Friday, January 12, 2018

Rape solved after right-wing media called it a hoax

Any time there's a high-profile crime that might carry political or social implications, the right-wing thought police lapses into victim-blaming mode and accuses the victim of staging a hoax. The right-wingers often continue claiming it's a hoax even after it was proven to be real. One type of crime that almost always faces this treatment is hate crimes on college campuses, but sometimes it's other crimes too.

Back in 1994 - when New York City was kicking off an unprecedented wave of violent crime - a woman jogging in Prospect Park in Brooklyn was raped by a stranger in broad daylight. Almost immediately, the late Mike McAlary of the New York Daily News wrote that the victim made up her story because she thought it would boost a speech she was planning on giving at a rally protesting violence against lesbians. McAlary repeatedly wrote articles demanding the victim's arrest.

But now - 24 years after the crime - New York City detectives have been able to solve it using technology that didn't exist yet in 1994. Police officials say they have matched the DNA with that of serial rapist James Edward Webb.

The only newspaper I've seen report that the case has finally been solved is Britain's Guardian. The American media ignores this development because it doesn't fit their narrative.

The fact that the right-wing media unrelentingly attacks victims of crimes like this day after day is surely a factor in similar crimes going completely unreported. Who wants to be dragged through mud by the press after already being victimized?

This is why we need to look at legislation to protect crime victims from the media.


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