Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How to smear a conservative running for Governor? Talk about her presumptively innocent son as if he's a rapist, of course

Meg Whitman, the GOP candidate for Governor of California, has been hit by another storm of nasty rumors, just in time for the election next week. Whitman’s son, Griffith Harsh, a former student at Princeton University, was accused of brutally attacking and raping a former classmate at that venerable institution back in 2006.  The "report" of this incident is found here.

The implication of the report is that Griffith got away with rape because his mother was a major donor at the school.

Let's briefly, and quickly, dissect the story to demonstrate the ways the progressive electronic media is even less responsible than the progressive print media when it comes to discussing the presumptively innocent accused of rape.  (If that's possible.)  From the story:

"On a spring night in 2006, Griff—then a sophomore—went partying on the Street, a boozy row of private undergraduate dining clubs. As he would later tell a panel of university disciplinarians, he ran into a classmate and went home with her. They had sex. She awoke the next morning with a black eye, bruised face and, she told friends, no memories from the previous night. According to multiple sources—one of whom was a dormitory adviser at the time—the girl told her friends Griff Harsh had raped her.

Let's stop right there.  They were partying. They went home. They had sex. The anonymous girl had no memory of what happened.  But then, we are led to believe that she legitimately thought she had been raped?  From what?  There is no evidence whatsoever that she was in a near comatose state at the time they had sex.  None. 

Should we assume she was raped because of the bruises?  Because, you know, comatose women who are raped always incur bruising, right?  Even a friend of the unnamed woman said this: "She had clearly hurt herself badly. Or been hurt badly."  Gee, it's one or the other, so let's just assume it had to be that she had "been hurt badly," and that she had been badly hurt during a rape. Right?

The story goes on: "A friend who spent time with her the following morning spoke to us under the condition of anonymity: 'She woke up with him on top of her, and he was like, "You need the morning-after pill." And she was like, "Why, what happened?" She didn't remember having sex, she didn't remember consenting, she didn't remember any of it."

See?  Of course he's a rapist.  Because they were drinking, because they went home, and because they had sex, and because she can't remember what happened.  Of course this awful predator must have taken advantage of the poor, innocent-as-a-lamb young woman.

Here's Griff's side of the story: "[H]e thought she had been sober enough to consent." He and the unnamed girl had had "two sexual encounters prior" to this incident. As for her injuries? "He attributed her injuries to an accidental fall."

She didn't go to the police. She didn't have a rape kit prepared.  Why?  Because, supposedly, she didn't want to go through the mess of accusing the son of a powerful person. (And, you see, that might have allowed police to, you know, hold her claim up to the scrutiny of an investigation.)  She didn't want to put herself through that, but she was OK with putting herself through a university disciplinary hearing -- at the very university where the alleged rapist's mother was a powerful donor. Get it? 

Or did she choose that route because, with a disciplinary proceeding at a university, she figured she could destroy Griff in a more accuser-friendly atmosphere? 

At that disciplinary hearing, it was presumably her word (which was that she couldn't remember what happened) against his (which was that he believed she consented). 

The disciplinary panel, which treats its matters as confidential, apparently concluded that it did not have enough evidence to discipline Griff Harsh.

But, of course, that Web site hasn't done enough damage to a young man's reputation.  The article goes on to describe other brushes with the law Griff has had. The fact that these don't relate to the sexual assault of any woman, much less this woman, is beside the point. See, when you gotta smear someone, any mud will do.

Here's loopy Salon's take on it: "The actions of adult children shouldn't be used to cast aspersions on the character of their parents, but the sight of a wealthy young man who keeps getting away with everything puts the lie to a gubernatorial campaign predicated on the idea that wealth and business acumen go hand in hand with American virtues like responsibility and hard work."

See?  Griff got away with "everything," including, presumably, rape. All because he found himself on the losing "he" side of a "he said/she said" rape accusation.  (For "he said/she said" rape accusations, the "he" side is akin to the Washington Generals playing the Harlem Globetrotters.)

"If I'm to be branded a rapist, for the rest of my life then there should be some evidence of it," Harsh said in a 2006 statement.  See here.

Why on earth would you think that, Griff?  You obviously are not a regular reader of this blog, are you?  Maybe you should be.