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Author Topic: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists  (Read 11065 times)

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Offline RhapsodyTopic starter

This is an opinion piece on Gawker, which quotes several CNN reporters as they apparently try to drum up sympathy and empathy for Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, who were convicted of rape for carrying their unconscious victim around town one party night and raping her.

http://gawker.com/5991003/cnn-reports-on-the-promising-future-of-the-steubenville-rapists-who-are-very-good-students

As the article says, "Should you prefer to be known as "Good student and excellent football player Trent Mays" rather than "Convicted sex offender Trent Mays," try stressing the studying and tackling and giving the sex crimes a miss altogether."

If only these poor young men had an easy method to avoid rape. Perhaps this life-ruining trial would have been avoided.

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2013, 07:39:19 AM »
Far from trying to drum up sympathy for the rapists the report was highlighting the fact that these two young men had led lives of promise up to the point where they made they committed a crime and threw away all the advantages they had worked for.

The public would be better served if Gawker had actually spent a few minutes to read the quote they printed instead of going after a sensationalistic bent on the story.  Some so-called news sites don't care what they say or how they say it.  All that counts for them is how many times their version of a story gets repeated.

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2013, 08:38:06 AM »
And site clicks! Very important... journalistic integrity be damned.  :P

Offline Elias

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2013, 09:27:27 AM »
Advertising requires site clicks, and sensationalism not cliched and outdated things like integrity. That's why no news media has it anymore.

Offline RhapsodyTopic starter

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2013, 09:50:26 AM »
It isn't just Gawker. That was just the article at the top of my news feed.

And speaking of feeds, my Facebook feed had several comments on it, including "Come on, CNN. Can we drop the 'boys will be boys' shit already?"

Context is king, and the way these comments were delivered came across as sympathy for the rapists. Instead of "two entitled little shits who thought it was hilarious to rape a girl got convicted", it was "such good students, promising stars, had their lives destroyed, how sad, how emotional". If they wanted their context properly within the phrasing they used, they should have said something like "destroyed their lives". They weren't the helpless victims here; everything was entirely in their control.

Offline elone

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2013, 09:55:45 PM »
Fairly disgusting piece of journalism in my humble opinion. These guys were lucky to get the sentences they got. This is way beyond boys will be boys. I could not care less if they are labeled sex offenders for life, that is what they are. And what about the victim, her sentence is life long as well, something that will never go away.

Perhaps they should have used the defense, "Well, she never said no."

Equally disgusting is that others apparently did nothing to stop this act, I assume so anyway, don't really know the whole story. And posting this all for their friends to see, what does that say about the sense of responsibility that was taught to these people.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2013, 11:34:21 PM »
Well, I would rather see the object lesson of telling people what the two threw away, how they ruined their lives and those of their families while they were destroying the life of another human being with no thought to what they were doing.

That's what I got from the CNN report as did most of the sixty people in the department I supervise.

Gawker is unethical and misleading and of course wanting to bad mouth the competition.  Bad mouth, smash mouth, trash talk.  It doesn't accomplish anything except make the boys look like martyrs to others.  No matter what the message is Gawker and other so-called news services have no right to distort reports and put them out as fact just to sell advertising.  None of the other so-call news feeds that spread that version (Gawker's) or opinion were ethical and honest. 

The world that is happening these days, where people feel free to say anything and not accept responsibility for the truth or lack of it scares me.  I live in Pittsburgh so this is in the nature of hometown news and I have to tell you that most of the media is taking the tack that the rape was horrible, the boys got what they deserved and along with the crime they are guilty of throwing away any good in their current and future lives.  It's a waste of everything, pure and simple.

Offline Shjade

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2013, 03:01:53 AM »
*watches the CNN report*

...no, I'm going to go with the Gawker interpretation of the spot on this one. Not that I know anything about Gawker or care about their trends, but that CNN report is definitely not of the "cautionary tale" variety. They made it sound like the guys were being wrongly accused or something; they were treating it like they were victims themselves. That's just...bleh.

