Dardenne Prairie, Mo (The Weekly Vice) - The Megan Meier Tragedy has sparked an activist culture of those who vehemently demand justice for Megan Meier to anyone and everyone who will listen.
Via countless blogs, city official telephones and even Lori Drew's own home, the message is coming through loud and clear. Something about this story has compelled many to take to the Internet and express their views strongly and often.
Now, a counter-culture is beginning to emerge to combat what seems to many to be a pretty straight forward issue. Small groups are beginning to push back against the tide of people who are looking for heads to roll in the Megan Meier case. Some who feel that the outing of Lori Drew perhaps went too far.
The naming of Lori Drew has sparked quite a debate indeed. Some major news services have chosen to name the perpetrator(s) behind this story such as the New York Times . Others have chosen not to. They all agree fairly conclusively that the blogging community should shoulder the 'blame' for revealing the name of the adult stalker who lured Megan into the downward spiral that inevitably claimed her life.
The only question I have in this debate is simple. What is new here? Since before the French Revolution, the media has been used to 'out' individuals who's actions seem to bear public relevancy in some way. Turn on any cable news channel and simply wait. It will be a matter of minutes before some poor soul's identity churns through the 24 hour news cycle until the story reaches it's saturation limit.
Although Lori Drew has not been charged in the case of Megan Meier, the media has never required formal charges to be made before running a story. Sometimes journalist like Dan Rather, run with stories before even confirming that they're true.
Media establishments who have chosen to NOT reveal Lori Drew's identity say they are doing so to protect the identity of the Drew's children.
I'm wondering if by doing this, the media plans to always withhold the names of interesting persons who outrage the community, if those persons have children. This would certainly be quite a ground-breaking event.
The media would have to reverse dozens of stories it is now airing, where the subject in the story has not yet been charged with a crime. Media outlets would have to completely rewrite it's entire objective of "bringing you the story first" to "bringing you the story only if the perpetrator has no children."
The media has earned it's reputation as the "drive by media" for a reason. It thoughtlessly reveals the names of anyone it deems newsworthy on almost every subject, in it's relentless bid to get the 'exclusive rights' to a story or simply gain market share.
Right at this moment, there is a story of a cop who is under investigation in the strange death of one wife and the disappearance of another. The cop in the story has a family. He has not yet been charged with any crime, yet the media has divulged his name and occupation for weeks. Visit the man's home and you'll see a media caravan that stretches on for blocks. Does his family deserve any less respect than Lori Drew's?
The Vice could go back and list thousands of stories where the media felt no shame in delivering the names and occupations of individuals that were later exonerated of any wrong-doing. The vice is aware of no instance where the same media later apologized to the family who it unfairly plastered across every screen and newspaper in the country. They simply dropped the story like a hot potato and grabbed the next name that promised higher ratings..
Don Henley's 1980's pop hit "Dirty Laundry" certainly nails it on the head rather well I think. The hypocrisy here is so well documented over decades of story telling, that simply opening tomorrow's newspaper easily confirms the silliness of it.
The Vice has concluded that naming Lori Drew was legitimate news. She is a primary subject of the story, is not a rape victim, and is not a minor. Identifying her breaks no new ground, nor does it deviate from what news outlets do on a daily basis.
The Vice also reminds readers that her name and her role in the Megan Meier tragedy were documented as public record. A public record that Lori filed on her own accord. This is a critically important fact in this case.
News outlets, bloggers and the general public were handed Lori's name and Lori's own self admissions when she herself filed that police report and sought to elevate the severity of the situation that had developed between her and the Meier family.
Had Lori Drew simply acknowledged what she did was wrong, and apologized - the police report that identified her may have never been filed, and the entire situation may have well been kept at the lowest profile.
The real story here may not even be about Megan Meier. It may simply be another example of why the Golden Rule has endured the many years it's been repeated. Do unto others, as you'd have them do unto you.
Will we see the media write about this? Not likely, it has new stories and new names to broadcast, that can't wait. photo credit CNN
The Weekly Vice