Holy shit. [TW:RAPE]
There are moments when The Onion’s commentary misfire badly, and then there are moments like this where the nail is hit squarely on the head.
ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and CNN all covered the Steubenville rape case and subsequent trial/sentencing in an all-too-similar way to this video: they focused solely on the two rapists who raped, drugged, and sexually assaulted a 16-year-old West Virginia girl. Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN went so far as to air the name of the rape victim, a procedure unheard of in national and international journalism.
The sport of football was focused on more than the rape. The rapists were portrayed as innocent bystanders who just happened to make a wrong decision the night of the rape, like they were completely divorced of all responsibility for their actions.
People consistently continue to wonder why rapes continue to exist, and why rape culture, rape enablism, rape apologism, and rape sympathization continues to occur. The answer lies in the way rape and sexual assault are discussed to our teenagers. The completely wrong ideas are imprinted onto young minds, ideas such as “girls are asking to be raped when they dress provocatively,” or “rape isn’t rape unless it is forced.” Unwanted sexual advances of any form are rape. RAPE IS RAPE, simple as that.
Congratulations, American news networks. You’ve continued to instill a negative perception on rapes and how they are reported. When rape is discussed, NEVER make the rapists sound better than the victims. NEVER take the side of the rapist, especially in remarking about their sports achievements. NEVER enable rapists to think that they will never be condemned for their actions. NEVER attempt to divorce the rapist’s age from their actions. NEVER shame or blame the victim(s) of rape or sexual assault. Most of all, ALWAYS remind the viewers of news segments or readers of news articles that the victim is the only individual who matters in a discussion about rape. The victim is the main reason there is a story in the first place. A rape cannot occur with only one person involved. There are always two or more people. Yes, the rapists will have difficulties dealing with their actions. DON’T EMPATHIZE OR SYMPATHIZE WITH THEM!!!
My boycott of all cable and network news programs is still on, until the news networks promise to never shame victims of domestic violence, rape, or sexual assault. I fear that the apologies will never come, seeing as sensationalism rules the day.
Blogs are the last form of true journalism in America. Let’s not mess that up as well!