Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Media Takes Notice

I have just gotten off the phone. I was talking, for about 15 minutes, with a reporter from the Bend Bulletin newspaper in Bend, Oregon. She is working on a news story and wanted my input.

The story will be about the Kevin Driscoll case, among other things. However, that is not the central focus. As this person expressed it, the "real story" is about the big internet explosion of attention that was brought to bear upon the case . . . not the case itself.

Yes, it appears that we ROCKED THAT TOWN. . . . more than we realize. We made a big splash! We made waves! And we amazed the hell out of a lot of people. . . .

Why, they ain't never seen nothin' like that before in little old Deschutes County, Oregon! It was completely unexpected and it blew their socks off!

The reporter wanted to get some background on all of this, and why it happened. And she identified me (correctly) as a key player. SO. . . I filled her in on the globe-spanning viral network power of the Men's Rights Movement. Clearly we have demonstrated that power. In spades!

The story will be published in the Wednesday edition of the Bend Bulletin. Tomorrow, in other words. I don't yet know if it will be posted online, but I will certainly find out.

8 Comments:

Blogger Keoni Galt said...

Thumbs WAY up, Fidelbogen!

4:23 PM  
Blogger Pete Patriarch said...

Good going Fidel! You're the best!

4:46 PM  
Blogger Gogonostop said...

Most excellent! You are seeing the fruits of your labor. Incredible job, Fidelbogen.

-Gogo

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like I´ve said before..If we stick together on this, we can move mountains!!-We just got to do this everytime we come across such injustice.
Great job, Fidel !!!
-Scandinavia.

2:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It appears that the article is on-line, but a subscription is required to read it. If you could get a copy and post, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

4:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the Bulletin article, don't know where else to post this:

Deschutes rape trial has online following
Thanks to blogs, interest in case has spread far beyond Central Oregon
By Cindy Powers / The Bulletin
Published: November 18. 2009 4:00AM PST

Lawyers gave final arguments Tuesday in a Deschutes County criminal case that has stirred controversy with Internet bloggers and has at least one online reporter slamming prosecutors for bringing the case to trial.

The case against Kevin Dennis Driscoll, 30, first appeared online early this year, after he was charged with three counts of rape and one count each of unlawful sexual penetration, sodomy and assault.

Now, a Google search brings up a list of sites advocating for his innocence.

Information about the Driscoll case has gone viral, meaning it is posted on multiple blogs and Web sites along with commentary, opinion and video of the alleged victim showing her engaging in sexual activity with another man on the night of the incident.

Local prosecutors say it’s the first time they’ve seen a criminal case get this much attention online.

Deschutes County Deputy District Attorney Jody Vaughan argued to a jury Tuesday that Driscoll violently raped a woman in his Redmond home in January after meeting her and a group of others at a bar.

Driscoll invited the group to his house for an after-hours party that included hot tubbing and drinking, Vaughan said.

Driscoll’s defense attorney, Theodore Coran, told the jury that the sex was consensual and said the woman fabricated the story after the incident because she didn’t want to tell her boyfriend what really happened.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

more...

Bloggers contacted for this story declined to be identified but said they considered themselves “men’s rights activists.”

Edward Snook, a reporter with the online and print publication the US-Observer in Grants Pass, said he investigated the case after someone “called it in.” He has since written that the alleged victim in the case is a “loose woman” and criticized the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office for “destroying Kevin Driscoll.”

Snook’s stories do not mention that two separate abuse prevention restraining orders have been issued against Driscoll in favor of two different women, according to Oregon court records. Neither is the alleged victim in the criminal case against him.

The US-Observer has posted a video of the victim, which is not admissible at a criminal trial under Oregon’s rape shield law, showing her sexually touching another man on the night of the alleged rape.

Snook declined to say where he got the video and, when asked about his investigation into the case by The Bulletin, hung up the phone.

The US-Observer Web site indicates that it writes articles for hire, and an online contract shows Snook offers his services for as much as $10,000.

“The US-Observer provides a 100% money-back guarantee on criminal cases should we fail to prove your innocence,” the site reads.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and more...

Deschutes County District Attorney Mike Dugan said that, since the US-Observer has run its stories, he has heard from people as far away as Connecticut criticizing the prosecution of the Driscoll case.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been contacted by someone completely unrelated to Oregon or Deschtues County accusing me of prosecuting an innocent person based solely upon the reporting of one tabloid reporter,” Dugan said.

He said that Vaughan was once a deputy prosecutor in Josephine County, which includes Grants Pass, and that the US-Observer has been critical of her since she worked there.

“It was interesting that, when the US-Observer learned that it was Jody assigned to the case, that they got all ramped up,” Dugan said. “It’s not the case as much as the prosecutor that this US-Observer guy doesn’t like.”

Kyu Ho Youm teaches media law at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and is on the adjunct faculty of its school of law. He said the online attention that the Driscoll case has attracted is “extraordinary.”

“This sort of pushing the envelope of information is now a lot more real than ever,” Youm said. “Especially if you feel strongly about the ongoing controversies, the Internet is seductively tempting but the fundamental question is whether you can step back and say what you are writing is factually correct.”

And regardless of the facts, Youm said accepting money to write a story without disclosing that fact up front is “absolutely unacceptable.”

“Accepting money as a journalist is a terrible violation of the base code of conduct,” he said.

Angela Dundas, of Bend, said she’s been friends with Driscoll for about six years and has never posted anything online before. She looked at Craigslist’s “Rants and Raves” section and started posting because she wanted to tell people her friend was innocent as well as find out any information she could about the alleged victim.

“I just posted a couple of one-liners. It was just venting,” she said. “It was an outlet for me because I didn’t want to freak (Driscoll) out.”

Since she first posted about the case this spring, Dundas, 27, has been contacted by people in Washington, Europe and Australia looking for updates. Dundas said she’s never spoken to Snook, but did have one brief conversation with his son.

She now posts daily updates on the trial, which have been picked up by both U.S. and international bloggers.

“When the trial started, I started writing the updates, and I just kind of shot them off just for information,” she said. “And then people from around the world have been contacting me via Craigslist and e-mail, and so from then on, every day I get home from trial and I do an update. It’s obviously one-sided and my opinion, and I would never apologize for giving one side of the story. It’s our side.”

A 12-person jury is now deliberating on the Driscoll case. Youm said that, even if jurors do read the online blogs and Web sites about the case, they are unlikely to be influenced.

“Generally speaking, once they are serving on the jury, they take that job very seriously,” Youm said. “A judge’s admonition (to ignore media) is taken very seriously.”

9:24 AM  

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