Shea Allen and the Confession that got her Fired

Shea AllenThe last time I talked about a social media post getting someone in trouble it involved a seventeen year girl wearing a bikini. I broke records for number of blog hits! I say, why not try again? Although this time it’s an adult woman and other than apparently going sans-bra now and again there are no racy images.

A young reporter in the great state of Alabama wrote a blog post confessing a few fairly innocuous things and was fired from her job as a reporter at WAAY-TV in Huntsville, Alabama.

The station first asked her to take down the blog and she complied but upon having second thoughts she put it back up defiantly. In the blog she admits to turning off her microphone during interviews if she feels the subject is blithering on too much. She also apparently has failed to wear a bra during a newscast or two. She is disturbed by the elderly and is good at sitting in such a way as to conceal her weight from the camera.

 

** EDIT **

The updated stories indicate Shea was not asked to take down the blog before she was fired. This certainly puts a different light on her actions. I still support her honesty in talking about her real flaws but she seems to be complaining now about the firing. If she posted the blog knowing she was going to be fired that is, in my opinion, admirable and was largely my point in this blog. If that’s not the case, and it appears not to be, then my admiration for her actions is diminished. I still think people should be allowed to express their true opinions without being subject to discipline. That we get a society of people who live in fear of being themselves, of admitting mistakes, and that hurts us in the long run.

** CLOSE EDIT **

I’m not sure what the law is in Alabama but it’s likely the station had the right to fire her. I don’t want to discuss if what she did was a something for which she should be fired, nor do I care to discuss her right to say such things. What I would like to delve into is what sort of society we are creating when we fire people like Shea.

Shea is a product of the modern world. She is not afraid. She posted a few things that people might find offensive and got fired because of it. She didn’t do anything accidentally or without understanding the consequences of her actions. She knew what could happen, what would likely happen, and did it anyway.

If that station doesn’t want me, she seems to say, then I don’t want them.

How can I put this delicately in a way that won’t offend … Hell ya!

Dissent is not a good thing, it’s a great thing. Welcoming opinions that are not your own makes you strong, not weak. Being brave enough to state your mind when you know others won’t like it is an admirable quality. We need brave people standing next to us everywhere, at work, in the line-of-fire, and everywhere in-between.

I’m tired of newscasters getting their talking points from the administrators and having to hear the exact same words on every broadcast.

Somebody hire Shea! FOX, NBC, CNN, ABC, grab this girl and grab her quick. She’s going places. She won’t do what you tell her to do and this country is starving for people like that. Libertarians like me are dying of thirst when we watch the talking heads repeat the mantra doled out by their masters.

Give us water! Give us Shea and people like her.

If you don’t, if you fire everyone strong enough to state an opinion different from the company line, then this nation is doomed. Those who lap up the drivel, who ask you to lie to them and whimper in ecstasy when you do it, they won’t make this country strong again. Right now people like that are winning. This country wasn’t built by yes-men but it sure can be destroyed by them.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist
Current Release: The Sword of Water ($2.99 and no sensibilities are spared)
Upcoming Release: The Spear of the Hunt

10 thoughts on “Shea Allen and the Confession that got her Fired

  1. Yes, Tom…what the world needs is more investigative reporters, people exposing corruption and wrongdoing, who turn off the camera if you bore them, won’t talk to you in the first place if you’re old, and steals mail (maybe) then puts it back…which is a federal (no maybe about it) offense.

    We don’t need more loose cannons. We do need more journalists who do their job properly. WAAY was absolutely right to fire her given what she publicly admitted to. They gave her the chance to walk it back. That was extremely generous. She snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

    • Thank you for the comment Watcher,

      We completely disagree obviously. For a little clarity, she turns off the microphone during an interview when she realizes there’s nothing left in the story, she has a phobia of the elderly, and she perhaps looked at a letter addressed to someone else.

      If you want a world filled with people who claim to never make mistakes, are apparently not human beings, and are afraid to admit their flaws that’s a world you’re welcome to have. I don’t want it.

