Monday, January 07, 2013

Westchester | After gun permits, push-pushback

More than two weeks after The Journal News published names and addresses of 33,000 gun permit owners in nearby Westchester and Rockland counties, critics continue to fight back, according to a story in this morning's New York Times.

The reaction: Personal information about editors and writers at the 225-employee paper has been posted online, including their home addresses and information about where their children attended school; some reporters have received notes saying they would be shot on the way to their cars; bloggers have encouraged people to steal credit card information of Journal News employees; and two packages containing white powder have been sent to the newsroom and a third to a reporter’s home (all were tested by the police and proved to be harmless).

The response: Publisher Janet Hasson has paid for staff members who do not feel safe in their homes to stay at hotels, offered guards to walk employees to their cars, encouraged employees to change their home telephone numbers and has been coordinating with the local police.

49 comments:

  1. Corporate has given the story the professional kiss of death: "A spokesman for Gannett, which owns The Journal News, said it was never informed about the coming article."
    Let's see how long before the Big G abandons the editor and publisher.

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    1. In fact, that reflects well on The Journal News and Gannett because it refutes the idea that Corporate dictates story-by-story editorial policy from McLean, Va., and that individual papers have no independence.

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    2. Actually, corporate's reaction has a Fast and Furious ring to it -- as in, "Sure the attorney general got emails about the gun sales to Mexican drug cartels, but that doesn't mean he read any of them."

      Sounds to me like Gannett is distancing itself from the story ... or maybe the Gannett bigwigs are just getting tired of having their names and addresses put in the spotlight.

      Delete
  2. Couple this worthless bit of database magic with the republication by the Register of the anti-gun screed from Kaul, and it's clear where the company's editorial muscle will go in the coming gun control debates.

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    1. Meanwhile, JN management now has security guards posted outside their own elegant residences:
      http://www.rocklandtimes.com/2013/01/07/armed-and-dangerous-update-guards-also-posted-at-executive-editors-homes-2/

      Evidently it's OK to protect your home with firearms, as long as you're rich enough to hire somebody who carries one.

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    2. Or when radical right wing knuckle draggers are threatening your safety.

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  3. GCI encourages reader feedback.

    www.facebook.com/boycottgannett

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  4. I think the story now is about Putnam County's attitude toward the open records law. What if some private citizen filed a request for the same information? Would they honor it? And if so, what if they try to impose some conditions on its release? Or, would it be redacted in some fashion? I would file an open records request for all open records requests filed since the story and any and all correspondence received by the records' clerks and their responses. I would shift the entire focus of the story from the database to the debate about public records.

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  5. Hasson’s “response” of putting employees up in hotels, etc. sets a nice precedent….for attorneys should they pursue damages for private citizens who feel equally, if not more threatened by what Gannett published.

    And, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some try, more so when Gannett losses its battle regarding the information it continues to seek as FOIA laws have limits to how information may be used, especially when it’s used for commercial gain as appears to be the case here.

    Odds are that if the U.S. Post Office can get away with shielding P.O. Box owners identities (info that was once avail prior to 9/11), then so can records like Gannett exposed.

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    1. None of what you say makes sense or has a shred of truth or legal backing to it.

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    2. Watch the link below @ 2:12 PM and you'll learn how public safety needs have trumped the public’s right to know, including how FOIA limits prevent what seems to have been Gannett’s primary motive here: commercial profit. BTW, Johnson’s not the only one to make the argument that Gannett will fail in attempts to get like data from others, something some NY legislators also seek to prevent.

      Moreover, if you think private citizens aren’t considering legal action for what Gannett did, then you’re a bit delusional given our litigious society…using Gannett employees’ fears and Hasson’s response to them – all of which can be easily captured in emails, depositions, hotel costs and more, makes it easier.

      http://video.foxnews.com/v/2072043820001

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    3. So, you seriously believe that a private company paying for lodging for its employees will lead to some actionable lawsuit?

      I think you skipped a few rungs on the logical ladder there, sport. But be sure to keep us updated on your master plan. It's good for some laughs.

      Delete
    4. So, you seriously believe that a private company paying for lodging for its employees will lead to some actionable lawsuit? asks 6:14 PM.

      Of course not and to suggest that IS the basis 6:14 is what's laughable. Try re-reading what you attack as that was never alleged, only that steps Gannett has taken to protect its employees will help should those who feel aggrieved by Gannett take legal action.

      Pretty simple to understand how it could, yet not for you and that too is funny.

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    5. How will it help? You're not doing a very good job of explaining this. I know YOU think you're right and you don't need to explain, but humor us.

      How is it relevant that a private company paid for lodging for its employees after they were threatened?

      You're the one who referred specifically to "hotel costs." Now you are saying that is laughable. Are you seeing the light and realizing that what you said before makes no sense?

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    6. With all due respect 9:55, are you seriously that dense as to not understand how ALL the steps Gannett has taken could play out in a potential lawsuit?

      Private Citizens could easily argue they undertook some of the very same steps that Gannett did to protect its employees. That they shared the same safety concerns and emotional duress as those employees with one exception, they had to bear the direct financial costs for an untenable situation that Gannett created for what was arguable commercial gain.

      Frankly, it’s your problem if you need further step-by-step detail to grasp what is again a pretty simple strategy, a problem you’ve likely long struggled from, something I now apologize for laughing at. Best of luck with it.

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    7. You're stupid. Did anyone send a white powder to gun nuts' offices? No. Did anyone leave notes on gun crazies' cars saying they would be shot? No.

      The stuff that is across the line has ben carried out by the gun nuts. You act as if you don't realize it, which is another issue.

      Delete
  6. The question to ask is, have any permit holders received any threats? I doubt that they have. All the threats have been directed at the paper and its employees. This further reinforces the notion that the words gun and nut go together quite well.

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    1. I would ask whether any threats have been made by permit holders toward the papers employees. After all, they have already shown themselves to not be lawbreakers. The nuts are those who are more afraid of the law abiding than the law breakers.

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    2. I guess the gun people are the nuts, then. They fear the government, and that someone will discover their pee-pees are tiny.

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    3. "The question to ask is, have any permit holders received any threats? I doubt that they have."

      Then you must not read much.

      It takes only a few seconds' Googling to find stories about prison guards getting threatened at work. I've also seen a report about a woman who'd been dodging a stalker for years and thought she'd evaded him ... until the list was published and she suddenly began receiving hang-up calls all night.

      Here, read and be enlightened:
      http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/journal-news-gun-map-being-used-by-prison-inmates-to-threaten-guards/

      It's rather naive to assume that publishing the names and addresses of 33,000 residents will have zero consequences for the households in question.

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  7. TJN editor should go on her show

    http://foxnewsinsider.com/2013/01/06/judge-jeanine-pirro-slams-the-journal-news-for-publishing-names-of-gun-permi-owners-including-herself/

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    1. Fox news is not really a credible source of information on this topic. Or any topic, but let's leave that debate for another day, shall we?

      Jeanine Pirro was the D.A. in The Journal News's coverage area. She has an ax to grind with the paper, and always has.

      Delete
    2. Fox News Channel is at least as credible as any other major news outlet — and frankly is the only one that doesn't kowtow to elites.

      Delete
    3. Claiming that Fox News isn't credible or that Jeanine Pirro has an ax to grind is a typical deflection aimed at changing the subject.

      The bottom line is that Pirro now feels threatened because her name and address were published by the Journal News -- as do prison guards, police officers, stalking victims and other law-abiding citizens whose lives were needlessly exposed by the JN.

      Meanwhile, the New York Times is trying to paint Journal News employees as victims and Janet Hasson as their heroic mother hen: "She has paid for staff members who do not feel safe in their homes to stay at hotels, offered guards to walk employees to their cars, encouraged employees to change their home telephone numbers ..."

      Boo-hoo-hoo! Imagine having to live like the unwashed masses who can't afford to hire armed guards.

      Delete
  8. The reaction: Personal information about editors and writers at the 225-employee paper has been posted online, including their home addresses and information about where their children attended school; some reporters have received notes saying they would be shot on the way to their cars; bloggers have encouraged people to steal credit card information of Journal News employees; and two packages containing white powder have been sent to the newsroom and a third to a reporter’s home (all were tested by the police and proved to be harmless).

    SPEAKS VOLUMES about the mental state of some of the people who advocate gun ownership.

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    1. No, what SPEAKS VOLUMES is your inability to comprehend how this debate isn’t about gun ownership, it’s about Gannett putting private citizens, and now its employees, potentially in harms’ way for what is arguably increased profit and gain.

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    2. You're right about one thing. The debate isn't about gun ownership. It's about gun nuts fearing the government and compensating for their tiny, obsolete pee-pees.

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    3. Then apparently Journal News bosses have the same irrational fears and psychological issues, given the fact that they've posted armed guards outside the JN offices.

      Gee, maybe you should issue them Gun Nut membership cards and contact them about your obsession with other people's pee-pees.

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    4. And 6:10 must be an anti-gun nut given their sophomoric rant and how they presumably refuse to see and/or show empathy for safety concerns that even non-gun owners, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges and all their families now share as a result of what Gannett published, let alone for victims of domestic violence who believed their homes couldn’t be found.

      Delete
  9. I personally would have preferred my name and address in Bodoni Bold.

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  10. I heard on the radio today that the JN lost "40% of its readers." What kind of goofy claim is that? Is that readership, total circ, newsstand copies or subscriptions? I'd certainly like to see the company pay for its stupid move in publishing the permit info, but let's have some accuracy in the discussion.

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    1. Maybe the news report was referring to the circulation losses that the Journal News had experienced BEFORE it published the gun owners list.

      As the New York Times reports, "The Journal News, like many newspapers nationwide, has had sharp declines in circulation. Its total circulation from Monday through Friday fell from 111,536 in September 2007 to 68,850 in September 2012."

      I'm sure the gun owners list is really going to boost subscriptions and advertising dollars.

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  11. This whole mess is the fault of one person and her name is CR.

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  12. Oh by all means, dump on the editor. Side with the people trying to threaten journalists into submission for publishing public information.

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    1. Like none of the 33,000 gun permit holders have been threatened? Put away the violins already.

      What's incredible is that the same "outed" Journal News employees who are worried about their own families' safety are spending their work hours trying to put even more thousands of law-abiding families at risk.

      Delete
    2. Guns aren't just weapons but are also considered items of value, especially by thieves in an area where they have a high black market appeal due to the ban in NYC. So if I published an article that said you had a $5,000 diamond ring in your sock drawer and here is an address where it can be found. Now add the fact that you may have children in your home, or you may have been the victim of a stalker, or domestic violence. How would you feel about my level of journalistic responsibility.

      For my part if I were to publish such an article that resulted in harm to you, your family, your pets, your property or even your peace of mind I would feel personally responsible. As a compassionate fellow human being I would be forced to apologize and to attempt to make amends as best as I possibly could. After which, due to my incompetence and abuse of my position in putting a fellow citizen at undue risk for monetary gain; I would do the right thing and resign my position and find another line of work.

      It's not about gun control. It's about being responsible to your community and fellow human beings. The editors of the Journal News don't have any sense of responsibility for the known harm they have caused people and the potential harm which could yet be caused. The editors have no concern that they may have ruined people's sense of safety, security and well being including the children and extended relatives of the effected families. They even have the nerve to defend their callous indifference toward their fellow citizens and human beings. Apologies, to the shame of the editors and Gannett, are certainly not forthcoming.

      What relevance does a map of law abiding citizens have in a discussion about gun control. Has a map of felonious drunk drivers home addresses been published by the (Yellow)Journal News. I bet the drunks have killed more people than the gun owners. I can only conclude that the editors must not care about human life as they portend and that the almighty dollar is their sole motivation.

      ..............Disgusting.

      I can only hope that Gannett does the right thing and terminates these callous and irresponsible employees before further harm is done to innocent and unsuspecting citizens. If Gannett doesn't have the guts to do that, I hope readership gos to zero as soon as possible. I personally reduced it by one yesterday as an act of solidarity and compassion for my fellow human beings who have been grossly mistreated by a group of despicable thugs in the name of corporate greed.

      Power to the people!!! Down with corporate elitists!!!

      sincerely,
      B

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  13. 10:52 - There are personal, "relationship" reasons the Executive Editor will never ever leave Gannett that cannot be printed on a family website.

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  14. 6:47 Agreed. She rushed some poorly done rush job of a story because it had a graphic and art. Anyone surprised at what happened?

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  15. It appears all the banner ads on LoHud.com (Journal News site) are house ads. Has there been a total advertising pullout?

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    1. The USA Today ads are getting heavy play, but I saw a local toyota dealer's ad, and a sports something or other ad on non-gun coverage.

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  16. Typical liberal hypocrisy They preach against guns BUT hire
    a security detail WITH guns to protect them

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    1. You should look up that word. I don't think you know what it means.

      Now if those darned liberuls were carrying guns themselves, you might have something. Instead, you are just another wacko gun nut.

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    2. Who has preached against guns? There was no opinion offered on what the data showed, just the data itself.

      You have inferred that the paper is against guns and/or gun owners, but the reporter in question is a gun owner himself.

      Delete
    3. "Now if those darned liberuls were carrying guns themselves, you might have something."

      Oh, I get it: As long as you're rich enough to hire someone else to do your armed protectin' for you, you don't officially qualify as a gun nut.

      That's as priceless as the mob boss who insists, "Hey, I'm not a murderer -- I only pay other people to do it!"

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    4. No, the point was you didn't know the meaning of the word "hypocrisy."

      You lose track of your thoughts very quickly.

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    5. @2:39

      No, you make assumptions very quickly, because I (3:45) am not the same person who wrote the original post.

      Regardless, why is it not hypocritical for the Journal News to make an issue of gun ownership -- to the point of publishing permit holders' names and addresses -- then hire armed guards to handle their personal protection?

      Whatever you call it, JN management is doing an excellent job of proving the NRA's point: "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

      That explains why the Journal News didn't hire ninjas!

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    6. @2:39

      You're a donkey yes?

      Delete
  17. 9:07 - yes, you are referring to The Journal News editor. And the reason for this having the initials T.D.

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  18. Isn't the press supposed to be on the side of the law-abiding little guy — going after wrongdoers, not the blameless?

    This whole episode is a bizarre abuse of power. It merely reinforces the public's worst impressions of the press, namely, that it is arrogant, ideological, untrustworthy, and clueless.

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Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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