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John Gibson is all over the Duke lacrosse rape case

Reported by Chrish - April 18, 2006

It's good to know that someone is vigorously following the she-said he-said rape accusation case coming out of North Carolina, because heaven knows we all need to be kept apprised of that situation! The Big Story today 4/18/06 devoted almost seventeen, 17! minutes of air time to the case including Gibson's "My Word" segment.

In all honesty I didn't listen to much of the coverage because IT DOESN'T MATTER TO ME (or you) but I did listen to his provocative My Word. Gibson pretends to want to know why we know so much about the two accused young men- their age, names, hometowns, etc. He is concerned that they will be pre-judged and says:

"Here's the reality: They are halfway to ruin. They are done as athletes. Their academic career — if they had one — is probably toast, and they are for the foreseeable future accused rapists.

We know who they are and within minutes we'll know all about their families, their years growing up, what their friends think about them and whether they like Cheerios or Wheaties. We will all make judgments about their guilt or innocence based on stuff we deduce from knowing all these little facts. Some people are going to say: "Oh, he went to that high school and that's enough for me," or "Oh, he didn't have a job in the summers and that's all I need to know."

He tells us that "the convention in the news business" is that alleged victims of rape are not named, "at least for now," then proceeded to tell us what he learned from "newsandobserver.com":

"She is a 27-year-old mother of two who married young, served in the Navy and was once in serious trouble because of an episode of drunken driving and assault that left her with a criminal record. ... There are more details that will doubtless be the subject of testimony when this case comes to trial, including her marriage, her divorce, her two children by a man she left her husband for, her jobs, including a failed attempt to work as a lap dancer at an establishment called Diamond Girls. She didn't get the job, the owner said, because she was acting "funny."

Bottom line: We know the names and faces of the accused. We are going to know their backgrounds, warts and all. Shouldn't we know the same information about the accuser?

Comment: The men have been indicted and charged with a crime. It's a matter of public record. While there has been ongoing debate for years about whether an accuser's name should be made public, the enduring protocol is that it's not.

FOX has been attempting to smear the accuser and rehabilitate the accused since before the indictments were handed down. Not only did Gibson use his platform to divulge these rather negative facts about the alleged victim, the segment immediately following it told a story of how great these guys are, what wonderful homes, famillies, and schools they were from, and how shocked - shocked - their neighbors and former coaches are.

Reporter Douglas Kennedy was agog over how perfect and right everything is in Garden City, NY, home of one of the accused and one of the richest towns in the country. The high school the man attended is one of the most exclusive all-boy academies in New York and his former coach had nothing but praise for him.

Kennedy put forth the premise, supposedly raised by "an alumnus", that the dynamics in Mineola are very similar to those in Durham, i.e. a townies vs. "creme de la creme" interaction, and that may be part of the "positioning" in this case.

Comment: Is this as simple as FOX instinctively siding with the priveleged and mistrusting the minority, or is there some deeper connection? Clearly the young men charged will have the best legal representation money can buy. A well-connected friend or two in the media could help in the court of public opinion.

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