Tuesday, December 09, 2008

philly.com- shame on you 

I like Philly.com, and I've been a sometimes defender of the Daily News. But they’ve reached a new low that just can’t go unmentioned. In their coverage of a murder-suicide that destroyed at least three lives last Sunday, they’ve chosen to exploit a victim of sexual violence as a tool for reader titillation. Edythe Maa ( a dominatrix known as “Jade Vixen”) watched her boyfriend (Anthony Ottaviano) shot in front of her, was forced at gunpoint into the stalker/harasser/murderer’s car, driven around for hours with a gun to her head, and sexually assaulted. Under tremendous pressure, she was able to talk the murderer (David Krieg) into letting her go before he turned the gun on himself.

Philly.com’s most egregious coverage of this tragedy is the Daily News column (Regina Medina and Christine Olley) entitled “Stormy Leather”, where there are many sexy details about Maa’s lifestyle. The lead sentence includes a description of the victim as “a self-proclaimed fan of sexual teasing and sissy-slut training.” Later in the piece her professional pleasures are listed: "I particularly enjoy sensual teasing and denial, rope bondage, sissy-slut training, dog training, tickle torture and corporal punishments of a traditional nature," she wrote in the ad. "I savor utilizing human toilets, ashtrays and trampolines."

In the torrent of sordid details about Maa’s profession, they left one important detail out of their story… THAT SHE WAS SEXUALLY ASSUALTED during the 41/2 hour hell ride she endured with a gun to her head… a ride Medina and Olley simply describe as “bizarre.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Maa’s account of her kidnapping. "I was abducted at gunpoint by David and held hostage with the gun to my head for several hours," she said. "He sexually assaulted me at gunpoint.”

I guess that’s a mundane detail not worth repeating. There are more important news details to reveal, like Philly.com’s “Jade Vixen Gallery.” In the fifteen pictures Philly.com posts, one includes the murder victim, one includes the murderer David Krieg, and a high school yearbook photo of Maa. The other twelve are pictures of Maa in various fetish get-ups. The minimizing of her sexual assault combined with the exploitation of her fetish photos in femme fatale character may suggest to some that sadly not-dead-yet assumption, that “maybe she asked for it.”

At the very least, Philly.com needs to take down the Jade Vixen Gallery. Edythe Maa’s a victim of an awful tragedy and a horrific crime. She doesn’t need to be victimized over and over again for the kicks of overgrown adolescents and a news source that panders to the lowest common denominator. Please let Philly.com know that stalking, murder and sexual violence are not to be minimized or snickered at, no matter what a woman chooses to do for a living.

You can reach Philly.com by

Phone: 215-355-9009
Fax: 215-355-4812
Email: trend@phillynews.com

- Frank Sherlock

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