Posted by Erik Wemple
In a just-concluded interview on the Fox News program “America Live” with Megyn Kelly, New York Sen. Greg Ball called upon citizens to “cancel their subscriptions” to the Journal News, the outlet that has controversially printed the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties.
Ball, a Republican whose district includes Journal News turf, talked in colorful terms about the alleged dangers posed by the Journal News’s story and permit maps. Take the example of a victim of domestic violence: What if such a person filed for a pistol permit to protect herself from an abuser?
“Now that nutjob can show up at your door courtesy of the Journal News,” Ball told Kelly, adding that “this has backfired in their face.” “Now a robber has a Christmas shopping list,” he told Kelly.
Ball expressed solidarity with Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant, who has decided that he won’t be releasing permit records to the Journal News: “I could not live with myself if one Putnam pistol permit holder was put in harm’s way, for the sole purpose of selling newspapers,” declared Sant.
Again: The journalistic failures of the Journal News is empowering those who’d like to clamp down on the release of public information. Had it taken a month or two longer to pry a meaningful lesson or two from the data, Sant and Ball & Co. would be addressing those lessons, not some illusory mass violation of privacy.
How absurd is the analysis becoming? Kelly brought up a parallel, asking whether the Journal News database would be equivalent to printing the addresses of people who are seen coming in and out of a Planned Parenthood office. (ARTICLE)