(CNSNews.com) – When Crystal Mangum falsely accused several Duke lacrosse players of rape in 2006, there were 160 major television news stories in the first five days after the players were arrested, but in 2013, when Mangum was convicted of murder and sentenced to 14 years in prison, there were only 3 major television news stories, a difference in coverage of 5,233%.
When the Duke lacrosse-rape story broke in March/April 2006, it was huge news, garnering massive, widespread coverage by the networks ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as by FOX, CNN and MSNBC, and the print press, such as USA Today, New York Times and Washington Post.
Basically, the story was that members of the Duke lacrosse team had a party on March 13, 2006 at an off-campus house where two strippers had been hired to perform – one of them was Crystal Mangum, then 27 years old. At some point there were some verbal exchanges between Mangum and some persons at the party. Mangum left with the other stripper and later that evening/early morning Mangum told police she had been raped.
The story was explosive and politically correct: privileged white lacrosse players at a prestigious college rape underprivileged young black woman. As events developed, three lacrosse players were eventually arrested and charged; the Duke lacrosse coach, Mike Pressler, received threatening phone calls and was forced by Duke to resign; the president of Duke University, Richard Brodhead, suspended the entire lacrosse team for the season; liberal Duke faculty members, the “Group of 88,” signed an advertisement in the Duke Chronicle that reportedly suggested the rape claims were true; the initial prosecutor, Mike Nifong, was disbarred for his misconduct and convicted of criminal contempt; all charges against the 3 players – Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans – were dropped.
Although the rape claims by Mangum were totally false, she was not charged with a crime.
The lacrosse players Finnerty and Seligmann were arrested on Apr. 18, 2006, and charged with rape and kidnapping. In the five days following, Apr. 18 – 22, a Nexis news search of the terms Duke, rape, and lacrosse in "All English Language News," shows there were 673 news stories, 160 of which were from major television news outlets (and six that were on NPR).
Those 160 major television news outlets included ABC’s World News Tonight, Nightline, Good Morning America, the CBS Evening News, the Today show, NBC Nightly News, CNN Live, Fox News, MSNBC’s Scarborough Country and Countdown, and myriad other TV news programs.
Last Friday, Nov. 22, Crystal Mangum, the false Duke-rape accuser, was convicted by a jury of second-degree murder – she had stabbed her boyfriend – and sentenced to 14 years in prison. In the five days since, Nov. 22-26, a Nexis news search of the words Crystal Mangum, murder, Duke, and lacrosse in "All English Language News" reveals there were 48 total news stories but only 3 major television news reports – one on Fox and two on CNN.
The big television networks – ABC, CBS, and NBC – and the liberal MSNBC and NPR did not report on Mangum’s murder conviction.
The difference in coverage is noteworthy: 160 stories vs. 3 stories in the first five days of each event. That’s a ratio of 53 to 1, and a difference in coverage of 5,233%.
The television news industry (and NPR) gave 5,233% more coverage to the dubious allegations against the three lacrosse players -- which were proven to be completely false and politically charged -- than they gave the jury-tried murder conviction of Crystal Mangum, the false accuser.