Kirby Delauter Kirby Delauter Kirby Delauter Kirby Delauter Kirby Del
You likely haven't heard of Frederick County, Md., councilman Kirby Delauter, and that's exactly the way Kirby Delauter likes it. In a textbook example of the Streisand Effect—which should probably be renamed The Kirby Delauter Effect at this point—Kirby Delauter threatened a local journalist who dared to publish his name.
The reporter, Bethany Rodgers of the Frederick News-Post, gently and respectfully explained that individuals, especially elected officials, are not immune from being covered in the press. Kirby Delauter, a Republican representative from District 5, responded with vague threats of a lawsuit for "using my name unauthorized."
The News-Post backed its reporter and the established fundamentals of journalism in a staff editorial using the strongest possible terms. To wit: "Kirby Delauter. Kirby Delauter. Kirby Delauter" (a headline so perfect that I shamelessly ripped it off here).
They wrote, in part:
Kirby Delauter, an elected official; Kirby Delauter, a public figure? Surely, Kirby Delauter can't be serious? Kirby Delauter's making a joke, right?
Round about then, we wondered, if it's not a joke, how should we now refer to Kirby Delauter if we can't use his name (Kirby Delauter)? Could we get away with an entire editorial of nothing but "Kirby Delauter" repeated over and over again — Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter? OK, imagine we agreed because of temporary madness or something funny in the water that week, how would we reference "Kirby Delauter" and do our job as journalists without running afoul of our lack of authorization?
The whole thing is great and worth a read, especially for the subtle details: the first letters of each paragraph in this masterful work of art spell out, yes, "Kirby Delauter."
Incidentally, the News-Post story that Kirby Delauter was so incensed about is a Jan. 3 piece that features Kirby Delauter and fellow conservative councilmember Billy Shreve making a big fuss about their official parking spaces.
"I did not see his post," Shreve said of Kirby Delauter's Facebook threat, "but I think The News-Post is extremely biased and someone should sue them," Shreve told the News-Post.
That's so Kirby Delauter.