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Veteran Fox executive Darlene Tipton fired over Flight MH370 email



By FRAZIER MOORE

NEW YORK (AP) - A veteran Fox executive who used her company email account to plan aid for loved ones of the missing Malaysian airplane's passengers has been fired.

Darlene Tipton, who was vice president of standards and practices for the Fox Cable Networks Group, said Saturday she had wanted to arrange swift financial aid to families and other loved ones, sparing them lengthy court fights. She said she began by emailing Sarah Bajc, an American whose boyfriend, Philip Wood, was a passenger on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and who has made frequent TV appearances since the plane's March 8 disappearance.

Fox spokesman Scott Grogin said Tipton's "conduct and communications" violated company policy. Citing privacy concerns, he declined to discuss particulars, but he said, "As soon as we became aware, we took appropriate steps." He confirmed that Tipton has left the company.

Tipton was with Fox for a quarter-century before her April 9 dismissal. She said she plans to continue with her initiative, soliciting contributions through the crowdfunding website GoFundMe.

"We want to raise money for families, to give them immediate relief," Tipton said during a phone interview from her Los Angeles home. "Otherwise, they could be in court for years."

A condition of accepting the money she hopes to raise: Recipients must waive the right to seek legal remedy.

"If they're getting money through contributions," she said, "it isn't right for them to seek money through legal channels, too."

But she plans to sue Fox for wrongful termination, said her husband, Ken Tipton, a writer and producer.

He said the idea for the fundraising effort stemmed from his Los Angeles hospital stay last month, shortly after the plane disappeared. He said that while he was under medication he had hallucinations of being with the plane's passengers and the power of his visions spurred him and his wife to try to help.

"She wanted to do it because it could be done," he said. "So why not try?"

The investigation into what happened to Flight 370, a Boeing 777 that was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, continued Saturday with searches of a patch of the Indian Ocean seabed.

Tipton's firing was first reported by Christine Negroni in her blog Flying Lessons.

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WONDERFUL RON April 21 2014 at 5:57 PM

ok--ok--ok

Flag Reply +2 rate up
dwtbrown April 21 2014 at 5:05 PM

If she really just "cared about the people" why would she care whether they retain their right to sue if they find out someone or some company failed to operate safely? What was in it for her? They give up their legal rights, without even knowing them, for an unknown and unknowable sum, only to find out some appalling facts later? The black box is still in the water. What was in it for this lady and her "hallucinating" husband? Highly suspicious.

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2 replies
ChingOW Mango dwtbrown April 21 2014 at 5:16 PM

2 words - ULTERIOR MOTIVE!

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1 reply
HARRY93003 ChingOW Mango April 21 2014 at 5:28 PM

i watched fox news all the time i think she was fired unjustly . ill no longer be watching fox that is something i'd expect from NBC or MSNBC
cnn hear i come

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steblawar dwtbrown April 21 2014 at 5:39 PM

I understand the concept ... but as you note, without knowing the details of what happened it'd be hard (and probably not legally enforceable) to require folks to surrender all legal avenues against "anyone" , for any reason, afterwards. It could probably require they pay back (some or all of the) money they recieved IF they were successful in a lawsuit later. That would then require a broader charity than just this one tragedy or there'd be considerable concern over what happens to the "extra" money. I suspect it was a poorly thought out concept for a charity and FOX didn't want to be involved in anything that might turn out shaddy or even illegal in practice.

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dreamz777 April 21 2014 at 9:35 PM

Sounds like her husband needs a full-time caretaker.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
geburuh April 21 2014 at 9:46 PM

All this country does is help foreiners----very suprised she was fired for that--but if they lost the right to suit money by taking her money---fox would not want to get in the middle of that

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jrrmac April 21 2014 at 9:57 PM

She should never have used the company computer for her goal and on company time.

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1 reply
sthompsonramm jrrmac April 21 2014 at 10:29 PM

I didn't read that part.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
tedchrisg April 21 2014 at 5:04 PM

Let me see it's the liberal's fault because she misused company computers. It would implicate Fox on potential fraud and would have been infringing upon families rights when they are distraught. To sign away your rights (when the cause of the crash are still unknown) does not seem smart. I do not know a company around that wants you to use their computers for your personal work. If she wanted to do it from home great (her business then) from a company computer no she does not have that right. She should be fired. She should know the rules. NOT wrongful!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
ian47pegasus April 21 2014 at 5:04 PM

My job as a school bus driver for Capeau was abruptly terminated for no reason what so ever yet, I was financialy not capable of fighting the Company for unfair dissmisal and at the time the job paid well under the minimun wage. Exscutives, on the other hand do not hold jobs they are very well paid POSITIONS. Put your foot wrong there for any reason whatever, brake the rules and, guess what she got fired, Both her and her husband are or were in very high paid possitions and as such even now that her money has stopped, tough, too bad, LIVE WITH IT !!!!!! Move on get another job, and stop your moaning and like me you may even get a better paying job with even more perks than fox gave you !!

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1 reply
ChingOW Mango ian47pegasus April 21 2014 at 5:19 PM

You are so right - yet sue away she will - and they will all come to some happy ending that you and I would not be able to negotiate - amazing - the rich get rich and the poor get poorer!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
dsgns4outdrlvng April 21 2014 at 4:57 PM

There's always more to the story...

What the article didn't mention was that Sarah Bajc had a hunch the charity might be a scam, especially after Tipton said she could possibly collect $15 million just for Wood's (Bajc's boyfriend) immediate family, so she forwarded the email to FOX which led to Tipton's dismissal.

The offer may not have been so ideological - there's speculation that because Tipton stipulated that recipients would need to waive their rights to sue anyone who has something to do with the misfortune, Tipton could be "brokering" these deals to help insurance companies or other third parties avoid lawsuits.

All-in-all, it's most likely that FOX was looking for a reason to get rid of her anyway.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
boyle1034 dsgns4outdrlvng April 21 2014 at 5:03 PM

Yes but she wasn't in front of the camera like Keith Olbermann. She didn't have his fat paycheck and was trying to help a lot of people who really were hit hard by something that fascinated the whole world for weeks (why wouldn't it?). MSNBC just wanted to get rid of a caustic madman . Surely the same can't be said of Ms. Tipton who acted quietly behind the scenes. You're not suggesting they didn't want to pay her pension? Maybe her violation was actually valid. Maybe she will be hired back as well.

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starviego dsgns4outdrlvng April 21 2014 at 5:07 PM

She didn't get fired for brokering a deal. She got fired for getting caught. Look for her to quietly get rehired in a couple of months. They are trying to buy the silence of the victim's families.

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English April 21 2014 at 4:54 PM

there has to be more to this story than this.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
nafmarketing April 21 2014 at 2:16 PM

Without knowing the details of the emial Darlene Tipton sent to Sarah Bjac, it's hard to understand why Fox would take such a hard position, regardless of their corporate policy. It would seem to me that Darlene Tipton should be applauded for her initiative, and that Fox would "glow in the light" of her action.

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