Wednesday, August 08, 2007

"Journalist" invades privacy of candidate's underage daughter. So here are the journalist's personal contact details.

There are two rampant pack of vultures in modern society. One group is politicians and the other is the press. Neither has much respect for people.

Let me state that I think Rudy Giuliani is awful. He’s an authoritarian on policing and war and a threat to America. He won’t be president so I’m not particularly worried. I have no real respect for the man himself and I think he has the ethics of, well, of a politician. His cheating ways are well known. What that did to his own family is not nice. That is his business until he runs for office then, the public certainly has a right to know about him.

But they don’t have a right to snoop into the life of his children. And that the press has been doing so shows them to have even lower ethics than politicians. And that is pretty low.

Giuliani’s daughter had a Facebook entry which was not available to the general public. As I understand it this was available only to fellow students from her school. And we should also note that she is a minor, under 18 years of age and didn’t choose to speak to the press.

But the press doesn’t give a damn if someone is a minor or if they are reluctant to speak to them. They barge right in and if people get hurt along the way they give it little thought. My impression is that reporters are bastards. They may be necessary bastards but they are still bastards none the less.

Giuliani’s daughter joined a Facebook group of Barrack Obama supporters. Anyone is free to join such groups and there are people who belong to several such groups as a mean of keeping track of things. It may, or it may not, indicate support. If it did, or didn’t, really isn’t the concern of the public or the press.

If a teenage girl joins such a group she shouldn’t be subjected to a media inquisition as to what it means. There is plenty of mud to fling at Rudy without dragging his underage daughter into the frenzy.

When the piranhas of the press started nipping the girl removed her membership and said nothing. She ignored the vultures. Nothing more was said. What does it mean? We don’t know. Unless she tells us what she meant anything else is just guessing not reporting. And I think the girl should be left alone.

But the vultures invented headlines interpreting what this meant. The Chicago Sun-Times headlined the story: “Giuliani’s daughter jumps onto Obama bandwagon.The Boston Herald invented a headline that made it sound like a quote from the girl: “Sorry, Dad, I like Obama.” I find that headline particularly dishonest and unethical. At least the New York Times gave a headline that didn’t try to tell people what the silent girl meant: “Is Giuliani’s Daughter an Obama Supporter?

The Times noted that Giuliani doesn’t have a group at Facebook so his daughter couldn’t have joined it even if she intended to. And they stated she has done her best to stay out of the spotlight. But I don't think they should have printed the "story".

The slime merchant at Slate, which started this scandalous behaviour, Lucy Morrow Caldwell, has the headline “Daddy Dearest: Rudy Giuliani’s Daughter is Supporting Barack Obama.” This pathetic excuse for a journalist even pasted a picture from the girl’s web site with her “story”. Here is what she left out. The girl didn’t want publicity and has not expressed any position publicly. She is a minor. She even used a different last name to avoid publicity. You wouldn’t know this since caustic Caldwell never mentioned that the girl was trying to keep her life private. She referred only to the girl using a slight variation of her name. How slight? You decide if the difference between Giuliani and .... Rose G is only slight. That is a big variation not a slight one. Ms. Caldwell is as honest as she is ethical. Slate took the page and blurred the last name making it hard to see that she intentionally used a different last name to avoid publicity and covering up the fact that the variation was not slight, as claimed by Caldwell.

Perhaps this girl doesn’t want her father to win the presidency. Perhaps she does. We don’t know and we don’t have a right to know. She is not fodder for the media to chew up and spit out. Caldwell jumps to conclusions, something that is unethical in my opinion, making her unfit to work for a newspaper. She doesn’t admit that all she knew was that the girl was a member of a Facebook group. She invents knowledge she doesn’t have. She ends her slimy piece saying the girl “does not reveal why she doesn’t want her father to win the White House. She has not responded to e-mail question from Slate.”

