Leading Off (11/1/12)

Highland Park Athlete Arrested for Rape: Ryan Romo, an 18-year-old baseball player for Highland Park, was charged with sexual assault on a child Tuesday, after the senior allegedly raped a fellow student after a show Saturday night. CultureMap was ON IT, concluding its story with: “If it’s a case of impulsive teenage decisions, remorse and guilt, then no one suffers more than 18-year-old Ryan Romo.” Except it’s, you know, rape, not an impulsive teenage decision, remorse, or guilt. The Observer took the Map (as in, all over the) to task.

Kidnapped Tyler Boy Found in Louisiana: After a short car chase through Monroe, La., police arrested James Calvert, charging him with the murder of the boy’s mother. Officers found the boy unharmed in the backseat, hopefully with some candy or at least a granola bar or something.

Hello, I’m Brad: And I’ll be your new FrontBurnerer.


  • Dear FNG: Adam McGill, one of the forefathers of this blog, named its contributors FrontBurnervians. It is a solid moniker that has served us well for nearly a decade. If you need a copy of our style guide, please come see me.

  • Les

    Hello, Brad. I didn’t realize Romo had been convicted of rape. Is that what you’re reporting? Or are you reporting that Romo has so far only been charged with rape, a charge that might be proved either to be rape or to be a case of sexual buyer’s remorse, the current ambiguity contained in the sentence you quoted?

    Here’s a way to help you decide. Suppose hypothetically, because you’re new, a bunch of readers just wanting to have fun with you decided to hire a hooker to claim you had sexually assaulted her. At that point what would you be guilty of having done, Brad? At that point how would you prefer your life to be reported to your wife and to the public at large?

  • My theory on the Culture Map story, presented with absolutely no evidence (which seems fitting, no?): I’m completely guessing right now, but it looks like maybe Claire at Culture Map saw the interesting breaking news (star athlete charged with rape!) and started making calls. Soon, she got a hold of someone from the newly put-together Romo defense team, a lawyer perhaps. I’m guessing Claire and the lawyer had a long talk, off the record of course, and the article you see on their site is the resulting product. The problems with this are…well, Anna at the Observer did a fine job of explaining the problems.

  • AndyG

    What kid wants to copy the style (and slang) of his parents? Welcome Brad, I wish you the best on your Frontburnerering.

  • Marcus

    RIP Adam McGill, Eric Celeste and the countless other talented people that Tim has fired for not buying his Friday beers at the Monk.

    • @Marcus: Come on, man. Don’t forget Paul Kix and Rod Davis.

  • Sybil’s Beaver

    Welcome Brad, hope you enjoy your time here us frontburnerites (j/k Tim) are glad to have you…for now.

    Hey Les, where in any story that you have read about the rape was there a statement made that maybe it was buyers remorse except for opinion of the author, who should have kept her opinion to herself until there is an actual piece of evidence to suggest that her a opinion might be a possibility

  • My original plan was to just go with “Burners,” a la Marlo Stanfield.

  • DGirl

    This HP rape case is horrific. Poor girl.

    No means no, beyatches.

  • Liz Landry

    The issue with the Culture Map story, according to me and the fact it literally made me shake with anger, is that she starts mounting a defense for this alleged attacker by blaming it on “mess-ups” that are typical of teenagers and that she ends the piece basically saying the real victim here is Romo because just based on her gut there’s guilt and remorse involved. First, I’ve been a teenager, and while I may have told a few lies, I never sexually assaulted anyone. So, I’m not sure what her point is. If this were a case where the girl and boy are in love and having sex, and the parents call the police that would be a place where we could discuss the ramifications of applying adult terms to teens. But, whether this guy is a teenager, an adult, or a senior citizen, when a PERSON (male or female) says NO. It means NO. Just because I agree to make out with you, and as a teenager I did indeed make out with dudes in cars, does not mean you get to force me to have sex because I seemed so into making out. Second, the Culture Map story does a disservice to the greater good because it starts the victim shaming and blaming that is part of the reason that so many girls do not even bother going to the police. I believe that judgement should be reserved until all the facts are in, but that is not what the Culture Map story did, it’s a one-sided, poorly written opinion mouthpiece article.

