Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC are all under fire for airing the name of the 16-year-old Steubenville rape victim whose case has just been closed. The airing has angered the public, some of whom criticized CNN for appearing to express sympathy for the young rapists.
During an episode of "America's Newsroom," correspondent Mike Tobin provided the information that has, until now, been protected by the press. The segment was meant to be censored so that the young woman's identity was protected, but for some reason the video aired uncensored.
"We have not known, really, how the victim is doing, Mike," host Martha MacCallum said. "Is there any information on that today?"
"Well, a relative tells me that she spend a lot of time in her room. She has been back out playing sports, and through it all– you'll be surprised to learn– she made the honor roll one more time," Tobin said. "A family representative says the remorse coming from the football players came too late. We saw their reaction yesterday."
The footage then shifted to the courtroom, and as one of the defendants, Trent Mays, apologized, the victim's name was used and uncensored, RawStory.com reported. RawStory did censor the video before publishing the piece.
"I would truly like to apologize to [victim's name], her family, my family and the community. No picture of the rape should have been sent around, let alone even taken," Mays said.
Now Fox News, along with MSNBC and CNN, is dealing with the fallout from airing the young girl's name. People are enraged at the violation; the media had, until now, managed to keep her name out of the press and protect her privacy. The defendants were named because initial reports surfaced, even though they too were minors.
Fox News took the brunt of the public's outrage over the name being released, though MSNBC and CNN did so before the news network.
"Fox News one-ups CNN, name 16 year old Steubenville rape victim on air… what is wrong with people? Unacceptable and wrong!" tweeted John P. Wills.
"She has been getting death threats… this is completely irresponsible!" tweeted UniteWomen.org.
After coming forward with the accusations of rape, the victim began receiving threats of all types, including death threats that police took seriously enough to provide protection. She and her mother have both kept their names out of the media in order to try and remain safe.