CNN and the Real Steubanville Rape Vicitms

The topic of rape is all the rage these days in corporate media. All I can appreciate about this is that at least the horrific epidemical crime – rape – that has always existed, is on the front page of most websites and, of course, on CNN.

Aggressive personal and physical crime is, Itself, horrifying. It doesn’t matter if the victim suffers a little or suffers a lot. The victim suffers and that is that.

The perpetrator, the aggressor, the person who believes that he or she has the inherent right to abuse another human being, is not the victim. That person gives up their civic and humanistic rights to elicit empathy from  decent minded and civilized human beings. It doesn’t matter if a person is highly educated or living with a low IQ, religious or atheist, decent people know right from wrong.

But apparently at CNN, at one time America’s best-known voice of corporate propaganda, Video talking heads Candy Crowly and Poppy Marlow are not decent and civilized human beings. Their gushing concern for the Steubanville rapists, who’s lives have been ruined by that 16 year-old girl passed out, abused and raped by them,  has destroyed their high school football and potential college football careers.

Read here for yourself, “Harlow explained that it had been “incredibly difficult” to watch “as these two young men — who had such promising futures, star football players, very good students — literally watched as they believed their life fell apart.”

“What’s the lasting effect though on two young men being found guilty juvenile court of rape essentially?” Crowley wondered.”

Now I don’t know about what Candy and Poppy did when they were 16, but when I was 16, thank goodness I was never subjected to having been attacked by a passed out girl with the intention of causing me to rape and physically abuse her and then taking photos of her while laughing and bragging about it to my friends. I just can’t imagine how my life would have turned out if that had happened.

In fact, when I was 16, my friends were all jocks plus they were potheads and beer drinkers. Some of my friends even dropped acid during football games. My football team was undefeated and we won the Central Massachusetts Championship game, coming back from a 20-point deficit to win 21-20 in the closing seconds of the game. (If ever there was time to celebrate with raping a drunk passed out girl it was then!)

It was the mid-1970s, and we all had had enough of the social divisions caused by inherent racism and classism in society. We were sick and tired of America’s war against South-East Asia, we were the class of 1976 and we just wanted peace and harmony with each other.

We had mad parties in fields with cars lined up by the dozens on common weekend nights and hundreds during graduation periods. Being from a small Norman Rockwell kind of town in Central Massachusetts, I suppose, when I think back, my parents, elders, teachers, community leaders and merchants, old people sitting on benches, and my friends, instilled in me a system of values and morals that didn’t allow me to abuse drunk passed out girls on party nights. Not that there weren’t many opportunities to do that. In fact, there were too many. Rape, though, was just something we  didn’t do to our friends and girls we knew or didn’t know.

I’m not naïve to think that women and girls were never raped in my town when I was growing up. No doubt there was that. But the CNN reporters, the clowns on Fox News making fun of potential Senate candidate Ashley Judd’s childhood experience, and U.S. Senators justifying rape as a cause for supporting the repeal of Roe v. Wade, is sick and disgusting. Unfortunately, these attitudes are the prevailing attitudes partly because of a right-wing corporate media that perpetuates (mainly white) elitism over common sense and equal rights and justice for all.

Candy and Poppy, your concerns over the victims of the Steubanville rape are in front of your face. Just Google “prison rape” to get an idea about what could happen to your pals from Ohio. I don’t advocate that those young men should be themselves raped and tortured, publicly humiliated, abused and made to feel like a slab of beef at a Texan BBQ contest. But justice in the United States today is strange and foreign. It’s like there is no more Constitution. We are Abu Ghraib’ing ourselves at the command of the corporate domination of our society. That and the willing and seemingly mindless millions of lemmings left in the dark by your twisted propaganda and your insensitivity to decent and moral thinking people everywhere.

Ko Tha Dja is an educator and writer who lived in Burma for five years. His collection of stories about his time in Burma is forthcoming. Now residing in Vientiane, Lao PDR, he can be reached via his personal blog at Read other articles by Ko Tha Dja.