Richard Richtmyer is in trouble with his bosses at the Associated Press for something he wrote on Facebook. Did he burn a source? Trash a story subject? Worse: He mildly criticized one of AP's hundreds of members.
Richtmyer made a head-slappingly obvious observation about the executives who turned AP member McClatchy Co. from a thriving newspaper chain into a sad penny stock (see chart, left). As quoted on Wired.com:
"It seems like the ones who orchestrated the whole mess should be losing their jobs or getting pushed into smaller quarters," Richtmyer wrote on May 28. "But they aren't."
One of Richtmyer 51 "friends" at the paranoid, insular newswire ratted him out to management for saying this very true thing, and now he's got an official reprimand for not constantly toadying up to every last AP member, no matter how vulgar. Meanwhile, Associated Press Chairman Dean Singleton continued yelling furiously (probably) that Google, one of AP's most successful clients, is a terrible corporation run by demons intent on sapping his company's precious bodily fluids. In this manner he modeled how one avoids expressing opinions that might compromise "AP's reputation as an unbiased source of news."