The other night, I wrote about the coverage that Mary Gowans’ case has received from the Toronto Star. It’s below this post if you haven’t read it yet. Or, here.
Well, Gowans has been acquitted. The judge found that the accuser, an 18-year-old former student, made claims that were contradictory and that which contradicted fact.
The acquittal wasn’t enough to stop Rosie DiManno from going judgement-crazy on Gowans. DiManno regurgitated her column from Sept. 14, today, post-verdict.
DiManno, at one point writing. like. this. to. make. a. point. of. how. little. she. thinks. of. Gowans., continues her character assassination of the woman as if she were found guilty.
She oozes word upon word re-accusing (and re-victimizing) Gowans, post-verdict.
She frames her column in such a way that both paints Gowans as immature, idiotic, a sexual predator and a pedophile, while carefully adding a caveat to each characterization that it’s being said by her accuser (like, adding “he said” to each damming sentence as if it nulls the content somehow).
Yes, the accuser who a judge didn’t believe.
On the subject of a claim made by the boy/man (he’s 18 so…man I guess), the queen of virtue DiManno writes, “She professes to have been blind to their adoration [her fake breasts] and clueless about the complainant’s mooning obsession with her. Such unawareness beggars belief.”
Her column is sick and, while it may satisfy some of DiManno’s fans, is totally unfair to Gowans, the facts of the trial and to the quality of journalism in general.
I can’t understand the psychology of a writer like DiManno: why must she so viciously attack Gowans, again? It’s clear: Gowans made some supremely obtuse calls. Her life’s been destroyed and she’s been acquitted. Why does DiManno continue after her?
My frustration with DiManno and the coverage of this case in general is twofold.
First, with a shortage of women columnists in Canada, the ones who do exist carry an extra heavy burden to write well. Unfortunately, the mainstream press has forced some of the least capable and least able to discern what is column worthy, into the mix of the man-heavy pile. With so few women columnists out there, why waste a precious Toronto Star column on publicly executing a woman who’s been acquitted?
My second frustration is that the Toronto Star and all other Canadian media outlets are dangerously lacking intelligent comment about the many issues that are actually threatening us all. Surely DiManno has better things to write about. Surely there’s an editor at the Star who can take her aside and ask her to try something new…to avoid the gratuitous, self-pleasure of writing a 1,205-word crucifixion and try commenting on, oh I don’t know, nearly anything else.
Gowans isn’t a threat to public safety. She’s not a politician. She’s not even a teacher any more. There’s no reason to give her this kind of negative attention. Watching this trainwreck only makes those of us whose lives are not in total shambles feel better about ourselves, which isn’t the purpose of journalism.
It’s better left to bloggers like me to rant about in the middle of the night, not grace the pages of the Toronto Star.