\Kleinfield, N. R. "The Whistle Blowers' Morning After," New York Times, 9 November 1986,
pp. F1, ff.\
This edition of the Times is a treasure-trove of scandal. In the NWR alone there are items
concerning German industrial union corruption, New York Police, the Traffic Violations Bureau,
and the continuing saga of Philadelphia Police. In the Financial Section is a review of what
happens to whistle-blowers. Here are the celebrated cases in American business: Karen Silkwood
of Kerr-McGee, whose estate was recently paid 1.4 million for harm done by the company. Then
there is the man who blew the whistle on the C-5A, A. Ernest Fitzgerald, who was fired from his
posh job at the Pentagon and spent the next decade in court, trying to get his job back. Things
have not been easy for the whistle-blower.
Charles Atchison was an inspector for Brown and Root which was building a nuclear power plant
for Texas utilities. He blew the whistle on poor welds and shoddy workmanship and got fired for
his efforts. He is still unemployed. Jim Pope was a former employee of the FAA. In 1975 he saw
FAA doing nothing about a device that had been perfected to prevent midair collisions. He blew
the whistle and lost his job. Kermit Vandivier worked for Goodrich and was asked to certify a
defective landing gear for the military. He blew the whistle for this defense contractor and lost
his job. He now works as a newspaperman.
The whistle-blower is a violator of the norm of loyalty. He is one who cannot be "trusted," and as
a result of this attribution, no one wants him. The whistle-blower is not a hero but a
scandalmonger who breaks the ubiquitous rule of "be loyal." The vast majority of people want to
close their eyes to scandal.