Last week Matt Drudge published a 2004 e-mail from ABC Good Morning America Weekend executive producer John Green slamming President Bush. The message – referring to the 2004 Presidential debates – said, “Bush makes me sick. If he uses the ‘mixed messages’ line one more time, I’m going to puke.”
After the message was exposed on The Drudge Report, Green apologized to colleagues in an e-mail saying, “I want all of you to know how much I regret the embarrassment this story causes ABC. It was an inappropriate thing to say and I’m deeply sorry.“
The original story was widely discussed in the blogosphere. The general conclusions drawn about Green’s e-mail tended to break along political lines. Conservatives generally chalked up the episode as re-enforcement of the notion of the liberal media or a public manifestation of what is half-jokingly called Bush Derangement Syndrome, or BDS for short.
On the left, the theory de jour was that the story was leaked by Bush loyalists to stoke some righteous outrage on the right against the mainstream press. Keith Olbermann even took to MSNBC’s airwaves and (in reference to the e-mail) said, “[D]oes this not smack of desperation on the part of the White House, to let something like that leak out right now?“
So what is the real story? Was it a White House leaked story or proof that the mainstream media has lost its mind over Bush?
Actually it’s neither…
Wizbang has obtained copies of other interoffice e-mail from John Green; notably a 2005 e-mail rudely slamming the door on a GMA Weekend segment for former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, saying, “DON’T ASK HER TO COME ON. I DO NOT LIKE HER. SHE HAS JEW SHAME.” Madeleine Albright’s Jewish heritage did not come to light until a 1997 investigative report by The Washington Post’s Michael Dobbs, though some have claimed she ignored evidence of her Jewish roots prior to that.
Our own investigation indicates that the source of the e-mails is less interested in stoking a partisan political firestorm than in mounting a campaign of public embarrassment against Green.
Thursday’s edition of The New York Post’s Page Six quotes and ABC source identifying the the source of the e-mail’s as disgruntled former ABC employee, bent on destroying John Green’s career.
“This is a vendetta being waged by a very determined and unethical individual who wants to smear John. This creep has been trafficking these old, out-of-context e-mails all over town.
“John feels terrible about this whole situation and the embarrassment these e-mails cause ABC. He’s a fair guy, and his broadcast is right down the middle. The person peddling these private exchanges is petty and pretty evil.”
So last week’s controversy isn’t really about left/right politics, it’s about workplace revenge.