Now that the Journal News has removed the names and addresses of New York’s legal gun owners from its online map, at least one other newspaper is slamming the gun-outer for its “cowardice.”
In a Friday piece at the Washington Post, columnist Erik Wemple blasted the Journal News for its latest move in this gun-owner “doxing” incident.
Wemple spared no effort to bash the statement issued by Journal News publisher Janet Hasson, calling it “cowardly” and ridiculing the conceit the New York paper used to justify its posting of the gun owner’s names and addresses in the first place.
Since the beginning of the controversy, the Journal News has used the “it’s our duty” argument to justify publishing the information. The paper maintained that a journalist’s job isn’t to be “popular” but is, rather, to, “report publicly available information on timely issues, even when unpopular.”
Wemple mercilessly mocked this contention:
It was that statement that the Journal News treated like a sit-com, re-running it over and over for whatever outside news organization happened to be calling. The newspaper’s statementology was a PR ploy to avoid having to answer difficult questions about the decision to publish. A New York Times reporter who insisted on showing up at the Journal News’s front door did managed to pierce the media denial, and in the process managed to show just how hastily the reporters and editors slapped the gun project together. Very, that is.
“Now we know that the silence from White Plains stemmed not from defiance and pride but from cowardice and jitters,” Wemple jabbed.
Wemple has been critical of the Journal News since the story began.