Thursday, February 28, 2008

Walker, Nashville Ranger

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 3:10 PM

Come on Tennessean, have you no shame? If you want your website to be the No. 1 destination for kitten slideshows, that's fine by me. But someone's got to get a handle on the local yokels whose insensitive, revolting drivel passes as insightful community opinion on your site. Take Jack Walker's post about the freshman girl who told authorities that an 18-year-old student raped her on a Rutherford County school bus last week. The blog title was ominous: SCHOOL BUS RAPE? The inclusion of a question mark alone was problematic in and of itself. But it gets worse. Much worse. Walker apparently sees some injustice in the media's decision not to publish the name of the rape victim along with the name of the student arrested in the assault, writing “...his name goes in the news but hers does not. SHAME!” Walker's also offended that the boy was arrested and kicked out of school. “How could he be treated this way?” Then he quibbles with the fact that the incident was categorized as rape. “It was said to be rape when to most minds the word means forced sexual intercourse.” And as if Walker hadn't done enough to out himself as a callous yahoo, here comes this little gem from him in the comments section: “Still what did the girl say to the boy that led him to think he could act that way?” Really, Mr. Walker? You wouldn't be insinuating that this 14-year-old girl was somehow asking for a 15-minute sexual assault on her bus ride home, would you? Or that she somehow provoked the boy? If Walker had paid much heed to The Tennessean's own report about the incident, which ran the day before he crafted his blog post, he would've known that Murfreesboro police said a videotape of the incident shows that the girl “repeatedly says, 'stop,' 'no,' or 'leave me alone',” and tries to escape the clutches of a boy who trapped her in her seat and rubbed his hands all over her body and “private areas.” I'm not the most avid Walker follower (though his posts on vaginal yeast infections and how much he wishes pantyhose were still in style are riveting). The question is not how Walker became a part of The Tennessean's “team of locals” who “provide their thoughts and opinions on the things that affect Middle Tennessee.” (Our guess is that the paper doesn't set its blogger bar too high.) The real question is why he's allowed to keep posting there.

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