September 21, 2002

The Makings of An Obsession

[ from Victoria Ward, Artistic Director of Stage Forward ] :

September 15, 2002

Buried in the 9/11 hoopla was a fictitious report posted by MSNBC of an alleged rape of four Westchester, New York, girls by seven black men. This is reminiscent ot the contrived journalism of the Central Park Jogger rape case that is being revisited for recent revelations. Fortunately, this time, there was no repeat of the mass racist hysteria prompted as before as the claims of these delinquent females were easily disproved: reporting that two of them were raped by a single black man in a car while the others checked into a Times Square hotel after a long night of drinking and barhopping. None of these girls recalled where these supposed attacks occurred, nor did any witnesses, video tape surveillance, or credit card track become evident. This time, there were no arrests of innocent black men for the sake of these teenagers that apparently had to make up elaborate excuses for not contacting their families in a timely fashion after attending the MTV Video Music Awards and offering themselves sexually, by their own admission, to meet a rap artist, to no avail. MSNBC, through their News12 Westchester affiliate, was beguiled into reporting the fabrication, but as no other medium picked up the lead (as the report was baseless), the story soon died. With that only exception, overall, this is a greater demonstration of responsible news reporting and police investigation than of the prior slanted, hysterical journalism and corrupt prosecution that are finally being revealed. For example, in an interview by Amy Goodman of Pacifica Radio's Democracy NOW!, New York City Councilman Bill Perkins and defense attorneys Michael Warren and Roger Wareham discuss the previously surpressed confession by Matias Reyes and report of his DNA matching against the Central Park victim, and the recent attempts by certain members of the NYPD and the prosecution to cover up the wrongful arrests and convictions. However belatedly, with continued objective and honest scrutiny, it is likely that the victims of these crimes will be somewhat satistfied and those reporters and prosecutors that willfully paticipated in setting up these undeserved convictions, while allowing the true fatal danger to continue, will be held accountable in a court of law, at the very least in consequence to their own reputations and careers.

All of that is to say I have a new obsession.

Posted by ronn at September 21, 2002 07:10 PM