Media commentary around sexual assault is not a typical topic for this blog, but the continuing downward spiral of the media kind of is, and so can somebody please explain what the hell is going on at The Washington Post? First, over the weekend they run an opinion piece (not linking to the original, sorry) arguing that sex between teachers and underage students is often “consensual” (not according to the law, hence the whole idea of statutory rape, and anyway, seriously?), not predatory or harmful, and should be decriminalized (though the author, on Twitter, followed up by saying that teachers should still be fired for engaging in this non-predatory, unharmful behavior, for some reason). Today, one of America’s foremost public
intellectuals racists, sexual harassers, war-mongers, and cheaters and cheatees (not to mention amateur burglars, if you read that last story), Richard Cohen, has chimed in to let us know that last year’s horrible Steubenville High School rape was really perpetrated by…Miley Cyrus and her shitty dancing (again, not linking to the original, sorry). This is a piece written by an (alleged) human being, in the year 2013, that actually contains the following sentences:
The first thing you should know about the so-called Steubenville Rape is that this was not a rape involving intercourse. The next thing you should know is that there weren’t many young men involved — just two were convicted.
Probably the whole thing is identifiable as Cohen’s handiwork just from the metric ton of oozing misogyny contained in just those two sentences. Later he actually writes this (h/t to Scott Lemieux for catching it):
You could compare what happened in Steubenville, Ohio, to the notorious 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese, 28, who was stabbed many times while her horrified neighbors in Queens, N.Y., allegedly watched and did nothing. Maybe. But the neighbors were scared or confused, not sure of what was happening. They were not taking pictures and having a jolly good time — and, besides, subsequent reporting greatly reduced the number of inert witnesses from an astounding 38 to far fewer (maybe none) who heard screams and did not actually see the killing. This was an urban legend that arose out of fear of urban living.
“The Steubenville case is comparable to this other event that, it turns out, never happened, so I believe my point is clear.”
I’m wondering if Jeff Bezos is at home trying to print up a packing slip and mailing label to return his recent purchase of the foremost pro-rape daily of our nation’s capital.