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Kirby Delauter Should Know Better

Kirby Delauter, a councilman in Frederick County, Md., was clear: reporter Bethany Rodgers of the local newspaper, the Frederick News-Post, included “an unauthorized use of my name and my reference in her article” about local issues, and warned, “Use my name again unauthorized and youll be paying for an Attorney,” Kirby Delauter wrote in an open Facebook post. “Your rights stop where mine start,” he said, and he would sue if his name was used in the paper again, yet also said “let me be not contact me.” The reporter was not cowed: “It is not just our right but our responsibility to report on people like you, who occupy positions of trust in our government,” she wrote as a comment on his post. The newspaper itself was not cowed either. It said in an editorial titled “Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter” that they “weren’t surprised” at the threat that they’ve “been putting Kirby Delauter’s name in the paper without Kirby Delauter’s authorization.” They “spent quite some time laughing about it. Kirby Delauter, an elected official; Kirby Delauter, a public figure? Surely, Kirby Delauter can’t be serious?” The whole thing went viral online, with thousands of postings of “Kirby Delauter” from a sneering public — and scores of signatures on a petition calling for his resignation. To which, Kirby Delauter responded ...with an apology. “Of course, as I am an elected official, the Frederick News-Post has the right to use my name in any article related to the running of the county — that comes with the job,” Kirby Delauter wrote in a statement. “I want to take this opportunity to apologize to Bethany Rodgers, the Frederick News-Post and all my constituents for disrespecting the journalists and media outlets who cover the Frederick county government.” (RC/Frederick News-Post) ...on a ballot.
Original Publication Date: 11 January 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 21.

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