Sunday, October 10, 2004

Not For Publication

Kudos to the Nyt's Okrent for violating the privacy of a reader. That really seems like an appropriate role for the ombudsman of a newspaper -- posting up the names of people who have sent private emails to journalists. Nice job, Okrent! Looking out for your readers! 10 points team leader! We'll have to consider the new standard for privacy that you've set.

I'm an irresponsible blogger. I've received a lot of hate mail in my time. I've also been on the receiving end of serious obscenity-laden spam attacks on my comments. I've known the name/address/phone number/email of some of those attackers and I've never posted them. Why? Because it's an unfair fight. I appreciate the right of people to express their grievances without fear of retribution. With great power comes great responsibility, as a wise man once said.

My circulation is small relative to that of the paper of record. Nonetheless, they've decided it's appropriate to intimidate readers who react critically, something I've never done to people who otherwise don't have a public profile.

The reporter who has received angry email is Adam Nagourney. The reporter who feels that he, with a circulation of about a million, cannot handle criticism without attempts to damage his critic is Adam Nagourney.

The fact that the NYT's public editor, the person who is supposed to represent the *readers*, has chosen to publish the name and a clipped quote from a reader who never intended his name or comments to be published, and made that desire clear multiple times, is disgusting. It doesn't matter what the person wrote to the reporter. As I've said, I've been aware of the identities of people who have not only sent me obscene and insulting emails, but who have made an effort to disrupt the comments of this site, for a long time. I never went as far as publishing their *personal* name/address/phone number/email. Why? Because it's an unfair fight.

Yes, I've posted up people's professional names and emails. People are free to do the same to me. But, I haven't done it to my non-public figure critics.

The New York Times has disgraced itself, once again. Pathetic. More than pathetic. Disgusting.

Fuck you Adam Nagourney.