This week the Associated Press (AP) fired a reporter for a mistake he made in an article. After twenty-eight years of service, Bob Lewis was terminated because he misinterpreted the involvement of Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee in the Virginia gubernatorial race, regarding his role in an issue that is under federal investigation. If Mr. McAuliffe wasn't the long-term ally of some powerful people, it's possible that Mr. Lewis would still have a job. But, alas, he picked the wrong guy about which to make a mistake.
Have you noticed that some professions and people have a higher "grace-rate" when it comes to making errors of judgment and sins? Granted by the press or the general public, the "freedom of foolishness" is limited to a select group.
Imagine what it would be like to have a job that has a high level of compensation but a low level of accountability for what you say or do? This question isn't as ridiculous as it might sound. Some people enjoy such freedom and get paid large sums of money in return. My suggestion to Mr. Lewis is to consider the following careers as options where he won't run into the same level of responsibility for his words.
Even with all of the advanced super computers and data that is used by today's meteorologists, the weather report is still frequently incorrect. Just yesterday it was supposed to be cloudy all day with gusty winds, according to the Weather Channel gurus, yet by mid-day we enjoyed beautiful clear skies. This is the kind of job that requires the batting average of the 8th hitter in a major league lineup. Much less stressful than the strict accountabiiity for accuracy enforced by the school board onto the superintendent of the district.
Music stars seem to get a big hall pass when it comes to accountability. They are generally granted the freedom to use rude vocabulary and make statements of misjudgment at a far higher degree than others. Extreme profanity can be used in lyrics, they can twerk like a wild one, and then a Twitter confession can resolve any issues with the conscience. It gets really confusing trying to explain these exceptions to a group of middle school students who are striving to emulate their idols. Holding them accountable for better behavior is part of the school administrator's job, and is an ongoing challenge.
The prognosticators of sports television have incredible leeway to express opinion as fact and make bold predictions that are frequently incorrect. Admittedly, I'm not a big fan of the pre-game hoopla, but how many people do you need to make their best guesses about a sporting event? And where is the post-game show that measures the accuracy of the sportscasters' predictions? Are they ever fired for getting it wrong? Working beside Terry Bradshaw or Chris Berman is a job worthy of consideration, Mr. Lewis,
None of this addresses the overreaction by the powers that be at the AP regarding this firing. Zero-tolerance policies in schools often produce equally distasteful results. I wish you the best, Mr. Lewis, and pray that you find a way to use your unique genius to accomplish great things.