Society Magazine

Steubenville and the Media

Posted on the 01 April 2013 by Itszappy @itszappy

Steubenville and the Media
Defense attorney Walter Madison comforts Ma'lik Richmond after judge rules that the 16-year-old and Trent Mays, 17, were guilty in the rape of a 16-year-old girl POOL/REUTERS
"Cry all you fuckin’ want, your tears don’t mean shit to me. Your tears mean dick to me, just so you know."--Jersey Shore, in a moment of truth.
As I've mentioned in a brief post earlier, it is time for an update on Steubenville. The trial began in February, and the verdict was reached half way in March. The 17 and 16 year old, Trent Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond, were found guilty. Both will be sentenced to at least a year and two years
The two boys gave statements to the court following the verdict. “I would truly like to apologize to (the victim), her family, my family and the community,” said Mays,who addressed the victim by name. “No pictures (of the victim) should have been sent around, let alone be taken.”---From the NY Daily News, report from Christian Red and Teri Thompson
What a horrifying statement. It's an apology for leaving evidence of the crime, instead of the crime itself. For getting caught, instead of taking away the rights and voices of human being, humiliating her and shaming her.
The reaction from the media has also been horrifying. For example, CNN's coverage, which sympathized with the rapists, and didn't mention a word of the victim. You can watch it here. Candy Crowley and and Poppy Harlow lather them in praise---what a shame it is for these good students to lose their promising futures, what an emotional event it was.
Tweets are accusing the reporters of turning the clock back on feminism with their misplaced compassion and blame-the-alcohol banter. Some are labeling the women as rape apologists. "What about the promising life of the rape victim?" asks one Twitter user, while another posts, "Wonder if Poppy Harlow found it hard to watch those boys laughing after the rape, too?" [link]
Some people are so outraged with the poor reporting that there has even been a petition created on demanding on on-air apology for sympathizing with the rapists.
ThinkProgress and HuffPost  have both written articles noting the trend of the victim-blaming from not just CNN, but ABC and NBC. A lot of the blaming comes from the fact that she was drunk, that if she hadn't chose to go drinking and be under the influence it would have never happened. This may be true--but the argument completely misses the whole entire fucking point of the magnitude of such a heinous crime.
When we glorify rapists and shame the victim, we take a step back. The lesson learned is not that rape is bad----but that in some possible cases, that it is deserved. That rape is not bad because you are doing something unspeakably horrible and evil to another human being, but that it could hurt your life. And that---that's pretty fucking scary.

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