Today’s Ray Rice story is still developing, but one thing it illustrates is the role outsiders can play in demanding justice and then expecting change from an institution that failed to act–or failed to act with sufficient seriousness about a problem.
Digby and Perlstein wrote today about what happened when we failed to hold individuals accountable for malfeasance. When institutions protect individuals, by explaining away their actions, it prevents change from happening.
The other thing it is illustrating is how great it is to have a group of people like Fox News or the RW media on your side, even if only temporarily.
Last week I wrote this piece, CEO Abuses Puppy. Why RW Media Supports Abusers Instead of Victims. I wondered how the RW media would act when they were told to be on the abusers’ side.
Well today we saw just a peek of what that might look like on Fox and Friends. Now they aren’t totally on the side of Rice, but they are able to get in some victim blaming and pass on some protective advice to their abusing buddies.
“We should also point out, after that video — and now you know what happened in there — she still married him,” host Steve Doocy explained. “They are currently married.”
“Rihanna went back to Chris Brown right after [he assaulted her],” co-host Brian Kilmeade noted. “A lot of people thought that was a terrible message.”
“I think the message is take the stairs,” he added, as co-host Anna Kooiman giggled.
“The message is, when you’re in an elevator, there’s a camera,” Doocy concluded.
Kilmeade says avoid the situation whereas Doocy, the real brains of the outfit says to avoid the cameras. The person who might be the most righteously upset, Kooiman, first defends football in general (avoiding addressing NFL’s policies) and then giggles at a lame joke.
The message isn’t “don’t do something nasty,” but “don’t get caught doing nasty things on video.”
I’ve read that Rice has now been fired and supposedly some changes will happen at the NFL. Enough people were outraged, and let them know it, that their weak measures were deemed not enough. The firing is important, but it is the promised changes that we hope will have a lasting impact, we need to keep an eye on.
Will there be any changes at Fox and Friends for their victim blaming? Nope, of course not. Because their institution is doing exactly what it was designed to do, protect the abusers in their club, instead of the victims.
Fox and Friends aired before Rice had been drummed out of their club, so they didn’t have to defend him full throatily. If they had, they might have started talking about how, “He’s the real victim here,” because of concussion damage from football. But they got the word from on high, the real client is the NFL.
They will be defending the NFL in the future, and whatever actions they were forced to take to get the rabble to simmer down.
Fox knows that the real clients are the members of the club who pay their bills. The $9 billion dollars a year in revenue, non-profit group calling themselves the NFL.
I just watched the Raven’s Coach Press conference. I don’t want to bag on the reporters, they are probably used to asking questions of athletes and getting answers like, “We came to play.” but when talking to the coach on this topic, they could have pressed harder. This is hard news.
One asked, “Why didn’t you have access to the tape before today?
I have no answer to that.
And that was it. Okay then.
No follow up, “Well can we talk to someone who DOES have the answer?”