Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter

A Facebook commenter observed, “Also note, the first letter of each paragraph."

Way. Too. Funny.

ICYMI be sure to read: Volokh and Cumber: "... Uh, Council Member: In our country, newspapers are actually allowed to write about elected officials (and others) without their permission. It’s an avant-garde experiment, to be sure, but we’ve had some success with it."


Posted: Tuesday, January 6, 2015 12:30 am Frederick News-Post Editorial Board | 30 comments

Knowing Councilman Kirby Delauter as we do, we weren't surprised that he threatened The Frederick News-Post with a lawsuit because we had, he says — and we're not making this up — been putting Kirby Delauter's name in the paper without Kirby Delauter’s authorization. Attorneys would be called, Kirby Delauter said.

In fact, we spent quite some time laughing about it. Kirby Delauter, an elected official; Kirby Delauter, a public figure? Surely, Kirby Delauter can't be serious? Kirby Delauter’s making a joke, right?

Round about then, we wondered, if it’s not a joke, how should we now refer to Kirby Delauter if we can't use his name (Kirby Delauter)? Could we get away with an entire editorial of nothing but “Kirby Delauter” repeated over and over again -- Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter? OK, imagine we agreed because of temporary madness or something funny in the water that week, how would we reference "Kirby Delauter" and do our job as journalists without running afoul of our lack of authorization?


Also, be sure to see:

“This post shamelessly uses Frederick County (Md.) Council Member Kirby Delauter’s name without authorization,” By Eugene Volokh January 5 at Kirby Delauter, a Frederick County (Maryland) Council Member threatens a local journalist (Bethany Rodgers) for … using his name without permission in a newspaper article. 

No, really: 

“Uh, Council Member: In our country, newspapers are actually allowed to write about elected officials (and others) without their permission. It’s an avantgarde experiment, to be sure, but we’ve had some success with it….”



(The Streisand Effect got its name when Barbra Streisand attempted to sue a photographer, who while documenting California coastal erosion also snapped her beachfront domicile -- which the singer-actress viewed as a breach of privacy. Ironically, it was her lawsuit, and not the photographer's compendium of visual research, that ended up drawing attention to the photos of Streisand's home, as well as getting this "effect" named after her. See also: Dan Snyder.)

Today's story of the Streisand Effect and its discontents takes place in Frederick County, Maryland, where a man named Kirby Delauter is the county councilman elected to represent District 5. Seems that Delauter took umbrage at a story that appeared in the Frederick News-Post on Jan. 3, concerning -- of all things! -- the assignment and availability of parking spaces to county council members.

Delauter is actually just a bit player in this story, which largely concerns the parking space grievances aired by another councilman named Billy Shreve, with whom Delauter agrees. But Delauter apparently has nursed a grudge with the reporter of the parking space story, Bethany Rodgers, and he decided that the time was ripe for him to flip his lid on Facebook, in full view of the world.

In so doing, Delauter made one of the most idiotic demands I have ever heard in my life: "Shame on Bethany Rodgers for an unauthorized use of my name and my reference in her article today. She contacted me by phone yesterday, I did not return her call and did not authorize any use of my name or reference in her article."

Nah, son, that's not how this works. Let me kick it to UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh for a brief legal explanation, because he's making the best fun for all of us with his comment:

See: “Maryland Lawmaker Thinks Press Needs His OK To Use His Name, Which Is 'Kirby Delauter'.”
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