Tsk Tsk, Washington Post, for equating “Tattle-Tale” with “whistleblower,” when describing the new Matt Damon movie “The Informant!” on its homepage.
The film itself perpetuates an inaccurate and dangerous myth that those who choose to blow the whistle are unstable, anti-social, etc., by focusing on the mental health issues of the real-life Mark Whitacre, who exposed a massive and global price-fixing operation at his employer, ADM. We agree with the observation of Tom Devine from the Government Accountability Project, who concluded when the curtain closed at a special pre-screening of the film for groups who work with whistleblowers, “Thank God this film was not named ‘The Whistleblower.’”
The film did have some funny moments. It also highlights how important insiders are in bringing to the surface wrongdoing — without Whitacre it’s unlikely that ADM would have ever been caught, fined, or had some of the ringleaders serve time in prison.
But for those who see the film this weekend, it is important to keep in mind the reality of whistleblowing: federal government whistleblowers are still not adequately protected! Please read our recent op-ed in Roll Call that tackles many of the myths surrounding whistleblowers. Stay tuned for details on our Whistleblower Film Festival, which will start in October and highlight the important role whistlblowers play in fighting waste, fraud, and abuse.
-- Ingrid Drake