WFMZ, Channel 69 News, is on a witchhunt to out “Anna Karina.” She is the anonymous blogger behind thestolzreport, a blog on WordPress which disclosed that East Penn School District Director Julian Stolz was dating underage teen girls. Reporter Jaccii Farris has been contacting various people accusing them of being Anna Karina based on supposed anonymous tips. Her approaches have been hostile and every person she has threatened has correctly responded with a denial.
Why is WFMZ pursuing this? I left a voice mail this morning for News Director Brad Rinehart but he has chosen not to respond to my inquiry.
People choose to blog anonymously for important motivations. Many would lose their full time jobs if their blogging identities were known. In this case one reason Anna has chosen to use a pseudonym is due to Julian Stolz’s litigiousness. His record of threatening and intimidating those who dare oppose him is also a reason some parents opted not to confront at Monday’s school board meeting. Three people who attended that meeting were accused by Farris yesterday of being Karina.
Outing anonymous bloggers is bad form and bad journalism. It is also unethical. Truly anonymous bloggers, those who go to great lengths to conceal their real identities (as opposed to those who simply pretend to be anonymous when it suits them) do so for the same reasons as some sources choose to remain anonymous. Are we, as bloggers, to then hire private investigators to go after WFMZ’s sources?
The identity of Anna Karina isn’t the next progression for this story. Discovering why the Lehigh County DA didn’t investigate is one of them as are pursuits into finding out if Stolz actually did violate criminal statutes. His challenge to go to the police with any proof is a dare. This is what Ms. Farris should be pursuing. I have inquiries in at Teenspot.com to verify Stolz’s claim as to why his JulStol profile got banned there. Fining other teen dating sites and/or apps where he might have trolled for underage girls is yet another possible investigative pursuit.
If Dateline NBC had caught Julian texting, chatting or arriving at a teen’s home he’d have been arrested on the spot. He contacted one underage girl in Texas. Under that state’s law any discussion involving sex would be criminal. I cannot imagine why a district attorney or police department would not conduct a full investigation based on what we know publicly from Stolz’s chats and statements. He claims to only “have slept with two of them.” Which two and were they underage? If he even talked about having sex he violated the law. If he got oral sex or fondled a girl he broke the law. His actions scream for a full investigation. His penchant for chatting, texting, and IM’ing leaves a wealth of factual information to determine whether he is a pedophile who preyed on young, troubled girls.
These are the stories WFMZ should be pursuing, not an unethical inquiry into a truly anonymous blogger.
Update: After writing this WFMZ contacted me. News Director Brad Rinehart and reporter Jaccii Farris said Julian Stolz is claiming that Anna took chats and conversations of his out of context. They are pursuing Karina to discuss those issues and determine her credibility as a source. I explained to them why some bloggers choose anonymity and that I have used contributors who chose anonymity. Heck, sometimes I wish I was anonymous when powerful politicians take issue with things I expose about them. I don’t have a job at stake however and choose to write openly.
Update II: A teacher at Emmaus High School contacted the District Attorney’s office approximately five weeks ago about Stolz’s contacting underage girls through Teenspot. That office did nothing about the case. Today a detective spoke with “Anna” about the case and she doesn’t believe they are investigating. Why? There’s too much smoke here not to have fire somewhere.