Did The Onion Predict CNN’s Ill-Considered Coverage of the Steubenville Rape Trial?
Spoiler alert: Yes. They did.
CNN has come under fire for its appalling coverage of the Steubenville rape trial that was shockingly sympathetic towards the two teen athletes who were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl.
As HyperVocal points out, before even mentioning the victim, three CNN personalities spent several minutes lamenting on how much the guilty verdict would “haunt” the two young football players, and their reactions in court, which included them breaking down into tears.
“Incredibly difficult, even for an outsider like me, to watch what happened as these two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believe their life fell apart,” CNN correspondent Poppy Harlow said after the guilty verdict was announced Sunday.
Anchor Candy Crawly then turned to legal expert Paul Callan who weighed in on the “lasting effects” being convicted rapists will have on the lives of the “sixteen-year-olds just sobbing in court.”
Poor them, right? Wrong.
Instead of using their coverage as an opportunity to solicit sympathy for the victim in the situation, CNN — arguably one of the biggest news media organizations in the entire world — chose to solicit sympathy for a pair of athletes whose lives were “ruined” because they chose to rape someone, instead of doing something more productive, like, I don’t know, posting selfies to Instagram, or ranking up on Call of Duty Multiplayer, or something.
What makes CNN’s ridiculous coverage of the Steubenville rape trial particularly interesting though, is the fact that The Onion — the infamous (but HILARIOUS) satire news site — covered a faux rape incident in the same exact manner back in 2011.
The description of the pseudo video report on YouTube reads:
I was a staff writer on the Onion’s show “SportsDome” which aired on Comedy Central in 2011. This is one of the stories we did–full credit to David Iscoe (twitter.com/realhumanbeing) for the idea and script. It could have been produced by the CNN team covering the Steubenville rape verdict.
The resemblance between the clips are uncanny. As BroBible put it, “The two videos could easily be swapped. You’d never know.”