Bloggers Send “Mixed Messages” Over Green Email

Reactions to the suspension of ABC producer John Green range from the predictable cries of "liberal bias!" and "shame on ABC!" to less-predictable conspiracy theories.

On Friday, ABC announced that it was suspending John Green, the executive producer of the weekend edition of Good Morning America, for one month without pay. His transgression? In a pair of private emails — later leaked to the press — Green criticized former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for having “Jew shame,” and hammered President Bush for his performance during a presidential debate. “Bush makes me sick,” Green wrote in an email to one of his colleagues. “If he uses the ‘mixed messages’ line one more time, I’m going to puke.”

The emails, which dated as far back as 2004, became public last week, prompting ABC executives to suspend Green — and prompting bloggers, in turn, to douse ABC with their blogger-bile.

“I don’t understand why it is so shocking and unforgivable for people who work in the news media to have a personal opinion about the people they may cover,” writes Everything You Know Is Wrong. “Especially when your comments were private and meant to stay that way. Does it really warrant a month-long suspension without pay?”

“Ridicule the guy and let’s move on,” the blogger adds. “For example, Bush lied about the reasons for taking us to war in Iraq, what should his punishment be if John Green’s was a month’s suspension without pay?”

“ABC should be ashamed of itself,” writes The World as I see it. “You would THINK the NEWS and media would be the first people fighting to protect the freedom of speech! Guess again!!”

“There is something distasteful about punishing someone for views expressed in a private email leaked by a disgruntled former colleague,” suggests Spartacus. “Better for ABC to have said these were personal views, privately expressed, which have nothing to do with the editorial position of ABC News. But this would have required ABC to have genuine confidence in the broad spectrum of political views held by its staffers. Unfortunately, this is manifestly not the case.”

Other bloggers, however, simply saw the dustup as further proof of the media’s liberal bias.

“Yes, well here is an example of the hidden agenda against balanced news … why study after study shows a 2 to 1 ratio of stories slanted to the left,” writes Daily Musings. “Even the studies of the press people themselves show overwhelming bias to the left … something around 70 percent self-professed liberals in the press corps.”

Finally, it wouldn’t be the blogosphere without at least one conspiracy theory making the rounds.

“[T]he mainstream media have remained silent on the original memo story and the decision to suspend Green, which was made, conveniently, on a Friday in order to minimize its impact in the standard news cycle,” writes the Dread Pundit Bluto. “ABC needn’t have bothered; their buddies are covering for them just fine.”

Well, at least one of those “buddies” isn’t: Saturday morning, Howard Kurtz penned an article on Green’s suspension for the Washington Post. A cover-up, no doubt, for the MSM’s initial cover-up of the story.

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Felix Gillette writes about the media for The New York Observer.