Wednesday, March 09, 2011

I'm no fan of NPR's content, and I'm even less of a fan of their getting government (i.e., my) money, but I think it ridiculous that NPR President Vivian Schiller is being forced to resign in the wake of the video showing a couple of NPR staffers disparaging Tea Partiers... because she is being forced to resign for bad reasons.

I really dislike the concept of firing managers because someone on their staff did something improper.. unless the manager knows of that behavior or has otherwise created an environment in which staff thinks such behavior is allowed and/or encouraged.

That's why I think Ohio State should fire football coach Jim Tressel (and not merely suspend him), as he was aware that his people were acting improperly and yet did nothing.

But there is nothing to suggest that Vivian Schiller knew that her former staffer was off soliciting money from terrorist-affiliated groups, was making the disparaging comments that he was, or claiming that NPR would be better off without government subsidies. In fact, the speed at which he was thrown out suggests that his actions were directly at odds with NPR policy.

No CEO can ever hope to never hire someone who is going to go off the reservation. No CEO can ever hope (or should even try) to monitor their staff's behavior in such an intrusive way so as to stop these breaches from happening.

Sometimes, there is a bad egg. The real test is how the CEO reacts when made aware of the specifics...