On Sunday the Boston Globe published an in-depth article about Whitey Bulger, Catherine Greig, and their life on the run. The second paragraph of this story names the person that tipped the FBI on Bulger and Greig’s whereabouts, which has received – and deserves – criticism. The Boston Globe defended these actions on Tuesday in an editorial, claiming that the name of the tipster was included because the editors were confident that Bulger and Greig already knew who the woman was, and therefore her identity was no longer a secret.
Regardless of what the Globe’s editors believe to be true, it is irresponsible to print a person’s name who could be in serious danger. It is one thing for Bulger and Greig to “probably” know who turned them in – but for the entire world to know – with many people that likely still feel a connection to Bulger – it puts this women’s life in serious risk.
I should also be clear that in no way am I against freedom of the press. But when it comes to risking the safety and security of an innocent person in order to provide details that are unnecessary and not vital to information being shared, details can be held back. I know that I would be perfectly fine not knowing this woman’s name, and I believe the rest of the world would agree with that statement.