The Knuckleheads of the Day award
Today's winners are three Gannett Inc. Florida Newspapers(The Pensacola News-Journal, Florida Today and The Ft. Myers News-Press) plus the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. They get the award for the following.
A battle between open government and individual privacy resumes Tuesday in federal appeals court as The News-Press and other Florida newspapers seek access to hurricane relief records.The waste done by FEMA is well chronicled in the press already. What bugs me is the MSM wanting to know everyone's business here. Why not just sue to see every payout to any Florida citizen for anything? There is waste in government in other departments besides FEMA. Waste done on a daily basis.
Three Gannett Inc. newspapers and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel want the government to disclose who got federal aid and how much after four hurricanes battered Florida in 2004. A federal judge denied the request in November. The case now will be heard in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.
"This is a real test of whether everything in government is a privacy issue," said Charles Davis, executive director of the Freedom of Information Center at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
The News-Press, Pensacola News Journal and Florida Today, all owned by Gannett Inc., contend access to the records is needed to examine the Federal Emergency Management Agency's performance in handing out billions of dollars in aid to hurricane victims. The News-Press and other media uncovered government waste and fraud in the wake of the 2004 storms.
The government argues identifying people who received FEMA help is a violation of their privacy rights.
Tena Friery, of the San Diego-based Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, agrees. If the list of names and addresses were published, people could be targets of scammers or con artists, she said.
"I don't know what public interest would outweigh the privacy issue," Friery said.
U.S. District Court Judge John Steele in Fort Myers sided with the government in November 2005. Disclosing the information, he wrote, would be a "clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."
FEMA, which has spent more than $40 billion in taxpayer money since 2004 to aid storm victims, came under fire for botched relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina.
No these newspapers want to invade the lives of Florida citizens, mine included. This is just one more sick perverse incident involving the Florida MSM. We have pedophile newspapers, another paper insulting fathers on Father's day and another paper wrongly posting the photo of someone as a child molester and not bothering to issue an apology. Gannet and the Sun-Sentinel are busy bodies that should be told to take a flying leap by both the judge and their subscribers. There is some evidence newspapers can't keep readers right now.
For wanting to invade the privacy of the citizens of Florida, Gannet Inc and the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel are today's Knuckleheads of the day.
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