There is just a ton of stuff to talk about this week, and my “ideas for the blog” bookmark list runs into the hundreds. I want to take today, however, to point out the hypocrisy of the press – and how at least one of the members of the increasingly sanctimonious Fourth Estate has learned that what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, courtesy of the emerging Fifth Estate.
The Journal-News of White Plains, NY recently published a list of gun permit holders in and around their area. After the Sandy Hook murders their staff decided (of course) that guns were the problem, but the trouble is that they can only advocate for more Second Amendment limitations. They want to do more – to make a difference, you understand.
How about intimidating gun owners? Yeah, that’s something they can do! After all, intimidation works to keep people from voting – maybe it can work to keep them from buying guns!
Off to the local County Clerk’s Office they go, Freedom Of Information Act request in hand, and they returned with a list of all the permitted gun owners in their area. It was a given that they’d publish the information, but dead trees don’t have the social impact they once did. They moved into the 21st century and augmented the published list with an interactive map on their website. All one need do is point and click to find out which of their neighbors has guns to steal!
Now they admitted that the reporter who wrote the story, a Mr. Dwight R. Worley, owns a Smith & Wesson 686 revolver for which he has a permit. Somehow, though, his address didn’t make it into the published database (surprise, surprise) nor the interactive map.
What the editor and staff at the Journal-News failed to understand, however, is that freedom of information works for regular people too. It wasn’t long before someone made their own inquiry and Mr. Worley’s information was made public. As near as I can tell it was the blog of Christopher Fountain, a retired lawyer, which broke the news. (If someone else actually got it out first, my apologies.) Mr. Fountain has Mr. Worley’s address, telephone number, and even a picture for your viewing pleasure.
This was information the paper felt free to release about everyone else except one of their own, and when Mr. Worley’s address was plastered all over the ‘net the Journal-News tried to clean house. As I write this, Facebook posts that contain his information are quickly being sanitized by Facebook staff. It seems that the paper considers itself to be a step above the people they serve; kind of like politicians, no?
Have a look, share it with your friends (particularly those in New York), and do your part to let the Journal-News – and other media – know that their elitism is not appreciated by the unwashed masses.
-=[ Grant ]=-