choke A Bitch") and entertainment figures [deusexmalcontent.com]. The use of Tigger [deusexmalcontent.com] in an adult themed context seems to be the riskiest thing thus far. Still seems pretty tame by most standards, but considering his name was tied to it and he was an employee of CNN I can see how they would be wary being connected to it. Really, we've given business so much leeway in their hiring and firing practices that I fail to see the relevance to all this, aside from the fact he has a bigger soapbox than most to stand on. In fact in his write up of the issue, he mentions the fact that the employee handbook states you must okay any outside work through standards and practices, and he was aware of that a full month before. So really, nothing to see here.

Re:Filtered by websense (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494532)

You know, searching for a free web proxy [google.com] is less work than begging for a summary on Slashdot... and waiting for a response. Just an FYI since you obviously can't be bothered doing... well anything that would be means of production.

Re:Filtered by websense (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494892)

You know, using a free web proxy to get around the filter is the sort of thing that can get you fired...and waiting in a bread line. Just an FYI since you obviously aren't connected to reality.

OMGWTFBBQ!!! (1, Troll)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494064)

A young, white, white collar worker was fired? Because he did something to piss off his employers?

When will the madness stop??!

Re:OMGWTFBBQ!!! (4, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494128)

When will the madness stop??!

Once companies discovers they have to fire the vast majority of their employees because there just aren't as many cookiecutter droids as HR had hoped, and society collapses.

As for standards... (4, Insightful)

troybob (1178331) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494068)

Remember, this is the network that gives Nancy Grace a prime-time slot, proving they have the highest regard for journalistic professionalism.

Three words (2, Interesting)

boxlight (928484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494080)

PSEU. DO. NYM.

Re:Three words (4, Insightful)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494190)

If you have to hide your identity to say what you want, the terrorists have won.

Re:Three words (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494302)

Then they won pretty much at the beginning of civilization--somewhere around the time little Muggo the caveman decided he was going to tell the much larger and stronger Puggo the caveman tribal leader exactly what he thought of him right to his face.

Re:Three words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22494320)

which ones? the one's flying planes into buildings to make me feel insecure about my life, or the ones passing laws and/or issuing executive orders that make me feel insecure about my rights? Mind you, I'm scared of both groups because they are both a bit nuts.

Re:Three words (1, Interesting)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494570)

If you have to hide your identity to say what you want, the terrorists have won.

Are you accusing CNN of being terrorists? Hmm.

well paid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22494086)

I'm sure that he well paid to stop the impending lawsuit....

First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22494092)

Awwww yeah

CAPTCHA: alveoli

You know, there was a name for this... (4, Interesting)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494098)

... in the Repressive Communist Regime(TM)[1] of Yugoslavia. Verbal delict anyone?

You may have freedom of speech, but it seems you are gradually losing freedom of opinion.

We've had our little wars and revolutions; when will you be coming along?

[1] Insert sarcasm tags where needed.

The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (4, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494122)

"they hammered home a single line in the CNN employee handbook which states that any writing done for a "non-CNN outlet" must be run through the network's standards and practices department. They asked if I had seen this decree. As a matter of fact I had... I had thought when I read the rule... that it was staggeringly vague and couldn't possibly apply to something as innocuous as a blog."

He violated a clear written policy. The guy is stupid for thinking work published on an internet blog doesn't count as writing.

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (2, Interesting)

johansch (9784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494170)

So if your employer wrote down in a policy that employees were not allowed to breathe, and you then read that policy, and also presumably violated, that would be fair grounds for dismissal?

"Policies" are not laws.

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (2, Insightful)

Ulrich_Skarsol (746706) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494282)

Uhm, yes? Assuming that you're in an 'at will' employment state. Otherwise, the contract you signed would have had a "must follow all policies in employee handbook" provision and you'd still be fired. They'd quickly run out of employees, but it isn't "unfair".

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (1)

johansch (9784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494366)

Wow. I didn't think it was that bad even in the US. (My perspective is mostly European.)

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (1)

Ulrich_Skarsol (746706) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494502)

Most states are "at will" which means both the employer and employee can terminate employment for any reasoning barring those that have been ruled ilegal (typically relating to discrimination). Even two weeks notice is just customary/polite and not mandatory. I could be fired today because my boss has an upset stomach. Conversely, if find a better job, I can quit today with no (legal) repercussions.

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494656)

I know the example is hypothetical, as is your answer, but let's just be clear so that our European friend does not get the wrong idea: no matter what it says in your contract, there is no way in hell that an employer could legally fire you for breathing. You cannot enforce a contract that requires a party to do things that are blatantly illegal or in this case would lead to your death.

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (1)

Ulrich_Skarsol (746706) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494746)

If you have a contract "at will" does not apply; contract law applies. "At will" exists to provide for general terms in the absence of mutually agreed upon terms (a contract). Some states are not "at will" and provide a different set of general terms which are stricter but which will also be superseeded by a valid contract. Thats why I also mentioned that in his example, if there *was* a contract, it would almost certainly include a "follow the employee policy handbook or be fired" clause, in which case the act of breathing would be a firing offense.

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494288)

Isn't the law in most states in the U.S. that employers can fire people at will, baring a few civil rights-related qualities?

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (4, Interesting)

RockClimbingFool (692426) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494308)

Thats right, they aren't laws. He didn't go to jail, he got fired.

He is a producer for a media outlet. He decided to not give CNN the first option for publishing what he was writing. That is a huge no no.

The whole brain thing is pure BS to cloud a very clear violation of his relationship with his employer.

End of story.

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (2, Insightful)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494400)

I just love the system where your employer is entitled to the ownership of anything even remotely related to your job.
Sounds like... slavery?

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (2, Insightful)

halivar (535827) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494584)

No one made him work there in the first place (and agree to the terms of doing so), and no one was making him stay, so no; it isn't anything like slavery.

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (1)

vimh42 (981236) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494904)

"He is a producer for a media outlet. He decided to not give CNN the first option for publishing what he was writing. That is a huge no no."

Are you serious? Why on earth would you give your employer first option for publishing your personal blog?

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (4, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494354)

So if your employer wrote down in a policy that employees were not allowed to breathe...

The contest for Worst Analogy For This Story would seem to be between you and "However on the surface it does strike me as being awfully similar to a garbage man who works for a private waste management company, volunteering his time on saturdays on the Adopt-A-Highway program, cleaning up trash."

We'll see if Bad Analogy Guy shows up to contest this one.

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (1)

enjo13 (444114) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494510)

It's a contract, so yes it would be fair grounds for dismissal.

You'd also have to be an idiot to agree to it in the first place.

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (1)

johansch (9784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494620)

The article implies the policy was not active when he joined.

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22494220)

He also read this policy quite recently, before getting fired but long after starting his blog. RTFA or GTFO.

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (1, Interesting)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494322)

Hear, hear

He also admits that he was posting under his real name, and, while he denies this is the case, anyone reading his blog would assume he had a liberal bias. Well, I'm all in favor of the news outlets avoiding even the appearance of inpropriety (politicians too). The fact that they rarely do doesn't change the fact that news outlets shouldn't let partisan loyalists be producers/commentators, and people setting the standards for voting shouldn't head a candidate's election committee. Even if they are imparital, there are other impartial people who appear to be so. There are enough other people who can do this guys job.

"I said that they can't possibly expect CNN employees, en masse, to not engage in something as popular and timely as blogging if they don't make themselves perfectly clear." Boo-fucking-hoo. He read the line quoted in the parent, and that's clear to me. Now, if he had not seen that line in the handbook, that would be one thing. But he knew what he was doing. He didn't like his job and didn't care if he lost (if you read the article.)

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494352)

They didn't fire him for his blog, they fired him for being a complete and total dumbass. The fact that he used his real name as he ranted on a public blog was just evidence of said dumbassery.

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (2, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494464)

The guy is stupid for thinking work published on an internet blog doesn't count as writing.
Read many blogs, do you? Most don't count as "writing". Really.

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (4, Insightful)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494476)

any writing done for a "non-CNN outlet" must be run through the network's standards and practices department
A clear written policy? Any writing? Really? Like "A loaf of bread and some milk"-writing? Oh? Not so clear written, then? It would not be far-fetched to assume that "any writing" in this context means "any professional writing that may constitute working for a competitor" as opposed to "any writing whatsoever, even if it's a shopping list or a personal blog".

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494734)

How is this insightful? "writing done for a non-CNN outlet" clearly refers to published material. You're not writing for an "outlet", non-CNN or otherwise, when you make a grocery list.

Sure, it's not clear if you analyze just the first few words...

Published? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22494884)

No, I wouldn't consider a blog with which they are making no money "published" in the ordinary sense of the word, any more than I would consider my posts to Slashdot as making me a "journalist" ...

In other words, it's about as clear as mud. Moreover, if you read it, it's not just because they had a blog, but because of what they wrote in it.

