It Seems to Us: Keeping what's personal personal

Two Web sites illustrate this key lesson in communication

Do you keep your personal beliefs in check on the job? If they're as extreme as those of Ernie Blazar, it's probably a good idea. Who knows what possessed Blazar to create a Republican-leaning Web site and name it N8354N, which was the tail number of the plane that crashed in 2000, killing Missouri's Democratic Gov. Mel Carnahan. (On the site Blazar bizarrely writes that the name "is not random … It marks an inflection point in current Missouri politics. On that day, the worm began, to turn.") Whatever his reasons, it got him fired. Blazer was communication director for Missouri Republican Sen. Kit Bond for three years, but was fired by his boss earlier this month.

In a statement, Bond explained his decision: "The actions of a member of my staff in using official computers to make hurtful personal attacks on public servants were totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

Did Bond do the right thing? Our Sound Bites panelists weigh in in this issue.

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