The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Fired For Free Speech?

Somehow the author of the recent You-Tube video that portrays Hillary in a bad light (is there any other way to portray her?) has been found and fired from his job. He works for a company that is a vendor for the Obama campaign. ABC News reports:
The presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was rocked by revelations Wednesday night that one of its contracted employees was the creator of a scathing YouTube video against his opponent Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., despite Obama's insistance that he had nothing to do with it.
I am no fan of Obama. He is one of the two lefty senators in my home state. Reading this ABC News story I was struck by two points. They seem to be in Hillary's camp and they seem to so casually treat the free speech rights of the video author. I realize that papers tend toward the sensational, but this tendency to make dirt stick to somebody whether it belongs or not is ridiculous. Providing no evidence whatsoever that Obama or his campaign authorized the video the story uses inflammatory verbiage such as the Obama campaign was "rocked by revelations". They later state that "The admission threatened to besmirch Obama's pledge to run a clean campaign...". Later they have the statement that this employee did the work on his own time and it was his own idea. The work was neither requested nor paid for by the Obama campaign. Yet the story goes into great detail of how Obama's campaign had denied any involvement with the video. It is amazing how curious and probing ABC is here. Usually you do not see such an attitude toward a Democrat. The fact that this Democrat is in the race against another Democrat leaves no alternative but to think this story was written as it was to help Hillary.

What strikes me is that no player in this story seems the least concerned about the firing of the author. Here is a description of how he was caught:
Phil de Vellis, until Wednesday an employee of the company that handles Obama's Web site, boasted in a posting on the Huffington Post that he made the ad, though he claimed neither the Obama campaign nor his former employer, Blue State Digital — which does software development and hosting for Obama's campaign — was aware that he had.
Sometimes it is downright infuriating how key elements of a story are simply left out by the media. Why should I after reading news stories have simple questions that could have so easily been answered? I have not seen the Huffington post, but it seems odd to me that he would not sign his name anonymously, even if he was bragging about it. If he posted with an alias, how was he discovered? It is not that I think it too hard to do, the story leaves out details of the trail between the post and de Vellis.

Even if he posted his name clearly as the author and there are policies at Blue State Digital that can be used to justify his termination legally, nobody seems to be concerned that somebody has been fired for expressing his personal opinion on his own time. If he directly stated in his bragging post that he worked for BSD (hmmm, close to BDS) that may be one thing. However, ABC did not include any info from the post. If somebody is writing controversial things on their own time and being careful not to mention or refer to their employer, this should fall under the protection of free speech. If one is making every attempt to retain anononimity, yet is busted by some technical guru able to crack the privacy shield how can that be the fault of the individual? I don't think companies fall under the 1st Amendment protection and CAN fire somebody for what they say that might embarrass their image and harm their ability to conduct business. That does not mean that they MUST.

ABC News only gives us a peep-hole into the story, so there may be key elements missing. However, from the info I see ABC, BSD, the Obama campaign (including Obama himself) and Hillary have raised no issue that this man was fired for exercising his free speech. Of course liberals historically enthusiastically support free speech as their fist are pumping the air UNTIL that free speech is something they don't like. Then it is time to fire, silence, shout down, throw pies in the face, etc. Shame on the players in this drama for not even referring to the free speech element in this. They have more important things to worry about: their agendas.

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