Crowdsourcing our “Dear John: Let’s Talk” interview request: 400 people & counting…

More than 400 people
are respectfully asking John Fahey,
Chairman & CEO of the National Geographic Society,
to sit down with us for an interview.

But, thus far, he has declined our request.

 
John Fahey, Chairman & CEO of the National Geographic Society

Would you consider joining our virtual crowd?
If so, please click “Recommend,” below.

Don’t have a Facebook account? Or prefer not to show your face? That’s okay.
Just email me — alan [at] societymatters [dot] org — and
I’ll raise our Anonymous But Curious tally, now at 225+.
(It’s under the Facebook widget in the right sidebar.)

  • Anonymous

    Wondering how many of them know that you were fired.

    You know, for someone who argues for transparency and honesty in reporting it seems that you are more than willing to forgo those principles when it comes to excusing your own actions.  Even saw that you decided to omit it from your opinion piece for the Alaska Dispatch.

    So much for being a journalist with some sort of ethics.

    Then again, for someone who decries the actions and behavior of News Corp. you seem to employ many of their tactics; sensationalize, false accusations, misstatements and generally just poor reporting.

    Not sure what I enjoy more nowadays, seeing how much it torments you that you no longer work with us at National Geographic and how out of touch you really are or simply watching you spiral more and more into what you claim to despise.

    You are so busy obsessing about specific trees that you cannot see that the forest — meaning the world and the Geographic — are changing around you.

    But then again, this effort has never been about “our” Society, it has always been about Alan Mairson. Just like it was when you were here roaming the halls.

    If it wasn’t about you, you would be more transparent and honest in what you “report.”

    • Wonderful to hear from you again, gjessie — although if we’re going to talk about transparency & honesty, it would help if you would actually say who you are. The anonymity thing is a bit… well, inconsistent, don’t you think? 

      I was a member of the Class of 2008. I was fired in November of that year along with 10 (?) other staffers; the woman who fired me was fired a year later. I’m one of scores of people who have been fired at NGS in the past 15 years. And, as you know, the layoffs have come in waves, every two years or so. It’s not exactly news. I’d make more of a point in mentioning it, but here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter. 

      If you really know me, then you know that most everything I write about here at Society Matters I said while I was on staff — but I said it privately, behind closed doors. My friends on staff know that I’ve been making these points for years.

      I met with John Fahey in 2006, and told him much of what you’ve been reading here. Soon thereafter, I met with Chris Johns, and told him I’d visited with John to discuss the huge hole in the hull of the SS Geographic; I wanted to hear from John & Chris (& Betty & Terry, who I also met with that year) what they were planning to do to patch the hole & stop the ship from sinking. I wanted to hear the details of their plan to sustain our Society. I asked John: “Is the word ‘Society’ useful to you when you market NGS, or does it get in the way?” His answer: “It mostly gets in the way; no one wants to belong to anything.” Me: “I respectfully disagree. People will join an organization if they believe in the mission.” [rough paraphrase] 

      In other words: The seed for Society Matters was planted years before I left NGS. 

      BTW: Let me assure you that when I told Chris I had met with John to discuss the Magazine, Chris’s eyes narrowed, and (metaphorical) smoke poured out of his ears. He was visibly pissed. My 2008 exit was sealed years before the day I swapped my staff ID card for a National Geographic Society membership card.  

      So, from where I stand, there’s nothing unethical or unfair about what I’m doing here. Fact is, I really want to help. But instead of helping as a staffer, I’m doing it as an active member. 

      Re: your claim that I employ “[News Corp] tactics; sensationalize, false accusations, misstatements and generally just poor reporting.” Please be specific. Tell me exactly where I’ve fallen down on the job. Seriously. If I’ve missed something, or misrepresented anyone or anything, I would welcome any corrections you can offer. Post them here & I will address them. 

      As for this… >> “Not sure what I enjoy more nowadays, seeing how much it torments you that you no longer work with us at National Geographic and how out of touch you really are or simply watching you spiral more and more into what you claim to despise.” << … I'd offer two thoughts: (1) There's no torment, just relief. In fact, if there was any torment, it was being unable to discuss this stuff as a staffer, out in the open, without fear of reprisal, especially since so many things — including your job — are riding on the outcome. And (2) I’m sorry that you derive pleasure from seeing someone you believe is “tormented” or “spiraling” into a bad place, which is practically the definition of sadism. Please know that I don’t blame you for such sadistic tendencies; working in an environment where you never know when the axe may fall on your neck can create a sadistic atmosphere: I take pleasure in seeing others being decapitated because… it could have been me.

      Finally, I leave you with this question: I’d love for John Fahey & Chris Johns to answer some questions — out in the open, in public, where everyone can listen and respond. It doesn’t have to be me posing the questions. It could be any journalist who is prepared to ask real questions. But the executives at NGS rarely, if ever, open themselves up to that sort of scrutiny — which is odd since it’s a 501(c)3 organization that benefits from the generosity of the American taxpayer.  

      My question for you is: Why the silence?

      Thanks for stopping by, gjessie. And next time, don’t be afraid to use your real name. Unlike the people you work for, I won’t chop off your head. 

      All the best to you for a happy & healthy new year!

NO NEW POSTS will be published here after February 6, 2014. THIS IS WHY.