‘The Pub’ #88: Lewis Wallace on getting fired from ‘Marketplace’

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Lewis Wallace says he’ll “cop to clickbait” on the headline that marked the beginning of the end of his reporting job at Marketplace“Objectivity is dead and I’m ok with it.”

But he was shocked that his bosses found the actual content of the essay — a not especially edgy or unusual meditation on the evolving nature of journalistic standards — to be so objectionable as to immediately suspend him after he posted it last Wednesday.

They also ordered him to take down the post, which he did. And when he put it back up Saturday in direct defiance, he had to know what was coming next; Marketplace chief Deborah Clark fired him Monday.

The story is complicated by two factors: 1) Wallace was, as far as I know, the only out trans journalist working on-air in public radio at a national level; 2) Marketplace’s star anchor, Kai Ryssdal, regularly pushes the boundaries of conventional objectivity on his Twitter feed and yet remains conspicuously unsuspended.

Wallace declined a modest severance offer in order to preserve his legal right to talk about what happened, and this week he brings his story to The Pub.

Also on the show this week, NPR’s dilemma about whether to use the L-word or the F-word in reference to President Trump (or rather, his statements), and one station news director’s dilemma over a T-shirt printed with words that shouldn’t be political but are.

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Adam Ragusea hosts Current’s weekly podcast The Pub and is a journalist in residence and visiting assistant professor at Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism.

  • Paul Cook

    Wallace:“We will be called politically correct, liberal and leftist. We shouldn’t care about that nor work to avoid it.

    I’m tired of the ubiquitous public radio SJW using my tax dollars for liberal propaganda without giving the same equal time to the other side of the ideological spectrum. DEFUND NPR.

    • Wallace didn’t say public radio journalists should express liberal views, he just said they shouldn’t care if people think they are liberal.

    • TomKaz

      Give the same equal time to the other side of the ideological spectrum? Does anyone really think NPR will give equal time to a Trump supporter (who just happens to drop in at NPR studios) to respond to smear jobs like this?

      http://www.npr.org/2017/02/03/513194862/with-conflict-and-drama-trump-hooks-you-like-a-reality-tv-show

      NPR and the MSM are partisan hacks. They think American voters don’t notice because they live in a bubble.

  • Mark Pugnar

    No one really cares what kind of crazy tshirts Propublica workers wear.

    The dominant, left-wing, establishment, mass media, IS an enemy to the Trump administration. The Bannon comment, and how ‘journalists’ report it, provides all the evidence that the mass media is all in for democrats and the progressive agenda. You ignore the main point of Bannon’s statement when you leave off the end of the shut-up quote. He said you all need to LISTEN! Bannon comes off as pretty reasonable if you actually hear what he is saying. Instead, ‘journalists’ hyperventilate and over-react to the fantasy that Bannon is advocating eliminating a free press.

    It is also curious that the media is VERY concerned over Bannon being an advisor to Trump, but there was very little investigation over the relationship between Valerie Jarrett and President Obama. Where was the journalism or concern about that un-elected official.

    • TomKaz

      “Journalists” believe their audience is dumb and needs to be spoon-fed what to believe. That’s why they left out the end of Bannon’s quote. Here are some actual the headlines:

      New York Times
      Trump Strategist Stephen Bannon Says Media Should ‘Keep Its Mouth Shut’

      New York Magazine
      Steve Bannon Calls Press the ‘Opposition Party,’ Which Should ‘Keep Its Mouth Shut’

      The Hill
      Bannon: Media should ‘keep its mouth shut’

      CNN
      Media talks, loudly, about Steve Bannon’s call to “shut up”

      NBC
      Trump aide Steve Bannon: Media should keep its mouth shut

      CBS
      Trump strategist Stephen Bannon tells media to “keep its mouth shut”

      ABC
      Steve Bannon Says Media Should ‘Keep Its Mouth Shut’

      It was too hard for the MSM to check their own political bias and run an honest headline such as: Trump Aide: “Media should keep It’s mouth shut and listen for a while”

      And the media still can’t understand why Americans’ trust in the media is at an all time low.
      http://www.gallup.com/poll/195542/americans-trust-mass-media-sinks-new-low.aspx

      • It’s a completely inane comment. If the media kept “its” mouth shut, it wouldn’t be media. That’s what media does.

        • Paul Cook

          Try and LISTEN Mark. Just listen.

        • TomKaz

          It’s not an inane comment if you read the whole thing. Keyword: LISTEN. That’s the point of his statement, but the media only heard what they wanted to hear.

          • If he’d just said “the media should listen,” I’d agree. In fact, I DO agree. We’re fans of Hearken and we use it. But the media is unable to keep its mouth shut, both for better and for worse. Speaking/writing/whatever is the media’s full-time business.

        • Mark Pugnar

          It’s only a silly comment if you are a progressive democrat.

  • TomKaz

    LOL. Where’s Propublica’s “We’re not listening” T-shirt?

    Funny how the reporting of Bannon’s comment actually proved Bannon’s point.