Steubenville & CNN

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There is a difference between saying “Two boys live's have been ruined” and “Two boys have ruined their own lives.”  The difference is accountability.  While there is no doubt sadness for two 16-year-old boys being sent to prison, that sadness should not overshadow the reason they are being sent to prison: they raped a 16-year-old girl.

I have to change gears here.  The internet is an extremely flawed world.  It is a system/network that gives voices to people with nothing to say.  Today, twitter was overflowing with support for the now-convicted rapists, going so far as to blame the atrocity on the victim.  Let that resonate for a second.  We live in a world where some people believe women can be “at fault” for being raped.  (To be clear: that’s like saying someone who gets shot while being mugged shouldn’t have been in the bullet's path.)  It is absurd reasoning; it is reasoning that is indicative of mental illness.  Most people have the reasoning capability of zombies. They simply react to a pre-programmed understanding of needs and wants, and apply no thought to their reactions to stimulus.  While this is grotesque, it is to be expected from the uneducated and ignorant (re: the people in this world that buy into rhetoric without a baseline understanding or concept of a moral center.)  But, when our news networks act in the same way we are rightfully repulsed.

CNN is receiving backlash for their coverage of the court’s decision to convict the teenage boys.  While they did not blame the victim for the crime, their sympathies were directed towards the rapists.  It could all be in their chosen language.  I say this because there has been a decline in communication in our culture.  Many of today’s “journalists” use words believing they mean something they do not, in the wrong order, with poor syntax and grammar.  In short, people don’t know what they’re saying.  I would like to think this is the case, but it is most likely only part of the problem.

The real problem is that people don’t want to believe that two 16-year-old boys, with the promise of a great future, could so easily stray from their path.  It is a matter of power.  The old quip goes: “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  There is no reason for these two boys to have done what they did without thinking they could have gotten away with it.  They knew their place in society.  They knew that they were looked up to, and that the people in their world anticipated their greatness.  CNN acted not as an impartial journalist, but as a child whose hero has fallen from grace.  They simply did not want to believe it could be true.  (I want to point out that they did not act with this same sympathy when Lance Armstrong admitted to doping – an act which ruined no lives, by a man who helped raise millions for Cancer research.)

Those that lack an understanding of a moral center do not know how to deal with power and status.  They believe their standing is a proverbial Get Out of Jail Free card.  It is a testament to the judge of this case to have looked beyond the lives of the two boys, and to look at the case itself.  No, it will not deter others.  It may not even promote the rehabilitation of these particular boys.  And it will certainly not heal their victim.  But, it was the proper course of action.  The fact that we live in a world where a major news network will sympathize with rapists is sad, but we have learned to accept such nonsense from those with loud voices; the fact that we co-exist with people that blame victims for their wounds is an absurd constant.  In both instances we need to turn a deaf ear.  To rail against them with logic and moral is to give them cause to continue their rhetoric.  To give them no audience is to silence their stupidity.


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