On Thursday, we alerted you to the New York Post‘s front page, which despicably featured a photo of Greg Kelly’s accuser and scare quotes around the word “rape.” We weren’t the only ones who thought that. Other media outlets like Daily Intel and Jezebel expressed similar sentiments, and a Facebook group called “Shame on the NY Post” has emerged. Today, The Post defends its decision — couching said defense it in paparazzi-like images of the woman.
The Post story first belittles those that decry the paper’s actions which are “enraging social network aficionados who believe — despite the findings of a lengthy Manhattan District Attorney’s Office investigation — that she is the victim of a sex crime”
The Facebook group does not contend to make any judgments on the results of the investigation:
We don’t claim to know what happened in this case or any specific case, but character assassination of this young woman is not fair. In addition, it feeds a cultural stereotype that makes it (even) harder for people to report rape and sexual assault.
The paper goes on to use a quote from Editor-in-Chief Col Allan to buoy their defense:
“Ms. Di Toro is not a victim of a sex crime,” said New York Post Editor-in-Chief Col Allan. “The Post only identified her after the district attorney made this determination.”
Yes, Kelly will not be charged with rape. That is a fact. But this issue has nothing to do with the Post simply reporting the facts of the investigation. It even goes beyond a debate as to whether it is okay to name her in light of the district attorney’s decision. As Gothamist notes, “the fuss isn’t about identifying her.” What people are mad about is the Post‘s perpetuation of the social stigmas placed on any and all women that accuse men — guilty or innocent — of sexual assault. What the Post did, has done and continues to do is egregious example of slut-shaming. Let’s not forget the way they treated their coverage of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case. Now, the most recent article about Kelly’s accuser says she “sauntered past reporters camped out in her Kips Bay neighborhood.” We can argue semantics, but it’s hard to not look at “sauntered” as a loaded word.
Oh, and at the end of the story the Post throws in that Kelly works at Fox 5, which is a News Corp. publication along with the Post.