The “Lindsay’s the EveryGirl” Lynch Mob

The “Lindsay’s the EveryGirl” lynch mob includes her own rotten parents

Associated Press entertainment writer Sandy Cohen’s abysmal–and typical–lack of journalistic ethics (“Lohan Latest Star to Tumble Into Abuse,” July 24, 2007) imaging Lindsay Lohan as the poster child for young Hollywood and young America is just the latest fictional travesty in AP’s lazy, sensational anti-youth meanness.

Imagine growing up with a father—in this case, Lindsay Lohan’s father, Michael, now 46—whose rampant drug and alcohol abuse, repeated violent assaults, corporate thefts, and drunken criminality destroyed his family, led to years of incarceration, and forced his daughter to see legal protection from his “uncontrollable behaviors” and abuses. And parents who put her through a long, contentious divorce. And a mother, Dina, who was full of public sympathy… for herself… declaring to the press: “Teen drug addiction runs rampant and we are not the only family suffering from this. My heart goes out to families going through this pain.”

No, Ms. Lohan, teenage drug addiction is not rampant. It is, however, more common when rotten parents put their kids through years of addiction, crime, violence, bitter divorce, and excuse their own execrable behaviors by publicly claiming drug abuse is just a “teenage” problem. With alleged grownups like these in charge, it’s a wonder teenagers don’t drink more. Fortunately, the Los Angeles Times ran a much more intelligent piece on young celebrities’ toxic parents.

Add to that the toxicity of the entertainment press smeling a cheap chance to moaralize. Reporters such as AP’s and commentators including “substance abuse experts” and self-described feminists, so insensitive they never mentioned Lindsay’s history of abuse and addicted parents—all so modern-day moralists can exploit her drug and alcohol afflictions to indict “young Hollywood” and young female America as some uniquely addicted, troubled generation worrying its wise and concerned parents.

Welcome to the “culture war” and its cruelties, led by news reporters, pundits, and quotable drug treatment hawkerseager to place their own popularity and profit ahead of revealing ugly truths to Americans.

The harsh reality: Lindsay Lohan’s drug and drunken driving woes are very atypical of young people (including young celebrities) today. But when teens and young adults have drug and alcohol problems, it’s not because they’re modern youth, but virtually always because they come from addicted, often abusive family backgrounds. Meanwhile, drug-abusing middle-agers like Lindsay’s father do represent a skyrocketing scourge neither news reporters nor “experts” (in this case, the Phoenix House’s craven “addiction specialist” David Deitch, quoted in the July 24 AP story) have the basic guts or decency to mention. Why should they? They know today’s reporters run any anti-youth quip, no matter how factless.

The latest 2004 National Center for Health Statistics figures show 865 American teenagers did indeed die from illegal drug overdoses, and FBI reports show 551,000 Americans under age 20 were arrested for drug, drunken driving, and drunkenness offenses in 2005. That kind of fact gets huge publicity. Oh, the poor parents who suffer such terrible kids!

But what is never mentioned was that 10,763 Americans ages 40-49—the parents—died from illicit-drug overdoses in 2004 and 675,000 in this supposedly mature, stable middle-aged group were arrested for drug and drunk driving violations in 2005. Teens are suffering far more from their parents’ addictions and rotten behaviors than the other way around.

Of course, the press and supposed addiction experts like Deitch shrink from discussing. Instead, they spread lies that “today’s youngsters start experimenting with drugs about age 12” (Deitch, quoted in the AP story). In fact, our most reliable and only long-term measure, Monitoring the Future, shows only 20.9% of today’s eighth graders (average age 14) ever used an illicit drug even once, a proportion that has dropped sharply since the 1970s. The National Household Survey shows just 11.7% of 12 year-olds ever used any drug at all. Hardly a 12 year-old epidemic.

But in today’s world of adults desensitized to young people and indifferent to real trends and problems, no one important cares what is really going on. Lindsay is a visible, exploitable commodity, and bullying interests are piling on her to push their agendas.