The first ever Hubry goes to:
Larry Mendte is living the Hubris life. The man has experienced massive personal and professional success, to wit: He was the Emmy-award winning anchor of his hometown news station. He was clocking about what this reporter makes a year every month. He had recieved the Edward R. Murrow Award for his reporting (that's like the Oscar of reporting!). In '07, he was named one of the 75 greatest Living Philadelphians by the Daily News.
One day he gazed across the anchor desk and saw a fair maiden, named Alycia Lane, who not only was beautiful, talented and younger, but was having the same kind of success as he had experienced--and was earning more than he was!
This could not be tolerated. That was the hubris talking. He was Larry Mendte. He was the star of local Philly news. She couldn't be bigger than he was.
An ordinary person--one not so self-obsessed and over-confident--would have gone about their business happy with what they had: a great job, acclaim in the community, a beautiful and talented wife (Fox29's Dawn Stensland). Only those in the grips of hubris would have chosen the path he did.
He decides that the normal societal limits on intruding in other people's private lives don't apply. He decides to go Hardy Boy/Popular Science on her ass. He buys a gadget used to record people's keystrokes and installs it on her computer. This allows him to steal her private email password. He then opens her email to look for dirt on her.
Most people would be too honest, too decent, Too... lazy to have gotten this far. But not Larry. He goes far beyond this. He accesses her email thousands of times. In one day, he did it 13 times--once during a commercial break during the newscast.
He appears to have passed on hot photos of the maiden she sent to married ESPN sports anchor Rich Eisen to the New York Post. He not only passed on salacious details from her personal life, he passed on communications between her and her attorney about her arrest in New York City.
His plan seemed to have succeeded in January, where he personally read the notice CBS3 had prepared announcing Ms. Lane's firing from the station.
That would have been the end of it. It's a classic story: Poweful man targets upstart competitor and squashes her like a bug while violating the rules by which we all agree to live.
But he took hubris to a whole other level. He CONTINUED to hack into her email. And he was sloppy about it. The only reason he was detected was that he left her email open in a window on a computer at CBS3 and a co-worker saw it. It took the Feds little work to unravel his un-complicated web. Now, he's looking at a guilty plea for violating the federal hacking laws. Also, there might be a check written--both by him and CBS3.
You have to wonder what he's going to do next. I would think most employers, especially those in the media would be a little put off by his attitudes toward the privacy of others.
That's what hubris will get you. It will take a man with an objectively great life, filled with the things that most people only dream of having: money, fame, health insurance, sex with a very attractive girl and turns you into a pariah and poster boy for internet privacy in the workplace.
For offending the gods of privacy, the media, the law, Larry Mendte is hereby awarded the first ever Hubry. Mr. Mendte can contact Joe Hubris to recieve his statuette and a $50 giftcard to Walmart.
UPDATE: This last week (8/22/08), Larry pled guilty to one count of hacking federal court and is expected to recieve 6 months probation. Proving that even the wrath of the god of Media (is there such a god? Perhaps Telex, the god of scolls?) is not enough to stop him. He holds a press conference where he claimed that he and Ms. Layne had shared a "flirtatious,... improper relationship."
He claims that he was confronted by his wife and stopped having long dinners with her and allowing her to put her make-up on in his office before the news broadcasts. You can see where he's going with this. She, the scorned woman, begins a campaign to bring him down and he was only fighting back, protecing his career, protecing his family. For god's sake, wouldn't you have done the same thing!?
Well if you can answer yes to that question and if you're famous enough to end up on my television, you might just receive a Hubry of your own some day.
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