I'm just so glad that the likes of Durham, North Carolina...which, at best, has been plagued with racial incidents across all groups that reside and work there since I have moved here well before and since 1992, including the 6 years I lived and worked there...now has to have this case of alleged rape by Duke University lacrosse players made into a full-blown racial debate by the major media outlets. Yes, race is involved, as almost everything is in Durham. Yes, Duke students are known for their money and partying ways (some, but certainly not representative of the majority). Yes, some sort of abuse (according to anonymous reports given to the local press, anyways) went on that fateful night. And yes, everybody in Durham and at Duke University...regardless of age, economics, or background...wants justice served and some semblance of a normal life returned here. Unfortunately, no, that's not going to happen. Why? Because the circus...aka the media...has come to town.
Since Sunday, the alleged rape story has been the main news story on nothing less than the AOL sign-on page, a featured article in "The New York Times", and then yesterday was a major debate on MSNBC's TV show featuring Rita Cosby, on "Rita Cosby's Live and Direct." Not to mention being picked up by countless news wires, blogs, and home pages nation and worldwide. And what is disturbing about that, you ask? Just that no new news has broke yet from the case, essentially...except that now the media is hellbent to create some to fill the void. The only thing we 'know' today that we didn't last week is that now the Durham District Attorney says DNA evidence will now not be available until next week (second time thus delayed). After that, it's speculation that is being turned into news, if for no other reason than sheer repetition and hope for ratings. Local community, local race relations, local town and gown partnerships be damned. May is sweeps month, after all..
The truth is out there regarding what really went in that house on Buchanan, but God only knows if that truth will ever see the light of day...a person actually living here locally just senses the news 'needs to go a certain way' to please the media covering the story. And the sad thing is, that said, neither side is going to be a 'winner'. Welcome to the circus that is journalism these days, circa 2006.
Here's the link from the MSNBC's page for Rita Cosby's coverage of the case: Rush to judgment in Duke rape case?
When available, as it should be sometime later on today and/or tonight, I will also include a transcript link to Cosby's show last night (2 April), which featured about a 6-7 minute debate about how inconclusive or even negative DNA findings against the lacrosse players may still be enough to have them charged with rape. It also features snippets of an 'in shadows' interview MSNBC had with the alleged victim's father.