So, would the NYTimes fire a reporter they discovered had once demonstrated on behalf of a cure for breast cancer? Would they fire a John Kerry when they found out he had once worked to end a disastrous and outrageously immoral war? Would they fire a former member of ACT UP?
We only know the answer to the last question. Perhaps it was too easy, but it still surprises us - we now know it's yes, certainly. In fact, after almost a quarter century, is AIDS still a shameful diagnosis and are an individual's efforts to end the plague of dubious merit, and even unethical? [If the answers were to be yes, neither I nor the overwhelming majority of my friends have merit or ethics, and we would never be able to get jobs honestly.]
"My motivation is expediency as well as ethics" the Times represenative told our friend Jay Blotcher when he asked why he had been fired from his position as a "stringer" reporting from his current home in upstate New York. The paper had recently discovered he had once been an important part of ACT UP, so they maintained he would necessarily be biased reporting any story.
This outrageous story has legs. Even though they've already kicked him out, it's almost certain to be the most important story Jay will ever give to the paper which once valued his contributions, but it's not one his editors will like. For more, see Bloggy ["What a crappy paper"] and Atrios["This is just fucking unbelievable"].