In that once-respected newspaper, the Washington post, the tale of a UK English teacher lambasted for having the audacity to have a private life has been somewhat embellished by one Emil Steiner.
It seems Mr. Steiner, and the Washington Post, are happy to print their assumptions that the teacher in question actually practices some kind of vampire rituals at night, and are no doubt delighted that many of their redneck readers have condemned this woman solely on the basis of their thoughtless babbling. All she has, in fact, done, is write a book. If we are to assume that every writer lives out what they write, then Clive Barker and Stephen King should have been locked away a long time ago.
The Press thrives on conflict. Where there is none, they make it up. The only comfort in this for me is that the UK press are not the only ones guilty of such feeble scaremongering. There was a time, not so long ago, when reporters actually went out and looked for real stories. Now, it seems, they are content to browse the Internet for some tidbit they can build on to produce their worthless chatter.
If someone gets their career ruined in the process, well that's just tough. Mr. Steiner and his ilk are no doubt laughing all the way to the bank, their consciences firmly gagged with dollar bills.
In the article linked, Mr. Steiner relates two earlier cases in which he has villified teachers who, he states, committed no crime. Neither has any crime been committed in this case. Clearly, he does not permit a trivial detail such as the truth to get in his way when he wants to demonise the innocent.
This is a story of a small-town school with a minor issue to deal with. There is no crime here. Heck, there is no worthwhile story here! It's a small administrative issue. Teachers found publishing pornography are--and have been--immediately dismissed. This is not the case here. The whole thing is like the gossip that travels around knitting circles, embellished and exaggerated at each step. The half-senile, wizened old crones who never bother to check the facts are, in this case, reporters.
Mr. Steiner and his cronies can splash around in the shallow end of the gene pool to their heart's content for all I care.
I just wish they'd do it more quietly.