Heroes don't like to be called "whistle-blowers."

In today's New York Times Gretchen Morgenson column, she describes the travails and eventually victory of former Countrywide exec Michael Winston (here). Winston sounds like exactly the sort of stand-up guy I'd want running my company (if I had one). Like other heroes who have called shenanigans on their company's blatant misdeeds, he probably would prefer just to say he did his job. Thanks to my former jobs, I've met a few other heroes of this ilk. (See here, here, and — although I didn't meet her in person, she did agree to let us excerpt a few of her bio chapters in our second Enron book — here.) Except for Cynthia Cooper's publicist, who does identify her as a whistle-blower, most of these heroes equate "whistle-blowing" with "snitching." They just call what they did "being ethical." And that's why they're my heroes.

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