The New York Post fired NFL reporter Bart Hubbuch after a tweet comparing Donald Trump’s inauguration with Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Hubbuch has responded with a lawsuit seeking monetary damages and reinstatement to his job at the Post.
Hubbuch’s lawsuit contends that his dismissal violated New York labor law and also argues his tweet was not outside the general tenor of Post news coverage.
The lawsuit, which was passed along to PFT by sports law attorney Daniel Wallach, alleges that the Post violated New York Labor Law Section 201-d, which makes it “unlawful for any employer . . . to discharge from employment . . . an individual . . . because of . . . an individual’s legal recreational activities outside work hours, off of the employer’s premises and without use of the employer’s equipment or other property.”
How this lawsuit plays out will be very interesting from a media perspective. Many outlets have broad policies banning overt political action and commentary by journalists. Fundamental issues of morality, human rights, and democracy being in play has many journalists questioning the value of those policies. Marketplace journalist Lewis Wallace was fired by American Public Radio for refusing to take down a blog post critical of objectivity.