Kirby Delauter is not having a good week.
A council member of Frederick County, Maryland, he got into an online spat with local reporter Bethany Rodgers, attacking her for “for an unauthorized use of my name” in a “hit piece.”
In a Facebook post on Saturday, Delauter warned the reporter to never again “use my name or reference me in an unauthorized form.”
After Rodgers responded that reporters do not have to seek permission to write about public figures, the councilman simply wrote, “[u]se my name again and you’ll be paying for an Attorney [sic].”
Delauter did not respond to TPM’s messages seeking comment on Tuesday.
On Tuesday afternoon, Rodgers’ paper, the Fredericks News-Post, mercilessly mocked the councilman in an editorial entitled, “Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter.” The newspaper said it was publishing the Sunday editorial early, “in order to garner some feedback.”
“[H]ow should we now refer to Kirby Delauter if we can’t use his name (Kirby Delauter)?” the paper asked. “Could we get away with an entire editorial of nothing but ‘Kirby Delauter’ repeated over and over again — Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter?”
After running through several ideas of how to reference Delauter without using his name (blank spaces, “He Who Shall Not be Named”) the paper took a break from its mockery to offer a serious point.
“Kirby Delauter’s ignorance of what journalism is and does is no joke, and illustrates one disturbing aspect too prevalent in conservatives’ beliefs: That the media are all-liberal stooges hell bent on pursuing some fictional leftwing agenda,” the editorial said.
The article mentioned Kirby Delauter’s name 27 times. It also contained one footnote: the words “Kirby Delauter.”
Finally, as something of an Easter egg for the careful reader, the first letter of each paragraph spelled KIRBY DELAUTER.