Watch our Society publicly embarrass a poor drunk man

  • Guest

    I am sure there is a spin in this somehow so that NG can say they “are inspiring people to care about the planet.” Oh, I’ve got it: When you see someone who is drunk, help them out. Don’t just walk on by. 

  • Truthinessisus

    this is actually an excellent example of how senior management and hr, treats the staff. particularly when you point out problems caused by one of their own. they speak to you like you’re crazy, as if you are the only one who feels this way, and they circle their wagons, while they are humiliating you. standard operating procedure. mr. mairson, you are calling out all the wrong people. focus on the board. after all they allow mr. fahey and mr. kelly to keep their jobs. fahey and kelly answer to them. leave the channel alone. they are rupert murdoch and so is national geographic now. just like the US and China. he who has the most money, wins. are you aware that senior management monitors the computers of staff to see who is interacting with you? did you know that people at the magazine have been told not to even look at your site? again my suggestion is not to pick at individual things like horrible television shows that humiliate people or titillating sexual behaviors, but rather look closely at how a cult of personality-or families with millions of dollars-run this so called legacy brand. it would be very funny except i have to have a job i am stuck until i can find another. 

    • T: Thanks for your earlier comment… and for this comment… and for being such a faithful reader. But please don’t wait another three years before chiming in again.  🙂 

      I’m sorry to hear the situation at NGS is as grim as you describe it. But much of what you see at headquarters is a function of the nosedive in the Society’s net revenue. When so much financial oxygen is sucked out of the room, people have a hard time breathing. 

      While the problems you describe (in your earlier comment) are real, and are worth highlighting, I don’t see much evidence that people are willing to stand up in public and say they care. Why? Because they fear (rightly) they might lose their jobs.… And there is no mechanism to hold anyone’s “feet to the fire.” There is no union, no employee rep on the Board, no effective mechanism for staff or Society members to demand any accountability at all from the people who run the organization. And it’s that way by design. Your options, I’m afraid, are essentially (a) grin & bear it, (b) speak up & get canned, or ( c) resign.

      What about people who no longer work at NGS? Most don’t care. They’ve moved on. 

      That’s not to say the problems you outline aren’t real ones. But I’m not sure who will, or should, express outrage that, say, John Fahey’s son works for David Haslingden. (For all I know, John Jr. might be a very talented guy.) Or that NGS is trying to raise millions of dollars to pay for a massive building renovation. 

      I think it’s potentially far more interesting to cover what NGS is actually feeding the public — esp what appears on the Channel — because that programming (I would argue) has a much bigger impact on a lot more people. Putting Fox-style tabloid TV under the NGS name in prime time — that’s not only a branding disaster in the making, but it’s also a fascinating reflection of everything that’s happening inside the building: Desperate people do desperate things. 

      You asked earlier why money is being spent on the renovation instead of on jobs. Well, the short answer is: A new building increases the value of NGS (which gets maximized), whereas salaries are just another cost (which gets minimized). 

      I have been trying to “focus on what has gotten ng to where it is today.” And while I don’t believe the past was “rosy,” I do think there are some important lessons that can be drawn from the Society’s heyday. Most notably: Internationalizing the Society is a long-term mistake because it forced us to bury the stories that make us a Society — and a society. As I’ve said before: Insisting that our Society is “without an agenda” and has been “for more than 120 years” is patently false — but insisting that it’s true is extraordinarily revealing.   

      Re: focusing on the Board — I’ve thought about it, but I’m not convinced it would help. Nothing I write about here is a secret. Board members know who Rupert Murdoch is, they know what’s on the Channel, they know what John’s plan is — and they’ve approved it all. 

      Re: monitoring computers & telling NGM staffers not to read this site — all I can tell you is that traffic here continues to grow, and a not insignificant number of readers are getting here via the server at NG headquarters. (Many others are checking in from home.)

      Thanks again for reading… and for taking time to share your thoughts. I hope conditions at headquarters improve, but given the state of the media & publishing industries, I sense the road ahead will continue to a bumpy one. 

      Hang in there, T… and keep in touch.



  • Guest

    Bless you truthiness.

  • Harry Mairson

    This deplorable television broadcast, humiliating a man who is just hanging on, reminds me of something my father—a long-time and devoted sailor—once said about TV: “If anyone brings a TV on my boat, I will use it for an anchor.”

    Harry Mairson
    Brookline, Massachusetts

  • Jan Adkins

    The drunk joke, a traditional standby of humor before MADD, a cheap laugh, a wink and a nod. Laughing at drunk jokes is a way of feeling superior. Once again, NGChannel aims at easy targets and neglects the harder, more substantial matters it could address. It’s not PC to make fun of mentally or physically challenged people, or to make ethnic slurs, but we suppose there’s very little that separates the channel from these lower cheap laughs. If it improved ratings, would NGChannel try a minstrel show?

    • No, NGC would never do a minstrel show. But they’d do a documentary about minstrel shows — complete with recreations and talking heads analyzing the meaning of minstrel shows. … It’s all in the framing, Jan. 

    • Travellover60

      Not only laughing at people are a way of feeling superior, it is a form of bullying. And bullying should not be tolerated. I am getting more and more sickened by the cheap being shown on the NG Channel. The justification by management for these shows is just astonishing.

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