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Guest column/Media malpractice runs rampant on rape story

December 1, 2013

As a documentary filmmaker who specializes in media criticism and a former WTOV-TV sportscaster who once wrote a book about a year in the life of the Steubenville Big Red (and who has communicated......

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(38)

steubenvilleman

Dec-05-13 3:39 AM

Rsimpson43952 I wonder if things would be different for Mr. Rsimpson43952 had he had the opportunity to attend a school that offers a superior education and is very highly respected such as Steubenville City Schools. He may have gained the ability to recognize all the hype and BS lies spread by the media.

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Rsimpson43952

Dec-04-13 8:59 PM

Go ahead and live in your little world of denial, I'm sure you'll fit right in with your "local" circle of friends. Take heed, though, when you venture outside of Steubenville because the rest of the world doesn't hold a high school football program on a pedestal nor does the outside world suspend all logic when it comes to crimes committed by teens and/or educators. These are educators who are responsible for the well-being of children and you honestly think no one is going to be wary about the school after these indictments? How's that working for you? Have none of you thought about the fact the victim and alleged victim are minors? Name just one thing I've stated that's not right. I can admit if I'm wrong contrary to a few people on here. I'm talking specifics not your usual rhetoric. Either be factual and cite specific sources or keep you juvenile rhetoric to yourself. We're adults and don't need to utilize the same tactics as those teens did after the rape.

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steubenvilleman

Dec-04-13 7:32 PM

Rsimpson43952 seems to suffer from the same type of dementia that the few unfortunate conspiracy loons have.

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Rsimpson43952

Dec-04-13 12:23 PM

@mathfan I work as well. I asked you a simple question. You responded to my comment yet chose not to answer the question. That's typical of your type. I didn't expect anything else, in fact you've responded in the exact manner I was expecting. The city is not the victim. The dates on some of the indictments coincide with the alleged April rape so common sense tells you the indictments have to do with the alleged April rape yet you, Mr. Zeigler, and RBA can't seem to understand that. 4 present school employees and 2 former employees have been indicted yet you say it has nothing to do with the school. Knowing all this, you have the gall to tell me I'm wrong. You're so off base and so far from reality, it's sad. I pity you, it seems you're so blinded by your admiration for a high school football team that you've suspended your use of common sense and rational thinking skills. Respectfully, it is you, not I, with the problem.

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Rsimpson43952

Dec-04-13 12:09 PM

their athletic code of conduct yet that wasn't enforced either. The only thing reported in the media is the three who were granted immunity were later suspended from extra-curricular activities after the October probable cause hearing. I've seen nothing in the media about anyone other than those 5 being disciplined. It was well known what name the YouTube video was uploaded under as was who tagged the victim's personal Twitter account in the harassing tweets. From what I've seen in the media the one who tagged the victim's personal Twitter account during the online harassment never was suspended from playing football. Whose decision is that? Judging by what the principal said in the first Times article, that decision is on Reno. I've not read the athletic code of conduct however I'm sure harassing a rape victim, underage drinking, drinking and driving, and being out after curfew breaks those rules.

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Rsimpson43952

Dec-04-13 11:51 AM

@John Zeigler The football program is a part of this rape case since you can't seem to make that connection I'll gladly outline it for you. First, the initial alcohol-fueled party was held at an Assistant Coach's home in which he kicked drunken minors out after midnight. The teens testified to mass amounts of alcohol being there and even Malik said they were all wasted yet this Assistant Coach didn't notice that? I find that hard to believe. What if one of those drunken teens had wrecked and killed someone or them self? Secondly, assistant coach Hubbard publicly called the victim a liar which he has yet to apologize publicly for. Thirdly, head coach Reno testified on behalf of two rapists and didn't discipline anyone other than the two arrested until months later. Law enforcement showed up at the field to confiscate phones, those teens who had a phone confiscated should have been suspended pending outcome of the investigation. Attending the party at Bellardines's home goes against

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villemade

Dec-03-13 10:24 PM

(con't) How about Nancy Grace and others allowing Roseanne Barr a forum to spread falsity after falsity about this case? Why is Roseanne being interviewed about this anyway? Why did the national media accept the bloggers football narrative without any fact checking? Why hasn't the media probed whether AG Dewine has possibly overreacted to perceived pressure from social media?

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villemade

Dec-03-13 10:01 PM

Great work, John. What is sad is that you have only touched the tip of the iceberg on the media malpractice. How about the national media making a "crime blogger" the hero of the story without looking into her background or biases? How about Anderson Cooper interviewing KYanonymous about the story as if he wasn't just some guy with a mask sitting behind a computer that had never been to Steubenville and didn't know any of the facts other than what he was told from sensationalistic bloggers? How about the media glorifying KY, even though he made threats against innocent people and created a dangerous atmosphere in Steubenville, while at the same time the media vilified a football program that has helped many children? How about the media constantly referring to a fictitious rape crew? How about CNN promoting the localleaks site that was full of outright lies?

