Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Newspaper Determines Right To Know Greater Than Right To Privacy

Idiots. The folks at the Nashville Tennesseean have decided that concealed-carry permit holders have no right to privacy. I don't think they realize what a slippery slope they're taking. What's next? A full list of teenage girls who have had abortions without telling their parents? Gays of any stripe who don't want to be lumped in with the "Fab 5" stereotypes? African-American Catholics? Ooh! Got it! How about up-to-the-second locations of news reporters?

Spread the word about the Tennesseean, and help the editors realize the trouble they face in a calm, polite, and logical manner. That way, when we call for them to be fired we will have the upper hand by showing that they had a chance to change their minds.

UPDATE: The database is down. Good riddance, but I still think that whoever did that needs to be held publically accountable. In a vengeful world, they'd have to have all of their address and sensitive (possibly even security-threatening) information published for a few weeks in 96-point print on the first page of the paper. Then they could worry about the sanctity of their home and person. I'm happy to say we're more charitable than that. We'll just settle for the names of those responsible for publishing the database in the paper (and its online version), the public front-page notification of their firing, and the front-page printed assurances that those responsible for publishing that database will not be rehired by any section of the newspaper's holding company. Both notification and assurances should be in big print above the fold on the front page, by the way. This way the newspaper staff, editors, reporters, printers, etc., will be publically accountable for its actions should the offenders be re-hired.

Besides, this will help bruise the egos of the reporters, making them feel important that they "Stood up for the First Amendment." Sorry, Nashville Tennesseean staffers, but people's private lives are not for your perusal. There is a big difference in what you've done here to private citizens as opposed to the usual research and writing about the lives of public citizens such as political figures. In this I'm also standing up for the First Amendment by telling you what you've done wrong. I think I'll stand up for it again when I tell you to exercise better judgment and keep your freaking traps (verbal or otherwise) shut about the lives of private citizens. Just because there's nothing to hide doesn't mean that everyone can still look.

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