Media ethicist argues public should know author's name of Bin Laden book
FILE - In this Dec. 24, 1998 file hoto, al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden speaks to a selected group of reporters in mountains of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan A person familiar with developments said Sunday, May 1, 2011 that bin Laden is dead and the U.S. has the body. (AP Photo/Rahimullah Yousafzai) Image by AP
MILWAUKEE- The name of the Navy SEAL, who wrote the controversial new book about the Osama Bin Laden raid, has been made public.
The Navy SEAL wrote the book under a pseudonym -- "Mark Owen" -- but FOX News reported the SEAL's real name.
According to Al Tompkins, a media ethicist at the Pointer Institute, the author should have realized the inherit risk of his name being revealed when writing a novel first-hand.
"This isn't like being a source to another person writing a book," argued Tompkins to Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure." "In this case, he stepped up, wrote a book under his own name -- he had to know the risk."
"Mark Owen" wanted to write the book under that name to protect himself against any sort of retaliation for his role in the raid.
Tompkins acknowledges why "Owen" wanted to do that, but believes "Owen" did the book's audience a disservice by not revealing his real name.
"If you know who wrote (a story)...then the story becomes even more interesting and more believable," said Tompkins.
Tompkins suggested that if "Owen" didn't want the risk of having his name revealed, he should have hired someone else to write the story and put their name on the book.
"No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden," is due to come out on the anniversary of 9/11.