Hosts muster sympathy for teacher wrongly accused of having sex with a teen, forget their own complicity in spreading falsehoods.
On Oct. 22, ABC's “The View” tsked at “the media” for presenting an alleged suspect as guilty. The focus of their discussion was Nicole Howell, a former high school teacher that was accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student but has since been acquitted of the charges.
“Is her teaching career over?” worried Whoopi Goldberg. “They accused her of it; it turned out she hadn't done it, and they made a big hoo ha. But now can she go back to teaching? What can she do?”
“I think it's wrecked in a certain way, unfortunately, this poor girl,” said Joy Behar. “Any time somebody shouts fire, ya know, when there is none, is a problem. This is going to haunt her – unless she goes into the witness protection program.”
“It used to be innocent until proven guilty,” Sherri Shepherd agreed. “I think the media jumps on everything so quickly … I think as much time as the media spent on getting on this teacher should be as much as time as them saying she was cleared.”
Wait a minute. Doesn't this sound familiar? False accusations, media exploitation, failing to report the truth … Oh yes, that's right, the media's self-appointed attack of Rush Limbaugh when he attempted to buy the St. Louis Rams. Racist quotes supposedly attributed to Limbaugh had absolutely no backing, and yet the media lashed out for days. And “The View” was not an exception. On Oct. 15's “The View” Joy Behar compared the possibility of Limbaugh owning the Rams to Michael Vick owning the American Kennel Club.
And when it finally became unavoidably obvious that the quotes were false, the media certainly didn't spend as much time clearing Limbaugh's name as they did smearing it. Far from it. Any mention of it, in fact, was squeezed into massive reporting of the balloon boy hoax, which was covered 100 times more than proof that the Limbaugh quotes were bogus.
So, ladies at “The View,” thank you for pointing out what's been obvious for a long time: the media isn't fair. And guess what? You're the media.