I’m in the WSJ today

I’m in the WSJ today

I got a mention in the Wall Street Journal today. They have an article (behind the subscriber wall, unfortunately) called “Leak Chic.” It’s about the new phenomenon of everyone wanting to be a “leaker,” “tipster,” or whistleblower. And then there are so many more outlets, including blogs, to get those tips and leaks published. Here’s the relevant part about me:

More and more, though, it’s not just celebrities whose lives are affected by tattling, but private citizens with little claim to (or desire for) fame. Teresa Kettelkamp works for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops overseeing programs dealing with sexual abuse. Her quiet life was upended in September after she wrote a memo to some bishops about speaking to children about sexual abuse.

First, someone anonymously leaked the memo to Domenico Bettinelli Jr., the editor of a Catholic magazine and Web site. Mr. Bettinelli posted excerpts of the memo, taking issue with her point of view—and listing her cellphone number. One reader wrote in to Mr. Bettinelli’s site, claiming that Ms. Kettelkamp, a former police colonel, was affiliated with a police organization that supports abortion rights. More than two months later, she’s still receiving angry phone calls. A spokesman for Ms. Kettelkamp says the episode reflects “the price of doing business in our world today.”

I would exactly call Kettelkamp a “private citizen.” She’s not a celebrity, sure, but she is the head of the Office for Child and Youth Protection of the US bishops’ conference, a high profile post to be sure. And it’s not like I sought out and listed her cellphone number. She put that information—along with all the rest of her contact information—on the memo herself, and I just posted the whole memo. The cellphone number was not in the excerpts I originally posted.

And Kettelkamp’s affiliation with an arm of the Feminist Majority Foundation is not merely a claim. It was posted for all the world to see on the FMF’s web site. All someone had to do was Google her name and find it.

A good report though

Overall, though, I’m not unhappy with the story. I received a call from the reporter several weeks ago about this story. She told me it was about people leaking tips to bloggers and she wanted to pursue what she thought was a leak, but really wasn’t. She thought the news about Fr. Walter Cuenin visiting the schismatic church in Rochester, NY, was a leak, when it was just someone sending me a copy of the parish bulletin, so I was the one who suggested the Kettelkamp affair was more accurately a leak situation. We talked about it for some time, and then she said she’d call me back to fact-check and to her credit she did that yesterday. She made a change that I thought was a good one. She had originally referred to the memo as being about sex education. While I refer to the programs as “safe environment sex education”, I said that without the context, people would be left with the wrong impression, so she changed it to sex abuse. Good for her.

Technorati Tags: