Of course, it’s not CNN’s fault. They just report the news, after all. It’s what’s happening in the news these days that has made me so completely irate.
Here’s what I mean:
Everyday I check my CNN app. I’ve been thankful to have it when big news stories were breaking—like the Trayvon Martin decision and the royal baby’s birth. (Hey, shut up. It was big news for some of us.) But lately, the news I’ve been reading on my CNN app is at best making me want to stick my fingers in my ears and yell “LA LA LA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” and is at worst filling me with the aforementioned white-hot burning rage.
Mostly, it’s the rage.
For example, here is a screenshot of what I saw on my phone today:
From top to bottom, here’s what we have: victim blaming, rapist sympathy, blatant ignorance, the New York Times, and homophobia.
I didn’t read the New York Times article, and I don’t think it would make me mad. So let’s not worry about that one.
But let’s go ahead and talk about the others.
First of all, let’s talk about “Girl raped, kills self; rapist gets 30 days.” Let’s talk about that one. Because, seriously, WHAT IN THE ACTUAL F*CK CAN BE GOING ON IN OUR COUNTRY THAT THIS CAN HAPPEN?
Here’s the gist of this disturbing story: A 49-year-old high school teacher entered into a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student.
Wait a minute. Stop. That right there seems to me to be all you need to know, right? An adult in a position of power had sex with a child. A CHILD. Doesn’t seem that complicated to me.
Sadly, there’s more: The teacher was charged and as the case progressed, the victim committed suicide—apparently at least in part because of the emotional fallout she suffered from the assault and its aftermath.
Please please please get the full details at CNN, but after some ups and downs, the case came before a judge on Monday. Prosecutors asked for a 20-year sentence for the teacher, who had previously admitted to one of the rape charges. The judge sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
Seems like the least he could do, right?
But then? THEN? Then he suspended all but 30 days of the sentence.
That’s right. The 49-year-old male teacher who had sex with his 14-year-old student will spend just 30 days in jail. Because the judge said that, in taped interviews, the girl seemed “older than her chronological age” and seemed to have had “as much control of the situation” as her teacher did.
As tragic as it is that the girl took her own life, it really shouldn’t matter to the case. Even if she had overcome this awful period of her life—gone on to college, fallen in love, married, built a career, had children—even THEN it wouldn’t change the facts of the case. She was raped. Her rapist should be punished, severely. And 30 days in jail does NOT count as “severely.” Not even close.
(And if it turns out that we can be judged not by our chronological age but by the age we act, then I should either be able to shop at Forever 21 again or qualify for an AARP discount at the movies, depending on the day. But neither is actually possible, because my chronological age is forty and that’s the ONLY AGE I HAVE!)
*Blogger takes a deep cleansing breath and starts to let go of the rage…*
*But then she looks at this picture again*
What else do we have here? For one, the Hannah Anderson article. In it, the sister of the 40-year-old man who allegedly kidnapped 16-year-old Hannah has said that the girl was “trouble,” and that she believes her brother is, in fact, the victim.
I. Just. Can’t.
It does seem that there are undisclosed details of this case that may explain more about the relationship between these two and what happened, and I can’t blame DiMaggio’s sister for demanding more information from the authorities. But to me it boils down to this: She is 16. He was 40. Unless she willingly went camping in the Idaho wilderness with him (while wearing pajama pants, no less), then SHE is the victim.
That one makes me mad, but we’ll just have to wait and see how angry I feel when all the details of the case finally emerge.
What’s next? How about this: Nine children and seven adults, all of whom have ties to a Texas mega-church that preaches against immunization, have been stricken by measles. Many of them had never been immunized. The church’s senior pastor said this about their stand against immunizations: “The concerns we have had are primarily with very young children who have family history of autism and with bundling too many immunizations at one time."
Just. Please. Stop.
Then go ahead and read this here article HERE that says, once again, that there are no scientifically proven ties between vaccines and autism.
Finally, we have the Cory Booker story. Booker is the mayor of Newark, NJ, and is running for the state’s U.S. Senate seat. Apparently, there are people out there who wonder whether Booker is straight or gay. Booker told The Washington Post this week that he responds to questions about his sexuality by saying, in essence, “Who cares?” NOT “I’m straight, but who cares?” and NOT “I’m gay, but who cares?” Just plain old, “Who cares?” I love this, because by answering the question he’d be implying that his sexual orientation somehow mattered and had some bearing on his ability to govern. And, of course, it doesn’t.
Well, wait a minute. That’s not rage. Where’s the rage?
Here it is: Booker’s rival, Republican Steve Lonagan, thinks Booker’s remarks are “weird.” He says, “As a guy, I personally like being a guy. I don’t know if you saw the stories last year. They’ve been out for quite a bit about how [Booker] likes to go out at three o’clock in the morning for a manicure and pedicure,” a practice that Lonagan called a “fetish.”
Please. Make. All. Of. This. Stop.
So, a man is gay because he gets manis and pedis? Wait…not just gay, but a fetishist??? AND the fact that Cory Booker gets manis and pedis is A) newsworthy to some people, and B) relevant to his ability to govern?
Well, Booker may not always comment on his sexuality, but he has fully admitted to getting manis and pedis. And he has said that both are great but pedis, especially, are “transformative.”
Well, duh. But this is still NOT NEWS and still DOES NOT SPEAK TO HIS ABILITY TO GOVERN.
Oh, crap. I just thought of something. If a man who gets manicures must be gay, then a woman who never gets manicures must also be gay, right?
Shhhh…no one tell my husband our marriage is a sham. My ragged fingernails are proof.