A memoir of the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden is planned for release September 11, 2012, unless the government decides that it reveals classified information. No Easy Day, is written by a former Navy SEAL team leader using the pseudonym Mark Owens. Shortly after the release of this information, Fox News exclusively reported the name of the former Navy SEAL and his current whereabouts, causing a backlash in the media about the decision to reveal the name.
Considering the subject matter, the publisher stresses that the choice to publish under a pseudonym was strictly because of concerns over “personal security.” Some media outlets, such as Reuters report that the author was identified, but choose not to reprint his name or where he lives.
Fox News executive John Moody released a statement defending their decision to broadcast the name saying, “Once you write a book, anonymously or not, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy.” However, Fox News was not the only journalistic organization with this information. CBS anchor Scott Pelley interviewed the author for 60 Minutes and agreed to blur his face and disguise his voice, respecting his desire for anonymity.
Fear of reprisal for the historic mission aside, the author also has to fear a new investigation into the book and possible punishment if any classified details were disclosed. Reaction from the military community has been mixed. Some decry Fox News for what they see as irresponsibly releasing the author’s name. Others, call into question the author’s motives and saying he is (at worst) “a traitor” and (at best) hounding for glory. Currently pre-orders for the book pushed it to #2 on the Amazon Bestseller List.
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