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May 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

A report about the departure of ABC News executive Mimi Gurbst, a 20-year veteran, has precipitated a flood of angry denunciations of Gurbst and other ABC News managers on the New York Observer’s comments box that have received the attention of Andrew Tyndall, whose Tyndall Report assesses network news coverage. Written anonymously by ABC News staffers past and present, the comments included these zingers directed at Gurbst: “She has not only ruined careers but she has ruined lives;” “She created a climate of fear at ABC News;” “…a deranged despot, shoving her particularly destructive brand of cronyism;” “the poisonous atmosphere she helped create. …” While Tyndall observed that “several posters were aware that their anonymity was undercutting their credibility,” one of them responded, “Why, you ask, do we not name ourselves here? … Are you aware of the atmosphere of terror at ABC now?” Commented Tyndall: “This willingness, finally and unprecedentedly, to go public, even if anonymously, is a symptom of a collapse of morale at a once disciplined institution.” Tyndall’s report prompted a response from an otherwise unidentified “former senior level manager at ABC News” who indicated that he may be willing to become a whistleblower against the entire news division. He/she wrote: “There were numerous illegal and unethical practices that I had witnessed throughout my years there. Not only was there theft and questionable accounting practices within my department, but, there was also a culture of fear against reporting anyone that was in favor with [senior management]. … If a mainstream respected journalist saw fit to run with this, I’d strongly consider going on the record with my names and dates and witnesses.”