Thursday's blatant character assassination of Greg Kelly's rape accuser masquerading as a newspaper cover can either be explained by the New York Post's profound commitment to misogyny, the NYPD, News Corp, or all of the above. But the paper's response to criticisms of their coverage reflects a piercing hatred for basic literacy and is a new low, even for the Limbo of tabloids.
Let's start with the lede: "The woman who accused 'Good Day New York' co-anchor Greg Kelly of rape stepped out last night with her boyfriend for an evening stroll—as her defenders took to the Internet to blast The Post for identifying her." Actually, the fuss isn't about identifying her, but for unabashedly treating her like a lying whore with oodles of anonymous, sneering quotations, putting "rape" in scare quotes, and calling her "shady." But on to the real story!
Referring to a Facebook group created Thursday called Shame on the NY Post, Post reporter Don Kaplan claims his paper's cover "enrag[ed] social network aficionados who believe—despite the findings of a lengthy Manhattan District Attorney's Office investigation—that she is the victim of a sex crime." Not if you can read. Here's what is actually on the Facebook page (JOURNALISM TIP: you have to turn on your computer to read it.)
No one respects the NY Post but we still believe that putting a alleged crime victim's photograph on the cover, calling her 'shady' and putting the word rape in quotes perpetuates the stereotype that women are making up their rapes.
We don't claim to know what happened in this case or any specific case, but character assassination of this young woman is not fair. In addition, it feeds a cultural stereotype that makes it (even) harder for people to report rape and sexual assault.
Since the argument against the Post's coverage has been hopelessly misconstrued, why not have a completely meaningless quote from the paper's EIC?
“Ms. Di Toro is not a victim of a sex crime,” said New York Post Editor-in-Chief Col Allan. “The Post only identified her after the district attorney made this determination.”
The Post is capable of great reporting. Where are the people in the Post who agree that they went too far? Surely they exist. Why not speak to them? Why not ask the EIC an actual question? Or, maybe just run a photo of Di Toro and her boyfriend, since round-the-clock paparazzi harassment doesn't come cheap. Ah, that's the stuff.