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.