January 12, 2006

There’s some very interesting discussion going on over at Colleen Doran’s blog about the Buzzscope column read ‘round the world. In the comments, Doran offers some clarification on the details of the incident as they were originally described, based on her conversations with the victim:

“Case in point: ‘the head of an organization’. That’s not only not true, that is going to make a lot of people start looking at the roughly, oh two or three people in the industry that could mean. And it’s none of those people.

“I was originally given the impression that the man had a good deal of power and influence and was an ‘elder statesman’, but that is simply not the case. My principal concern is how this matter is being framed, and how this will be dealt with in a court of law. If we devolve into hyperbole and statements are made that cannot be verified, then this is going to be an utter mess that will do no one any good at all.

“Whether she decides to make a public statement later or not, in the end, the lawyers are going to handle this and they are going to be picking over every single comment made on the internet and attributed to her as the source.”

That’s what I was worried about. That and speculation as to who the perpetrator was, which is already underway at a couple of sites, in spite of the fact that the “clues” from the original column may be inaccurate. For example, there’s this part of a comment from Katherine Keller of Sequential Tart:

“Interesting. Because yeah, based on the phrases about major comics charity which helps artists and head of organization, I’ll just go ahead and say what everybody else who knows anything about comics was thinking based on those statements about major charity:

“The FOL, ACTOR, and the CBLDF.

“Based on the fact that the initial report said “man”, we can then rule out the FOL, which cuts the list of heads down to (edited by Colleen> I don’t even want anyone naming any names as a matter of conversation. It’s making my hair go the wrong way).”

Mine, too. But Keller brings up a number of good (and often depressing) points, not least of which is:

“Because in addition to skewing the case, this is exactly the sort of thing the asshats of the world will seize on to ‘prove’ that sexual harassment reports are just a bunch of hysterical histrionic Chicken Little women crying out that the sky is falling.”

If you’ve been following this story, you should definitely take a look.