Green Room

Fired for Facebook comment?

posted at 1:35 pm on December 12, 2012 by

This is a case of everyone overreacting, I think:

First, the comment was rude and ignorant, and should have been ignored. Failing that, the station should have addressed it. If Ms. Lee didn’t like the fact that the station hadn’t addressed it, she should have asked them to do so. Finally, though, what’s the problem with her response? It seemed reasonable and polite, perhaps more so than the comment deserved. If the station wants to have a social-media presence, is it reasonable to ask their staff to refrain from engaging in the social-media sphere? That’s the equivalent of offering an e-mail address and then telling staff not to reply to anything that comes through it.

I think everyone involved in this incident should have gotten a king-sized grip on themselves.

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I liked Lee’s response. What’s wrong with everybody?!

Shy Guy on December 12, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Don’t use Facebook. Simple as that.

besser tot als rot on December 12, 2012 at 1:56 PM

I’ve been in forums with strict rules about not replying to “offensive” posts, but rather alerting the admins. But in this case, the poster seemed to say, “I like apples”, and the “black lady” who does the weather replied in a highly thoughtful way with, essentially, “you like apples, I like oranges, and this is why”.

If I was watching a cooking show that demonstrated the preparation of tuna, and I posted that I prefer salmon, and the host replied as to the virtues of tuna … isn’t that just the tamest thing you ever heard? And this is tame too, even if it touches on racial traits and appearance. I mean, no one even said the words “nappy hair”.

I suppose the station wants the lawyers, or some overpaid public relations liaison, to deal with controversial or offensive comments. Yet, again, what did the station consider offensive in the original post?

“You say tomato, I say tomahto, you say potato, I say potahto, tomato, tomahto, potato, potahto … let’s fire the black weatherlady”.

Paul-Cincy on December 12, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Don’t use Facebook. Simple as that.

besser tot als rot on December 12, 2012 at 1:56 PM

This.

Never had a facebook. Never going to have a facebook.

portlandon on December 12, 2012 at 1:57 PM

portlandon on December 12, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Then how can you snoop on your family?

Night Owl on December 12, 2012 at 2:06 PM

She was fired for violating company policy, after having been warned multiple times to stop violating company policy – she WAS a problem employee.

Pork-Chop on December 12, 2012 at 2:16 PM

I don’t see why she was fired but does every critique need to be answered with race cards or attacking the critic as racist? You mean people on facebook are not the most refined and artful? I am shocked! Does anyone even know what a “racist” is anymore?

MechanicalBill on December 12, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Randy Bain, KTBS news director issued this statement late Tuesday:

Randy Bain, KTBS news director issued this statement late Tuesday:

“Typically this station does not comment on personnel matters, but due to the publicity and interest about this issue, the station has included the following statement.

On November 28, 2012, KTBS dismissed two employees for repeated violation of the station’s written procedure. We can confirm that Rhonda Lee was one of the employees. Another employee was a white male reporter who was an eight year veteran of the station. The policy they violated provided a specific procedure for responding to viewer comments on the official KTBS Facebook page. Included is an email that was sent to all news department employees informing them of this procedure. This procedure is based on advice from national experts and commonly used by national broadcast and cable networks and local television stations across the country.

Unfortunately, television personalities have long been subject to harsh criticism and negative viewer comments about their appearance and performance. If harsh viewer comments are posted on the station’s official website, there is a specific procedure to follow.

Ms. Rhonda Lee was let go for repeatedly violating that procedure and after being warned multiple times of the consequences if her behavior continued. Rhonda Lee was not dismissed for her appearance or defending her appearance. She was fired for continuing to violate company procedure.”

Pork-Chop on December 12, 2012 at 2:29 PM

If harsh viewer comments are posted on the station’s official website, there is a specific procedure to follow.

Ms. Rhonda Lee was let go for repeatedly violating that procedure and after being warned multiple times of the consequences if her behavior continued. Rhonda Lee was not dismissed for her appearance or defending her appearance. She was fired for continuing to violate company procedure.

Pork-Chop on December 12, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Who determined the posts were “harsh”? I don’t see it. It was like saying, I like it better when the weatherlady wears blue dresses, rather than the red ones she typically wears. And then she replies, I like red dresses, and this is why. TV is a visual medium. You can’t make a tame comment about someone’s appearance without it being judged “harsh”?

Paul-Cincy on December 12, 2012 at 2:35 PM

short hair on a woman rocks! Her response was too classy.

keep the change on December 12, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Rhonda Lee, the new tv star. Catch her new show on WGAS-TV.

rik on December 12, 2012 at 2:45 PM

I liked Lee’s response. What’s wrong with everybody?!

Shy Guy on December 12, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Racism. For example this woman was not fired: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/02/jennifer-livingston-anchor-obesity-letter_n_1932869.html

One woman went ON THE AIR to repudiate the person who attacked her. Another wrote a classy, polite and educational response to an ignorant comment. One was white, one was black. Guess which one got fired. If you don’t get it, then you just fundamentally don’t believe that racial bias exists.

libfreeordie on December 12, 2012 at 2:53 PM

What the heck?

