I’m sitting here stupefied by how similar a 2011 video parody from ‘The Onion’ about college athletes getting away with rape is to the actual Steubenville coverage from CNN. After watching both videos, I may actually be sick.
First, The Comic’s Comic posted this parody video from The Onion SportsDome in 2011:
In it, Colorado basketball player Jacob Ross is profiled for overcoming having raped a girl his freshman year of college. Jacob is portrayed as sympathetic and having made a little mistake, but is cheered by friends and faculty alike for overcoming his trauma with no mention made of the girl he raped. It’s meant to be dark, black humor shedding light on rape culture in college sports and the media.
But today, it’s not so funny (or it’s in fact especially poignant) because it pretty much mirrors CNN’s actual coverage of the Steubenville rape verdict.
It’s frighteningly similar, and it’s making my chest ache. In the above video, CNN’s Poppy Harlow talks about the “ruined lives” of the two young men who raped an unconscious 16-year-old girl without once mentioning the horror and trauma the victim must face for the rest of her life. In the Onion video, the joke is that the victim is never thought about, cared for, or even mentioned.
And on the ACTUAL NEWS, this is exactly what happens. Candy Crowley actually asks, “What’s the lasting effect on two young men of being found guilty of rape?” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ARE YOU ACTUALLY KIDDING? What about the lasting effect of being raped and photographed and peed on and dragged through the mud in the media? My blood is boiling. It’s exactly like ‘The Onion’s’ parody, only it’s real.
Watch both videos. It’s sickeningly stunning that this was allowed to air. As The Comic’s Comic says, “Today, it’s not funny.”