Sunday, September 14, 2008

Face it: your minions will threaten and harass people whose personal information you release


A conservative Alaskan talk radio host, Eddie Burke is claiming to be taken aback at the behavior of his listeners, who have harassed and threatened the organizers of a large anti-Sarah Palin rally in Anchorage, Alaska after being given their contact information, and being goaded with this description:  
"They're a bunch of socialist maggots, that's what I'm going to call them -- socialist maggots, that's what they are, a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots," said Burke 
Oh, and here are their phone numbers - go ahead and let them know what you think of their little rally. Burke has admitted since:
"Yesterday, I was probably a little over the top,"
Burke and anyone with any kind of observational power can't claim to have never noticed the threats and harassment that follow releasing the personal information of an ideological opponent to an audience that's treated to a denouncement of said opponent.

Obama says he doesn't think McCain doesn't care about how disastrous his policies would be, but that McCain just doesn't get it.  When we see this behavior committed by right-wing media personalities over and over, it's clear that they neither do not understand what the result always is, nor are they uninterested in whether their opponents are harassed and threatened.  Harassment and intimidation are clearly intentional results.  

The defense is always: Hey, it was in the press release.  But what local newsroom is going to receive your press release and fill your voicemail with shouts of "Babykiller!"?  Private citizens shouldn't need/don't have a secretary to field threatening and harassing phone calls when they decide to make their opinions public.    

From the article: 
Burke says he released the information across the airwaves because organizers had included their contact numbers in the press release.

Mr. Burke, the fact that contact information is listed with a press release is not an explanation for this behavior. Using the word "because" here is the hallmark of playing dumb about your real motivations. He had access to these numbers, yes, but no excuse for releasing the hounds. I know how you did it, but I don't think you've at all explained why.

All I can say is that Burke probably knew that his listeners' threats and harassment would be a little over the top.          

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