Sidenote: why is this national news?

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2013, 03:15:20 AM »
It's national news because of the coverup and the role of Anonymous in the case.

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2013, 02:32:12 PM »
So I didn't go to Gawker for this. I saw the CNN video directly, as posted on Upworthy. (link) It turned my stomach.

At about 1:30, it wasn't "These two young men saw the outcome of their decisions." It was a narrative that these guys watched as a judge took their lives apart. The tone of the narrative on CNN was that these poor boys watched helplessly as all the hard work they had put into their lives was ruthlessly taken from them. Oh, those poor rapists.

Good students can be rapists.

Smart people can be rapists.

Star football players can be rapists.

Young men can be rapists.

One of them collapsed and sobbed that no one was going to want him now? Boo fucking hoo.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2013, 08:24:46 AM »
Maybe they will learn sympathy for people being humiliated in public and by having horrific moments of their lives captured on video and distributed.  You know...like the girl they raped, filmed and distributed on the internet?

Offline Caela

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2013, 09:54:04 AM »
The sympathy shown to these boys makes me ill. The number of people who actually try and BLAME the GIRL because she was out drinking (as if that somehow means she deserved what happened to her!) makes me even more ill.

These young men should have been tried as adults and should be in prison, not facing juvie.

Offline Aiden

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2013, 10:04:12 AM »
Break their legs, fuck their future.

I hope they get raped in prison.


Offline OutoftheDust

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2013, 10:31:43 AM »
So I didn't go to Gawker for this. I saw the CNN video directly, as posted on Upworthy. It turned my stomach.

At about 1:30, it wasn't "These two young men saw the outcome of their decisions." It was a narrative that these guys watched as a judge took their lives apart. The tone of the narrative on CNN was that these poor boys watched helplessly as all the hard work they had put into their lives was ruthlessly taken from them. Oh, those poor rapists.

Good students can be rapists.

Smart people can be rapists.

Star football players can be rapists.

Young men can be rapists.

One of them collapsed and sobbed that no one was going to want him now? Boo fucking hoo.

'nuff said.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2013, 10:40:34 AM »
Break their legs, fuck their future.

I hope they get raped in prison.

This statement, this sentiment... really bothers me. Don't want to get into it at length in-thread right now; I'm sure I'd go into aggressive firebrand mode, and I'm trying to be better than that. But... is more rape really any sort of a solution to rape?

Offline Aiden

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2013, 11:43:22 AM »
I think they deserve to feel what their victim felt, what their victim will have to deal with the rest of her life. I believe she already had to relocate, change schools and is being blamed while her attackers are given sympathy by their town,the media, parts of the nation? Fuck that.

But then again, my views lean on the extreme when it comes to the justice system, which I don't plan on getting into.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2013, 12:02:08 PM »
I think they deserve to feel what their victim felt, what their victim will have to deal with the rest of her life.

All of which would be satisfy a visceral desire for revenge, but useless. What they ought to feel is how profoundly they disgraced themselves by their actions & how shameful their attitude towards women is, with a side helping of how reprehensible it was for everyone else to stand around taking snapshots & giggling. For them to understand why they deserve to be miserable is a lot more important than compounding their misery. If they did, they would be able to change their attitudes & then help change them in other people, maybe do a little something to beat back the tide of assaults.

I question whether they ever will, but that's another matter.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2013, 12:56:48 PM »
I think they deserve to feel what their victim felt, what their victim will have to deal with the rest of her life. I believe she already had to relocate, change schools and is being blamed while her attackers are given sympathy by their town,the media, parts of the nation? Fuck that.

But then again, my views lean on the extreme when it comes to the justice system, which I don't plan on getting into.
And I think "deserve" is a dangerous, seductive word when it comes to justice. I think the overriding concern for justice of any sort should be minimizing harm across society as a whole, not petty revenge. As Avis Habilis said, revenge might feel good, but it's counterproductive - all you get by turning prisons into a hellish hotbed of stabbings and rape are the kind of convicts who thrive in that environment. If you truly care about making sure what happened to this girl doesn't happen to anyone else, you'll get a lot further with rehabilitation than revenge.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2013, 01:10:39 PM »
What's interesting about this topic is that the CNN report is resonating much better with the students at the high school and middle school my nephews attend than any strident ranting about the horrors of acts.  The girl is lost in the shuffle of those who sputter and swear while she is a more central character in the discussion when the topic is approached as the CNN reporter approached it.  Most of the kids are talking about what the boys threw away by making the choices they did and how they would feel knowing this would be following them the rest of their lives.

Since teens are the target audience I think the method of getting through to them is more important than anything else.  When a report can be used as an object lesson and people who need to get the message pay attention to it sites like Gawker come across as self-serving attention whores.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2013, 02:04:31 PM »
Most of the kids are talking about what the boys threw away by making the choices they did and how they would feel knowing this would be following them the rest of their lives.

Now if only they were talking about why the girl's body wasn't public property.

Offline Caela

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2013, 03:04:07 PM »
All of which would be satisfy a visceral desire for revenge, but useless. What they ought to feel is how profoundly they disgraced themselves by their actions & how shameful their attitude towards women is, with a side helping of how reprehensible it was for everyone else to stand around taking snapshots & giggling. For them to understand why they deserve to be miserable is a lot more important than compounding their misery. If they did, they would be able to change their attitudes & then help change them in other people, maybe do a little something to beat back the tide of assaults.

I question whether they ever will, but that's another matter.

They're young so anything is possible, but I doubt it.

One apologizes, not for what they did to the girl (apparently that's just fine!) but that they took pictures and passed them around. I'm sure he IS sorry they took photos and passed them around since those photos and videos helped convict him! He now knows to be sneakier next time.

The other cries that no one will want him anymore.

People keep saying that this will follow these guys the rest of their lives, BUT these two were tried as juveniles, so does anyone know what OH law says about that?? I know that where I am, a juvenile's records are, usually, sealed once they've served whatever time they've been given (or turn 18/21, depending on what they did) so that their crimes DON'T follow them the rest of their lives. I read that the max sentence they can be given is to be in a juvenile detention facility until they are 21 but it's sounding more like they are going to get only one or two years. At that point this really could all just go away. The media frenzy will be gone and one to whatever the story of the day is, their records could be sealed, and they could just go back to life as usual...particularly if they moved to somewhere else.

The victim is getting death threats and these boys could very well just walk away with a slap on the wrist. There's no justice in that.

I, personally, believe that violent offenders should be tried as adults and sentenced accordingly.

ETA: A quick google search comes up with http://www.opd.ohio.gov/Juvenile/JV_Sealing.htm which makes it look like the records couldn't be expunged, but could be sealed IF a Board decided that the boys were "rehabilitated".
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 03:11:20 PM by Caela »

Offline RhapsodyTopic starter

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2013, 06:22:52 PM »
ETA: A quick google search comes up with http://www.opd.ohio.gov/Juvenile/JV_Sealing.htm which makes it look like the records couldn't be expunged, but could be sealed IF a Board decided that the boys were "rehabilitated".

Rape is listed as a crime that cannot be sealed. This will follow them their entire lives, and rightly should.

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2013, 06:34:07 PM »
Now if only they were talking about why the girl's body wasn't public property.

There is a lot of talk about that and a lot of talk about what not to do on both sides of the coin.  Some of the senior girls have started a group to counsel the younger girls about parties, drinking and behavior as they get exposed to these facts of life.  It's a kind of "Party safe - not sorry" movement.  I hope they can keep it alive.

Offline meikle

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2013, 06:35:35 PM »
This statement, this sentiment... really bothers me. Don't want to get into it at length in-thread right now; I'm sure I'd go into aggressive firebrand mode, and I'm trying to be better than that. But... is more rape really any sort of a solution to rape?
Rape culture, yay!

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