“Feel free to pay this murdering asshole a visit at his home at XXXXXXXXX.. Don’t forget to bring your hunting gear. Can’t make it then send some mail to him and his wife XXXXXX. She loves animal killers! His wife is one of the owners of XXXXXXXXX, a customs broker in North Dakota. His daughter is XXXXXX (Palmer) and she can be reached at her company XXXXXXXXX. He also has vacation home at XXXXXXXXX.”
—– “Is,” an attempted, but immediately banned, Ethics Alarms commenter to the post about Walter Palmer, the big game-hunting dentist who inadvertently ended up shooting a popular and well-known lion rather than a random, everyday, mount-his-head-on-the-wall lion, as if it makes any real difference at all. The X’s cover up personal information about the Palmers, as this vicious and anonymous creep attempted to use this blog to facilitate organized harassment and possibly violence.
It has been pointed out, fairly and accurately, that while people like Mia Farrow are trying to get Palmer killed—she tweeted out the same information I deleted above– because he was unlucky enough to be tricked into killing a lion-icon, the media is barely covering serial videos showing the dead-eyed callousness of the Planned Parenthood officials who facilitate and encourage the abortion, for any reason, of unborn human beings. The same sensitive, compassionate progressives who are trying to get Palmer murdered (PETA has stated that he should be hanged) are shrugging off human carnage that is exactly as legal as the activity that Walter Palmer thought he was engaging in. One old lion versus a million nascent human beings, trying to live. Thus does selective outrage approach madness.
Internet vigilantism is indistinguishable from other forms of mob violence in which single individuals, perhaps individually reasonable and ethical, are swept up into violent eruptions of passion, and surrender all moderation, consideration, prudence, fairness, sympathy, rationality—and of course The Golden Rule—in order to experience the unique joy of destroying another human being’s life. The law has not caught up with this vile and dangerous behavior yet, but it will: it will have to. A mantra here is that when ethics fail, the law steps in. Ethics is failing on the internet, whether it is the New Black Panthers’ hunting George Zimmerman and Spike Lee tweeting assistance to the hunters, or whether it is PETA espousing murder and Mia Farrow attempting to assist.
To state what should be obvious to the non-ideologically deranged: Palmer, if he broke the law, will face the law. His dental patients who choose their dentists by whether they approve of their dentist’s hobbies—you know, crazy people—will seek different care for their teeth. Dr. Palmer has–I hope—been thoroughly shamed by the publicity surrounding his botched hunt and cruel idea of fun, and if he is regarded by many as an asshole, as Ethics Alarms declared him, good. Obnoxious actions should have consequences. However, such consequences must be proportionate to the actions, and trying to facilitate harm to Palmer’s life, business and family members is far worse—more cruel, more unethical, more harmful—that shooting any lion, popular or not.
If you like, please explain that to email@example.com, the owner of which apparently wrote the comment above.* Ethics Alarms doesn’t publish the e-mails of commenters, but I take this one’s eagerness to publicize the contact information of Mr. Palmer as a waiver of that obligation on my part. I take his (her?) conduct to mean that sufficiently unethical conduct in the judgment of others eliminates one’s right to be left alone. I vehemently disagree, but those are his rules, not mine, and in this case, not to be regarded as precedentiary, I choose to adopt them. Similarly, I would not blame Lindsey Graham if he announced Donald Trump’s cell phone number, though I applaud him for not doing so.
If I misconstrued your intent, “Is,” I am so sorry.
* You can read why I believe this is fair, ethical and necessary here.