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Mob Rule

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Last week, the INDY reported on allegations of misogyny leveled against promoter and Downtown Raleigh Association director of events Craig Reed. Those allegations led to Reed leaving the DRA and several businesses and bands announcing they would no longer do business with his production company.

James Olin Oden believes Reed didn't get a fair shake: "Could we possibly have talked about how one scathing accusation took out a person's livelihood with no investigation at all to support it? Had any of this been brought to a court of law, I seriously doubt the end result would have been the loss of both his business and his job. This was literally mob rule, and a very ugly thing that occurred. The rule of law was not served, and neither was the community. The community for its part acted immaturely and mercilessly. The ramifications in my opinion exceeded anything remotely related to justice."

Commenter JayDubz concurs, saying it's "disappointing (but not shocking) that the journalists who charged themselves with reporting on this pursued it with the same bias, not citing the frustrated professional partnership between [Kings show manager Kate] VanVorst"—who made the allegations on Facebook—"and Reed at Younger Brother Productions that lasted several years and ended abruptly, giving at least a possible reason to employ hyperbole in an angry purposeful Facebook post."

Commenter AALIYAH says the story overlooked a key point: "The writer so quickly pointed out how misogynistic Reed was in his treatment of women, but she left out a detail that should have been included if the INDY wanted to write an article about equal treatment of people not based on gender. Why stop there when the obvious was in the writer's face? In the comments that spurred the article, Reed was also accused of being a gentrification sympathizer, as his accuser also spoke about his views of cleaning up southeast Raleigh without care of the trickle-down housing effects he and his cool uptown friends are having on communities of color. 

"How can such a progressive news outlet leave out such an important part of the character breakdown of a man who, as it seems, had so much influence on what's happening downtown in Raleigh, where there are fewer and fewer outlets available for creative black expression or business? Many of Reed's business partners cut ties after the initial Facebook post, but I wonder how that would have played out had his issue only been about his views on southeast Raleigh and the displacement of longtime southeast Raleigh residents? Would they have even cared, or would they have asked him for real estate tips?"

"I don't think that was the main point of the article," responds ToniTwoTimes. "I have never heard him speak negatively about people of color, but I have heard him on many occasions make disparaging remarks regarding women and local music. I'm not saying he never has, but I have never heard it. I know lots of bands that have refused to play Local Band Local Beer or use his booking services long before this article came out."

We also noted last week that The News & Observer was dramatically reducing its performing arts reviews because they don't get clicks. (See more on the subject in Brian Howe's Artificer column this week.)

"How shortsighted and wrongheaded," writes Lisa Huggins Towle. "How very sad that in the search for financial salvation a basic mission of the paper is slashed."

Ellen Dagenhart asks, "OK, I can understand how they can track what gets the most readership online, but how do they track what gets read in the actual newspaper that some of us still read? I didn't see them peeping over my shoulder at breakfast."

Finally, Carolina Performing Arts writes on Facebook: "This is a very disappointing development. All I can say is thank goodness for the INDY. We are very fortunate to have an extremely diverse and vibrant arts scene in the Triangle—an arts scene that benefits and enriches the entire community in so many ways."

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