Blogger turns tables on gun map paper's employees - 12/27/12
A blogger who retaliated against a New York newspaper that came under fire for identifying people with gun licenses in its circulation area explained on Thursday why he published the names and home addresses of the paper's employees. "Well, I just thought they were being hypocrites," said Christopher Fountain on CNN's "Early Start." "In the aftermath of Newtown, it was obviously one tragedy, but somehow they were conflating legal gun owners with some crazed tormented devil up in Newtown and putting the two together. And I was offended by that and I wondered how they would like it if their addresses were published." Fountain's blog on Wednesday linked to a map that identified — with pictures — employees of the suburban New York newspaper, the Journal News, as well as their places of residence. That move came several days after the Journal News published interactive maps of Westchester and Rockland counties, which named people with gun licenses and included their addresses — igniting outrage from the right and from some readers.
"We knew publication of the database would be controversial, but we felt sharing information about gun permits in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings," Janet Hasson, president and publisher of the Journal News Media Group, told POLITICO Wednesday in a statement. In an accompanying piece, the paper had said that some citizens "would like lawmakers to expand the amount of information the public can find out about gun owners" after the Newtown massacre.
Fountain swung back at that response.
"Well, she could have just published the number of gun permits, which is actually quite small, if she wanted to show an issue that there are 2,000 legally registered guns in her county, fine," he said. "But the fact that they put the addresses — I've received e-mails from abused women who were under protective order and in hiding and they're terribly afraid that now their names and addresses are all over the Internet and accessible through that map."
He added that he was giving the paper a taste of its own medicine.
"The media has been exposing, harassing personal details of people for a long time," Fountain said. "I don't believe I'm escalating, I believe I'm punching back.
"My original point in posting this was to just show those particular reporters and the publisher what it feels like," he continued.
The map that was eventually posted offered a much more extensive list of Journal News employees.