Courant Insists It Has Legal Right
To Tell Columnists/Reporters
To Go Light On Advertisers And Coaches
COOL JUSTICE COMMENT: Re; Editorial Integrity -- If you can't believe some stories, then, you can't believe any stories ...
'While, my attorney, Joseph Garrison agreed that newspapers had the right to edit my columns or even not publish them, he insisted that by giving me the assignment to protect the public as a consumer advocate, The Courant had given me free speech rights and could not fire me for doing what I was required to do ... '
By George Gombossy | Apr 8, 2010
The public and the staff of the nation's oldest newspaper of continuous circulation might be interested to know that The Courant's legal position is that it was has the right to fire a columnist if he or she is too tough on its advertisers or it they are too critical of a University of Connecticut basketball coach.
In oral arguments this week before Hartford Superior Court Judge Marshall Berger, Attorney Victoria Chavey said the newspaper has an absolute right to publish or not publish anything it wants to and has the legal right to tell reporters and columnists how cover an issue. And since Connecticut is an at will employee state, it means that it can fire a reporter or a columnist for a good reason, a bad reason or for no reason.
And she said reporters and columnists cannot count on the Courant's published mission statement to save their jobs. They can be fired for following the mission statement, which she said is only "aspirational."