Несносный наблюдатель (cema) wrote,
Несносный наблюдатель
cema

Comedy Central, Borders, et al

An interesting comment in TigerHawk's blog. (Unfortunately, it is anonymous.) It puts forward a risk-management perspective on the Muhammad depiction controversy.

I decided to copy it here. Even anonymous, the argument may be considered at the face value. Of course, this is just one aspect of the multifaceted problem.

As a professional risk analyst (from a somewhat unusual finance and information technology/security background), I am familiar with numerous methodologies for assessing and mitigating risk. In both the case of Comedy Central and Borders, neither appears to have followed any reasonable risk management application that would be expected pursuant to their executive responsibility.

Furthermore, I've asked both for an explanation regarding the assessment process they used to evaluate the perceived risk. How was it identified? Whas there a specific threat by a Muslim extremist or just an imagined threat? How was the threat quantified? What other responses were identified and why where they disregarded?

Numerous more appropriate mitigation/response strategies appear to have been ignored. Why has law enforcement not been engaged respective to specific threats? I've checked with employees at Borders regarding the new security training I would expect to be mandatory when a threat of this nature, specific or abstract, is identified. No such training has occured. Not even a newsletter article advising them of appropriate steps potentially necessary for their security has been provided. Borders has also not changed their physical security program from sources I've consulted. I would expect a review of employee training and facility security to be a minimum response in the event of threats so serious that they jeopardize their credibility as a neutral bookseller. After all, both have used the safety of their employees as the rationale for such significant actions.

The most serious concern, however, is that there appears to have been no assessment of the potential for both Comedy Central and Borders appeasement actions and the strong probability that it will encourage new threats from other parties who recognize them as easy targets for manipulation. What new risks do they incur to their organizations, employees and financial condition by announcing to the public that they are easy targets and only require abstract, imagined threats to materially change their corporate behavior? Corporate ethics programs often discuss the critical necessity of political neutrality because once this position is lost, the most effective defense of "common carrier absent any specific position on an issue" is lost. Borders and Comedy Central are now arguably pro-Sharia law in their editorial and operational position.

In both cases, senior management's approach disregards risk completely and cannot be rationally motivated on that basis. It should be no surprise that neither has provided any evidence of a threat as their actions have nothing to do with any legitimate response.
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