Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, April 23, 2007

Scapegoat?


Scapegoat - Widely used as a metaphor, referring to someone who is blamed for misfortunes, generally as a way of distracting attention from the real causes. Also referred to as the fall guy.

Bruce over at Cougster and I don't always see eye-to-eye on the issues. But I have to agree with him about former WSU police chief Steve Hansen. The investigation into allegations that Hansen used his WSU computer to view and forward pornographic e-mail reported:
...we did not find it apparent the contents were actively retrieved through web surfing. Further, it was not apparent that the content in admitted emails or other questionable files found in subject’s hard drive were ‘sexually-explicit’.

...we are unclear whether the contents are in fact obscene or ‘sexually-explicit’ as indicated in the allegation.

...We found exception in the existence of four short media clips when we reviewed all program files for appropriate content.
If the four videos cited in the WSU report are the only reason Hansen accepted demotion to Lieutenant, scapegoat is the only word that comes to mind.

If Hansen, as it appears, was demoted because of the WSU policy that states "WSU computer resources may be used for legitimate WSU purposes only," then stand by for thousands of such demotions at WSU.

You can find linkks to the four videos at Cougster.com.

4 comments:

Nic said...

The phrase "making an example of" also comes to mind... I'm sure Martha Stewart might have an opinion on that.

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

Tom: "If Hansen, as it appears, was demoted because of the WSU policy that states "WSU computer resources may be used for legitimate WSU purposes only," then stand by for thousands of such demotions at WSU."

If and when someone makes some noise, sure. Otherwise, I would guess that this kind of stuff is noted, but not actively pursued unless it becomes useful to the administration to do so.

Scotty said...

We have talked about this on The PES. I support Hansen. I think he is getting a raw deal. The usage of a rule that is not applied equally is wrong. If applied equally, I would guess that a large number of WSU employees have at some time read a newspaper article, COME TO PALOUSITICS!!!, went to Ebay, sent an E-mail, etc.

Hey, that gives me an idea... anyone with a 134.121.x.x IP address who comes to Palousitics should be turned in and investigated for using their computer from non-work related causes. How silly would that be?

But Paul pointed out that someone would have to lodge a complaint. I think in this case you have a disgruntled employee and/or administrator who wanted Hansen gone. They went about it in a way that they could... Just like Capone and the tax evasion.

Anyhow, I say we start to nail EVERYONE else on campus for using their computer for non-work related causes. That would fix all the problems at WSU, just like demoting Hansen did for the WSU PD.


Also I would like to point out my word verification was faaag. That is so not-PC! I am telling my mommy.

Mick G said...

One word: LEADERSHIP