To: NBC News, Meet the Press
re: Important stories, poor coverage
The important part here is that you’re doing it wrong.
Make the case? Okay, first of all, how about you explain the question: What part of affirmative consent does Chuck Todd find confusing?
“Is affirmative consent the best way to handle sexual assaults on campus?” To the one, why is affirmative consent not the standard?
Pretending there is a gray zone, inviting a rape defender like Matt Kaiser to argue on behalf of the plaguing number of rapists who aren’t really rapists but were just confused?
We live in a country where prosecutors have the discretion to ignore rape confessions because, well, the state (e.g., Colorado) thinks the victim deserved to be raped.
That Chuck Todd should pretend to be confused by the concept of affirmative consent is worrisome.
In a related issue, look, what is it with NBC News and trying to bury important stories? Providing a transcript for this particular Meet the Press endeavor just isn’t worth it to NBC News. Sure, we can get the transcripts of politicians reciting platitudes and talking points, but here you have a very important issue, and a guest trying to distill the argument in favor of rapists, and, well, maybe there’s a reason they don’t want that transcript on the record?
The segment was a disgrace. Meet the Press is a disgrace. And Chuck Todd certainly didn’t help NBC News’ reputation. Is mutual consent the best approach? Well, what would be better? Individual consent, disregarding of the other? Good one, Chuck.
Sexual assault is a horrible thing, whether it’s on campus or not. And, obviously, as a society we need to figure out a way to respond to that.
Asking colleges to do this, it isn’t fair to schools, it isn’t fair to the people who are accused, and it isn’t fair to the women who suffer through this.
It really does sound like rape advocacy: It isn’t fair to schools to expect that they not make excuses to aid and abet criminals. It isn’t fair to accused rapists that they should know they have permission to have sex with another person. It isn’t fair to rape survivors because … er … ah … well, it just isn’t fair to rape survivors. Because Matt Kaiser says so!
So let us invite Meet the Press and NBC News to answer a straightforward question: Is rehashing toxic excuses the best way to handle anything?
The school still has an incentive to find the man responsible. If the woman is found to not be credible, if the woman is found to be lying, if she has been treated in any way she objects to, she can run to the Department of Education. She can run to file a civil lawsuit against the school. And schools know that.
Mr. Kaiser seems to be arguing that it would be unfair to expect a school to actually do the right thing, but they can be held accountable if a rape survivor has enough money to hire a lawyer to sue the hell out of the school.
This is starting to sound more and more like the Ken Buck school of law enforcement:
The secret recording by the victim, provided to The Colorado Independent, reveals Buck telling the woman the details appeared to show she consented to the sexual encounter, though he admits the woman “never said the word ‘yes’.”
The recording stems from a December 2005 case in which a woman alleged she was raped while drunk by a former lover whom she had invited over. Buck declined to prosecute the man, telling the Greeley Tribune in 2006 that “a jury could very well conclude that this is a case of buyer’s remorse.”
The victim, who was a 21-year-old college student at the time, agreed to an interview with the left-leaning news site after a liberal Colorado group reached out to her again recently.
“That comment made me feel horrible,” she told the Independent. “The offender admitted he did it, but Ken Buck said I was to blame. Had he [Buck] not attacked me, I might have let it go. But he put the blame on me, and I was furious. I still am furious,” she said.
By Matt Kaiser’s logic, she has no right to be furious, since affirmative consent would be unfair to rapists.
Congratulations, Chuck. Good show, MTP. Thank you so much for trying to set the discussion back a few years for the sake of clickbait. Your efforts are noted.
‘Drive-by journalism’ is not really journalism.
NBC News. “Make the Case: Is Affirmative Consent the Best Way to Handle Sexual Assaults on Campus?” Meet the Press. 9 October 2014.
Catanese, David. “Rape case haunts buck in Colorado”. Politico. 11 October 2010.
Deutsch, Barry. “Rape and Consent — Affirmative Consent Explained”. Ampersand. 9 October 2014.