Some critics on blogs and Twitter are claiming that CNN's coverage of the outcome of the Steubenville rape trial was too sympathetic to the two Ohio high school football players convicted of rape.
The segment in question started when CNN anchor Candy Crowley said, "I cannot imagine how emotional that must have been sitting in the courtroom," to the reporter on the scene.Two Steubenville High School students were found guilty Sunday of raping an intoxicated 16-year-old girl during a night of partying. The case attracted national attention after social media posts, video and photos of the events surrounding the crime circulated on the internet.
CNN reporter Poppy Harlow replied that it was "incredibly difficult, even for an outsider like me, to watch what happened as these two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believed their lives fell apart."
Later in the segment, Crowley asked Paul Callan, a legal expert, to explain the impact of the verdict on the young men:
"There's always that moment of just - lives are destroyed," Callan said. "But in terms of what happens now, the most severe thing with these young men is being labeled as registered sex offenders. That label is now placed on them by Ohio law. That will haunt them for the rest of their lives."The coverage unleashed a barrage of criticism on Twitter.
Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) tweeted: "Dear @CNN, the verdict didn't "ruin" the "promising" lives of #Steubenville rapists. Their decision to rape did.
Rob Fee (@robfee) tweeted: "Hey @CNN great job focusing on the true victims of the Steubenville trial; those poor, innocent rapists."