That having been said, though, this whole thing has been blown wildly out of proportion. What whole thing, you ask? Um, this whole thing:
UAB editor's blog raises legal questionsOnce again - yes, what he did was wrong. But come on. Read over the articles and then come the hell on.
UAB to discipline Kerry volunteer for politicking at work
UAB To Discipline Worker For Online Politicking
A bit that I liked:
By noon Thursday, Gillett had generated and posted to the Internet more than 800 words of commentary, pictures and links to articles on his own blog and contributed almost 700 words to the running arguments on Politics 101.Anyone who has done any blogging knows that if you're really passionate about a topic, writing about it isn't that hard to do - that's why you have a blog. And anyone who knows Doug knows that he in particular could pound out 800 words in a matter of minutes. 800 before noon? Hell, it was probably 800 between 9:12 and 9:18.
And let's talk about slacking, BTW. If all of this blogging is really taking time away from his work, you'd think UAB would be all over him, n'cest-pas? But, to blatantly steal from the man himself, Ooh, the card says "Moops"! The university didn't know a thing about until they got a call from a reporter, who got his tip from... an anonymous letter sent directly to him. Not at all creepy there.
So, to recap: citizen is concerned about all of this blogging on state computers/time and goes directly to Doug's boss - whoops, sorry there, writes an anonymous letter to a reporter.
But one might wonder why this is newsworthy at all. Doug said it himself - "I could have gotten fired for doing blow in the men's room at UAB and it wouldn't have made the paper." Too true. I'm pretty sure it comes back this other bit that I like,
A volunteer spokesman for John Kerry's presidential campaign in Alabama will be disciplined for using a computer at his workplace — The University of Alabama at Birmingham — to post Internet messages critical of President Bush. (Emphasis mine)Now, if you look at the blog, it's not a Kerry blog. Parts of it actually say that it is in no way associated with the Alabama for Kerry organization. But it's too much trouble to do the research or ask the pertinent questions - besides, if we did that, we might discover the truth and then be obliged to report it. And I'll admit, if the Alabama for Kerry communications director was doing his AL for K stuff on state time at a state computer, the media would be right to pick it up.
But it's not all that. It's one dumbass who was too stupid to think that blogging from work was a bad idea. And a dumbass isn't newsworthy. That is, if you're willing to do the research to find out that all he is is a dumbass. Dumbass.
ACG posted this on work time at 12:02 PM.