Here’s the scenario. A blogger in Alaska get’s her hands on embarrassing private and revealing emails between Todd Palin and Senate Candidate Joe Miller (and others). The blogger posts this exchange landing a major scoop. In the process, the blogger makes a technical mistake (I assume) and fails to adequately redact Todd Palin’s email address opening it up publicly to the world wide internets for all to see. Multiple internet nerds catch on to the mistake. So do I. In a lucky twist, Todd’s email handle is let’s just say, amusing. It’s not outrageous, but something many would find easy to mock.
So here’s the question: is it ethical to publish the email address or not? So far I have resisted because it’s his personal email address and that’s not really news. And it’s a little mean spirited to put out into the open. On the other hand it’s already out there and it’s really only a matter of time before somebody else does it. In fact a few commenters already have posted it if you look for it. Most have resisted. And like I said it’s funny, it would probably get some attention. Plus if his wife really is going to run for office, this is a pretty minor incursion on his privacy all things considered.
But it is an incursion none-the-less. Publishing it only perpetuates all that is wrong with our celebrity obsessed political culture. What does it matter that the husband of a television commentator’s email handle is amusing? Doesn’t he deserve the privacy of having an email address that the whole world doesn’t know even though he’s a public figure and even though I’m amused by it?
So I guess I’ve answered my own question. I’ll keep it to myself for now. Though I expect it’ll be out there before I even publish this post.
Now leave me alone so I can bask in the glow of self-satisfaction.