“Gosh, it really sucks that those two Steubenville, Ohio teen rapists were found guilty,” said no one ever except for CNN reporters Candy Crowley and Poppy Harlow.
A CNN segment regarding the Steubenville rape trial verdict sparked massive controversy online Sunday including a handful of accusations that the reporters were kind-of, sort-of defending accused rapists Trent Mays and Ma’Lik Richmond.
On CNN’s State of the Union, Crowley and Harlow talked about the guilty verdict of Mays and Richmond, two members of Steubenville High’s football team, who were found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl. “I cannot imagine having just watched this on the feed coming in. How emotional that must have been sitting in the courtroom,” said Crowley.
Harlow, reporting from Stuebenville, responded:
“I’ve never experienced anything like it, Candy. It was incredibly emotional — incredibly difficult even for an outsider like me to watch what happened as these two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believe their life fell apart.”
As if that weren’t enough, Crowley later passed the buck to frequent CNN legal hound Paul Callahan, focusing the discussion on how the guilty verdict would affect the two boys’ futures. Callahan responded that the verdict would have “a lasting impact” beyond the pair’s one-year in prison.
For the tone of the panel discussion, some online commentators have labelled Harlow a “rape apologist” or accused CNN of “sympathizing with rapists.”
— Kathryn Moncada (@kathrynmoncada) March 18, 2013
@poppyharlowcnn You should be ASHAMED for siding with CONVICTED rapists instead of the REAL victim. The only alleged thing is your humanity.
— Wish in One Hand (@wishinonehand) March 18, 2013
— UniteWomen.org (@UniteWomenOrg) March 18, 2013
What do you think? Do CNN’s Candy Crowley and Poppy Harlow appear to sympathize with the rapists in the Steubenville case? You can watch the video and decide for yourself below: