He then cleverly illustrates the ALA's ridiculous use of "slippery slope" arguments that are used to, for example, justify why librarians should allow children access to sexually inappropriate material or why libraries should allow computers to display p0rn despite local interests:
Now, we know what you're thinking: Surely in this case an exception is in order. Revealing the story didn't do Sullenberger any harm, and it was an inspiration to us all. But this is a slippery slope. Today it's Sullenberger, tomorrow no one's privacy will be safe. Maybe the next victim will be some innocent terrorist checking out books on how to make bombs, or a poor pervert who just wants to look at porn. Once you start cutting ethical corners, you're on the way to total moral breakdown. ("This Looks Like a Job for Patrick Fitzgerald," by James Taranto, Wall Street Journal—Best of the Web, 5 February 2009.)
Bravo, Mr. Taranto!
But, Mr. Taranto, the ALA has already decried the violation of a 9/11 terrorist's privacy when de facto ALA leader Judith Krug said she wished library privacy laws had been respected after a Florida librarian reported the terrorist to the police. See "A Nation Challenged: Questions of Confidentiality; Competing Principles Leave Some Professionals Debating Responsibility to Government," by David E. Rosenbaum, The New York Times, 23 November 2001.
And do not forget the library employee fired and the library patron kicked out for reporting child p0rnography on library computers.
How's that for "blatant violation of the ALA's ethics"—or maybe the ALA's leadership had no ethics in the first place.