Let me see if I understand. This media whore reads a page mentioning the girl is a member of the group. It does not indicate anything more than that. It may raise question and obviously did -- which is why she and/or Slate e-mailed the girl with those questions. The girl declined to answer. So they felt they had carte blanche to make up answers to the questions.

If this girl was seeking publicity then fine. If she was making a public statement then fine. She appears to have done her best to keep away from the press and she refused to speak to this alleged journalist. So Ms. Caldwell just concocted answers that she couldn’t get. She claims that this teenager ‘doesn’t want her father to win the White House” even though the girl actually refused to respond to that question. Ms. Caldwell is unscrupulous and dishonest. Slate should have known better but lapped it up as juicy gossip. That they did this to girl who is not yet legally an adult is even more shameful.

For his part Mr. Giuliani said that he wants the press to leave his children alone and he has gone to great lengths to avoid dragging them into things. It really is a sad day when someone like Rudy Giuliani has more respect for the privacy of a teenaged girl than does the media.

Readers of the Slate seem unhappy as well. They have more decency than the web site or the sleazy Caldwell woman. One man, whose daughter goes to high school with the girl, said the article is “appalling” and wonders why they think she is “fair game to be used for a quick, cheap headline?” He asked: “Do you not care about her as a human being at all? Is there no common decency left anywhere?” He rightfully called the publication and Caldwell “glorified stalkers, the kind of people we are told to warn our kids against.”

Turn about is fair play. Lucy Morrow Caldwell is a student at Harvard. She writes for the Harvard Crimson, to be precise she has written very little for them, about four pieces in the last three years. It is now fair for anyone to publish anything they know about Lucy Morrow Caldwell. She WAS a member of Facebook but was thrown out by the group for violating rules about privacy so no one can post her page unfortunately. When she joined Facebook she specifically agreed not to reproduce the pages of other members without their permission. Not only is Ms. Caldwell unethical in her journalism but in other ways as well. Her own word means nothing. And she says she has no regrets violating her own agreement with Facebook and invading the privacy of an underage girl. Trust me, this is the stereotypical blond.

But photos of her should be posted on line as well -- her article included a photo of Giuliani’s daughter from her Facebook page -- which remember was not open to the general public. Ms Caldwell, who made herself a public figure intentionally, can be e-mailed at She put her address and phone number up at the link below. She sent questions to Giuliani’s underage daugther so surely it is fine for people to send questions to her.

I assume Ms. Caldwell won’t have a problem with this information being public. Unlike Giuliani’s daughter she is a legal adult who intentionally thrust herself into the spotlight. And where Caldwell’s victim posted in a forum not open to the general public, Ms. Caldwell has listed her e-mail, phone number and address on a web site open to the entire world, without restriction. To the degree that the Giuliani girl sought privacy Caldwell sought notoriety. She even lisped her way through a nationwide television appearance. Obviously there can be no presumption to privacy. And where Caldwell had to break privacy terms which she agreed to, the information on Caldwell is obtainable without having to break an ethically binding contract. Ms. Caldwell certainly is demonstrating the ethics of a journalist and that isn't saying much.

Caldwell is a real bubble head as this video shows. And she brags that her time on Facebook "really paid off". If you watch the video you will see that when asked if Giuliani's daughter endorsed Obama, as her own article stated, she can't actually say she did. Caldwell's article was a distortion of what was known. It may, or may not be correct, because there are no conclusive facts in evidence and Mr. Giuliani's daughter has not made a statement. And, by the way, I think it would have been sleazy to do this to the girl even if she were a legal adult in light of her efforts to obtain her privacy.

PS: I do not believe it right, nor do I encourage, anyone to threaten or intimidate Ms. Caldwell. And if you do I would hope you are prosecuted -- too bad the same thing can't happen to journalists who invade the privacy of underage girls just because of their father. I do believe you have the right to protest Caldwell's unscrupulous actions and to ask her questions just as she asked this girl questions. Ms. Caldwell used online information to do that and so are you. In fact so am I. Caldwell posted this information publicly herself so obviously it isn't private.

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