Op-Ed: The Media Learned Nothing From The Duke Lacrosse Hoax
Ten years have passed since a woman falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape. The claim led to a months-long media frenzy and spurred national outrage at the alleged crime of the young defendants.
Every outlet under the sun was willing to believe wholeheartedly the story that district attorney, Mike Nifong, was propagating and took it as fact that the three white Duke students viciously raped a black woman.
Since that time, America learned that the story was completely bogus. Authorities zealously pursued it because one district attorney thought it would help him get re-elected. (Note: it actually did.)
ESPN aired a documentary on the event Sunday which castigated its media compatriots — while excluding itself — who bought into the insidious lie and exposed how unthinking outrage forever ruined the lives of three innocent young men.
Looking back at the affair naturally begs the question: Did we learn anything from this particular rape hoax?
The answer is one big hell no.
Over the last few years the media has fallen for a host of stories that turned out to be completely different than what was originally reported. Throughout 2012 and 2013, we had the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
The initial narrative was one of cold-blooded murder perpetuated by a man with hate in his heart against an innocent black child. Eventually, it turned out the gunman shot Martin in self-defense after having his head repeatedly bashed to the pavement by the 17-year-old.
In 2014, we had two big lies dominate the news cycle: the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the University of Virginia gang rape hoax.
For months, the mainstream media spread the false notion Brown had his hands up and was not a threat when he was fatally shot. The “hands up” story helped fuel the riots that tore up Ferguson and inspired the creation of the Black Lives Matter movement. Even after the shooter, Officer Darren Wilson, was cleared of any wrong-doing by the St. Louis County district attorney, there were still a large number of liberals who still pushed the idea Brown was murdered without justification.
Later on, Eric Holder’s Department of Justice confirmed what local authorities had already determined, and the “hands up” narrative went down the memory hole.
Right around the time the riots were dying out in Missouri, Rolling Stone published “A Rape on Campus.” This depicted a brutal gang rape that supposedly done by members of a University of Virginia fraternity. Dozens of articles were written about how the story showcased the horrific rape culture lurking within American higher education and UVA suspended its entire fraternity system.
However, the story turned out to be an eerie replication of the Duke lacrosse hoax as the “gang rape” turned out to be a twisted fantasy concocted by a demented young woman.
If there’s anything we “learned” from the Duke lacrosse case, it’s that powerful figures and institutions in our society will blindly believe and promote outright lies if they fit a certain narrative.
Liberals want to believe rich white kids get away with horrific crimes, particularly against minorities, because of their skin color and wealth — that’s why they bought the deranged woman’s tale of three Blue Devils sexually assaulting her. Liberals want to believe cops routinely brutalize innocent black youth without repercussion — that’s why they continued to tell us Michael Brown had his hands up. Liberals want to believe there’s a widely-ignored campus rape culture that gives license to frat boys to sadistically rape co-eds — that’s why Rolling Stone published a massive disgrace to proper journalism.
Ten years after Duke, our anointed guardians of truth are as willing as ever to buy lies that conform to their political prejudices.