Editorials

BLOOD FOR BLOOD LIBEL

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If I’ve learned anything from the coverage of the Randy Blythe case it’s that, by and large, heavy metal blogs excel at regurgitating press releases and are otherwise incapable of doing much else. Such mindlessly selfish editorializing and sloppy sub-tabloid reporting on one of the most important stories of the year is inexcusable and obvious given the life lost, the lives at stake, and the sweeping implications of a possible guilty verdict.

While seemingly everyone in the community continues to follow Blythe’s case, his story is hardly the only alleged criminal matter in our scene this summer. Yet one curious case that surfaced late in June pertains to the metallic hardcore band Blood For Blood, a Boston group that made its name via memorable live performances and a handful of potent albums in the late 90s and early 00s with Victory Records.

It all started when the band, scheduled to play reunion shows — notably without spiritual leader Rob Lind — on the East Coast, abruptly cancelled their appearances with no explanation. Around the same time, rumors began to spread throughout the gossipy hardcore scene around Blood For Blood vocalist Erick “Buddha” Medina, alleging that he sexually assaulted a female minor, perhaps as young as 13. Lambgoat, one of the first sites to even allude to the allegations, republished a statement this week from the band in which they unceremoniously severed ties between Buddha and the rest of Blood For Blood:

Make no mistake, the nature of the alleged activity, true or false, is an affront to EVERYTHING this band is about. Some of the members of this band have been mistreated and abused as a children, personally. We would never, COULD never ignore, condone, or even associate with such behavior. At this time we are too emotionally drained to make plans for the band’s future, but due to the nature of these allegations, we feel it is impossible to continue with anyone linked to such allegations, thus, whatever the future holds for Blood For Blood, it will not include Erick “Buddha” Medina.

So how then did The Gauntlet, the #1 outlet for Randy Blythe pageview-baiting conspiracy theories, cover this statement? Here’s how:

That’s right: a 13-year old girl is allegedly raped (the legal definition given her age) and The Gauntlet throws a fucking Pedobear photo on it. If that abhorrent insensitivity weren’t bad enough, those legal eagles who decry Czech bail conditions don’t even include an “Alleged” in the headline, even as Blood For Blood make it clear that none of them witnessed the alleged assault. Are the folks behind The Gauntlet so foolish or careless that they’d leave such a gaping hole of their own legal liability? I’m confident that the band have it on good authority that Buddha did what he’s accused of, but that doesn’t for a minute excuse a metal “news” outlet from adhering to some small standard of journalistic integrity and modicum of human decency.

Notably, such coverage shows a disregard for the victim, which seems to be a recurring theme with The Gauntlet’s reportage. Repeatedly, Daniel Nosek comes across as either culpable party or an afterthought in their Blythe pieces, an ongoing rockstar celebrity handjob that even Murdoch rags like the New York Post or the defunct News Of The World wouldn’t dare publish. And The Gauntlet aren’t the only ones greasing up.

Aren’t we better than this? Apparently not.

-GS

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