Today in Victim Blaming

CNN once again makes me want to smash things as their story about the death of attorney Chiquita Tate, who was stabbed 38 times and whose husband, from whom she was seeking a divorce, has been arrested and charged with her murder, begins thus:
Slain attorney Chiquita Tate was such a believer in the legal system that she had a tattoo of Lady Justice on her back, college friend T. J. Crawford recalled.

"She just had an attachment to justice and doing what's right by people. She was always very serious about that," said Crawford, a teacher and community organizer in Chicago, Illinois.

But Tate, described by colleagues as a tenacious defense attorney who fought for her clients, could not save herself.
Fuck you, CNN.

That's some of the most atrocious, overt, unapologetic victim-blaming I've recently seen from a serious news organization (which necessarily excludes Fox, btw) in awhile. And the worst thing about it is that it's meant to be read as compassionate: "Poor thing, she could do it all...except save herself."

As if it's pretty typical to be able to save yourself from a man who wants to stab you 38 times. As if it were her (literal) fatal flaw, and if only she'd been like everyone else who can save themselves from rampaging murderers...

And, if the reporter were really determined to use this tiresome journalistic trick, it's not like there was no way to do the old "successful professional life, fucked-up personal life" reversal without suggesting the murder victim should have been able to save herself from her own brutal murder.

"But Tate, described by colleagues as a tenacious defense attorney who fought for her clients, had her life cut short by a man who did not share her passion for doing the right thing."

See? It's not that fucking hard.

I really don't understand how lazy and out to lunch the writer and editors are over there that they can't spend 30 goddamned seconds to write a paragraph that doesn't impugn the victim and further the dangerous cultural narrative that victimization is indicative of weakness. This shit oughtn't be news to a 24-hour cable news network, for crying out loud.


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