Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Two Minutes Hate

Allegedly You're Using it Wrong

I know our society is very litigious and I feel bad for news reports and such that have to deal with the worry of slander, defamation, and libel lawsuits.  I know when they are reporting an arrest that they have to say something like "The suspect allegedly killed the victim."  That is a fine statement.  Obviously, the person has not been convicted yet, so allegedly works great and keeps the news team out of trouble.

However, more and more, there are more "allegedlys" being thrown into news reports.  The other night I heard something like "...when the victim was allegedly murdered."  Wrong.  The victim was definitely murdered,  he didn't stab himself in the back three times.  I laughed the first time I heard something like this because it just seemed like a dumb mistake.  "Stupid news person, mixed their words and thoughts around."  But it is happening about once a week now.

Is it due to fear of being proven wrong like in the Duke Lacrosse Rape Scandal thing from a few years ago...where the victim ended up being discredited?  (Personally, I think there was probably some incident and I am not sure the lady deserved the mud dragging she received, but I am also not sure that the boys deserved to be accused of what they were either.) I know there has been a lot of liars in the news making false claims - Susan Smith, the Balloon Boy's parents, etc...but are all victims and crimes to be considered suspect because of this?

I don't like it.  To me it seems like further victimizing the victim.  Of course, there are some stories that just don't sound plausible in the first place and should be scrutinized and doubted - I am looking in your direction Jeremy London (I don't care if someone has been arrested or not, it still sounds fishy to me).  However, I think most victims do not need to have an "allegedly" thrown in front of their crime.  That guy really was murdered, nothing alleged about it.

End Hate

1 comment:

Lax Guy said...

I like this post. Allegedly is just one word that is constantly used incorrectly in the modern media.
One point of contention:
The Duke case was proven to be roughly 99% fabricated. Two of the accused players were not IN TOWN during the party, one of which she positively identified in two photo line ups. The boys were acquitted on all charges. Mike Nifong, the prosecutor, ignored evidence and coerced Crystal Gail Mangum into exaggerating some events in an effort to bolster his political career.
Yes, there was a party. Yes they hired strippers. But there was no evidence of rape or any sexual conduct between Mangum and the players. DNA tests showed that she had sex with at least three African American individuals that day prior to the party. There was no evidence of forced entry with a foreign object as she said. The other stripper contradicted everything Mangum said. Blood tests showed illegal drugs in Mangum's system at the time of the attack.
Based on the evidence and information that was released following the dismissal of the case, this appears to be an instance of using racial tension for gain. Nifong attempted to use this case to "make" his career; he is now disbarred in every state for fabricating evidence. Mangum seems to have been using the criminal case as a means to a financial settlement. Lacrosse players are traditionally well off; Duke laxers tends to come from prominent families. The potential for "hush money" was fairly high.
Crystal Gail Mangum was recently in jail herself (out on bail) for arson and child endangerment. Other charges include contributing to the delinquency of a minor and resisting arrest. She is not allowed to have any contact with her children.