Finally, someone in the national media is standing up for due process
This week marked the first time someone in the national media reported that due process is under attack at colleges and universities across the country.
For too long, only accusers of sexual assault had their side of the story told in the national media. Their stories were rarely questioned, as activists claimed that to question an accuser was to be a rape apologist.
The only time an accusation was ever questioned was when it fell apart spectacularly, as in the Duke Lacrosse case and the Rolling Stone gang-rape story. Even then, those who questioned the accounts were labeled denialists and chastised for daring to question a "victim."
Meanwhile, accused students across the country have been pushing back, insisting that the accusations against them are inaccurate and that they lacked the due process to prove their innocence. They've been largely ignored by the national media. Until now.
This week, Fox News host Megyn Kelly took issue with a particularly egregious case in which a male student received a sex act while he was blacked out and two years later was accused of sexual assault. He was not given the tools to defend himself, such as the representation of counsel (an adviser was allowed to sit with him but couldn't advocate on his behalf) or the ability to compel evidence that could persuade the hearing panel of his innocence.
He was found responsible and expelled. He hired a lawyer, who discovered text messages sent from the accuser immediately after the encounter indicating there was no sexual assault. When the accused student presented these texts to the school, they refused to reopen his case.
Kelly discussed the case three nights in a row. On the first night, she brought on K.C. Johnson, co-author of a book about the Duke Lacrosse rape hoax. The second night she discussed the case with Fox News political analyst Brit Hume, and on the third night she interviewed the accused student's lawyer. Each night, viewers could see the outrage Kelly felt toward the university and the "injustice," as she called it, done to this student.
Granted, this was one case covered in one week, but that's more coverage than the 70 or so other accused students who have sued or are currently suing their university over a lack of due process have gotten. The question now is whether Kelly and others in the national media will continue to investigate these claims and the federal guidelines that make them possible.