I've gotten threats of TOSsing (of which they had not even the most miniscule case), threats of violence, even of death - as have all vocal antihanson fans. But I have to wonder, what is it about them that breeds/attracts such fragile egos?
I could attribute this factor to the age of the majority of the fans, as well as the kind of personality that would get really engrossed in that kind of "music"; but it's more complex than that.
The young fans develop imaginary relationships with them, of which they are very protective; the older ones feel that they are children of the populous, and thus, in a sense feel that they know them. To both, they are friendly, inoffensive, and approachable; neither I nor the fans knowing them personally, they may or may not be.
The fans also downplay the roles of image consultants, PR people, etc. And such does not contradict the elaborate fantasy that many of the fans have constructed around them. I believe that the image consultants keep them bland and innoffensive to enable the fans to fill-in-the-gaps so to speak, to truly imagine them to be whatever they wish them to.
I will elaborate.
One such fan believed them to be "sweet and innocent", still another spoke of them being "typical teens" whom "think about sex"; two conflicting statements neither would back down from.
Another fan believed them to be child prodigies; any musician will tell you that their instrumental work is simplistic, unsophisticated. (I would also like to mention that the average age of the members of Def Leppard was eighteen when they were signed.)
Replying to a negative statement about them, a fan had called them "buff": which would imply either low physical standards, or a visual handicap on the part of the fan.
These few examples reveal that certain things in the media, especially regarding teen idols are not only subjective, but absolute perceptual Play-Doh in the tiny minds of their militant fans.
It's this kind of perceptual 'fitting' that I believe makes it possible to forge an imaginary, and sometimes dangerous relationship with the object of their attention/affection. Each of them believes contrasting things about them, which contradict the opinions of other fans, as well as the truth: making them nigh perfect to the fan. That being true, the fan now possessing a "personal" relationship with them, is now ready to take everything against them personally.
Whether the image consultants actually actively seek to enable the 'client-side' sculpting of their image to suit the individual pathological fan is not known to me; but from the photos, and the footage of them 'romping' about, they obviously have a vested interest in keeping them approachable - like the media whores that they are.