In a New York Times story published in advance of the announcement that Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the shooting death of Michael Brown, New York Times reporters Julie Bosman and Campbell Robertson included the street name of Wilson’s home address, prompting many across the social media sphere to call foul.
Among those is Wayne Dupree who, on the Facebook Page for the Wayne Dupree Show, asks, “Should these two New York Times ‘reporters’ be arrested?” While the responding audience likely isn’t entirely objective, a quick perusal of the hundreds of responses seemed to favor the arrests of Bosman and Robertson for including Darren Wilson’s approximate address in their story, titled A Quiet Wedding for Darren Wilson.
The story is followed by online comments on the New York Times website. One reads, “… this article is utterly gratuitous.” Another questions the editor, saying, “I’m curious what possible value or insight the editor thinks this non-story brings to the table.” And last but not least, “I’d hate to live next door (to Darren Wilson). I’d be putting up a big sign NOT ME with an arrow.”
Many of the comments also have a supportive tone for Darren Wilson’s recent marriage to fellow Ferguson police officer, Barbara Spradling.
At the same time, given the tense situation surrounding Officer Darren Wilson and Ferguson and the general tone of the article, many seem to see the story as an effort to further frame Wilson as an uncaring murderer with a badge, free to pursue a happy life despite his shooting and killing Michael Brown.
The location of Wilson’s residence, which he reportedly owns with his new wife, Spradling, is thrown into the New York Times story nonchalantly, as if just another detail of the couple’s new married life and, while not listing the actual address number, Bosman and Robertson do everything but, even detailing that the home is “about a half-hour drive from Ferguson.”
While not as blunt as similar “address reveals,” such as Spike Lee giving out Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman’s supposed address, many see a clear violation of journalistic integrity by Bosman and Robertson. As reporters for a well-known national newspaper, the inclusion of Wilson and his spouse’s home location strikes many as being very dubious.
As for Spike Lee, it ended up that the often criticized filmmaker gave out the wrong address for Zimmerman, instead directing those wishing to harass and/or harm Zimmerman to the home of an elderly couple that ultimately had to flee.
According to the Daily Caller, Twitter was also abuzz with views critical of Bosman and Robertson’s smug release of Darren Wilson’s home location.
Whether or not Bosman and Robertson crossed a journalistic line by publishing the whereabouts of Darren Wilson’s home location is still up for debate, but judging by the online reaction, many readers both for and against an indictment of Darren Wilson feel it was the wrong thing to do.
[Image via Twitter]