07-29-2003, 05:40 AM #1LORDBLiTZ Guest
L.A. radio show names Bryant's accuser
No one else had the balls to do it!! Good job Tom Leykis
A nationally syndicated radio personality recently identified the accuser in the Kobe Bryant sexual-assault case by name and continues to use her name on the air, outraging rape victim advocates.
This week, Tom Leykis began identifying the 19-year-old woman during his afternoon drive-time program based in Los Angeles.
While the woman's identity is well-known in this small town and has been circulating on the Internet, this may be the first time a mainstream media personality has identified the woman.
Protecting the woman's identity is unfair because it suggests a crime was committed, Leykis told The Denver Post on Wednesday. If no crime was committed, there would be no reason to protect her identity, he said. Leykis said he believes Bryant is innocent.
"It's another case where you build up a wall so they can hide behind it and throw stones," Leykis said. "All you're doing is enforcing the old stereotype that it's something to be ashamed of. It's not any more reason to be ashamed than being behind a cash register at Denny's and being held up."
Jennifer Bier, the director of clinical services at a Colorado Springs rape crisis center, said neither Bryant nor the victim should be put in a situation where they have to defend themselves in the court of public opinion. That is especially true for the woman, who is not charged with a crime, said Bier, who has counseled women involved in Air Force Academy sexual-assault cases.
"I think what he may be forgetting is that while this is his show, this is this woman's life and ... he throws her name out on the radio station, on the public airwaves in the name of fairness, and he probably has no concept of what he's doing to the woman," Bier said. "It's really devastating for the victim to have her name published because she is trying to recover from an intrusive physical and emotional violation."
Leykis' program is produced and syndicated by the Westwood One broadcast network. A Westwood One spokeswoman did not return a phone call seeking comment.
The Eagle woman has been the subject of intense media attention. Friday, the Eagle County district attorney charged Bryant with one count of felony sexual assault stemming from a June 30 incident at a resort in Edwards. That same day, Bryant said he had consensual sex with the woman but did not commit a crime.
Leykis contends that the dozens of reporters who have interviewed and named the woman's friends have already compromised the woman's privacy.
In fact, Leykis said, he had one of his staffers call a local convenience store and ask the clerk whether he knew any of the friends mentioned in a newspaper article Leykis had read. Leykis interviewed one of the friends on his show Monday and confirmed the alleged victim's identity.
"The arrogance and the gall of journalists to call up and say I'm violating her privacy. I've never called her house or gone to her front door," he said. "If the reporters hadn't gone to Eagle and written these specific stories with all these friends and their last names, I wouldn't have been able to do it."
Bob Steele, an authority in journalistic ethics, said it was against both ethical and professional standards for Leykis to name the woman. And while a talk show host is not a journalist in a traditional sense, he must still show restraint, Steele said.
"Opinion should not cause great harm to other individuals and, in this case, this talk show host is casting major aspersions against this woman," said Steele, ethics group leader at The Poynter Institute, a journalism research organization in St. Petersburg, Fla. "He is harming her, and that is irresponsible and unprofessional."
Research indicates that victims of sexual assault may be deterred from filing charges if they believe they will be publicly identified, Steele said. Research also shows that there is still some stigma attached to being a rape victim.
"We should work to change perceptions and beliefs and eliminate that stigma, but the way to do that is through more meaningful information about the issue of sexual assault and for victims to voluntarily come forward when they wish," he said.
The alleged victim should have to face the public, Leykis said.
"She made a very serious allegation against someone ... and if this proves false, there'll be a victim in this case, and that will be Kobe Bryant," he said. "But nobody cares about that.
Last edited by LORDBLiTZ; 07-29-2003 at 05:45 AM.
07-29-2003, 10:20 AM #2
While I don't think his motives are as entirely noble and altruistic as he'd lead you to believe, I do agree with his reasoning in principle.
07-29-2003, 10:42 AM #3
I also agree with public announcement of an accuser's name. We must remember that in this country an accused is innocent until proven otherwise, and has a right to confront his accuser. To put only the accused name in public light is blatantly unfair and prejudicial.
07-29-2003, 10:43 AM #4Originally Posted by BigGreen
i really wish the judicial system would snag a high profile athlete like Bryant and let him rot in jail for a few years.
07-29-2003, 10:49 AM #5Anabolic Member
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You all have to understand that Leykis is a shock jock...he loves to push the limit. His veiws maybe unaggreeable...but alot of the times he says things we would love to say.
I do agree with the fact that a vitums name is held only if there is a crime committed...and there has not been any proof of that yet...that's what a trial is for. Once this trial begins her name is going to be everywhere...Leykis just said it before anyone else did.
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