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (1)

darkob (634931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494490)

Actually, it's the opinion of the CNN that he violated it. Clearly, it's the case of judge and the jury. If they thought he violated company policy, they should have asked him to clarify himself on that. To put it simply, they punished him (don't say that being fired isn't a very severe punishment) without a trial or due process. In my opinion his rights are being violated because of his activities in his free time. No employer should have the right to dictate what one should or should not do outside of the office. Employer is NOT and SHOULD NOT be entitled for an employee's name as a brand. Any yet, CNN's handbook instructs employees to behave as if they are owned by the CNN.

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (5, Insightful)

sd.fhasldff (833645) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494516)

He violated a clear written policy. The guy is stupid for thinking work published on an internet blog doesn't count as writing.

He what now?

Clear? You call that policy CLEAR?!

If the part in quotes is actually a quote, "non-CNN outlet", then it is indeed very far from clear. If anything, I would argue that it's clearer that a blog *shouldn't* count, since a personal blog is not an "outlet" in the context used (CNN). If he had written the blog for the NY Times, then sure, by all means...

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (1)

vimh42 (981236) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494530)

"He violated a clear written policy. The guy is stupid for thinking work published on an internet blog doesn't count as writing."

Well, I won't bother taking the high road and stick to insulting your intelligence. You're an idiot. That is not a clear written policy. It is intentionally vague.

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (2, Insightful)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494638)

Let's get real, "writing done for a non-CNN outlet" means working for somebody else, blogging is just posting a journal online, jeez... what's next, companies demanding you not to talk to somebody else in your free time unless they approve what you say before you open the mouth?

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (1)

uchihalush (898615) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494664)

he knew the handbook stated that, but he wrote the blog IN SPITE of that!

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (1)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494676)

What about emails he writes? What if an email got circulated? or a friend posted an email discussion on their blog?

Re:The dude violated a policy he admitted he read. (1)

qnetter (312322) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494850)

But it's not a "clearly-written policy."

There's a general notion of what a "(media) outlet" is -- a commercial publication. A personal internet presence would not be considered by most to be a media outlet.

censorship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22494124)

I am curious why this article was tagged as "censorship"? Nothing was censored unless I missed something. Everything he posted on his blog from what I can see is still there. He was fired from his job, not censored. He has the right to say whatever he wants but he might want to consider the ramifications of what he says from now on. He doesn't have the "right" to work wherever he chooses. There certainly are places where he could work that would be fine with him saying the things he says. I might have gained a little respect for CNN actually.

Re:censorship? (1)

xanthines-R-yummy (635710) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494382)

Oh, I don't know about that. Employers think they can control your entire lives because you chose to work for them and I guess they're right. Do you think it's OK for employers to do that? It's one thing to have coders run their non-work code through the company to stave off competition and theft. However, this guy wasn't doing his own investigative journalism that competed with CNN. He was just mouthing off his opinions like everyone on /. right now. I, for one, am tired of corporations dictating our personal lives just because we get a paycheck. Yeah, you gave me money but I also did work for that money so I think we're even. What I do on my own time is no-one's business except me and my hooker.

Yes, censorship (3, Insightful)

Radical Moderate (563286) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494838)

CNN has a policy that they have to approve anything that is published by their employees. That's prior restraint, also known censorship. It's not illegal, it's not a violation of the first amendment, but it is the definition of censorship. Yes, the employees can choose to quit and then publish whatever they want, but at that point they are no longer employees. As long as they are employees, CNN's position is that they have the right to censor anything they publish.

Let's assume China has a policy of censoring whatever their citizens publish. Does that mean if a Chinese citizen is able to emigrate to Australia and publish whatever he wants, that China does not practice censorship?

You are correct that nothing was censored in this case, but the tag is appropriate, as CNN is asserting that their employees must submit to censorship if they want to stay employed.

Not so quickly now.... (4, Funny)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494142)

How do we know this isn't the guy who's been making CNN cover britney instead of actual news huh? Cause I'm all for firing whoever that dude is.

Re:Not so quickly now.... (3, Funny)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494498)

Nevermind.....

I marveled at our elevation of the death of Anna Nicole Smith to near-mythic status and our willingness to let the airwaves be taken hostage by every permutation of opportunistic degenerate from a crying judge to a Hollywood hanger-on with an emo haircut.
Well at least the poor dude doesn't have to work for them anymore.

Re:Not so quickly now.... (2, Funny)

Mex (191941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494768)

So he's the only one at CNN who saw the ridiculous coverage of Anna Nicole Smith as the crap that it was, and ... he was the one with a brain tumor. Sort of explains a lot about CNN.

Not censorship Not a personal blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22494152)

They didn't can him because of his myspace page.

This guy created a very professional blog that was getting widely linked.

This violated the employee handbook and he knew this for at least part of the time.

He may be correct that the terms were vague and it may not be fair, but this isn't some accountant getting fired for a facebook entry or him critizing CNN. CNN is a media outlet. This guy was creating another media outlet on his own. I can see CNN wanting to be aware of it. I can see them even seeing this as a conflict of interest.

Crying gestapo and censorship is pretty lame in this case.

Re:Not censorship Not a personal blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22494654)

of course! it's a corporation doing this, so that makes it completely right!~

This guy is not special (1)

longacre (1090157) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494178)

Just about every mainstream media outlet, from national magazines to online-only news sites, require their writers and producers to seek permission, or outright ban, writing for other outlets. This guy broke a well-known rule and then plead ignorance. Waah.

Re:This guy is not special (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494394)

This guy broke a well-known rule and then plead ignorance. Waah.

No. This guy broke a well-known rule and then said, "but I didn't think it applied to the Internet." Even more dickish. After all, isn't the "I invented something that's totally new, see it's a preexisitng thing on the Internet" considered a poor argument on /.?

this guy's story is pretty interesting actually (4, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494184)

for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the light he sheds on the way that MSM / corporate news works these days. Even though so many of us suspect that the facts of his story were true before reading his story, it is always nice to hear an insider confirm your suspicions.

At this point, we should all be thinking about how to coerce MSM to be actual factual news outlets again? Ideas, anyone?

It's obvious that having good ratings is better than being rated highly as a reliable news source. Perhaps (new Internet meme inbound) it is time for Anonymous to start informing advertisers of MSM that we don't like the shows associated with their products?

It would seem that only money talks these days. The real question is: Is it the advertisers dollars that talk loudest, or the politically generated dollars that talk loudest? Who really are the MSM's dollar dealers?

Note to Self: Create Online Identity (1)

greenslashpurple (1236792) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494186)

This is exactly why I only ever post onto the Internet using names that are different from my legal/birth name.

Hey! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22494558)

My legal name is Anonymous, you insensitive clod!

-- Mr. Coward

Anyone (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494206)

Anyone could have their name attached to some random blog post, whether or not it was them who wrote it. Did he admit it was his blog when asked or was it "clean out your desk".?

Re:Anyone (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494336)

Don't know how i missed it the first time, but he admitted to it being his blog. He did not know he could be fired for it. I would have asked some hypothetical questions before I had admitted anything. It is still a low act to fire someone for opinions they hold in their own personal time.

In a nutshell Never admit the you online is you.

Competition? (2, Interesting)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494228)

First of all, I think CNN is totally off-the-wall on this one. However on the surface it does strike me as being awfully similar to a garbage man who works for a private waste management company, volunteering his time on saturdays on the Adopt-A-Highway program, cleaning up trash. This puts him in competition (especially if he does it for free) when the company wants a piece of the action in the form of a service contract from the municipality the freeway runs though.

Even if he isn't trying to do so, he's in a position to take readership from the company (weather it happens or not), and that is something they have a vested interest in stopping.

In this case, CNN would have been smarter (if this guy has the connections in the blogging community he claims he does) to keep him on the payroll as an independent blogger, with the rights to use his material on the show to further the perception that CNN is "down" with news bloggers. At the same time, give him some access to CNN's news-sources so he can break some stories that they "pass" upon on the broadcast show, and if he makes enough noise (or viewers) put it on the CNN pages/broadcast, and get the guy some screen time.

sex sells (3, Interesting)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494266)

With the exception of the period immediately following 9/11, which saw the best characteristics of television journalism shocked back into focus and the passion of even the most jaded and cynical of its practitioners return like a shot of adrenaline to the heart, the profession I once loved and felt honored to be a part of has lost its way.
That's pretty much how I feel about journalism these days. I'm not sure what brought it about, whether it is who owns the mass media or government, but no longer are there worthwhile reports about what is important. It's about what sells. The days of muckracking seem to be over (for the mass media, wikileaks comes to mind most currently as non-mass media) and it is more about this celebrity did this or propaganda sent down the channels, and shy away from stories that really expose stories with an unbiased presentation.

I was asked to complete self-evaluations which pressed me to describe the ways in which I'd "increased shareholder value." (For the record, if you're a rank-and-file member of a newsroom, you should never under any circumstances even hear the word "shareholders," let alone be reminded that you're beholden to them.) I watched the media in general do anything within reason to scare the hell out of the American public -- to convince people that they were about to be infected by the bird flu, poisoned by the food supply, or eaten by sharks.
To think that someone who works in the business of providing an unbiased view of what exactly is occurring in the world should in no way have any connection to whether or not their employer makes money off of it. This goes back to making money. If I had watched CNN before now I would stop, but I guess since I never do it's moot.

Re:sex sells (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494820)

News reporters obsessed with what sells and not what's important? That's true. But we only have ourselves (as a society) to blame. CNN wouldn't be goo-goo-ga-ga over Anna Nicole's death if people didn't actually care. If the world would like to hear about Britney over Middle Eastern politics, then that's what they will get. It's not as if there's some massive conspiracy to turn television into nothing but puerile celeb talk - TV's stupidity reflects our own stupidity.

I see opportunity for him... (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494356)

It was obvious he was growing quite a following...this news story will undoubtedly add to that following. He should slap a couple of google adsense boxes on his page, and make his blog full-time. He likely has the exposure necessary to do so...

Re:I see opportunity for him... (1)

bkr1_2k (237627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494854)

Wouldn't that defeat his position though? I mean a blog catering to advertisement that bitches about the media being driven by the money certainly seems hypocritical to say the least.

(I haven't read the blog, just the snippets people have posted on slashdot.)

Dinosaur Media Deathwatch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22494410)

Doesn't matter anyway. CNN is irrelevant. TV is dead.

department of redundancy department (2, Funny)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494412)

his 'name was "attached to some, uh, 'opinionated' blog posts" circulating around the internet.'"

As opposed to the other kind?

Just because information wants to be free (1)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494616)

does not necessarily mean it will always be good.

Private company, private attitude, private decision.

The blog maybe right (information-wise), but it still can't stop people for doing something, right or wrong.

Old News?? (1)

uchihalush (898615) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494640)

This kinda happened a while ago, I'm a frequent reader of his blog. CNN Lost a great mind with this firing, but with his skills, i'm sure he has another job lined up, hell probably more. Still shame to see what CNN just did. I started watching MSNBC since this happened, and I suggest anyone who is disgusted with CNN to do the same!

Another casualty.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22494672)

under the zionist/jew-contolled media! WE NEED HITLER NOW!

shi7. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22494720)

the time to #me3t

Oprah Post (2, Interesting)

StevisF (218566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494722)

His post regarding her and the people who watch her show is extremely inflammatory and derogatory. There's critisism and then there's just ranting in a disrespectful manner. His post was soundly the latter. Not really wise to post something like that under your own name where anyone can read it.

As Opposed To... (4, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22494792)

...the two douche bags they used to have on staff who carried water for the Bush administration. They didn't fire those guys 'til just about every other media outlet in the world outed them and started poking fun at CNN. One used to report regularly on education, and how effective the "No Child Left Behind" bill was. Then somebody noticed he got a whole whack of money from Bush to do PR work on...you guessed it.

And then there was Bob Novak, about whom the less said the better. And I'm pretty sure there was somebody else who got caught taking money from people he was supposed to be providing disinterested commentary about, but the name escapes me. One thing's for sure. They have never had a military "expert" on regularly who said anything even mildly critical about the idiots at the Pentagon who seem to be doing such a good job of getting American soldiers unnecessarily killed and maimed.

It sounds to me like they dumped this guy because he actually seems to know what good journalism is about. On a network that was an unapologetic cheerleader for the Iraq invasion and regularly buries real news stories under an avalanche of shallow, horse-race-style political coverage and pixelized footage of some starlet's crotch, I guess this guy just wasn't a good fit.

Why he was fired. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22494796)

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/14/cnn-producer-says-he-was-fired-for-blogging/ [nytimes.com]

Deus Ex Malcontent makes no effort to hide its author's strong views. "I wake up every morning baffled as to why America hasn't thrown George Bush and Dick Cheney in prison, Hollywood hasn't stopped trying to convince me that Sarah Jessica Parker is attractive, gullible soccer moms haven't realized that they share absolutely no kinship with Oprah, and Fox canceled 'Firefly,'" Mr. Pazienza wrote on the biographical section of his blog.


CNN fired him for being a shallow, stupid human being. He fits right in over at the Huffington Post.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...