Monday, December 10, 2007

Lori Drew: The Increasing Victimization of Lori Drew

"Quick! Somebody get me the paint ball!"

Another post from another "good" blogger at, who also writes for the appropriately-named "Babble".

The only saving grace for her is that, Lord knows, she was probably just looking for a "fresh angle" to the now-familiar story of Megan Meier's suicide.

To set the tone and show that she's just as objective as the "tribal" people she's writing about, Ada Calhoun throws in "chilling", "shunning" and the aforementioned "tribal".

Lori Drew gets to be once again portrayed as an innocent victim, the Internet gets to be scary and Ada gets to act detachedly--dare we say it?--outraged.

'Megan' Blog Leads To More Attacks on Drews

Just when things seem to be slowing down with the Megan Meier story, that "Megan Had It Coming" blog shows up and (despite the fact that Lori Drew's lawyer has denied Drew wrote it) the outrage at the Drews escalates again.

Now on AOL News is this chilling report of the family's neighborhood, which has become almost "tribal" in its systematic shunning of the Drews: "It's like they used to do in the 1700s and 1800s. If you wronged a community, you were basically shunned. That's basically what happened to her," said Trevor Buckles, a 40-year-old who lives next door to the Drews.
The neighbors, who in the words of Drew's attorney, Jim Briscoe, are "afraid to approach the Drews out of fear", here are portrayed as Drew's tormentors.
Some of what's been done, according to the report: Last December, after neighbors learned of the Internet hoax, someone threw a brick through a window in the Drew home. A few weeks ago, someone made a prank call to police reporting that there had been a shooting inside the Drew's house, prompting squad cars to arrive with sirens flashing.
Someone recently obtained the password to change the Drew's outgoing cell phone recording, and replaced it with a disturbing message. Police would not detail the content.

Clients have fled from Drew's home-based advertising business, so she had to close it. Neighbors have not seen Drew outside her home in weeks.
Ada has left at least one of her readers wondering: which is it?

Are the neighbors "afraid to approach the Drews", as Jim Briscoe says?

Are the neighbors willingly staying away from the Drews in a shunning spree?

Or are the neighbors willingly approaching the Drews to attack them as Ada's post here relates?

Or, "none of the above", since neighbors haven't seen Lori Drew "in weeks"?

And what's a good Lori Drew victimization piece without a obligatory "Power of the Evil Internet" sighting.

Ms. Calhoun doesn't disappoint.
And that's nothing compared to the invective being hurled via the Internet, according to The Age:
As the story gain more attention, Internet avengers took matters into their own hands. They plastered photos of the Drews and Ashley, their addresses, phone numbers and email details over the internet including on sites like People You'll See in Hell and Rotten Neighbors. Local businesses that advertised in Lori Drew's coupon book business have also been harangued and targetted with boycott threats.

Just think: without a legal system, all such immorality would still be punished in this way, with social control. How lucky we are that we don't need to avenge all wrongs with bricks through windows and can use lawsuits instead. If only there were a law in place that could bring some justice for the Meiers, maybe the neighbors wouldn't feel such a need to take matters into their own hands. Then again, it's such an ugly story, maybe even the involvement of the court system wouldn't satisfy the angry mobs?
Well, Ada does say it's a "mob", but she shows considerable restraint in not using the hackneyed "vigilante".
Who started "Josh Evans" in the first place? Tell me again.

Here's a question or two for all the "Victimization of Lori Drew"-mongers plying their trade, wherever better journalistic theories are sold.

When is it "mob" actions--with or without the veneer of uber-offended sensibilities--and when is it people venting? Haven't we heard so much about "getting it out"?

Or is that just when they agree with the issue being discussed?

Fourteen months on, after the Megan Meier suicide, let's tote up that angry mob's despicable, dastardly dirty deeds.

In this corner: one brick, one paintball on the side of a house, one crank call, one cell phone jobbed, one set of tire tracks across the yard. The last were by the dead girl's father. Clue me in, Ms. Calhoun, is he part of your mob?

That was unclear.

In fact, no one outside the neighborhood even knew about Megan Meier and her suicide until a month ago. The Meier family told the neighbors to stay calm and "let the system work". It was when neighbors felt the system was jobbing them, the parents and the memory of a little girl and the circumstances surrounding her death, that the reactions got testy.

Try to work that into your story next time, "Weep for the Internet" writers.

In the other corner: one mother who "solely instigated and monitored" an on-going 6-weeks-long harassment of a 13-year-old girl. "Even when the conversations turned sexual, she didn't shut down the account".

Gee Ada, looks like your mob's gonna have trouble handling the Brady Bunch. We better get these people some proper pitchforks and torches, so they can do the job right. Whatcha say?

I'll chip in. I'm a giver.

Historical note for Ada Calhoun: before the courts, in the West, we had vendettas and wergeld: blood money or life for a life. That's what kept down the mobs then, Ada.

As kings expanded their power over the surrounding countryside, various tribes, groups and peoples exchanged their demand for wergeld for the promise that the king's courts would mete out an impartial justice for all.

When the king's courts failed to mete out justice or consider a case, people sought their own justice in those areas, until the courts were able to hold up their end of the bargain again.

America's courts are far more extensive than the king's were. But the concept remains the same: when people feel the courts aren't doing their job, they start making noise.

Before the next drive-by journalist gets all gooey about this being more "Power of the Evil Internet": no one visited any violence on the person of any of the Drew's--either physical, emotional or spiritual. No one, outside the Drew's own neighborhood, did anything except make some phone calls to some advertisers.

Are suggestions that maybe the advertiser's money to Ad Vantage might have been better spent on something other than a fake MySpace account too much?

This increasingly insipid moral equivalency masquerading as meditative journalism is getting to be tiresome and formalistic.

If Ada Calhoun agreed that there was an injustice done to anyone other than Lori Drew--whom Ada seems to have taken under her wing--might she have called any actions on the Internet "activism" and "people getting involved"?

There has been plenty of outrage; disgust, shock and disdain have all made their appearance, too.

Calhoun would have us believe that it's mindless, undirected, primal, "tribal".

It's not.

It's directed at the story of a woman and her attorney scrambling to distance her from her actions. That might be understandable.

If only.

If only once, during these last 14 months, anyone had ever heard the words "I'm sorry" escape the lips of the one person Ada chooses to take under her journalistic protection, that outcry might have been muted.

If only.

There have been stories aplenty accusing Lori Drew of being a "helicopter parent".

I guess Ada's right: the "mob" ought to not expend all of its outrage on "Lori Drew, helicopter parent"

The "mob" might save a drop of that disdain for helicopter journalists.

by Mondoreb



Death by 1000 Papercuts Front Page.

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