When the remnants of Hurricane Irene brought the worst flooding Vermont has seen in nearly a century, Phish and the group’s fans rallied around the state by donating time and money to the relief effort. While it took the mainstream media time to wrap their proverbial heads around just how bad the situation was in the Green Mountain State, Phish fans had already spread the word on message boards, Facebook and Twitter that help was needed.
Many Vermonters appreciated the help, but not Seven Days staff writer Lauren Ober, who skewered the group’s fans in a post on 7D’s Blurt blog. Today, less than a month after the “ill-conceived” and “ill-timed” post was published, Ober has announced she is leaving the Seven Days staff.
No matter how Ober and Seven Days try to frame her departure, you can’t help but think that the Phish post played a role. It wasn’t exactly a vote of confidence that within Ober’s apology post, was the following note…
Opinions expressed on our staff blog do not necessarily reflect the views of editors or staff at Seven Days. Many of us are longtime Phish fans, and all of us appreciate what the band, and its fans, are doing for our state.
Perhaps that should’ve been at the end of the original article, no? Many of Ober’s co-workers came to her defense when the Phish fan community gave her shit, but Seven Days owner/editor Pamela Polston did not, at least publicly, weigh in to offer her support. Now, Lauren didn’t just save her bitter nastiness for the Phish fans who ::gasp:: offered assistance to Vermont. In recent months, she’s gone the stupid stereotype route to take aim at Burlington trying to reach out to the Quebecois, a lawyer who helped flood victims and a senior citizen who put herself in Ober’s cross-hairs by posting a personal ad Lauren felt was “icky.”
We’re hesitant to take any pleasure in someone losing their job in this economy, even Lauren Ober. We hope she learns there’s a difference between being snarky and being mean. The worst part of the whole “How About You Lend a Phreaking Hand” debacle, is that beyond Ober throwing out every stereotype and changing every “f” to “ph” were some really good suggestions about how Phish fans could’ve helped flood victims even more. You don’t kick somebody and then ask for their help. Good luck, Lauren.