Category Archives: Verbal Assaults

College Gossip

The Associated Press published a report on the New Jersey prosecutors who have subpoenaed records of JuicyCampus.com, a website that publishes anonymous, often malicious, gossip about college students.  For example, the Princeton University (yeah, the Ivy League school) site produces information such as “the most overrated Princeton student” with the commentary mostly filled with name-calling and slurs against homosexuals and Jews.

The New Jersey Attorney General suggests that JuicyCampus may be violating the state’s Consumer Fraud Act by implying that it doesn’t allow offensive material, but then providing no enforcement of that rule, and no way for users to report or dispute the material.

This site has recently expanded to more than 50 colleges, including Pepperdine University in California, whose student government voted overwhelmingly to request  a ban on the site, although the university has a policy against censoring websites. 

The founder of JuicyCampus, Matt Ivester, seemingly is unconcerned about the backlash.  “Like anything that is even remotely controversial, there are always people who demand censorship,” he told the AP.

It is typically disgusting of such types to invoke censorship issues when the true point is accountability and responsibility – concepts that have become four-letter words in American society.  This site, as abominable as it obviously is, is no different from the millions of blogger sites that already exist, full of hate, vitriol, lies, distortions and character assassinations all for the purpose of self-exaltation, power, meanness, and downright evil. 

Our children obviously have learned all too well from the blogosphere and the general media. 

Just the other day, I communicated with a “formerly esteemed” journalism professor (now retired), to question him on a piece he did about me and my “position” on marital infidelity.  He actually admitted that he did not vet the comments that were repeated and repeated all over the web; he admitted that he did not read the entire transcripts of my interviews; he admitted that he did not view the video on his own.  Can you imagine?  It’s like the feathers released from a pillow on a breezy hill – all of them can never be reclaimed.

I predicted that the Internet would further deplete what was left of the dignity of human discourse, as the basest of attitudes and impulses would be set free.  Any suggestion of the benefits of self-control, accountability, truth or fairness are countered with screams of “censorship!”  Defamation, libel, and slander against others are no longer seen as a line crossed, but as an opportunity for fame and money.

“It is not possible for anyone to use this website to find out who you are or where you’re located,” assures a JuicyCampus privacy page.  “We do not track any information that can be used by us to identify you.”

Cowards and evil-doers use these opportunities to spread their traditional ideas and hate as they hide behind “protection,” while those they hurt have no protection at all.

When Personal Horrors Become Family Disasters

     Unfortunately, bad things happen sometimes.  Some of those bad things are forces of nature: hurricanes, mudslides, tornados, earthquakes, and disease.  While life, death, loss, and injury are horrendous experiences to deal with, psychologically we are somewhat more philosophical about these encounters with horror because they aren’t “personal.” 
     “Personal” horrors, on the other hand, include intentional harm to the body, soul, property, psychological well-being and reputation of another for political, egotistical, or financial gain – or for the simple pleasure derived from having the power to destroy.  These experiences turn out to be more difficult to cope with, because they are not seen as “the stuff that could and has happened to anyone.” Continue reading

What Happened to Civility?

This week, I’m turning over my blog to a guest.  A few weeks ago, after a comment I made on-the-air regarding civility, I got an e-mail from Joe Hanlon, whose message I could not improve upon.  So, with his permission, I’ve decided to share his words with you.  Welcome, Joe, our first guest blogger:

Hi, Dr. Laura!

Long-time listener, first time emailer.  Well, I try to listen as much as I can, but as a math teacher, I’m usually a tad busy when you are on the air.  I catch the last ten minutes of your show on XM a lot.

I caught those last ten minutes today, and heard your comments on civility.  As usual, my reaction to your commentary was “Right on!”  The Internet IS ruining civility by allowing people to say the rudest things under the cover of anonymity and just because they can.  Programs like “The View” foster incivility because rudeness garners ratings and makes money.  The problem is that incivility is oozing out from television and the Internet into everyday discourse, often resulting in harsher, and sometimes physical, incivility. Continue reading

Don Imus’ Verbal Assault… But What About The Others?

It is understandable that I have received a lot of inquiries about my reaction to Don Imus’ problem, as I am also a radio talk show host (32 years) who has taken flack for “objections” to my point of view.

The main problem with Imus’ comments is that they were in no way taken out of context – they were a direct assault on a group of women for whom the words did not match the reality.  In fact, as a woman, and as a woman often under public attack, I am so very proud of the statement given by one of the Rutgers University basketball players: Continue reading