On the other hand, there has been a current running in the other direction. Tam compared it to Zumbo and Metcalf being fired; a topic picked up and riffed on by McThag.
I've seen some pretty interesting rationalizations over the past few days from people nominally on my team for why it was okay for Metcalf and Zumbo to be shown the door for offending sponsors or being out of step with their subcultural zeitgeist, but Brendan Eich's ouster was just... zomg... FIRST AMENDMENT!In my case, I didn't call for Dick Metcalf to be fired and I wasn't even in the shooting sports community when Jim Zumbo got canned, but I see these as very different cases. I had to look Zumbo's case up: he essentially got fired for the same reason Dick Metcalf did, which had nothing to do with political speech and everything to do with pissing off your customers. No surprise, it simply isn't good business to piss off your most loyal customers - just ask the Dixie Chicks. They're still in business in some sense (two of three are off in a new band) but the Chicks are nowhere near the industry presence they were back in '03.
What Metcalf and Zumbo did was massively, stupidly out of touch with their customers - at best. In my mind, saying something stupid isn't a fireable offense, but if you say something stupid enough - especially if you're in the public eye - you've got to know it can happen. People who talk on radio or TV for hours every week are bound to to eventually say something stupid enough to get in trouble for it. (I think I'll save that excuse for writing a blog post every evening, too.) Further, I don't think you have free speech protections in business. How long do you think a marketing guy would last if he degraded his company's products with every potential customer?
What Eich did was donate to a political cause in his role as a private person, not as CEO of Mozilla (of course; he wasn't CEO six years ago when he made the donation, the promotion was very recent). Donating to a cause is the very essence of protected political speech. Denninger argues that there is little that one can do that is more fundamentally political speech, other than voting.
The funny thing about someone in Eich's position is that if he were asked to sign a statement saying he would never go against the corporation's publicly declared position, and then did, I'd think it was a justified firing. That would the same as saying the price he paid to get that CEO pay, corner office, and seat on the corporate jet, was that he signed away a civil right the rest of us have. Don't know about you, but I've never heard that he signed away any rights, so he absolutely had the right to donate to whomever/whatever he wanted without retribution.
I still come down that this was an unjustified firing caused by political correctness run amok. It was brought on by a loud minority that can't bear the thought that everyone doesn't love them. Mozilla is mind-numbingly hypocritical in their statements about the firing. And the CEO of OKCupid, who appears to be the person who started the whole jihad against Eich, and who donated to an anti-gay group as well, is a hypocrite for the ages; a hypocrite of epic proportions.
Need to download Opera or some other browsers and dump this Firefox/Thunderbird suite.