There are basically three types of articles written about Phish shows. There are articles written about the music, written about the fans, or written about drugs. The latter category is reserved for those who have little regard for the first two.
It's no secret that the some fans of this band "...like to alter their consciousness" as Gordon has been quoted saying in the past. Considering the impact a band like Phish has on the economy of any area that they play, focusing solely on this one aspect is somewhat myopic, though not without precedent. All one has to hear is that they are a band with "...a following somewhat like the Grateful Dead." Once that image is implanted, the article almost writes itself. Those guys were big druggies, right? If this band is anything like them, then let's run down all of the arrests that took place around the shows. They are pretty much the only band that has arrest records like this, right?
You should be able to ignore the hundreds of thousands of dollars pumped into the local economies through lodging, restaurants and local attractions. It's not like these people are taking time off of work, and flying in after saving for months to make these destinations part of their vacations. A boost to your economy is no big deal, right?
Writers like this perpetuate the stigma because it's easy. It's stock. They don't know, or care to know anything more than what they read on the police blotter. Their readers may not know this, but we do. To the writers that choose to dig a little deeper, I thank you.