Saturday, July 26, 2003

Disgusting behavior in the media

Pen-Elayne, Trish Wilson, and TBOGG have all written some great posts on the recent controversy over releasing the [alleged] victim's name in the Kobe Bryant case.

As they all point out, there are established (and good) reasons why the victim's name should not be released, particularly pre-trial. In this country, the accused has the right to confront his/her accuser -- but that does not mean that the rest of the country has that same right.

But here's another reason the name shouldn't be spread all over the media -- it might not be the right name!

LaRene said she has sent "cease and desist" letters to several Web sites, asking them to stop using the woman's picture. If sites don't comply, she said she will get court orders and did not rule out libel lawsuits.

There are similarities between the woman and the alleged victim, who has accused the Los Angeles Lakers star of sexually assaulting her at a Colorado resort June 30. Bryant has been charged with felony assault, but says the sex was consensual.

Both women are 19, have the same first name and attended Eagle County High School. While the young woman in the Bryant case was a cheerleader, the other woman was on the school's dance squad.

"Somebody put two and two together -- these intersections of similarities -- and came up with five," LaRene said.
Altering photos

Early on, there were two pictures, one of the woman's dance team and another with her standing next to a young man at a dress-up event. Also posted was the name, address, phone number and e-mail of the alleged victim in the Bryant case.

Since then, some Web sites have altered photos to put the wrong woman's face on nude bodies, she said, and others have attached text calling her every combination of profanity imaginable.

"The young woman is suffering. She's mortified and the family is under a great deal of stress," LaRene said. "They're using this girl's photograph and it's causing injury."

What these people have done to this woman is shameful, disgusting, and horrific. But to bring it back around to the subject of releasing victims' names, in general, had she actually been the accuser, it would not have changed the horrific nature of these websites. Posting her phone number and address?! Given the hostile nature of these sites toward this woman, I believe this is attempting to incite violence (one can only hope that no follows through).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

AND! there are some pricks who judge others for their appearance which I think is DUMB or may I say inconsiderant; AND! honestly I don't give a f**k about Kobe "Bu bu" Whatever his name is.
(this is just a splurge)-AND it's meanful