The woman holding up the so-called "Abacus sign" at the Occupy Wall Street demo has been identified. Her name is Caitlin Curran and here (again) is the famous picture of her holding her sign.
As readers will know I thought this sign was misleading in that it was inaccurate about the nature of the Abacus transaction. Still - as written - and as one of my readers has observed - the statement is pure motherhood. If you think it is not wrong to create a mortgage-backed security filled with loans you know are going to fail so that you can sell it to a client who isn't aware that you sabotaged it by intentionally picking the misleadingly rated loans most likely to be defaulted upon then let me know. (I will find you a job in investment banking!)
The picture has had career adverse impacts on Caitlin. She was a journalist at The Takeaway and the picture got her fired. There is currently a tendency of non-right-wing news outlets to enforce a rigorous non-advocacy position on their staff - and they will fire them for any political donation or any political involvement. Caitlin wrote about this in Gawker.
The right-wing news outlets don't enforce that - just look at the roster of Fox News.
This is ridiculous. The managing director Mark Effron is enforcing a standard that is philosophically indefensible but he is too brain-dead to see it.
So let me put it simply for Mark Effron's benefit. Had Rosa Parks been an employee of yours - and had she chosen to not stand up on the bus because a white person wanted that seat would you have fired her? (Rosa Park's action was clearly political protest...)
If you would have then you are evil and you should resign for the benefit of society. Go on Mark - do it now.
If you would not have fired Rosa Parks you are admitting that your standards are nuanced and your action in firing Caitlin is somewhat more sophisticated than Caitlin suggests in her article.
So spell it out. Spell out why Caitlin's offense is a firing offense and Rosa Park's offense is not?
If you don't have the intellectual nous to do that at least give Caitlin her job back.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Posted by John Hempton at 3:40 PM
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