Blogger Ethics Panel Alert

We’re having one of these a week now, just about:

Under orders from then-Chancellor Wayne Watson, the PBS television
station at City Colleges of Chicago used its budget to produce free
videos of powerful politicians and friends of the chancellor, an
internal college e-mail shows.

The political programs, dating between 2002 and 2006, spawned a
state ethics investigation and figure into a new federal lawsuit that
alleges the publicly funded WYCC television station violated the terms
of its government grant funding and broke federal tax rules for

When the station’s former manager complained about the political projects, she was fired, according to the lawsuit.

The political programs showcased golf events, a fundraiser and a
“State Senate California Trip” in connection with then-State Senate
President Emil Jones. Then-Ald. Todd Stroger and civil rights leader
Jesse Jackson, among others, also were featured in programs.

But bloggers link to things without paying those people!


6 thoughts on “Blogger Ethics Panel Alert

  1. Please add that Bloggers have essentially no oversight – so they can do whatever they please in relative anonymity.
    But college officials in state run schools have direct oversight. So this guy was brazen enough to do this anyway despite oversight.

  2. MapleStreet, I think I can safely say that oversight of chancellors, presidents and trustees is about like the oversight the SEC gave the banking industry.
    These positions are almost universally political appointments on one level or another. It doesn’t surprise me this guy thought he’d get away with it when so many have gotten away with worse.

  3. Buggy, of course you’re right that chancelors have immense discretion. Like most state jobs, the top of the pyramid has great latitude while the trench workers have all sorts of laws about what they can and can’t do (example – laws preventing govt employees from becoming business consultants for X years while the legislators jump ship immediately).
    But I’d still think that the chancellor, even with his latitude would be somewhat brazen and callous to think no one was ever gonna check up on him – if nothing else, some PO-ed professor.
    OTOH – I can set up a blog in 2 minutes and be on the air with all sorts of ridiculous ideas. And short of TOS or libel/slander, there’s not a lot you can do to stop me.

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