Once again, a blogger (OK, stretching
the definition here, but bear with us) has been fired from his job for
something he posted. Only this time, it hits pretty close to home. The
firee is ex-Boston Herald sportswriter Michael Gee, and he was fired
from Boston University, where he had been recently hired to teach journalism.
It didn’t take former Boston Herald sports columnist
Michael Gee long to lose his gig at Boston University. Just two weeks
after being hired to teach an introductory journalism course this
summer, Gee was asked to leave because he posted ”offensive" comments
on a website, according to Bob Zelnick, chairman of the journalism
What exactly did he post? And how did the powers that
be at BU get wind of it? Here is the gist of his comments, posted at
a site called www.sportsjournalists.com:
"Today was my first day teaching course 308/722
at the Boston University Dept. of Jounralis (sic). There are six students,
of whom are probably smarter than me, but they DON’T READ THE PAPER!!!
Not the Globe, Times, Herald or Wall Street Journal. I can shame them
into reading, I guess, but why are they taking the course if they don’t
like to read.
But I digress. Now here’s the nub of my issue. Of my six students, one
(the smartest, wouldn’t you know it?) is incredibly hot. If you’ve ever
been to Israel, she’s got the sloe eyes and bitchin’ bod of the true
Sabra. It was all I could do to remember the other five students. I sense
danger, Will Robinson."
What’s so bad about that? The irony of the case, of
course, it that it is the RELIGIOUS slur rather than the SEXIST slur
that got this dope fired. An educational institution that
is home to a student sex magazine called "Boink" cannot very well fire
a teacher for simply noting the exuberant physical endowments of one
of his students, especially as part of an introspective evaluation of
the difficulties of his didactic duties.
The remark about Sabras, however, was clearly over the
regular readers will note, the Dowbrigade also works at a Major Boston
years we have had our share of "hot" students, but we
would never dream of saying so in a public posting. Other than absolutely necessary
meta-leering like the above reference, that is. (let us clarify and go on the record at this point in saying that while we have had attractive students in the past, a combination of high moral terpitude, deeply held religious beliefs, a faithful and fulfilling relation at home and abject fear of losing our job, we have never so much as looked askance, played favorites or fiddled with the seating chart).
The main difference, of course, is that Gee clearly identified the hottie in question. By writing about a current student, in a course with only six students, and identifying the course by its catalogue code, the dummy opened himself up to complaints not only by the sexy sabra but from the other five students, who could claim discrimination or at least distraction on the part of the teacher.
The Dowbrigade, on the other hand, is painstakingly careful to blog about or even mention in passing only EX-students, identifying them so vaguely and misleadingly as to cover our ass against offending anyone, in addition to possible lawsuits or institutional retaliation. In addition, as we repeatedly note to offended readers, the Dowbrigade is fiction and as a clearly categorized “humor” blog, we have considerable latitude to make bad jokes. Finally there is the tissue thin anonymity surrounding the character of the Dowbrigade himself, at least marginally distinct from the academic author of his postings. In short, a veritible onion of layer upon layer of obfuscation and deniability, hopefully protecting our first ammendment right to be as sick or silly as our state of mind allows, without fear of legal or job-related retaliation.
On the other hand, we symphasize. Why, if we didn’t
have the lovely Norma Yvonne waiting at home, who knows what trouble
we could get into. However, women from Norma’s home town, Chone,
are not known as the Macheteras for nothing.
As to how BU found out about it, check out all the
dirty details at Scott’s Shots
article from Boston Globe