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NY Times' Don McNeil's Fall from Grace

I hate this when it happens.

Just recently I've been going back and forth with someone on "what to say" about people who screw up and are accused of something.

Which brings me to Donald G. McNeil Jr., my absolute favorite (former) science reporter for the New York Times. I've repeatedly shared his articles and his appearances on the New York Times podcast The Daily, as recently as this past week. 

All that came to a sudden end when he recently resigned because of a Daily Beast investigative story. The NY Times had this article: "Two Journalists Exit New York Times After Criticism of Past Behavior."

Unfortunately for McNeil, this is how a 40-year career ends. I suppose you can say it ended with a "bang."

Which leads me to once again write something about accountability. We can throw stones at others, but be prepared for the stones to come back at you. I understand that and I have not led a perfect life — who has? Yet, public figures in government and high-profile private-sector positions all have to be prepared to be held account for past indiscretions of all types. 

Remember this when you aspire to higher office or other positions of responsibility. 

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.
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