Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Prof. KC's Johnson's must-read post about the mainstream news media and false rape claims

Professor KC Johnson has done more to publicize the plight of  persons falsely accused of rape than any contemporary American, and I don't make that statement lightly.  We rarely discuss Duke lacrosse here because that's his territory at Durham in Wonderland, and most anything we'd write would be superfulous. How important was Prof. Johnson's blogging in forcing the world to notice the plight of three seemingly unlikely victims in the Duke case?  It's impossible to quantify, but significant.  As but one indication, when the three young men were declared "innocent," Reade Seligmann thanked Johnson in a prepared statement.

In this post from yesterday, Professor Johnson notes the disturbing habit of the press to rush to judgment when it comes to rape claims -- something we constantly write about. He reports on how the press dubbed the rape accuser in the Sacred Heart rape case a "victim," and referred to the accuser as a "girl" while calling her same-aged alleged male attackers "men."  He notes that a writer who uses the "victim" nomenclautre "has concluded that a crime occurred, since otherwise, how could the (unnamed) accuser be a victim?" Regarding the news outlet that seems confused about the age of adulthood for females, he wrote this:  "It’s unclear if Newsday policy suggests differing ages of adulthood for males and females."  Read it here: