Who is on trial?
Is it just me, or has this country gone completely nuts? If the way the alleged victim in the Kobe Bryant case has been treated is any indication, I wonder. The tone of personal attacks against her on talk-radio and several Internet sites has crossed the line from cruel and into the realm of hate-speak.
Mainstream media haven’t been too compassionate, either. In the first few weeks since charges were filed, coverage in the mainstream press has primarily focused on what’s wrong with her. Initially, she was said to have an agenda because she’d auditioned for “American Idol.” Remember?
That was back when she was still being depicted as a calculating gold-digger. That was before she became a hopeless mental case with no credibility. It makes you wonder who’s really on trial.
The alleged victim has been said to be “star-struck,” and “obsessed with celebrity.” But the way the so many have been so quick to discredit her and defend Bryant makes you wonder who’s really obsessed with celebrity.
Recently, an Eagle resident misidentified by several Web sites seeking to out the alleged victim went public with her nightmarish ordeal. It’s not my intention to minimize her suffering, but if she’s anguished, imagine how the alleged victim must feel?
Coverage in the mainstream media of the misidentified Eagle woman and her attempt to regain her good name has an unstated implication: That because she is an unintended victim trying to clear her good name, the alleged victim is therefore partly responsible for this train wreck, if not a willing participant with a deservedly soiled reputation.
If the allegations are true, nothing could be further from the truth.
Bryant attorney Pamela Mackey said at a nationally televised news conference the day charges were made that the evidence against her client “falls far, far short” of supporting the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard necessary to convict in a criminal case. If that’s true, then we should assume Mackey won’t need to employ the cliched legal strategy of putting the alleged victim on trial.
However, the presence of a small army of investigators scouring Eagle trying to dig up dirt on the alleged victim suggests otherwise.
For all that’s been said about the alleged victim, the fact that she still has a pulse tells me she must be a pretty remarkable person. And in my view, that she continues to seek justice amid the intense psychological warfare that’s being levied against her shows that she’s amazingly courageous.
She’ll need to be. Pressure from the public, the media, lawyers and paid witnesses will only get ratcheted up as this case moves closer to trial.
Most would have wilted by now against far less pressure.
If the allegations are true, I’d be quite nervous if I were Bryant.