January 31, 2006

Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week, and...

This week's winner is Robert E. Vanella's Democratic talking points "letter" back on the 24th:

I attended St. Anthony's Church and visit Wilmington's Little Italy regularly. It comes as no surprise that citizens are too shortsighted to realize the depressing ramifications of installing cameras to record activities on city streets.

When phone calls and e-mails can be monitored without warrants, detainees can be held without legal representation or transported to other nations to be tortured, why not monitor city streets?

I wonder when the false feeling of safety will be replaced by fear at the bottom of the slippery slope.

Hmm. Speaking of "slippery slopes," today's News Journal notes how a Dover Post reporter was fired from his job for personal blog entries that were deemed offensive. DP Editor Don Flood was informed by the producer of the Dan Gaffney Show about Matt Donegan's blog entries, and when Flood confronted Donegan about it, he fired him after Donegan stated the blog was indeed his.

Flood said some of the blog entries "were extremely offensive and just contrary to what we believe here." Donegan believes his 1st Amendment rights have been violated: "What I wrote ... was rude, but it doesn't make it wrong." Donegan has contacted the ACLU, Public Citizen and the Electronic Frontier Foundation about his firing.

What say you? Is Donegan's case similar to that of Frank Calio? Can Donegan be axed from his job for personal comments made on a personal blog on his own time? Why or why not? Dana Garrett and I -- who are usually polar opposites politically -- came to agreement over Calio; that he indeed, if he so desired, would have won a legal case against the state for demanding he stop writing his occasional newspaper columns for which he was not even paid.

UPDATE: PolitaKid has more. He notes:

I certainly don't blame the Dover Post for firing him. By using his name and picture, as well as referencing his job, he reflects poorly on the paper. I can't imagine anyone sitting down for an interview with some one who spews such filth.

That certainly adds another element to the whole deal about the Post's right to fire Donegan. The first thing that comes to mind is when various women who had posed naked for Playboy were subsequently fired from their jobs -- because they had stated who their employer was in the magazine's photo spread. The employers did not want to be indentified with Playboy.

UPDATE 2: Mike at Down With Absolutes goes off!

UPDATE 3: The First Slate has much more, too ... in its inimitable manner!

UPDATE 4: Michael Crook chimes in in Donegan's defense.

Posted by Hube at January 31, 2006 04:59 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Funny thing about Calio is that I kinda sorta thought the possibility of some funny business was very prevalent. I don't think he should have been censored, though I do believe he should have had the sense to remove himself from the equation.

Thanks for the link. I'm reciprocating.

Posted by: Mike M. at January 31, 2006 05:19 PM

Although I agree that the "slippery slope" cliché is a bit tired. I certainly would not refer to taking a liberal stance on civil liberties "dopey". I would have relished the opportunity to elaborate further, however the WNJ editorial page isn't the forum. I really do see a great deal of Orwellian imagery in this issue. If you don't - I guess we'll agree to disagree.


Posted by: Robert Vanella at February 14, 2006 02:40 PM