News coverage of Calif gang-rape victim: “Church Going Honor Student”

October 29, 2009

A headline from ABC News.com: G ang Rape Victim Was Church Going Honor Student

The victim of last weekend's brutal gang rape at her homecoming dance was a devout Christian who attended church three times a week and whose friends say had been looking forward to the homecoming dance for weeks.

http://abcnews.go.com/WN/students-officials-stopped-gang-rape/story?id=8945716

Curious that any journalist would find this angle worthy of reporting. I guess it's a good thing that she wasn't an atheist and average student, huh? Would that change the circumstances, or make the rape any less tragic or horrific?

Comments:

#1 Personal Failure (Guest) on Thursday October 29, 2009 at 12:42pm

You see, atheists like to be raped. Cuz we’re all immoral and stuff.

Jackasses.

#2 SimonSays on Thursday October 29, 2009 at 1:43pm

Same is true for all non - Natalee Holloway type victims on TV. Ward 8 of Southeast DC has had about 60 cases of reported sex abuse this year alone.

To quote Manufacturing Consent, this shows who the Worthy and Non-Worthy Victims are in the mainstream media.

#3 Sharon Drosehn (Guest) on Friday October 30, 2009 at 5:21am

I, too, find it annoying when the victim is described in such a way that you think-Well what if the victim was ugly?  or whatever.  People have more sympathy for some victims than others. Not right.

#4 Josh Miller on Saturday October 31, 2009 at 4:39pm

The comments posted here remind me of a cutaway from an episode of the TV cartoon Family Guy. There’s a schoolbus crash and an offical tells reporters that one child, “Becky Gunderson”, did not survive. The official then corrects himself, saying “oh, sorry - it’s Becky Guttierez”. The reporters then walk away disgruntled, saying “that’s not news!”

Certain ethnic and religious characteristics do, in fact, make a victim more sympathetic to a particular audience. I surmise the reporter included it because for many people it made the child more sympathetic and the crime more heinous…a fact which is frightening and disturbing.

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