Today was theÂ first time I had the honor to appear on “Where We Live,” WNPRâ€™s daily news-talk show, where we had nearly an hour to discuss in-depth many of the issues involved in my firing byÂ The Courant and what that means for the public, who as far as I am concerned was the one really fired. You can listen to the whole hour here.
Courant Publisher Rich Graziano, Editors Jeff Levine and Naedine Hazell were invited – just like they will be invited to all radio and television interviews I have been asked to appear atÂ – but they declined, claiming their lawyers told them not to show because of possible litigation.
Well, if there is going to be litigation, it will be by me and my attorney, Joseph Garrison of New Haven, and Joe had no problem with me going on the air knowing full well that every word I would say would be transcribed and Tribune lawyers would try to use it against me if and when we went to trial.Â
Joe and I have known each other for more than 20 years. After having covered federal and state courts for more than 10 years, he knows I am not stupid enough to lie. If I inadvertently say something inaccurate or wrong, we can deal with it.
So, you know how aÂ journalist’s Â minds works (whenÂ it sometimes does), I tried to think about what other possible reasons Graziano and Hazell were no shows.
And you know what? I came up with some possible explanations. Since they aren’t going to tell us now – but when they place their hands of the Bible and promise to testify honestly, they will have to.Â So I thought I would share with you some potential issues that hypotheticallyÂ they would prefer not be disected.
Lets start with Graziano, who faces a sexual harassment complaint from a Fox 61 television reporter. He was also involved last Spring Â in a Farmington incident where he was “helping” a very attractive Fox 61 employee with her drinking issues after a party. Even though the employee was arrested twice that night on DUI charges and Graziano was there to help, there just might be more to the story.
The Courant attempted to write the story as soon as reporters found out about the incident, but it seems that Graziano was less than forthcoming in providing details to his own reporters. It was only after The Courant received an official police report that Graziano fessed up to at least a part of his role.
I am getting word that perhaps there might be even more to that story that Graziano would not want to be questioned about. We will have to see.
Then there is the question of who ordered Courant internet staffers to take down the AP story on the complaint about Graziano. It was days later, Â only after we were forced to write about it that it returned to our internet site.
Now, on the radio program today I explained that one of the issues that led to my firing was a blog I had published involving Price Chopper – a key Courant advertiser.
Â It’s a complicated issue, which is detailedÂ in other blogs here, but the bottom line is that I could have handled it better, especially knowing everything that I now know. And I said that on the program. Trust me folks, I am far from perfect, but at least I know my imperfections and have no trouble talking about them, because everyone makes mistakes.
Then I started thinking, wouldn’t the whole web staff at The Courant had seen that blog posting, since they review them after being published? If they had a problem with it, wouldn’t they have told me or Naedine, who was their boss? Or wouldn’t Naedine had read it? No one ever told me.
So lets say, hypothetically that Naedine was aware of it or had been made aware of it, or should have been aware of it, did she tell her bosses and Tribune lawyers that maybe she might be at least partially at fault? Maybe, maybe not. Could be just another headache for those high-priced lawyers to deal with.
Its interesting because she blamed me, in writing,Â for the whole issue. Well, we will just have to see how all this plays out.
- Courant/Fox61 Editor Jeff Levine Fired, Naedine Hazell New Editor
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- Courant punishes six for blatant plagiarism, including top two editors, Levine and Hazell for permitting wholesale stealing of stories from small competitors
- CtWatchdog And Courant Resolve Wrongful Termination Suit
- Courant Spin on Watchdog departure
- Courant apologizes for wholesale plagiarism, raising question of who is minding the store