Since you saw fit to air groundless charges about Aquirus Inc. on
your May 25 program and plainly edited the videotape of my responses
to make me look the fool, I would like to take this opportunity to
set the record straight for all who care to know the truth.
The bias of the program was quite clear from the beginning as you
assembled and interviewed only a few dozen embittered Aquirus
employees and virtually none of the content ones in upper management
who would have provided you a different angle. I will not attempt to
every manifestation of that bias in your hatchet job program, but
I think pointing out a few salient, misleading statements should
suffice to bely your purported objectivity:
I could go on, but I believe that any open-minded person can
see that there was no vestige of a reporter's duty to expose
the truth in this program. You can save your apology for the
Aquirus attorneys who will be contacting you shortly.
An unidentified person was quoted as saying Aquirus safety
inspectors are "routinely drunk," thus besmirching an entire
department based on a small minority of problem cases.
Further, you never mentioned any of the corrective actions of
the firm such as the ban on hard alchohol and strict limits on
beer and wine consumed during work hours.
In discussing the late Mr. Quito's unfortunate palletizer
incident, you fail to mention subsequent safety improvements
such as the new signs discouraging use of drugs and alcohol
while operating heavy machinery and banning future participation
in the "chicken" game devised by some employees.
As the person to whom fell the responsibility of informing Mr.
Quito's young wife of his death and organizing the search of shipments
for his remains, this is particularly offensive to me.
Through clever editing and taking quotes out of context,
you made Vice President Robb's remarks on "peons," "morons,"
and "white trash" appear to take on a negative connotation
that was in no way intended.
(In addition, we would certainly expect a report of your
experience to know the meaning of the term "off the record.")
The precise relationship between certain Aquirus executives
and their administrative assistants is of no business to your
show or your viewers, and the security system videotape you aired
was clearly obtained illegally.
In addition, I hardly think it your role to define what constitutes
"strange and aberrant" behaviors between two consenting adults
in (what they believed was) the privacy of one of their offices.
Finally, I'm sure it is easy for a liberal program such as
yours to mock company initiatives like "Double Work Day" and
"Abstinence At Work Week," but we feel they are keys to a
productive and employable work force.
Clinton W. Fesko