Monday, April 16, 2018

The Greitens Report

Hey guys, Bon Tindle. here.  It's been a while, and I'm sorry that these are the circumstances that bring me back.  Zandar graciously asked me to help cover the shame of my home state, Missouri.

[Zandar here.  Bon Tindle has graciously agreed to write about Missouri GOP Gov. Eric Greitens for ZVTS as she lives in the state, so please let her know what you think in the comments!]

After reading the entire report about our governor, I was upset for a variety of reasons.  As a woman who has been targeted by a man in power, I recognized the setup.  The way they test victims, and make sure they are able to terrorize them into silence.  The stalking and unwanted appearances.

And, of course, the violence.

This story has a lot of angles, and speaks to a lot of topics.  I am going to focus on the victim and consent right now, and circle back to other subjects in later posts.

It is important to note that the victim did not consent to the acts that took place.  She was sometimes not even given the chance to give or revoke consent because she was not in control of her situation, such as when the photograph was allegedly taken.  Other times, she complied because it brought her closer to escape.  In testimony deemed credible, the victim was not a willing party to the actions that took place.

That's called rape, and there is no backing away from it.  The blackmail is an enormous ethical violation as well, but the way the rape was engineered is thoroughly disturbing.

But there are other violations, as well.  The media grabbed this story and took off, and though the fact was known that the victim did not initiate the story, very few stopped to consider what that means.  It means this story was not driven by the victim, and was likely against her wishes. It was broken by her ex-husband, who drove the narrative for the first several days.  It involved a recorded call and the victim had no idea her words were recorded. While that is legal in Missouri, that doesn't mean it is ethical when used to further victimize.  Thoughtless posters on social media poked fun without considering it came at a victim's expense.  These are issues that also need to be addressed and filed appropriately.

Good journalists note these things and question the motives of a source. I am very proud to say the Springfield News-Leader was sensitive to this throughout the coverage.  They also voiced an opinion that the governor must go, in light of what we know.  For the record, I could not agree more.

Make no mistake, there is some support for Greitens among the most loyal, but it is dying quickly.  Political allies are dropping one by one, but as the story unfolds and the victim gains credibility, most people I  have interviewed believe there is a dead end ahead, whether through resignation or involuntary process is the only question.

I will continue to cover this, and as the story develops bring it over here and share the local knowledge and response.

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