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RedBlackAttack

Dec-03-13 5:53 PM

(cont 2/2)

Second, none of us have any idea what the April indictments are about yet. They could be about some other incident for which no charges were ever pressed or it could be something related to the Hannah Rhinaman indictment. We have no idea, so again... You're deciding on the verdict before we even know the prosecutionás allegations. Forget the fact that they then have to prove their case in a court of law. Even if said indictments do involve a different incident, how is that vindication of a "cover-up" of the August rape, as has been reported by the national news? It's a completely different incident and no one is charged with conspiracy, which would be vital in proving a "cover-up" charges. There is just no evidence to support allegations of a cover-up. No one is even charged as such, so why is the media (and you) obsessing over it?

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RedBlackAttack

Dec-03-13 5:52 PM

@rsimpson

You seem not to fully understand the point of this column. These indictments were universally hailed by the national news media as vindication for a "cover-up" of the August rape by school officials and the football program. First, the only connection to football in any of this, if you simply look at the facts, is that both kids happened to play the sport. That's it. No one involved in the football program has been indicted or charged in connection with any cover-up. The one former assistant coach who was indicted was done so on misdemeanor "providing alcohol" charges, which stemmed from a party earlier in the night. His charges have nothing to do with the actual rape, let alone covering it up.

(cont 1/2)

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mathfan

Dec-03-13 5:26 PM

@RSimpson43952

I work, RS43952. I don’t live on the computer so I just saw your reply. To be honest, I don’t even understand what you’re talking about. Did you or didn’t you read the probable cause testimony? The social media garbage is just that. Not admissible, hearsay, rumor, innuendo. I don’t waste my time with it.

Believe what you want. If Ziegler’s piece along with the probable cause testimony and the grand jury indictments (which are now over and no one has been found guilty yet) don’t sway you, I’m not wasting any more time debating this with you. You seem to have an agenda of your own. So if I no longer reply to you, don't take it as capitulation.

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PamelaSue

Dec-03-13 2:02 PM

RSimpson43952 - Are you trying to settle a personal score? Your lengthly factless based comments make it appear that way.

It is apparent that after 7 months of the Grand Jury investigation, there was no rape in April or I am quite confident there would have been further indictments.

Again, the media has not acknowledged this fact and is continuing to mislead the public in order to boost ratings.

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JohnZiegler

Dec-03-13 12:51 PM

@Rsimpson43952 This column was about how the football program was unfairly blamed for a cover up. As for the school, I have my doubts that these indictments weren't simply butt covering by the AG to placate the media. I doubt if in normal cirmcumstances what happened here would have resulted in charges, but we'll see.

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Rsimpson43952

Dec-03-13 11:04 AM

@RedBlackAttack You seem to forget about the younger 14 year old girl who was allegedly raped in April which coincides with the dates on the indictments. How can you intelligently debate a topic when you're purposefully ignoring relevant information? This article is a prime example of lazy journalism. There is another article in this paper by an actual journalist pointing out the obvious that the grand jury was investigating the April rape allegation as well although that fact was well known long before the conclusion of the grand jury. You would have known this had you followed the case extensively and actually paid attention to the interviews with law enforcement. I'll ask you since "mathfan" chose not to answer; How can this have nothing to do with the school? 4 present school employees and 2 former school employees have been indicted! I'll be waiting for your answer......

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Rsimpson43952

Dec-03-13 10:52 AM

@Mathfan How typical of a response from your kind. I know nothing more than anyone else would know had they taken the time to actually read the October probable cause testimony in it's entirety, social media posts, and keep up with the extensive media coverage of the actual trial. What I've learned about this case is what has been released to the public. I've followed this case from the very beginning over a year ago. With all due respect, it is you who doesn't seem that well-informed about the case. You're attacking me for simply using common sense, reasoning skills, and utilizing my first amendment right to voice my opinion yet excuse the behavior of cruel heinous teens and absentee parents and educators. Unfortunately, it seems you're not able to look at this case equitably. If you have something specific to name that I've gotten wrong please point it out but you won't be able to. I see you've yet to answer any of the questions I've asked. I won't hold my breath.

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JohnZiegler

Dec-03-13 1:29 AM

RSimpson43952 You don't really believe the BS story in the New York Times about what happened when Reno was accosted on school grounds and tried to walk away from a reporter who baited him without having gotten an interview do you?!

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RedBlackAttack

Dec-02-13 10:43 PM

@rsimpson As mathfan pointed out, it doesn’t sound like you have reviewed the facts of the indictments. Did you even read the article you’re commenting on? The two school officials were indicted based on alleged crimes that have nothing to do with the “rape case.” Anyone who has done a cursory review of them can see the dates do not match. You can’t cover something up which hasn’t happened.

Here’s the problem… people like you (and the mainstream media) decided on the narrative you liked first instead of allowing the criminal justice system to play itself out, wait for the facts to reveal themselves and then deciding what happened here. If you had gone about things in this manner instead of blindly buying into the hype, you’d realize this never had anything to do with football and there was never any cover-up. The mere fact that no conspiracy charges were filed after the most extensive and expensive rape investigation in state history tells you all you need to know on that front.

