Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ethics Matter

As demonstrated by yours truly and capper earlier this week, Kevin Fischer is no fan of ethics. Cindy Kilkenny over at Fairly Conservative has also done a great job of detailing all Kevin Fischer's foibles and ethical lapses, but today I want to take a trip in the Wayback Machine...destination 1996 (emphasis mine):

October 15, 1996, Tim Cuprison in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

"Quit all the speculating out there about why reporter/ conservative commentator Kevin Fischer got fired last week by WTMJ-AM (620). Despite reading here that it had nothing to do with his political views, folks who saw conspiracies out there inundated my voice mail.

Well, as is the case with most companies, the Journal Broadcast Group won't talk about why Fischer was axed, except to say that it wasn't for anything he did on the air.

But nosing behind the scenes, it's clear that WTMJ management was concerned about a possible violation of the company's ethics code. While away on vacation, it seems, Fischer took a freebie to Walt Disney World's 25th anniversary celebration in Orlando, Fla., a huge media event. Fischer didn't file any reports from the bash. The next week, he lost his job. Word is that after Fischer was fired, WTMJ's radio news folks were called into a meeting and the ethics policy was restated to prevent a repeat of the situation. Fischer, by the way, won't talk about it. In fact, he angrily told me to stop typing what he said when I called him Monday afternoon, because he wouldn't talk to me on the record. He wouldn't talk off the record, for that matter. KUDOS FOR KEVIN: Meanwhile, big bucks consultant and conservative policy wonk George Mitchell wrote to Fischer's bosses praising his reporting style: "Kevin did not cloak his reporting or commentary with phony objectivity which characterizes so much of the print and broadcast journalism today. With Kevin, listeners got a clear and open expression of news and opinion. "They knew just where he was coming from, not unlike listeners to Paul Harvey, for example," Mitchell wrote. For the record, Paul Harvey isn't a reporter. He's a commentator."

So let's recap...

  • Allegedly fired for violating ethics code at WTMJ? CHECK!
  • Used more vacation time in 2006 than what he was alloted as a state employee? CHECK!
  • Used more vacation time in 2007 - at least 46 hours worth - than what he was alloted? CHECK!

It's no wonder why Kevin Fischer says "Ethics Schmethics."

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