Making Sense by Michael Reagan
Let’s get to the burning national media issue of the week — Ray Rice and spousal abuse.
All the professional media moralizers are jumping on the politically correct Rice soapbox to prove to each other how much they are against physically abusing women.
As if anyone is in favor of it.
Rice knocked out his bride-to-be Janay in a casino elevator last February. That’s about the only thing clear from the elevator footage TMZ released to the world.
How he knocked her out — with a punch or a push — isn’t clear. Did she spit in his face? Looks like it on the video.
Did she hit him first? Apparently. Did both of them hit or spit at the other? Maybe. Were they both drunk, stupid and nasty to each other? Seems so.
All those annoying facts and nuances are not certain, and probably never will be. But they don’t matter to the old and new media.
Those few seconds of silent and grainy elevator video were all the news media, the Ravens’ ownership and the NFL front office needed to try, convict and sentence Rice to a prime-time lynching.
No one dared to say a word in Rice’s defense. I even heard conservatives who should know better saying things like “There’s never an excuse to hit a woman.”
What if a woman is about to hit you in the face with a baseball bat? Or your wife is chasing you with a butcher knife? Or the WWE’s women’s champion is about to break you over her knee?
The knee-jerk reaction to what Rice did reminds me of what happened in Ferguson, Mo., when a white cop shot and killed an unarmed young black man.
We immediately were assured that Michael Brown was an innocent, peaceful young man and the latest example of bad behavior by a racist cop in America.
Many sensible people, especially conservatives, said, “Hold on a minute. We first need to find out what really happened before the shooting.”
What did Brown do or not do to the officer before he was shot? Did he punch him or try to grab his weapon?
Until we get all the facts, they said, we can’t make Brown as an innocent victim and we can’t hang the cop.
Fact-finding is too late for Ray Rice and his career. No trial is required. He’s guilty as charged by the media. Next case, please.
Unfortunately, and without excusing a thing the Rices did to each other, Ray Rice has become, at least for this week, the dirty face of domestic violence in America.
When the media are done exploiting him, beating up on the NFL’s “culture of violence” and pretending they care deeply about America’s problem with domestic abuse, they’ll move on to exploit the next hot ratings-grabber.
Just as our child abuse problem disappeared in the media after the Sandusky case at Penn State, domestic abuse will quickly fall off their radar screens again.
Domestic violence is a real problem that won’t go away. An estimated 1.2 million women will be abused by their husbands every year.
The abuse will continue to occur in all kinds of marriages and within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds and economic levels.
Women are the victims 85 percent of the time, but men are abused verbally and emotionally, and sometimes even physically.
Domestic violence is never acceptable, no matter who does it or how it occurs. But until another celebrity case comes along, with video footage, you can bet the national media won’t even mention it.
Copyright ©2014 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). He is the founder of the email service reagan.com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.
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