Friday, September 5, 2008

News report of a false rape claim won't identify the false accuser

The news story below reports a false rape claim in a way that treats false rape claims as something akin to rape's ugly stepsister -- she is acknowledged only when she must be acknowledged, but the less said about her the better.

First, the headline says the rape claim was "unfounded."

Ah, excuse me, the claim goes beyond unfounded -- the police said it was a false, and the woman admitted it was a lie. It was a false rape claim, period. This sort of reporting seems to be the product of a political correctness gone haywire. It distorts the truth and has no place in journalism.

Second, the false accuser's name is not mentioned.


When the police say a man raped a woman, his name is splashed all over the newspaper and the Internet for the world to titillate to the details of his humiliation. Men have been insulted, beaten and killed because they were identified as rapists when, it turned out, they weren't.

Here, a woman admits to being a criminal, yet the press protects her identity as carefully as Clark Kent guards Superman's. Why is this criminal treated as if she were a rape victim? Underlying that sort of reporting is the world view that false rape claims are, indeed, a "myth." It ignores the facts and seeks to invent its own twisted truth, and it has no place in journalism.


Rape allegation unfounded

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) Authorities say a 25-year-old woman who reported that she was sexually molested on a gravel road south of Brookings was lying.

The woman initially said she was driving on a gravel road early Sunday when she was pulled over by a car with a rotating white light.

She said two men approached with flashlights and one assaulted her.

Scott Sebring of the Brookings County Sheriff's Office said the woman now admits that she made up the story.

Sebring said alcohol may have been a factor, and the woman had other personal issues.

She is expected to be charged with filing a false report.