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409409

Dec-02-13 3:43 PM

If Sara Ganum deserves a Pulitzer Prize for her “journalism” efforts in the Penn State “scandal”, John Zeigler deserves much, much more.

John Z, thank you for opening up my eyes to how incompetent the media profession has become. I feel bad for the folks in Steubenville who are being subjected to the media’s lazy game of ratings over truth.

Go Big Red and Penn State Forever 409.

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mathfan

Dec-02-13 3:40 PM

@Rsimpson43952 And I think it’s high time you read the probable cause testimony, the Ziegler article, and find out what a Grand Jury indictment is based on. The threshold of evidence is extremely low and no defense is presented at all. Not to mention that those who were indicted are presumed innocent at this point.

You seem to know of so many guilty parties, I think the BCI should be notified that you have critical information to the investigation. Were you interviewed? Because lots of people were, for many months. DeWine claims the G.J. is done.

I agree regarding the parents being accountable. But the parents weren’t all Steubenville parents. There were inebriated students from many school districts. With all due respect, you don’t seem to be very well-informed about this case.

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FireStormPhD

Dec-02-13 2:19 PM

FINALLY, A real person see's the hype of a media frenzy! What other lessons did we learn? At least know where your kids are when they are out ALL NIGHT! Victim or CONVICTED does not mean that you are all clean in this fiasco, where were the convicted and victims parents? History of all should lead everyone to the TRUTH here! The victim all though a SAD story is not all CLEAN in this and we know the convicted is NOT. Its a SAD story that brings all this history of Steubenville's past of favortism, nepotism and just straight out backroom politics! Steubenville is rich in history,but has a very dark past as all small towns and most large cities share in! I feel ithis is a sad way to expose some of Steubenville's short comings, but it is what it is and the town has a civil divide between the Catholics and everyone else! We won't even go to the longterm racism against anyone who is different......

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Rsimpson43952

Dec-02-13 9:53 AM

@mathfan

How do you come to the conclusion that this has nothing to do with football or the school? Are you unaware that 4 present school employees and 2 former school employees have been indicted? How could it have nothing to do with the school? This shifting blame game is getting old. It's high time you all look in the mirror and start pointing the finger at the parents and the coach who were around these teens and the teens themselves. They are to blame. If found guilty all of those indicted need to spend time in jail and NEVER be allowed to work around children again. A minor's safety would have been the most important thing but looking at these charges it seems it wasn't. If found guilty, those indicted can't be trusted to so the right thing when it comes to minors. This mentality that the city is a victim is nonsense. You can't live in denial forever.

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Rsimpson43952

Dec-02-13 9:47 AM

This case has everything to do with football for several reasons. First the Head coach's violent reaction to the Time's reporter, his decision to not discipline anyone in the beginning, and then his decision to testify on behalf of two obvious rapists. Due to the arrogance and hateful ignorance of those teens their twitter posts left little to question about what happened. The police showed up at the field to confiscate phones, those students should have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation right away. Who cares if they didn't get to play football? Getting to the bottom of everyone's role in this heinous rape is far more important than playing football besides football is supposed to be a privilege that's earned. Coach Hubbard publicly called a young rape victim a liar. The initial alcohol-fueled party was held at yet another coach's home. This argument that they're not "real" coaches because they were assistant coaches is invalid. You get it now, Mr. Zei

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Rsimpson43952

Dec-02-13 9:33 AM

Yes, the facts are there for the world to see, it's a shame an "experienced" journalist can't see that. Maybe Mr. Zeigler's blinded by his friendship with Reno, of course that's just conjecture but who knows. What is apparent is that Mr. Zeigler isn't taking into account that a rape allegation was made in April by a young 14 year-old girl. While maybe not to the authorities but the teens on Twitter were sure talking about it at the very least in April. It is not the duty of a school employee to determine the validity of a rape allegation, it is their duty to report the information to the proper authorities. How would you feel if it were your child who didn't want to come to you yet school employees knew but said nothing to help? As a parent would you want your child attending a school with another student who was accused of rape yet faced no repercussions whatsoever? What disgusts me is this shifting blame game being played by so many "journalists".

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rdknowles

Dec-01-13 11:45 PM

John Ziegler's ability to recognize explanations that don't make sense, investigate, synthesize, then express what is incorrect about another interpretation (while proposing a more plausible story) is remarkable. And intriguing to follow. Steubenville is fortunate to have caught his fearless attention!

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mathfan

Dec-01-13 10:08 PM

(cont 2/2) As the residents of Steubenville stood shell-shocked, our city and programs were dragged through the mud generally while many totally innocent people were specifically targeted as guilty of protecting perpetrators. This is still going on as four more people are being persecuted to justify a lengthy and expensive Grand Jury investigation. Anyone daring to speak out in defense of the accused innocents was labeled a “rape apologist,” effectively silencing the voices which were trying to dispel pure lies. The media failed miserably in this story. As an educator, I’d be giving nearly all a failing grade for not doing their homework. It takes diligence to write a story. Get the facts and don’t base your story on uninformed bloggers.

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