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Sorry About Slow-Loading | Main | Terry Moran: "Don't Feel Too Sorry For The Dukies"
April 12, 2007

Kurtz: It's "Cheesy" To Reveal Name Of Duke Accuser, *Even After* She's Exposed As A Liar And A Criminal

Technically she's not a criminal because she won't be prosecuted for her lies. But false allegations and perjury are crimes, whether prosecuted or not, and we certainly know she has a criminal background.

So what, on earth, could account for this sentiment?

Once discrepancies surfaced in the account of the accuser--who has still not been identified by the MSM, even though she's now been exposed as a liar--some news organizations did a good job of pursuing them....

By the way, Drudge and other Web sites are running the accuser's name and picture. I'm not sure how I feel about this, since she is now a certified liar who put three innocent men and their families through hell, but it still feels cheesy.

First of all, that first paragraph contains a flat-out lie, and Howie Kurtz is well aware of it. The MSM has identified the woman -- at least FoxNews has. Unless Kurtz really believes America's biggest cable news network is really just a "website," like Drudge.

He couldn't have missed the fact that FoxNews had broken the embargo-- that's who Drudge linked to, no?

So he's lying. Why? Well, because he wants to take comfort in the "consensus" of the MSM to continue treating a vicious liar and criminal as a "victim" protected by the media's general rules of anonymity regarding real rape victims. And noting that FoxNews had broken the embargo would require him to admit this isn't actually a consensus position at all -- at least not a unanimous one -- and thus would force him to actually address whether this position makes any sense -- something he'd like to avoid. It would also alert WaPo readers that, unlike the WaPo, there was at least one news organization providing them with relevant information about a criminal, rather than coddling her.

So why does it feel "cheesy" to him? Is it "cheesy" to reveal the name of any other criminal? And this is no mere scofflaw or shoplifter; by his own admission, she's a liar who put three boys through hell and consumed precious law enforcement and prosecutorial resources for more than a year.

And inflamed racial tensions -- for a lie. And made it more difficult for real rape victims to come forward in the future -- for a lie.

So why the coddling?

Well, there are really only one possible reason. Because the metanarrative deemed this woman -- proven vicious criminal liar -- a "victim" due to her sex and race and class, and no matter what her actual character or the actual facts of the case, she retains that status, in perpetuity, because she's not getting rich (at least until someone offers her a book deal!), she can't change her skin color, and only through expensive surgery can she (sort of) change her sex.

She will always be a "victim" and entitled to treatment as such, because she cannot commit any action that forfeits the criteria which grants her privileged victim status. No lie and no crime will change her class, race, or gender.

Once a victim, always a victim. Never a perpetrator, and never a villain.

Kurtz's own treatment of the woman as automatic victim -- by presumption that cannot be overcome even with evidence beyond a reasonable doubt -- in fact answers all his "why?" questions about the media's overall shabby performance in this case.

But he's too much of a coward and weaseler to simply confront the unavoidable. Well, the almost unavoidable -- he avoids it, as does the media generally.

I hope that last one gets plenty of coverage, even though it's been clear for some time that the case had fallen apart. As long as we're talking about how the Rutgers women were unfairly disparaged as "ho's," consider the nightmare that the three Duke lacrosse players have lived through. But in all the coverage you read and see about the clearing of these young men, very little of it will be devoted to the media's role in ruining their lives. I didn't hear a single television analyst mention it yesterday, even though two of the players' lawyers took shots at the press.

It was an awful performance, no question about it. News organizations took one woman's shaky allegations and turned them into a national soap opera, pillorying the reputations of the players. Reade Seligmann, Colin Finnerty and David Evans were presumed innocent in a legal sense, but not in the court of media opinion.


The North Carolina AG spoke of "a tragic rush to accuse," and he just as easily could have been talking about journalists as Mike Nifong. Commentators have been chattering about whether Nifong will be disbarred, but no one gets to disbar the media.

What made this a case of aggravated media assault is that news outlets weren't content to focus on the three defendants. Attorney General Roy Cooper said there was a "rush to condemn a community and a state." Remember all the "trend" stories about "pampered" and "privileged" student athletes being "out of control"? Remember how the lacrosse players' homes were shown on TV? How the coach lost his job? How this case was depicted as being about the contrast between a white elite institution and a poor black community? All of that was built on what turned out to be lies.

Once discrepancies surfaced in the account of the accuser--who has still not been identified by the MSM, even though she's now been exposed as a liar--some news organizations did a good job of pursuing them. But just about everyone joined in the original frenzy over race and sports. And given the media's track record going back to Richard Jewell, I have zero confidence that this won't happen again.

Of course it will happen again, Howie. It will happen again for the precise same reason you cannot lower yourself to name the original villain in this story -- Crystal Gail Mangum. She is black, female, and poor, and therefore cannot be a villain in the media.

Stories will be written about Nifong, of course, who is safely white, male, and rich.

But Crystal Gail Mangum? She is untouchable. No matter what crimes she committed nor what hells she created for innocent stranger, she will never, can never, forfeit that which makes her above the usual rules of civil society. It wasn't her status as "rape victim" which gave her her privilege and license -- it was her sex, race, and class. And while it has been thoroughly proven she's not a victim of rape, it can't be disproven she's black, female, and poor.

I wonder how Kurtz will handle the coming release by the NC AG of the report on the "victim's" lies? Will he continue embargoing her name even as news breaks again as to precisely how and why she lied, and why Nifong was so eager to believe her (or at least pretend to)?

Question For Mr. Kurtz: I trust it wasn't "cheesy" to name the liars in previous stories -- which got great play in the media -- in which white "victims of crime" falsely accused blacks of committing heinous crimes they themselves were responsible for? True, their names were never embargoed due to rape-shield considerations, but then, neither was the media ever hesistant to publicize their names.

Why is that, I wonder?

Those cases became celebrated. So full of "teachable moments" about the (presumed) automatic assumption of black guilt by whites.

Why is this case not similarly useful as a teachable moment?

Kurtz knows, of course. But he won't say. He can't permit himself to say, and even if he were inclined to, the media culture in which he swims would not permit him to say, at least not without consequences.

So we have this bullshitty article about a poor media performance with Kurtz just scratching his head wondering, "Gee willickers, how on earth did this happen?"

He knows. And his pretense of ignorance is yet another lie. and the most important one of all.

digg this
posted by Ace at 03:18 PM

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