A request to investigate violations is being filed this morning with the Chief Ethics Officer of Gannet, the media giant that owns The Journal News, which published gun permit holders' names and addresses, and the Des Moines Register, which published Donald Kaul's call for gun owners to be killed.
“To affect change for the good in the communities we serve, to make life better for the people who trust us to know them and do right by them.”
"Every day, all of us at Gannett are given the rare and sacred opportunity to affect change for the good in the communities we serve, to make life better for the people who trust us to know them and do right by them," Gannett CEO and President Gracia C. Martore claims in her policy introduction. "We have this opportunity because people trust the integrity of our actions and know we have the courage and conviction to do what must be done. We know that this trust is earned every day."
You haven't been earning it of late, Ms. Martore. These latest assaults on the right of the people to keep and bear arms hardly "serve the greater good of our nation and the communities [you] serve."
"In all matters and in all divisions, the highest professional standards must be practiced in every Gannett activity by every Gannett director, officer and employee to guarantee the independence and the integrity of all our news, editorial, information, advertising and marketing services," the ethics policy asserts. "We believe respect for others and our commitment to diversity represent vital strengths of our Company."
Your holdings in New York and Iowa have shown no respect for the significant peaceable gun-owning population that occupies much of America, Ms. Martore. Outing and endangering gun owners, and wishing them dead if they don't obey edicts designed to crush a foundational pillar of the Bill of Rights, that is, harassing and attacking people with whom your employees and contractors hold a different political agenda from, hardly demonstrates a "commitment to diversity."
"In every case, necessary safeguards must be maintained to prevent any action or any association that might reflect adversely, directly or indirectly, upon Gannett," the policy continues.
What safeguards might those be, particularly since your New York holding has pledged to continue with their agenda-driven and dangerous privacy intrusions? What further evidence do you need, beyond them turning around and hiring armed security, to demonstrate that your employees have miserably -- and importantly, willfully -- failed in each of these stated ethical qualifiers?
You obviously know that Human Resources departments rely on such policies to provide a standard of conduct by which all of your employees and contractors must abide, and that there can be severe legal and financial settlement consequences if it is determined they have not been evenly applied across the board. It's also obvious that your policy states "A 'conflict of interest' exists when a person’s private interest interferes in any way with the interests of the Company," and that "An impartial, arms’ length relationship will be maintained with anyone seeking to influence the news."
What are the private political interests of those publishers, editors, reporters and columnists who produced, approved and published these two outrageous and unprovoked attacks on "diverse" community members who own guns and believe in advocating for the right to continue doing so? In light of your ethics policy, don't you think you owe it to yourself to find out, and to determine if their personal preferences unduly undermined their professional responsibilities? Because we're not talking mere opinion here -- their reckless, agenda and in Kaul's case, hate-driven actions could actually endanger lives in the communities you claim you have a "sacred opportunity" to "serve" with "integrity."
If you do nothing, how will you ever be able to invoke your ethics policy against any other employee who violates it in the future without risking a discrimination/unfair employment practices complaint? So in accordance with that policy, particularly section D. "Reporting Violations," I will "feel free to report a violation or possible violations to the Company’s Chief Ethics Officer."
That would be "Barbara W. Wall (at 703-854-6000 or firstname.lastname@example.org)."
I understand "There is no need to identify yourself, if you prefer not to do so, when reporting
a suspected violation," but I do things in the open and will send her the link to this article via email. I also understand "All reports will be treated in confidence except as necessary to conduct investigations," and trust such an investigation will be forthcoming.
May I also trust you'll direct an immediate stop to this nonsense coming out of New York, and sever all ties with that twisted hatemonger Donald Kaul? Otherwise, now that you've been publicly put on notice, it will be fair to assume their continued actions will have your personal stamp of approval.
UPDATE: See follow-up column, "Dangers of Gannett’s ethics violation outing gun owners continue to emerge."
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