​Why is VP Pence's Wife's ​Private ​E-mail​ address still published by AP? - iMediaEthics

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The AP published Karen Pence's private AOL e-mail address. (Credit: Wikipedia)

Vice President Mike Pence called for the Associated Press to apologize after publishing his wife Karen’s personal e-mail address. “Last night the @AP published my wife’s private email address, violating her privacy and our security,” Pence tweeted, adding, in a separate tweet, that the AP wouldn’t remove her e-mail from its report.

The AP stated in an e-mail to iMediaEthics it “stands by its story, which addresses important transparency issues.” This raises the question: Is publishing a private e-mail address offering “transparency” or is it a violation of a public figure’s privacy?

Pence also tweeted a letter from Counsel to the Vice President Mark R. Paoletta to AP president Gary Pruitt. Paoletta said the Pence’s AOL e-mail was still “active” and that when Pence’s representatives contacted the AP, the AP “seemed surprised.”‘

iMediaEthics notes the original article still contains Mrs. Pence’s e-mail address. iMediaEthics contacted the AP to ask for a response to Pence’s complaints and if AP did check to see if Mrs. Pence’s e-mail was still active before publication. We also asked to confirm that the AP will leave the e-mail address in the original report but not publish it in future stories.

Associated Press spokesperson Lauren Easton responded to iMediaEthics by email: “AP removed the email address from subsequent stories after learning Mrs. Pence still used the account. The AP stands by its story, which addresses important transparency issues.”

How does AP reconcile the contradiction of its actions? It says it continues, for transparency’s sake, to keep her email published in its first story yet, at the same time, removed her email address “from subsequent stories,” an action of admission it was wrong to have published it in the first place? We are writing to the AP to ask.

Further, in his letter to the AP, Paoletta claimed that publishing Karen Pence’s e-mail address “subjected her to vitriolic and malicious emails and raised serious security concerns,” and that there was no newsworthy reason for publication.

“Your organization was unwilling to retract the story, issue a correction, or even redact the e-mail from the story,” he went on. “Your organization should apologize to Mrs. Pence for violating her privacy.”

Karen Pence’s AOL e-mail address was included in the AP’s March 3 story, “Pence fought against releasing records as Indiana governor.”

The article reported that as Indiana governor, Mike Pence used his private AOL e-mail account for state business, and that the e-mail account had been hacked. The report was based on public records requests for the e-mail account.

The AP reported that Mike and Karen Pence both used the AOL e-mail addresses “to conduct official business dating back to at least 2013, according to separate records obtained by the AP.” The AP noted that Mike Pence stopped using the AOL account the AP reported on because he changed e-mails.

Below, see Vice President Pence’s tweets about the matter. iMediaEthics tweeted Pence to ask for further comment about the AP’s actions.


UPDATED: 3/6/2017 9:54 AM EST

UPDATED: 3/8/2017 10:03 AM EST To note we contacted Pence.

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​Why is VP Pence’s Wife’s ​Private ​E-mail​ address still published by AP?

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