And who are they, anyway? By Ginger McNulty Most of the content on this site has to do with Sue Scheff as an individual. I’d like to provide some background information about the industry in which she has become such a notable player and, in so doing, try to convey to our readers why the general public should concern themselves with any of these crack pots. In a word, we all should be very concerned because these particular crack pots hold serious influence in politics and, evidently, our media. Meet Mitt Romney, who’s run for president has been partially funded by big wheels in the troubled parent industry.
Romney, Torture, and Teens The former governor’s connections to abusive “tough love” camps Maia Szalavitz | June 27, 2007 When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he’d support doubling the size of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, he was trying to show voters that he’d be tough on terror. Two of his top fundraisers, however, have long supported using tactics that have been likened to torture for troubled teenagers.
Maia Szalavitz has researched the troubled parent industry thoroughly and written some of the most insightful commentary out there about it. She is author of Help At Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids (Riverhead, 2006) and a senior fellow at stats.org. Her latest book, co-written with Dr. Bruce D. Perry is The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog and Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook. (Basic Books, 2007). There’s another reason why Sue Scheff is worth thinking about right now. Jury awards $11.3M over defamatory Internet posts
By Laura Parker, USA TODAY
“…Legal analysts say the Sept. 19 award by a jury in Broward County, Fla. — first reported Friday by the Daily Business Review — represents the largest such judgment over postings on an Internet blog or message board. Lyrissa Lidsky, a University of Florida law professor who specializes in free-speech issues, calls the award “astonishing.”
BEWARE OF BLOGS: Courts are asked to crack down on bloggers, websites
Lidsky says the case could represent a coming trend in court fights over online messages* because the woman who won the damage award, Sue Scheff of Weston, Fla., pursued the case even though she knew the defendant, Carey Bock of Mandeville, La., has no hope of paying such an award. Bock, who had to leave her home for several months because of Hurricane Katrina, couldn’t afford an attorney and didn’t show up for the trial. …”
* emphasis added
It is rather astonishing! More astonishing than the bare facts reported in the media are the glaring omissions! In all published reports that I’ve seen so far, they neglect to mention that Bock “didn’t show up” because she was not notified of the time and place of the trial! Eh, she’s from Louisianna. Maybe it’s the same as those ‘looting’ vs ‘forraging’ pictures from Hurricane Katrina coverage?
If this represents “a coming trend in court fights over online messages” then free speech in the United States is in serious trouble!