Jul 292013

WAAY-TV investigative reporter Shea Allen was fired late last week for a post she made on her personal blog.  Titled Confessions of a Red Headed Reporter, then No Apologies: Confessions of a Red Headed Reporter, it contained several “confessions,” mostly directly related to how she did her job.  Here is the list:

1. I’ve gone bra-less during a live broadcast and no one was the wiser.

2. My best sources are the ones who secretly have a crush on me.

3. I am better live when I have no script and no idea what I’m talking about.

4. I’ve mastered the ability to contort my body into a position that makes me appear much skinner [sic] in front of the camera than I actually am.

5. I hate the right side of my face.

6. I’m frightened of old people and I refuse to do stories involving them or the places they reside.

7. Happy, fluffy, rainbow stories about good things make me depressed.

8. I’ve taken naps in the news car.

9. If you ramble and I deem you unnecessary for my story, I’ll stop recording but let you think otherwise.

10. I’ve stolen mail and then put it back. (maybe)

I think more than half of this list is silly and of no consequence.  But I suspect it’s the entries that give me pause that gave WAAY pause.  Entries #2 and #6 make me think she’s not assigning proper importance to her journalistic credibility.  Entry #9 is even a bit farther down that road, with a splash of dishonesty.  And entry #10 is a federal crime.  The U.S. Postal Service has no sense of humor about stealing/tampering with mail.

Now here’s the part that gawker.com is reporting, and al.com is not.  WAAY management, upon learning of the blog post, first told her to take it down, and she did.  It is implied that that was the end of it.  It was only when she put it back up, with a defiant diatribe appended:

This post was taken down because I was momentarily misguided about who I am and what I stand for. To clarify, I make no apologies for the following re-post. It’s funny, satirical and will likely offend some of the more conservative folks. But it isn’t fake and its a genuine look into my slightly twisted psyche.

Here’s the thing, I’ve vowed to always fight for the right of free expression. It’s allowed, no matter what the profession. I pride myself in having earned the respect of many because I make no apologies for the truth and hold nothing back. I don’t fight for things because they serve me, I fight for them because they are right. Sources trust me because I am an unadulterated version of the truth. I won’t ever bend just because its popular to do so and I’m not bending now.

that she was terminated.

I have followed Ms. Allen on Twitter for some time, which is unusual, because I don’t generally keep up with local news personalities.  She’s witty and intelligent, and I suspect will recover from this.

But she needs to do some growing up.  You can’t be employed as a reporter, post something to the web describing yourself as a questionable reporter and perhaps even a criminal, and then be outraged when you’re canned.  She’s making a bit of racket about the ACLU and what-not, and I just don’t see how it’s at all complicated legally.

When you’re a public figure, there are compromises, and she is feeling the result of what seems to be a thoroughly reasonable market decision.

I suspect she’ll be wiser as a result.

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 Posted by at 6:25 pm

  6 Responses to “WAAY-TV reporter Shea Allen fired for personal blog post”

  1. It drives me nuts how people post/say inane stuff, things that raise eyebrows/annoy other people and then, when called on it, yell “FREEDOM OF SPEECH”. Look, freedom of speech only guarantees your right to say it. I have the freedom to then make decisions (such as whether to buy your album, continue to employ you, etc) based on the content of that speech. WAAY’s position to have her take it down was eminently reasonable, the fact that she put it back up shows that she knew exactly what she was doing and, likely, what would happen if she did.

  2. I bet she’s somewhere screaming, “DON’T JUDGE ME!”

    She has the right to say it. And I have the right to tell her a few things in regards to it:
    1. It’s not particularly funny.
    2. She needs to refresh her memory as to the definition of the word “satirical.”
    3. As a conservative, I’m not particularly offended by it.
    4. Yes, it’s her blog, but as a reporter, she should know better than anyone that once one puts something out there, it’s out there for anyone to see, interpret, or misinterpret. And as an adult, she should realize that actions have consequences. So she has no cause go around squawking when she starts to reap the fruits of her labors and find out they aren’t particularly tasty.
    5. As a trained journalist (if not a practicing one), I DO take offense to her deliberate, public admission of a complete and total lack of professional ethics.

    I think Ms. Allen needs to put on a pair of big girl drawers (and a bra) and do a bit of introspective examination during her stint in the unemployment line.

  3. Is she Tweeting about it?

  4. Oh, and I hope that WAAY-TV is not pressured into apologizing for firing her.

  5. Kemtee beat me to the punch. I totally agree that Ms. Allen’s definitions of humor and satire are way off. One of my mentors once told me that he thought it was nice that our country has a statue dedicated to liberty on one coast, but he felt that we should erect a statue dedicated to responsibility on the other coast.

  6. MrsDragon, it’s hard for me to see how cool heads will come up with anything but what you’ve come up with.

    Kemtee, heartily concur. You shall have a prominent place in the government of Bozekistan. But you probably knew that already.

    Carol, no. I actually tweeted her directly about it suggesting that she take it back down, apologize, and ask for her job back, with a link to this post. Nothing yet. 🙂

    I seriously doubt WAAY would apologize for firing her.

    Dave, anymore I think our only hope is making responsibility cool again.

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