This weekend was full of news stories, the biggest one being the U.S. and several other countries reaching a deal with the Iranian Government over it's nuclear program. I'm not going to talk about that. I think the deal speaks for itself. I've decided to take on another, far less covered story.
Crystal Mangum was convicted of Second Degree Murder. (If you don't know her name, it's okay. She faded into oblivion after April 11, 2007. Most of the major media outlets are not going to give her top billing. It wouldn't really do much for their reputations.)
Let me diverge off course for just a moment. Not too long ago, my daughter was in a discussion with her TV Media teacher. The teacher requires the students to have a news story to discuss every day, and this day, one of the students mentioned the miscarriage of justice in the Steubenville Rape case. In the course of the discussion, my daughter mentions how false rape accusations lead to these miscarriages of justice in cases where rape actually does happen. Her teacher says there are is no such thing as a false rape accusation. My daughter mentions a few that have happened in her high school (stunts that were intended to gain attention. It seems in high school fake rape accusations and fake pregnancy is the way to go these days). Being that she was only 10 at the time, the case I would have brought up wasn't anywhere near her radar. We discussed it at home.
Which brings me back to Crystal Mangum and who she is. Ms. Mangum is the stripper who accused three Duke Lacrosse Players of kidnapping and rape. The story became a national media frenzy, and as is the case with all national media frenzies, editorial pages opined about how horrible this all was. Allan Gurganus in the New York Times, had this to say about these boys: “The children of privilege feel vividly alive only while victimizing, even torturing.” The media, professors at universities all across the country, and even politicians raced to judgment. These boys of white, rich privileged lives must be guilty.
Only they weren't. There was very little evidence to prove they had done it, and a whole lot of evidence that made it obvious they didn't. Evidence that Prosecutor Michael Nifong, who was trying to win re-election as the District Attorney of a racially diverse Durham County, illegally hid from the Defense. This act of severe prosecutorial misconduct led to him being fired, disbarred and charged. More than six years after the Attorney General for North Carolina dropped all the charges because, as he said, the accused were innocent, the media, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and 87 Faculty and Board members at Duke University have yet to apologize. It was truly stunning, the rush to judgment, and then the slow slinking away of all those judges when it turned out they had hitched their stars to something that never happened.
So Crystal Mangum won't be making front page news as a convicted murderer. To bring her up is to remind people of medial malpractice, an act that to this day is simply brushed under the carpet and never brought up again. I'm sure those three boys whose lives were ruined don't care, right?
Media Malpractice is alive and well. It was before this, and it will be for years to come because we, the citizens who read their garbage, refuse to hold them responsible. In their rush to be the first to cover a story, they almost never get it right.
Outside of the Rocky Mountain News, most media outlets got most of the massacre at Columbine High School wrong. And their observations are still taken as gospel today.
The same can be said of the shootings in Aurora (remember the accusation that James Holmes was a tea party person?), Sandy Hook (we are still finding out how bad they got that wrong), and the list goes on and on. It's called Media Malpractice. They try, convict and sentence without a shred of evidence. After the Boston Marathon, it was a full day before any news channel even got a hint of the right information. For 24 hours they were permitted to disseminate information that they had absolutely no clue if it was correct, but, they had to have their 24/7 coverage, so they made things up.
Back to Ms. Mangum. It's probably cold consolation to three people who had their lives turned upside down by a pathological liar, who is now a convicted murderer. It's a cold consolation to those of us who questioned from the beginning whether the Duke Lacrosse "Rape" Case deserved the attention it was getting. It's no consolation to the true rape victims who have that much harder of a time, because this case caused people to doubt those accusations. And in the media silence we hear ... crickets.