A woman who attended Occupy Cleveland last Saturday is now saying she was raped by a man she shared a tent with. Police are investigating the allegation, but in the meantime the local NBC station has produced this outrageous report on the situation:
According to reporter Tom Beres, the big question is: “how much damage this will do to all the work that has been done and the future of the occupation.” Really? Is that the big question or is it “Was this woman raped and if so by whom? The report gets worse from there. Here’s Beres’s narration:
Occupy Cleveland’s tent city, a colony of protesters challenging Wall Street greed and a political system that helps the rich…
After a recitation of the charges and what amounts to a denial by organizers, i.e. we don’t make sleeping assingments, the report goes completely off the rails. We get a reaction from someone who isn’t named and reportedly isn’t part of the protest but is “familiar” with it:
I don’t believe any of these guys would do anything like that there. So I think someone probably brought her here, set her here and to spend the night and hang out with them for one day just to say she was raped.
Look, maybe the producers of this segment could justify some kind of character witness for the protesters saying he believes these are good people. Unfortunately, they let this individual go a lot further than that. He insinuates the girl is a liar and part of a conspiracy to discredit them. And without any clarification or reaction, that’s where Tom Beres wraps it up:
So again the question, how much damage will this ugly allegation do?
And again I ask, is this really the question? Is what matters here the damage the accusation could do or the damage allegedly already done to the alleged victim? Can you imagine a local news report on a rape allegation at a fraternity house taking this same perspective:
Ugly allegation of rape could damage the work of Kappa Gamma house
Finally, the silence of the national media on this is noteworthy. Maybe they’ve decided to wait on more facts before reporting the allegation. Still, it’s hard to imagine similar restraint if this had been a tea party rally.