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MAILBAG: ‘WHYY Isn’t A Democracy’

mailbag_2.gifDear Phawker,

I didnít hear anything about not contacting the WHYY Board directly. Thereís been so much sent out about this that it probably hasnít made the rounds yet. I guess it would look dictatorial if it were written down somewhere for record than when just uttered in a meeting. It sounds more like a suggestion then and can be easily denied.

But this board is made up of the CEOís contemporaries and cohorts. They have more important things to deal with, they are unpaid volunteers, whoíve raised or given money to the station (Iím sure they want to get something out of it too. I hope they have honorable intentions). They are out of touch and donít realize that theyíve delegated too much responsibility to this CEO. They should be asking if this is a personal vendetta, or if there is any truth to the letter. I think there are truths in that letter.

What this executive team fails to realize is that the salary isnít the real issue, itís something that gets attention, itís the macGUFFIN. The real issue is the plain lack of understanding on the part of these people in the ivory tower, the yes men that they surround themselves with. The lack of tolerance to differing points of view and experience. They want to mold the staff in their own image, no diversity from their comfort zone.

The unwillingness to admit mistakes and blame others is rampant among certain executive staff, leads to low morale when certain executives clearly demonstrate an incompetent grasp on technology and the way to make it work. That and work processes they donít understand, and that leadership means sacrifice and example, do it my way or take the highway will breed conflict.

Certain executives are exercising power for the sake of exercising power, like a toy or game. Some of them,whyy4.jpg without even realizing it are rubbing our noses in it, others are doing it on purpose. Isnít that a sign of being out of touch and arrogant elitism. WHYY isnít a democracy, even though itís services are needed in a democracy. We need enlightened, risk tolerant leaders, not people playing out their own fantasies and games on us and the public.

Yes, we are not prisoners. But we feel constrained by the corporate environment. I donít agree with the use of an anonymous letter, if asked however, I probably would have signed it with my fellow employees because I believe a good number of you would have, even if I didnít agree with everything in it. I trust you more than the CEO and his executive team.

So, now a story about Eisenhower, after the order for D-Day was finally given. When the order went out, Eisenhower sat alone in a room because his work was done. He had no tasks during the operations of D-Day. Once we are told what the strategy is, let us do the work when the order is given. Stay out of the way and remind us that you are there, once in a while and would like a report now and then. Until the next strategic objective.


CEO Barbie, a plastic doll (lead paint not included)

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