Kirby Delauter objected to an article by Bethany Rogers published in the Frederick News Post on January 3rd. The original story related to a conflict between council members over parking space assignments.
The source of the threat was found on a Facebook post written by the council member (captured by the Washington Post):
The Frederick News Post responded with an editorial titled “Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter.”
“Discernibly, though,” the editorial reads, “Kirby Delauter’s ignorance of what journalism is and does is no joke, and illustrates one disturbing aspect too prevalent in conservatives’ beliefs: That the media are all-liberal stooges Hell bent on pursuing some fictional leftwing agenda.”
The beginning of each paragraph in the tongue-in-cheek editorial spells out the name “Kirby Delauter.”
Twitter immediately responded with a raft of pop-culture references, where the hashtag #KirbyDelauter trended:
This story and the paper’s reaction just keep getting better and better #KirbyDelauter http://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/politics_and_government/kirby-delauter-kirby-delauter-kirby-delauter/article_da85d6f4-fa3c-524f-bbf6-8e5ddc0d1c0a.html …
The scenario is seen by some to be an illustration of the “Streisand Effect,” where an attempt to censor information backfires and attracts more attention to the would-be censor. It was named after the singer Babara Streisand after she sued a photographer in 2003 over photographs of a coastline which identified her home. The lawsuit attracted more attention to her home.
Bethany Rogers, the journalist at the centre of the Kirby Delauter threat had the final say on Twitter: