For three days we have shared the story of The Journal News / LoHud.Com and their decision to publish the names, addresses, and contact information of lawful gun owners. Today they doubled down on stupid; However, you can sense in the writing of it, they are only just now becoming aware of the potential backlash.
Here is what they have written today, in response to their initial article, initial decision, and the feedback received so far: (we inserted some feedback throughout /SD)
WHITE PLAINS — Thousands of people, many from outside Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, have taken to their computers and phones in rage after The Journal News posted an online database of local gun permit holders.
The database, legally obtained from the county clerks’ offices through a Freedom of Information Act request made after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children and eight adults dead, has been called irresponsible, dangerous and leaning toward intimidation by several online pundits.
Notice how they insert the affirmative position they have done nothing “illegal”, and then pull into that affirmation the dead victims in Newtown.
Social media played a big part in the exponential spread of the story, whose map has been recommended more than 20,000 times. Two Facebook posts linking to the story on Sunday garnered 346 comments as of this evening. That’s in addition to 167 comments posted directly to Facebook.com/LoHud since the story published.
Numerous additional comments relating to the gun permit map have appeared on posts in other unrelated stories. More than a dozen more people sent private messages via Facebook objecting to the map. The overwhelming majority of comments strongly object to the story.
They have not yet absorbed (due to holiday distractions) the size of the controversy they have initiated.
The database was also mentioned in the Drudge Report, Memorandum.com, Breitbart.com, Thegatewaypundit.com, Instapundit, iOwnTheWorld.com and UrbanGrounds, along with Yahoo, ABC News and Fox News, among others.
More than 500 comments — on both sides of the debate — accompanied a story on CNN.com this evening.
Again, as we previously outlined, “obfuscation” is the key deflective weapon of progs when they begin to understand a “common sense” line has been crossed. “both sides”, uh-huh.
Hundreds of callers have complained, claiming publication of the database put their safety at risk or violated their privacy. Others claimed publication was illegal. Many of the callers were vitriolic and some threatened members of the newspaper staff.
“New York residents have the right to own guns with a permit and they also have a right to access public information,” said Janet Hasson, president and publisher of The Journal News Media Group.
Journal News President:
But, you see Janet, it was not the “New York residents” who were accessing the public information. YOU DID. (continued Obfuscation but… but… but…) Therein lies the *intent* Janet. Don’t duck behind ‘anyone can do this’; indeed, anyone can, but they didn’t, YOU DID.
Just because you “can” do something, doesn’t mean you should. Therein lies the central issue, which, in typical prog fashion you begin to run away from because you have just put yourself and your organization in the central position of feeling the full measure of Chick-Fil-A treatment.
Robert Freeman, executive director of the state Committee on Open Govenment and an expert in the state’s Freedom of Information law, has said all government records and data are presumed public unless a specific statute bars their release. Names and addresses are specifically deemed public records, he said.
Obfuscate the issue….. Obfuscate the issue…. Obfuscate the issue…… If we do it long enough the Obfuscation will transport us to the land of “justification”.
This is not the first time The Journal News has been criticized for publishing information about gun permits. A similar story that ran in 2006 received similar responses, although social media did not play as large a part in the spread of the story or of the complaints.
“We knew publication of the database would be controversial but we felt sharing as much information as we could about gun ownership in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings,” said CynDee Royle, Editor and Vice President/News.
“People are concerned about who owns guns and how many of them there are in their neighborhoods. Our Freedom of Information request also sought specifics on how many and what types of weapons people owned. That portion of the request was denied.”
So Cyndee, if you had been able to publish the specifics of not only who owns, but how many, and what types of weapons, in addition to the names and addresses of the people who own them, you would have published that. In your own words this was your original intent. Talk about doubling down on stupid – you have just taken the insufferable to entirely new levels.
Within that paragraph, and your explanation, the final measure of consideration we had for this being an unintended consequence is lost. Your goal was to publish the names, addresses, locations, number of guns and type of weapons each of the lawful citizens held.
Scott F. Williams, 41, of Haddon Heights, N.J., near Philadelphia, who served in the Marines as a rifleman, was one of a very few callers who agreed to identify themselves and comment on why they called.
Notice how the prog author seeks to “Tim McVeigh” the caller. A rather obvious ideological attempt akin to the ’white-male profiling’ conversation last week on MSNBC.
“This is what I see,” he said. “It’s all in the context of the shootings in Newtown … it gets us all talking about gun control. That people are at a heightened concern makes sense to me. I am a gun owner and a pro-Second-Amendment (person). I try to be rational.”
Notice the “…” (helip) which indicates a break in the content of the quote from Mr. Williams. Given the nature of this publication, the controversy, and their obfuscations, it is not a long trip to the land of manipulation. The helip is used to ‘cut out’ the content that would not be helpful to the progs in the manipulative framing of their narrative.
No non-ideological minded editor would allow such an edit to pass muster against the backdrop of the controversial decision. Again, just further evidence of the *intent* of the publication, this new author, and the company decision.
He called the newspaper’s decision to link to the database “highly Orwellian. The implications are mind-boggling,” he said. “It’s as if gun owners are sex offenders (and) to own a handgun risks exposure as if one is a sex offender. It’s, in my mind, crazy.” (read more)