There's a debate in the comments here regarding Michelle Malkin's decision not to remove the press release issued by members of Students Against War, a UC-Santa Cruz activist group.
The press release included the home phone numbers of the students. Zuzu at Feministe says the contact information was included mistakenly and that, when asked to remove the information, Malkin declined to do so. In the comments, meanwhile, Jim Treacher says Malkin denies ever having been asked by the students to remove it.
Both Jim and Darleen Click also point out that it's a press release, which is by definition public, and Jim for one doubts the students would include their contact info "mistakenly." I am inclined to agree on that point, as it's my understanding that when issuing a press release, there's some editorial review before the whole thing is approved for release. I think it's far more likely they DID mean to include it, never expecting to encounter the backlash they received.
But honestly, that's immaterial to me. Here's how I see it:
In the late 1980s sometime--I don't remember the exact year for, um, herbal reasons--I attended an REM concert at a depressing little outdoor venue called the Mesa Amphitheatre. Go ahead and GLORY in the cheesiness of that web site. I dare you. Believe me when I say it doesn't to justice to the cheesiness of the venue itself. And more proof that you shouldn't believe everything you read on the internet: The site's claims to the contrary, Mesa categorically DOES NOT ROCK.
I'm lifting one of the photos from the site because I need to explain something about the setup at the Amphitheatre back then:
See that concrete area down in front of the stage? That used to be a moat.
No, really. A MOAT. FILLED WITH WATER.
Guess where they ran a lot of the electrical cables needed for the lighting, amplifiers, etc.? Did you guess "through the moat?" Did you guess "through the moat filled with water?"
So I'm at this REM show and the crowd's going crazy and people are being assholes and trying to dunk each other in the moat. And Michael Stipe stops the show and goes totally high-school principal on the crowd, telling them that if ONE MORE PERSON goes anywhere near that fucking moat, the band's gonna quit playing THAT INSTANT and walk off the stage and if you don't like it, kids, then STAY THE HELL OUT OF THE MOAT.
And I remember at the time I was righteously indignant. I kept saying to my friend (this guy, actually), "I get what he's saying and I know he had to say it and all, but did he have to be such a dick about it?"
But that was then, when I was a stupid kid. Looking back on it, I realize: Yes, he did. He did have to be that much of a dick about it. It was the only way to make sure no one got electrocuted.
It wasn't REM's fault that the Mesa Amphitheatre had such a dangerous setup. It wasn't REM's fault that the kids were getting too rowdy. And it damn sure wasn't REM's responsibility to try to solve the problem.
Nevertheless, REM was in the best position to solve the problem. The kids would have ignored reprimands by the security staff. They would have ignored reprimands by the stage hands. They would have hooted and jeered at reprimands from the police. But the band threatening to walk off the stage? Oh, that got their attention, you bet.
Coming back around to the Malkin vs. UC-Santa Cruz thing, then: I don't care whether the students meant to put that information on the release or not. I don't care whether Malkin issued a one-line statement saying she doesn't condone death threats. I don't care whether they did or did not ask her to remove the release. But about that, a question: Why wouldn't they ask her? Just to make her look bad? Doesn't that imply they were probably lying about the death threats? But after what's gone on this weekend, do you really think they were lying about the death threats?
What I care about is who's in the best position to put a stop to the nonsense. And there, I think, the answer is "Michelle Malkin." Whether she condones death threats or she doesn't, it appears people were issuing them, and they were able to issue them on the basis of materials she posted and left posted. That puts her in the position of being best able to resolve the matter--whether or not it's her fault and whether or not it's her responsibility.
Sometimes you have to be a hardass to prevent a bad outcome. That's how I see it. You can dicker about who's to blame and who's responsible after you get the kids away from the moat.