They’re reporting, quite sympathetically, on the Steubenville, Ohio rape case in which two high school students, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl and in which photos of her naked body, post-rape, were taken and circulated on the internet. The report is chock-full of sympathy and concern for lingering effects on reputation, psychological well-being and future aspirations…for the rapists.
Watch and be amazed. These are two women reporting?
Crowley starts the segment with an interview with Harlow, who covered the story at the scene. Harlow, greatly moved by the plight of two young men whose lives are ruined because they were convicted of raping a girl, says it was “incredibly difficult” to watch the proceedings. “These two young men,” she reports with a look that asks, Is this what our society has come to?, “who had such promising futures — star football players, very good students — literally watched as they believed their life fell apart.”
There’s even a human interest angle with Richmond who lives with foster guardians because his alcohol father is unfit to raise him, and how his father, who attended the trial, told Richmond “I love you,” which is something he’s never been heard to say before. Harlow sadly recounts Richmond’s reaction to the verdict: “My life is over; no one is going to want me now”.
Crowley then talks to CNN legal correspondent Paul Callan, asking him about the lasting effects that a rape conviction would have on May and Richmond. “That will haunt them for the rest of their lives,” he replies. There’s no talk of the effect their actions will have on their victim.
For the entire segment, CNN’s focus is on the boys and the effects that this conviction will have on their lives. There is talk of the boys, elliptical references to the crime, but not one mention of — and certainly no concern for — the person upon whom the crime was committed.
Suddenly, this parody news piece by The Onion from two years ago, Athlete Overcomes Rape, in which a star basketball player tries to put the rape he committed behind him, seems downright prescient: