I'm not going to comment specifically on #groggate, because I think Grog's Gamut did it perfectly well himself.
What's pissing me off is the whole notion that once you are employed, everything you say and do, 24/7 is owned by your employer. This results in a lot of brokenness. It means that companies tell their employees that they can't tell anyone (at the pub, or online) that their employer sucks. It means that people who dream up some invention can have the patent taken from them, even if they used no job specific knowledge to come up with it. It means that expressing opinions anywhere that their employer might hear/read it, on their own time, as a private citizen, can get people sacked. I think this is fundamentally wrong. Employment isn't an ownership relationship.
I understand that this is partially a consequence of our society trying to get to its collective head around new media, and whether or not saying something on Twitter is the same or different to saying it at the pub. What I don't understand is why corporations are answering the questions without consultation with the rest of us.
The other thing I don't understand is why companies all assume that the public can't differentiate between an employee and their employing organisation. Honestly, my opinion of a company is unlikely to change much based on the comments of any individual employee. There are disgruntled employees, there are employees of all political persuasions working for most organisations (except possibly The Australian), there are alcoholics, drug addicts, misogynists, volunteers, feminists, and people with all sorts of barrows to push. I'm not going to judge any company based on one employee being any of those things.
Which is not to say I'll never judge an organisation based on some of the predominant traits of a large proportion of their staff. AFL, NRL, I'm looking at you. Patterns of behaviour may indicate real issues. But that is really, really different from Joe Blogger and his opinions on the election, or someone's ill-conceived tweet. Why can't the company simply issue a "We do not endorse this opinion" statement? If it was a really bad gaffe, they could go so far as to say "We strongly disagree with/are disgusted by this opinion, but support the right of employees to have their own lives outside of work hours". Can the public really not understand that any given person is not identical with their employer?
The line between person and employee may need to be renegotiated, but I'm tired of having the new world order dictated by the likes of Telstra, The Age and The Australian.