You can consider this a kind of open-letter response to the many, many emails that have come in about the video below. This clip displays quite an astonishing sample of "false equivalence" framing by the press -- but one that has nothing to do with budget policy, the filibuster, or any of those tired old warhorse topics.
Watch this report from CNN on yesterday's Steubenville verdict and see if you can figure out who the real victims were in the aftermath of the rape there. If you're in a hurry, the passages from times 1:10-1:40 and 4:20-4:50 will give you the idea. (The Atlantic Wire covered this yesterday, with links to other discussion. But not yet with the false equivalence angle!)
UPDATE: Incredibly and yet inevitably, the Onion fully predicted this development.
James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States, and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book, China Airborne, was published in early May.
James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.
Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His two most recent books, Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009), are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book, China Airborne, was published in early May. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.
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