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CNN Reporter Gushes to Lorena Bobbitt 'Are You Finally Able to Laugh About It?'

On Tuesday morning, CNN anchor Alina Cho interviewed Lorena Bobbitt - who unsurprisingly goes by her maiden name, Lorena Gallo - to discuss her recent efforts to reach out to domestic abuse victims and combat spousal abuse. However, the network not only failed to explain the specifics of her 1993 domestic dispute - where she infamously severed her then-husband John Bobbitt's penis with a kitchen knife - but asked her if she can now look back and laugh about the attack.

Bobbitt took revenge on her husband after she said he had abused her multiple times. Years later, in 1997, she was charged with assaulting her mother. Bobbitt was found not guilty, though the judge in the case said he thought she was guilty, but had "reasonable doubt."

The network failed to report that domestic-violence case during the soft interview in a segment titled "Where Are They Now?" Anchor Alina Cho glossed over her 1993 incident by reporting that Bobbitt "employed a - shall we say, dramatic - response to an abusive relationship." [MP3 audio here.]

After asking Gallo about her recent efforts to counsel abuse victims, Cho popped this gem to her. "I have to ask you this," Cho began, "as you well know, there was a time when joking about the Bobbitts was a national pastime. I wonder after all these years - are you finally able to laugh about it?"

That's right, a CNN reporter asked Gallo if she can now laugh about an incident where she responded to violent abuse by severing her husband's penis. Amazingly, Gallo answered in the affirmative.

"I finally am. And it took a lot of time, it took a lot of years," Gallo responded. "But it's not a subject of laughing matter when we talk about domestic violence, though," she added.

A partial transcript of the segment, which aired on December 28 at 10:36 a.m. EST, is as follows:

ALINA CHO, national correspondent, CNN: Her name is Lorena Gallo, but back then on news programs and the subject of late-night comedians, she was Lorena Bobbitt. She's remembered as the wife who employed a - shall we say, dramatic - response to an abusive relationship with her then husband John Wayne-Bobbitt. But in the nearly two decades since then she started a new life. She's been in a long-term relationship, thirteen years strong. She has a five year-old daughter. And while she works as a part-time hairdresser and real estate agent, she says her true passion is counseling domestic violence victims through her organization.

(...)

CHO: I have to ask you this. As you well know, there was a time when joking about the Bobbitts was a national pastime. I wonder after all of these years - are you finally able to laugh about it?

LORENA GALLO: I finally am. And it took a lot of time, it took a lot of years, and definitely a lot of - I went to psychologists, and thanks to the doctors, the therapies I'm here, and I'll be able to now basically start all over again and start a new relationship and have a family and basically I can laugh now. But it's not a subject of laughing matter when we talk about domestic violence, though. It's a serious problem and what happened to me was very bizarre, obviously. But I was a victim, I'm not a victim anymore, and that's the message that I come - I have to come across and say it, and domestic violence is a serious issue and it affects 32 million people in the United States and is a worldwide epidemic, it's a social epidemic that if we don't do anything about it, then we faced with a bigger problem in the future for our newest generations to come.

CHO: Well I know the best advice if you're in that type of situation is get out, go somewhere, just leave. So Lorena Bobbitt, now Lorena Gallo, we thank you so much for joining us live today, and best of luck with Lorena's red wagon.

-Matt Hadro is a MRC intern.