  • Liz Landry

    Oh, and welcome Brad! Congrats on the new gig!!!

  • Borborygmus

    This whole “who you gonna believe” bs is probably why many women don’t report rape. Wasn’t there a post last week, where a national writer exposed she’d been raped by a man in Dallas? And then declined to follow up with charges or name the guy?

    A victim, certainly. But in her silence possibly allowing the guy to continue hurting other women. Why can’t we do a better job empowering women to fight back? For the sake of other women.

    The courts will ultimately decide the fate of this young man. I hope this young lady does not back off.

  • Kk

    Lets not forget that the medical professionals that examined the young girl concluded she had been assaulted with excessive force. To suggest with absolutely no proof that it was guilt or remorse on the young ladies part is repulsive and heinous. I’m not going to say the young man is guilty, either. Let the law run its course before you start throwing anyone under the bus with lurid assumptions or suggestions.

  • Les

    @Sybil’s Beaver,

    I can understand how you, as a vagina, might naturally have predetermined views of these types of events. Even so, peculiar as it might make me I don’t require someone first writing a story to grasp the notion that an accusation is only an accusation – think of unproven accusations as the equivalent of your claiming to be a “beaver” – and not proof of a particular and heinous act having been committed.

    Now I can understand the immediate reflexes of commenters who might either be vaginas or possess them, but all of these smart people writing for all of these smart local magazines not only already know the difference between accusation and proof, they also already know that men and women falsely accuse one another of sexual misdeeds all day long.

    Which makes me wonder if the incense of outrage being wafted so furiously toward the Culture Map writer might not just be a little too unctuous. Why, just imagine the future harm current readers of CM might be spared if both D and the DO could stick their little shivs of pious rape concern deep enough into her kidneys. After all, that was the thrust of both the DO’s and young Bradley’s pieces: not the poor girl in question, but rather the indefensible horror of perfectly natural ruminations concerning people of a certain age by a writer for a mutual competitor.

    Oh, and I’m quite certain Claire St. Amant actually does have a vagina and probably already gets that actual cases of rape are as much inexcusably horrors as falsely accusing someone of having committed one, or even of using the occasion of one to make a little commercial hay.

  • ernest t bass

    Claire St. Amant must have been VERY popular in high school.

  • Oh. You. Hey Brad.

  • Sybil’s Beaver

    @ Les, I get it, you support shaming a minor in a public forum with no actual evidence. Its hard enough for any woman to report a rape, muchless an underage one. Be proud, be very proud of yourself

  • Avid Reader

    Let the investigation run it’s course.

    @Bradford, I believe you meant “Burners” a la Avon/Stringer since that was their deal and Marlo was more face-to-face.

  • DGirl

    How many women out there have been raped? 1 in 6 women report being a victim of rape or attempted rape. Lots of folks might think rape happens in a dark parking garage or when some knife wielding maniac jumps out of the bushes and attacks. Rape happens in five-star hotels, Tahoes, bucolic parks, fraternity houses, college dorms, on business trips and it happened to me in my date’s apartment. How many women are, like me, victims of a man who ignored my pleas and commands to stop, my threats to report, and who laughed at my struggles and awkward attempts to pull my panties back up when he kept pulling them down. I am disgusted by any and all attempts to discredit this girl and all victims of sexual assault. Shame on you.

  • Les

    @ Sybil’s Beaver,

    Somehow your name tends to erode what no doubt would otherwise be a force majeure of moral preening. Have you introduced yourself to the lovely Ms. Summers yet as the philogynous alias you are using today, or are you still waiting for that special, uncrowded moment? Surely she would be impressed and flattered, not only with your particular interest in her, or at least part of her, but also with the broader regard for all women your name trumpets with every post you make.

  • Sybil’s Beaver


    i have not met her personally but she knows of me, follows me on twitter and actually encourages me to tweet goofy funny things. You see, she enjoys the bit, she was part of its beginning on the defunct Sportatorium blog so its all good. Look if it comes out she made it all up, then Ill be up in arms raising hell, i’m just saying there is no reason to think that at this point.