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Thursday, April 12th 2007

The Duke Accuser Getting Killed By Media

I was hard on the Durham student/stripper who falsely accused three Duke lacrosse players of raping her. But not as hard as John Podhoretz in the New York Post (h/t Reddit).

It is the policy of the news media not to publish the names of rape accusers on the grounds that they should not have to fear public shame for coming forward with word of a horrifying personal violation.

That is a noble policy. But it needs a codicil. The codicil is that if a rape accuser is revealed as a liar, her name should be spoken loudly and often – as loudly and often as the names of those whom she falsely accused have been over the past year.

Her name is Crystal Gail Mangum.

[P]eople who are tempted to do the monstrous thing Mangum did should fear public exposure.

They should be terrified of it.

They should have nightmares about it.

Yowzer! Not that I don’t basically agree with his assessment. Especially seeing as she won’t be facing criminal charges. But Mr. Podhoretz is certainly claiming a hefty responsibility for the media – not only do they have a responsibility to protect the identities of true rape victims but they have a responsibility to reveal and demean those shown to have made false accusations.

In other round ups of the “end” of the Duke Lacrosse rape fiasco, District Attorney Nifong made his first public statement but refused to take questions. A different tone than we heard earlier.

It is difficult, if you truly try to be empathetic to the three falsely accused and their family and friends to imagine at least a level of forgiveness of Mr. Nifong. But, although I couldn’t blame them, hopefully they won’t hold hate in their hearts forever and they can come to some kind of terms for what happened to them.

Maybe the lawsuit they’re considering will help achieve that.

It’ll be difficult to cite this case as evidence of the need for tort reform. :)