The New York Times Published Darren Wilson's Address [Update]

On Monday, The New York Times published a piece about Darren Wilson’s marriage, also publishing his “home address”. That last part was not actual news, but major news outlets are criticizing the publication for not apologizing the right way.

The Washington Post points out that the paper published not only the town in which Wilson lives, but also the street on which he and his wife reside. But here’s the thing, when reached for comment, an editor at the times defended the decision stating that the address has been circulated before, a fact that even The Washington Post admits is true.

Here’s what WaPo had to say:

The Post on Aug. 15 published an article on Wilson shortly after his name surfaced as the officer who’d killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. It noted the presence of “[d]ark blue unmarked police cars were parked outside his house” and mentioned the street name. A number of other outlets also traded in information about Wilson’s residence and it has been circulated on the Internet, of course.
When asked whether the standard for publication of a street name is whether others have already revealed it, Corbett replied, “We would have to look at the issue case by case. But if you’re considering whether to withhold information from a story, the question of whether that information is widely available or has been previously reported would certainly be a factor to consider.”

So why then is everyone so angry? Sure, it might me a misstep at this time — considering the protests and civil unrest — but is it ethically incorrect? And does anyone, including publications that have printed the street name before have any cause to blame “anything that happens to Wilson” on The New York Times?

The Times did publish a correction, removing a photo of Wilson’s marriage license in order to cut out information that could be seen as inflammatory, but that doesn’t seem to be good enough for Fox News’ Howard Kurtz, who calls this a reckless move (which is also something no one has ever accused Fox of being.)

Update: As pointed out by several commenters, The New York Times did not publish Wilson’s current address. He has since vacated the street listed in the paper, so the address is not current (although he does own the house). The Times, did, however, print and remove his marriage license.

Image via ABC

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