Posted by Rojas @ 9:13 pm on October 14th 2013

Complain about underage rape and we burn your house down

The headline refers not to Pakistan but to Maryville, MO. The story itself is not particularly new, nor regrettably is it unusual, but the reporting is especially stellar. Read it and puke.

EDIT: Looks like Anonymous has taken notice. May they rain fire on everyone involved.

9 Comments »

  1. And this. The internet does weird things sometimes.

    Comment by Rojas — 10/14/2013 @ 10:45 pm

  2. And here in the victim’s own words.

    Comment by Rojas — 10/18/2013 @ 9:15 pm

  3. That article really bothers me for reasons I’m not entirely sure I can put my finger on. It is very clearly ghost written, for one, but so much so that I question what level of involvement Daisy Coleman even had in it. It looks for all the world like one of that site’s bloggers with a clear passion for the case just wrote it up themselves, google-stalked to find photos to attach to it, hyper-linked (to their site) extensively in ways that commented more on the debate about the case than the case itself (and certainly more than about Daisy’s first person feelings or account, and waxed poetic to fill any gaps (“just dark, dense silence–and cold” “I burned or cut the ugly into my arms” etc). It honestly looks more like how a blogger for that website would imagine Daisy’s perspective than Daisy’s perspective itself. I would be pretty surprised if Daisy Coleman wrote a single word of that herself.

    If I had to guess, it looks to me like one of that site’s bloggers, playing hack journalist tracked her down (or her mom or someone else), offered the “opportunity” to “tell her own story in her own words”, had a phone conversation to get some specific details, then sat down and wrote the thing themselves. I would not be surprised to find out that Daisy or her mom (or whoever) had no real idea what they were agreeing to and only a faint idea what or where that piece is.

    I know that’s all a complete sidebar to the case, but it’s just been bugging me and makes my skin crawl. Reading between the lines to me it reeks of exploitation and over-zealous agenda-seeking (and scoop-seeking) parading as a first person account from a real human being.

    Could be wrong, of course, but it doesn’t pass the sniff test for me and like I said has been bothering me all day.

    Comment by Brad — 10/20/2013 @ 5:40 pm

  4. Could be. Or maybe she’s an articulate 14-year-old. Let’s keep our eyes open for news about it.

    Comment by Rojas — 10/21/2013 @ 12:37 am

  5. It’s not that exactly – although that’s a huge red flag too – it’s more the perspective. It’s just all very meta and almost…romanticized? That’s not quite the right word, but it seems more like someone at that kind of site’s idea of this person than a human being first person. It just strikes me there’s a lot of perspective-taking going on there. I recognize those kinds of things because I do it myself professionally (taking a bare minimum first person input (if any) and writing first person material from them in some cases where that person may not even know about it), and it just immediately screams out as a really hacky attempt at the same thing. Every single note there hit that way for me.

    I dunno we’ll probably never find out just been bothering me all day.

    Comment by Brad — 10/21/2013 @ 1:22 am

  6. By the by, I should make clear that I don’t believe the account is fabricated, in the sense that I doubt anybody would be flat-out insane enough to write and publish that without any input from Daisy whatsoever. But like I said, what I do believe is that a blogger there likely reached out to her or someone in a position to represent her and pressed for permission to publish a first person account, which they would then largely draw up themselves. In my professional life that would normally entail a background interview (even second hand, from say a chief of staff or in this case a mother or other person in a position to “speak for them”), then original writing (i.e. me or the original writer in this case throwing up a blank word doc, filling it), then perhaps sending back for review/approval before publishing (or maybe not if that was the agreement) – but that’s a very large sliding scale in terms of the level of involvement or even awareness.

    And I think I’ve finally put my finger on why it’s been nagging me so much, independent of my mental running through of what the background relationship might have been between the girl and the site and feelings on that.

    I guess what bothers me most is that this is presumably a pending criminal investigation possibly leading to a case, and it’s also an instance where apparently this girl’s credibility in the community has been (seemingly very unfairly) much maligned. In those cases, it would be generally inadvisable to publish a first person account on a feminist website ANYWAY – and it would be inexcusably reckless to do so ghost written without very, very, very clear and specific plans, review, purpose, etc – well beyond pumping website hits or a generalized agenda.

    I could be wrong of course – this could well be Daisy sitting down and writing her account and popping it off xojane either because she has followed and respected the work they’ve done or because editors there had done the legwork of building a relationship with her and setting ground rules and all the elbow grease a situation like this would demand.

    But everything about it has screamed differently to me.

    Comment by Brad — 10/21/2013 @ 7:37 pm

  7. Maybe published material requires a higher standard of authorship than “active consent”.

    Comment by Rojas — 10/21/2013 @ 7:50 pm

  8. Indeed. I would think that would be true on a quasi-journalistic blog (versus the stuff that I write which is like fundraising letters and internal communications and newsletters and such). I would think that’s ESPECIALLY true in a case like this – indeed I could think of almost no cases that would demand it more.

    None of which validates my hunch, of course, but I think it’s why it’s been bothering me probably more than it should. If it were like a HuffPo column by Alec Baldwin railing against Ted Cruz it wouldn’t even strike me but this is obviously a far far different animal.

    Comment by Brad — 10/21/2013 @ 9:52 pm

  9. Of course given that she’s now making appearances it’s perfectly likely I’m entirely wrong.

    I’ll shut up now in any case.

    Comment by Brad — 10/21/2013 @ 10:38 pm

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