Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Of Publicity and Privacy: Who's Outing Whom?

The news media, the so-called "Fourth Estate," likes to pride itself in keeping the governing powers and the people honest.  Having been suckled on that pap since journalism school, many Fourth Estaters actually believe that they in fact perform such a function.

And if indeed they really did, then I would be their number one fan.

But, unfortunately, the Fourth Estate has long yielded its independence, and has, by and large, allowed itself to be an instrumentality of the corruptocrats in (and out of) government.

So who, then, is going to be the Fourth Estate to the Fourth Estate (or, in Juvenal's original phraseology from his Satires, "Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?").

Sometimes, all it takes is one blogger to do that.

As part of the Newtown Sandy Hook Elementary hoplophobe gun-grabber media fest, the Journal-News, of White Plains, New York, has published an article about pistol permit holders, and, as an Internet companion piece, used the cyber mapping technologies to post an interactive map showing the names and locations of all pistol permit holders registered in Westchester and Rockland Counties (inasmuch as I have never lived in either of those two counties, you will not find my name there).

This has caused a big uproar.  Everyone is screaming about (A) privacy rights; and/or (B) now that the burglars know who has handguns, they know which houses to avoid -- and, by inference, which to target.

[This is assuming, of course, that those who are not registered pistol permit holders do not in fact have pistols.  On that score, I will humor the hoplophobes, but cannot in good conscience give 100% assurances to those in the burglary business that every non-registered residence they target is in fact devoid of munition/ammunition.].

But, as Christopher Fountain notes, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.  Chris, of Greenwich, CT, has posted on his blog "For What It's Worth" a listing of the home addresses and contacts for the Journal-News publisher, editors, and reporters who were behind the articles.

It is going to be quite interesting to see how the Fourth Estate in White Plains deals with this one.  After all, they cannot now scream "invasion of privacy!" without being laughed out of town.

Not that Chris is invulnerable.  On his blog bio-line, Chris discloses that he is "a non-practicing lawyer and glad of it."  I'm wondering how long it will take the Journal-News to ask whether he is the same Christopher C. Fountain who, in 2000, had his 3-month suspension from the practice of law for forging a signature and notarization affirmed by the Appellate Court of Connecticut.  [Disclosure:  I am personally friendly with more than one ex-lawyer who has been slapped with harsher discipline than that.  Hate the sin but love the sinner!].

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