Reason #192 the Mainstream News Media Sucks

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Reason #192 the Mainstream News Media Sucks

First, speaking as a card-carrying liberal lesbian feminist, I am someone who takes the issue of rape and sexual assault very, very seriously. I have known quite a few women who have been raped, I have even helped care for a loved one in the direct aftermath of rape, but I have been lucky enough never to have been raped myself.

That being said, in regards to the Duke rape case I totally agree with norbizness.
"...I still have to place this in the category of “local news become national to the extent that national and international news gets shunted aside” that I deplore in missing white girl cases, and, to a lesser extent, serial killers who are operating exclusively in one area."
Seriously, this case DOES NOT deserve national attention. There is nothing more nauseating than watching a case like this being tried in the Court of Media Opinion, with all the half-assed bloviating by pundits about what this or that means, asserting the guilt or innocence of the people involved based on diddily squat. But what is even worse is the more they all talk the more they broadcast totally mixed, bizarre messages about rape-- specifically who does or doesn't commit it. It makes me realize how little we've truly come in terms of understanding and talking about the crime of rape.

I personally have no opinion whatsoever about whether or not the Duke rape happened, however, I do have enough life experience to know that rape is more common than most people realize and that rapists can come in all shapes and sizes-- they can be "nice guys," they can be honor roll students, they can be rich or poor, drunk or sober, and they most certainly can be the person you least expect. But that doesn't stop some people who weren't there from saying otherwise or vying for their own 15 minutes of fame. Just this morning on CNN they were very busy conducting interviews with friends, acquaintences, fellow dorm residents, mail carriers of the accused who all swear that they just know in their hearts that the "boys" couldn't have done this.

I really wish the MSM would stop interviewing everyone and their mother to get their meaningless opinions about Shit They Can't Possibly Know just so they can spend more time talking about a nationalized local news story than, say, the Iraq war. Seriously, do not build this case up to the point that everyone in the country is supposed to have a reaction or an opinion like this is a big freaking spectator sport. This is the media exploiting an alleged gang rape for the sake of ratings and something titilating and controversial to talk about, something to stroke the so-called war between the sexes.

Please, everyone, consider the fact that there is really no need to pick sides, there is no law that you have to have an opinion about everything. Just let this case be settled in court, let the Durham community deal with this issue. Don't let this one case be a conduit for everyone to unleash all of their anger and frustration about rape, priviledge, elitism, sexism, etc. Don't waste your time debating the case with feminist-hating trolls. At this point all we can hope for is that the woman and the men get a fair shake in court, and in consideration of the wealth of the accused men, I really hope the woman gets a great attorney (or two) to defend her pro-bono.

My only truly strong opinion about cases like this is that all of the excessive media attention will make it less likely for other women to come forward when they are raped-- they won't want to risk their rape becoming a public spectacle or a national debate.

So, MSM, next subject, please. (And, no, that does not mean you can talk about "Tomkitty" instead. There is a lot of serious national and international news to talk about, take your pick.)

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