      I want people adult enough to admit to mistakes instead of pretending they are perfect and insisting on it in others.

      I will leave you with this thought, if you want reporters bold enough to investigate, report, expose corruption, and go against the trend; you want Shea. You do not want line-following drones who do exactly as their told and never admit to an error.

      Thanks again for the comment,

      Tom

  2. Not all of what she said was innocuous. Opening someone else’s mail is a federal offense. Saying that you fear a part of your audience, and that you refuse to interview them, or go to places they reside in, is offensive to that part of your audience. Admitting to sleeping on the job is just not a bright thing to do. People need to think before they speak. Odds are she wanted to think the 1st amendment would cover her situation.

    • She absolutely did not think the First Amendment covered her. She did not complain about being fired in any way. She knew she was going to be fired because they told her she would be. She went ahead and kept the post up because she thought it was more important to be honest about herself than lie to keep a job. That it was wrong to pretend she was anything other than herself.

      I admire her. You don’t. I admire honesty, particularly when it comes to our flaws. You clearly prefer someone who lies. You say, don’t tell anyone you slept in the news van on the way to an interview. Don’t admit that you foolishly opened someone’s letter once. Don’t admit that you have a phobia. Lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, and lie again to keep your job.

      The only difference between lying Shea and honest Shea is that one tells the truth and the other is a liar. Otherwise they are the same. You say, unequivocally, that you like lying Shea better. You’ll employ lying Shea but fire honest Shea.

      Well, Alex, you and those like you are in the majority. I’m in the minority. Congratulations.

      Tom

  3. I don’t like lying, never said I did. There is a thing called discretion. She wasn’t asked if she slept in the car. She wasn’t asked if she liked old people. I have tried to find where she said she opened the letter and can’t find it. If it was an accident then yes no problem there. To open someone’s mail on purpose and admit to it does not make her an honorable person. Also, the fact is she spouted this in a public forum. You can say it is her personal blog, but it isn’t. In her own blog she says that the firing came before she took the post down. So if she says she was asked to take it down and then fired she is lying. There were also other blogs where she is seen on camera complaining about her job. There are reports of her having been arrested, using racial slurs, and cursing on camera. On face value she does not appear to be the shining example of truth you want her to be. Her telling the truth when reporting is a great thing. Spouting off things in a public forum that you know will insult people, and possibly get you fired is not. Truth is one thing, gossiping and airing your dirty laundry out in public are quite different.

    • In defense of Shea, the original story claimed that she had been asked to take down the post, took it down, and then decided to put it back up. In looking at updated stories and interviews that seems to have been false. It’s my fault for reporting what was in the original story.

      Tom

  4. Shea said she was fired summarily: “I thought my performance had warranted at least a conversation,” she told Redd. “I certainly didn’t think it would come to this,” she told Janet Shamlian on “Today.” So it looks as if she didn’t think she should be fired.

    • She didn’t think she would be fired. That’s totally different than thinking she couldn’t be fired. Which was your assertion. Unless I misread your comment.

      Also, this has nothing to do with my post. I was never talking about whether she *could (that’s an edit, I wrote should, I meant could) be fired or not.

      Tom

  5. My mistake, it was a fellow journalist that made the free speech comment. Though I do stand by my statements about using discretion. A side note, she tweeted that her contract was up in a few months and that she was looking at ATL. Could this be a way of getting publicity and maybe a shot at bigger things? The biggest problem we have these days is that people seem to think they can say what they want and not have to face consequences for their actions.

    • Hi Alex,

      I’ve put a little edit in my original post to update the story along the lines of new info you provided.

      My original position was largely based on her courage of putting the post back up after being told she would be fired otherwise. This not being the case, my admiration is dampened.

      I still worry that we are too quick to judge and force people to hide mistakes rather than admit them.

      And, as they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity. She well could have done it intentionally.

      Thanks for the comments, as always! 🙂

      Tom

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