Dear media, and everyone: Rape is bad. Even when promising young football players do it.

So yesterday was a shitty day for the media.

A CNN anchor and reporter lamented the loss of potential of the two convicted rapists in the Stuebenville rape case. FOX and CNN managed to leak the first name of the victim in their footage.

If you don’t remember, the boys were sentenced yesterday because they repeatedly raped a 16-year-old girl at a party and then left a trail of evidence in the form of tweets, texts, Instagram photos and a 12-minute YouTube video.

I just had to add that in, in case you forgot, because apparently some of the talking heads on TV just couldn’t fucking remember.

Let’s go to Lester Holt: “In many ways, tonight stands as a cautionary tale to a generation that has come of age in the era of social networking.” (Not against rapists, or rape)

And Candy Crowley: I cannot imagine, watching (the boys’ sentencing) on the feed, how emotional that must have been in the courtroom” (for the convicted rapists and their families)

And Poppy Harlow: “It was incredibly difficult even for an outsider like me to watch what happened as these two young men had such promising futures – star football players, very good students –– we literally watched as they believe their lives fell apart.”

This is on top of media coverage that has already given a hearty dose of speculation in this case, despite the widely shared evidence. USA Today did a nice job of explaining just how much the victim had changed her story and how drunkity drunk she was.

This media bullshit illuminates two glaring problems that just won’t go away:

1) The belief that a woman can “ask for it”
She was drunk, so she clearly asked for it. She blacked out, so she asked for it. What was she wearing? Must have been slutty: she asked for it. Girls, don’t look hot, ever! And especially not while drinking! It’s probably a good idea to cover yourself completely and never go out of the house so you can totally avoid being a walking target. Women do that in some countries, you know. They are covered head to toe (in this snazzy thing called a “burqa”) and they never leave the house unattended. Good idea!

2) The belief that football = GOD
Football is a game. A GAME. Like badminton, or Monopoly. In the game of football, a funny-shaped object gets moved from one end of a long field to another in a slow and violent fashion. And unlike badminton, or Monopoly, entire careers and towns and even an industry are built around the game of football. What the newscasters are lamenting is the fact that these boys, now labeled convicted rapists, won’t becomes titans of an industry built around a silly game.

The best take I’ve read on it yet? From Slate: “A system that takes rapists out of the running for certain opportunities…is a system that is WORKING. After the Penn State scandal, you’d think people would understand the importance of keeping sexual predators out of positions of power.”

Bye, Sarah!

Adios, Ms. Palin.

Oh I know, you’re still very much alive and squawking, but you’re dead to me: From now on, I won’t click on any articles about you. I won’t watch you on TV. I won’t purchase magazines that do in-depth, unauthorized exposés on your alleged narcissistic personality disorder. I will not reward the media for talking about you.

You know that old question, If a tree falls in a forest, and no one’s around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

I think the only reason you’re still around, making lots of sound, is because the “lamestream media” that you hate so much really likes you. And why wouldn’t they? Whether it’s your latest hypocrisy or misspelled tweet, you’re a no-brainer for news stories.

I know that the media are salivating over you right now, waiting to see if you’ll throw your hat in the ring for the presidential election in 2012. To that I give a big ol’ PSHAW. You’re not the brightest bulb in the box, but you’re smart enough to know that you got a pretty sweet gig going on right now, and being president is real WORK! You can’t do it from the comfort of a home studio. Right now you can “write” books and charge thousands of dollars for speaking tours in between spotting mama grizzlies (on camera), all at your leisure.

Meanwhile, your winkin’, tweetin’ schtick has gone from annoying to old. We know there isn’t much more to your career than this. You’ve said all you could possibly say. But you keep on saying it.

So Ima let you finish. And Ima turn down the volume. To mute.

–By Tara Cavanaugh