What was so bad about the E-mail, or her response?

Sounds to me like a lot of folks have their shorts on too tight.

sharrukin on December 12, 2012 at 3:02 PM

One woman went ON THE AIR to repudiate the person who attacked her. Another wrote a classy, polite and educational response to an ignorant comment. One was white, one was black. Guess which one got fired. If you don’t get it, then you just fundamentally don’t believe that racial bias exists.

libfreeordie on December 12, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Since my previous post (FIRST!!!), it has been pointed out that she repeatedly violated company policy. What does that have to do with the color of anyone’s skin?

Throw all the race cards you want.

Shy Guy on December 12, 2012 at 3:07 PM

It was like saying, I like it better when the weatherlady wears blue dresses, rather than the red ones she typically wears. And then she replies, I like red dresses, and this is why. TV is a visual medium. You can’t make a tame comment about someone’s appearance without it being judged “harsh”?
Paul-Cincy on December 12, 2012 at 2:35 PM

It was a harmless, albeit stupidly phrased, comment. The response was actually pretty thoughtful. No reason for her bosses noses to get outta joint. People have gotten way too overly sensitive these days, looking for anything “inappropriate” from which to mine some measure of offense.

whatcat on December 12, 2012 at 3:07 PM

I hope this very classy “black lady” gets a better gig at a much better station. And a pox on the folks that fired her.

Laura in Maryland on December 12, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Racism. For example this woman was not fired: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/02/jennifer-livingston-anchor-obesity-letter_n_1932869.html

One woman went ON THE AIR to repudiate the person who attacked her. Another wrote a classy, polite and educational response to an ignorant comment. One was white, one was black. Guess which one got fired. If you don’t get it, then you just fundamentally don’t believe that racial bias exists.

libfreeordie on December 12, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Randy Bain, KTBS news director issued this statement late Tuesday:

“Typically this station does not comment on personnel matters, but due to the publicity and interest about this issue, the station has included the following statement.

On November 28, 2012, KTBS dismissed two employees for repeated violation of the station’s written procedure. We can confirm that Rhonda Lee was one of the employees. Another employee was a white male reporter who was an eight year veteran of the station. The policy they violated provided a specific procedure for responding to viewer comments on the official KTBS Facebook page. Included is an email that was sent to all news department employees informing them of this procedure. This procedure is based on advice from national experts and commonly used by national broadcast and cable networks and local television stations across the country.

Unfortunately, television personalities have long been subject to harsh criticism and negative viewer comments about their appearance and performance. If harsh viewer comments are posted on the station’s official website, there is a specific procedure to follow.

Ms. Rhonda Lee was let go for repeatedly violating that procedure and after being warned multiple times of the consequences if her behavior continued. Rhonda Lee was not dismissed for her appearance or defending her appearance. She was fired for continuing to violate company procedure.”

Pork-Chop on December 12, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Yeah, lets look at a completely unrelated example because there isn’t another example from the same station firing a white employee for violating the same policy…oh wait.

weaselyone on December 12, 2012 at 3:13 PM

“tough racial issues in our country”.

Ummm.. how was this a racial thing?

ButterflyDragon on December 12, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Racism.

libfreeordie on December 12, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Account overdrawn.

CurtZHP on December 12, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Racism.

libfreeordie on December 12, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Racism.

Shy Guy on December 12, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Could there be more to this story of which we are not aware..?

d1carter on December 12, 2012 at 3:58 PM

To prevent this kind of foolishness is easy:

Don’t use Facebook or Twitter.

…and if you find yourself unable to resist using them:

DON”T TAKE EITHER OF THEM SERIOUSLY!!!

It’s like trying to discipline two year old kids for saying a bad word! Disciplining responses is a foolish endeavor which is very likely to produce a counterproductive result.

QED

landlines on December 12, 2012 at 4:05 PM

libfreeordie on December 12, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Apples and oranges, you idiot.

One was fired because she “repeatedly violated written company policy”. One was not fired because SHE DID NOT VIOLATE WRITTEN COMPANY POLICY. In fact, I’d wager that management knew what she was going to do before she answered on air.

Of course, that’s just part of the old jim crow, racist plot against your people, isn’t it?

How can you be such a racist and so stupid…and be allowed to pretend to “educate” young people?

Solaratov on December 12, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Throw all the race cards you want.

Shy Guy on December 12, 2012 at 3:07 PM

S/he/it will…perpetually. It’s all a racist like liveasaslaveanddie can do.

Solaratov on December 12, 2012 at 5:52 PM

If white people can get fired for comments on Facebook, it is racist for blacks not to be able to.

theaddora on December 12, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Don’t use Facebook. Simple as that.

besser tot als rot on December 12, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Amen.

My FB account has no photo, no comments, no nothing. Same with my Twitter account. All I’ll ever use them for is contacting people too stupid/lazy to use anything else, which happens more often than you think.

MelonCollie on December 13, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Does anyone even know what a “racist” is anymore?

MechanicalBill on December 12, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Why yes. A racist is a democrat.

woodNfish on December 13, 2012 at 12:40 PM