In what constitues a FOX-worthy example of editorializing “the news,” the journalist in question, James McKinley, chooses quotations only from those residents of the town who saw the victim as responsible for her own rape. The piece therefore emerges as an appallingly biased depiction of a rape that an 11-year-old girl brought upon herself. McKinely takes pains to explain the way in which the 11-year-old victim “dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s” and “would hang out with teenage boys,” as if clothing, makeup, and befriending teenagers were acts that might lead those teenagers to commit rape. Furthermore, McKinley’s article describes the men, (some of whom were as old as 27,) as having been “drawn into” the crime, rather than having “committed it.” In this textbook example of the use of the passive voice to transfer agency from subject to object, the sentence shifts the blame from the perpetrator of the crime to the victim. McKinley’s reportage goes as far as to blame the mother of the victim for not keeping her daughter out of trouble—as if it were a mother’s responsibility to prevent all possible criminal activity singlehandedly, after doing the dishes and before bed. Nowhere in the article does McKinley consider the perspective of the other side—the necessary perspective here, the logical one, the one that might, for example lead to the question: “Where were the parents of the young men who committed this rape? Why didn’t they teach their children to respect women?”
March 11, 2011 • Emma Woolley
Like what you're reading? Please consider joining The Hall of Shameless to help sustain this volunteer-run project.
Discuss this story
Shameless prides itself on the diversity of opinions expressed by our writers, and we encourage and appreciate different points of view. Our intention at Shameless is to foster community and to maintain a safe and positive blogging environment; we do not consider it our duty to give a voice to anybody with an opinion.
Discussion on this site is moderated. We will delete comments that:
- use discriminatory language
- use hate speech
- attack our bloggers or other commenters
- are inflammatory.
(We get to decide what's discriminatory, hateful, attacking, or inflammatory).
In some cases, we will cap off comments on a discussion when we feel they are spiralling out of control and fostering an unwelcoming space for bloggers and readers. Comments will be closed by the Web Editor, unless the post is by the Web Editor, in which case the Editor in Chief will close them.
If your comments repeatedly make the same point, they may be deleted. This also applies to comments made by multiple members of the same organization.
Your comments should be about the topic of the post, not its writer—although we certainly encourage praise for our writers, if you want to say something nice.