December 29, 2012 | Filed Under 2nd Amendment, Constitution, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, Government, Gun Control, Guns, Journalism, Liberals, Media, Media Bias, New York, New York City, Newspapers, Progressives, Regulation, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off
-By Warner Todd Huston
The Journal News of suburban Westchester, New York caused outrage by publishing an interactive map showing the names and addresses of New York’s legal firearm owners. In a sort of two-can-play-that-game reaction, a New York blog decided to create a map showing the names and addresses of employees of the newspaper.
The blog “Talk of the Sound” a New Rochelle, New York-centric website, decided that turnabout was fairplay by posting its headlined, “Map: Where are the Journal News employees in your neighborhood?.” The map replicates the idea of the gun owners map published by the Journal News replacing gun owners with newspaper employees.
When the Journal News published the names and addresses of New York’s legal gun owners the paper claimed that they were breaking no law as the information they published was all public record. The paper said it was just too bad if the gun owners felt their privacy was violated.
This is, of course, quite true. But the interactive map of the newspaper employees is justifiable using the exact same logic. All the names of the employees are public knowledge and all one needs is a name to find an address, which is generally also in public records that anyone can find.
Newspaper employees may be outraged that their privacy was violated, of course, but they didn’t seem to care much about privacy when they publicized the names and addresses of New York’s gun owners. Naturally, their own argument must be turned right back upon them and that is what “Talk of the Sound” did.
Indeed, the employees are outraged and some are starting to erase their Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin accounts in response. Of course, none of this would have happened if the paper hadn’t decided to act in a political manner in the first place.
After all, there is no news in the names and addresses of legal gun owners. These people aren’t criminals and these individuals have no bearing on the issue.
There was one reason and one reason only for the newspaper to publish the names and addresses of New York’s gun owners. Intimidation. The paper meant to scare these law abiding citizens. It was nothing but a bullying tactic.
Worse, by taking this action, the Journal News intended to put New York’s law abiding firearm owners on the same level as the murderer at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Still, turn about really is fairplay. If The Journal can claim a right to publish “public records” then so can bloggers.
Another blog, For What It’s Worth, also has an extensive list of Journal News employees.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.
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