John Townsend, the reporter at the center of the Lavender outing coverage, has written a letter to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune blasting his critics–including NLGJA–for questioning the ethics of his story.
Brock’s bully pulpit has assaulted gays and lesbians and heterosexual reproductive rights advocates for years. For some time, I had been fielding tips about psychological abuse in the St. Charles Borromeo group, including a participant who said he felt tempted to commit suicide. One victim took his complaint to various local media and was summarily rejected each time. So for me, it was clear that becoming an embedded whistleblower was the only option left. That way I could more accurately verify the truth than to write about it from the outside. To my mind, quite reasonable suspicion of real danger trumped confidentiality.
Brock’s antigay KKMS exhortations have wailed on for years, so I was puzzled in Strickler’s piece where University of Minnesota Silha Professor of Ethics and Law Jane Kirtley tried to discredit my methods, seemingly oblivious to the serial, long term breach of media ethics in her own metro area, that being KKMS. Kirtley never contacted me either.
As for handwringing by Michael R. Triplett, overseer of the National Gay & Lesbian Journalists Association, of which I am not a member, clearly his careerist club members have ignored this situation. Be a journalist first, a gay second.