CBS Sportsline’s Mike Freeman wrote an article yesterday entitled, “Duke case shows: Hurtful stereotypes come in all colors.” In a piece certainly crafted with nothing more than ratings in mind, Freeman melds the two most incendiary race-war stories into a sensationalist, gushing amalgam.
Ok. Let me tell you why I object to this article. Notwithstanding this shameless attempt to do double-duty, reporting on both the Rutgers and Duke stories, there is a stark difference between having sexual assault charges dropped and being exonerated of moral turpitude. These guys weren’t otherwise saintly victims of circumstance. They were not simply in the wrong place at the wrong time; they live their lives in the wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong thing.
Porn-style photos of two exotic dancers — one of whom was the accuser — emerged from cellphone camera downloads. Heated exchanges between players and dancers occurred. Racial slurs were heard. And in an ‘American Psycho’ reference, a repulsive e-mail message depicting the skinning of strippers was sent by a player, Ryan McFadyen, who, to his credit, has since apologized.
- Selena Roberts, New York Times
These are not good people; and comparing them to the women of Rutgers is a slap in the face to an upstart program that personifies the emerging parody in Womens’ College Basketball.
But they are not rapists. Fortunately, these guys had the financial wherewithal to prove it. However, in a country where poor defendants are still given unqualified public council in death penalty cases, I won’t lose a wink of sleep over three trust-fund punks with tarnished reputations.
I have certainly veered here, but here is one last, brief observation. The news—yes, this is going to be a general, clichéd observation—has gotten way too sensationalist. That this even begins to pass for responsible journalism, “Donald Imus spews his hurtful and hateful words, using the airwaves as a verbal noose,” is an indictment of all mainstream media (doing my best Drudge impression).
I’d like to see Mike Freeman suspended for 2 weeks for over-sensationalizing two non-stories.