August 11, 2013

NY Paper that published Map of Gun Owners fires Staff

August 11, 2013. New York. In a quiet victory for gun owners, the New York newspaper that published the names and addresses of 44k gun owners just days before Christmas last year has purged its news staff. The Editor, 17 journalists and a dozen support staff - 26 employees in all - were let go last week presumably as a result of the widely condemned and inaccurate map.

A sample of the pics and posts circulating of Journal News staff's homes and addresses. Image courtesy of MassCops.com.

After seven months of threats, hate mail, bad publicity, boycotts and armed protection, the Gannett-owned Journal News has just fired the editor that approve the publishing of a map that included the gun owners’ home addresses. 25 of her underlings were also dismissed. The blow-back against the paper reached a pinnacle in the weeks after publication when a separate news site published the home addresses of the entire Journal News staff in retribution.


Technically, the list of gun permit holders is available to the public, just like political party affiliation, criminal records and a host of other personal details. Critics derided the outlet for publishing the list because they did it in a way that incited terror and fear among non-gun owning citizens. The public was still in shock over the Sandy Hook massacre a week earlier.

Another problem was that the names and addresses they published were partially inaccurate. As a result of the map, both homeowners with and without firearms were suddenly terrified. Those with guns feared they would be targeted for robbery to steal their valuable firearms. And those without guns realized the criminal element now had a list of homes without any protection to rob.

 

The original map of 44,000 NY-area gun permit holders' home addresses published by the Journal News.

 

Editor and staff get the axe

As reported by the Rockland County Times this week, ‘Chief Editor Caryn McBride is among the casualties of the recent purge of 17 journalists and 26 total staffers at the Gannett-owned Journal News newspaper. McBride gained fame earlier this year for her involvement in the Journal News gun map fiasco.’

In the days after publication of the gun permit holders’ home addresses, it was Chief Editor Caryn McBride that called local police after the newspaper received an avalanche of angry phone calls, emails and letters. Without any specific or credible threats however, the Clarkstown Police Department told the Journal News it was on its own. As a result, the publication hired armed security guards to protect employees from any possible danger.



That action alone reignited the furor over McBride’s and the paper’s decision to publish the list of homeowners with gun permits, many of which were expired, outdated or for previous residents. Critics accused Gannett and the local publication of gross hypocrisy for vilifying and endangering private citizens who choose to own a firearm. Because at the same time, the corporation was paying private citizens with guns to protect them, ironically enough, from the private citizens with guns they had just demonized.

Her fears weren’t without justification however. Dozens, if not hundreds, of grassroots websites began publishing the names, phone numbers, email addresses and home address of McBride, and especially the map and article’s author Dwight R Worley. In one instance indicative of many others, a blog published by a group of Massachusetts Police officers even went so far as to post pictures of Worley’s home along with the address. In a purposely dark and ominous fashion, the blog post from MassCops.com suggests readers, “Call him first to let him know you’ll be dropping in.”

As detailed in the Rockland Times report, the decision to purge the Journal News Staff, including Caryn McBride, came from the top via CEO Janet Hasson. Second Amendment and privacy rights advocates are waiting to see if anymore heads will fall. McBride wasn’t the only Gannett editor who approved the map’s publication. Still-enraged gun owners would also like to see Editor-In-Chief CynDee Royle lose her job over the fiasco as well. She assumedly had the final say in the decision to print the map.

 

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