By Nina Lilac — Maybe you remember growing up where the newspaper was a trusted source of our daily news. If something was in error or needed correcting the next day, a section marked “Errors and Corrections” contained just what it mentioned as inaccurate or needing an appropriate update. Each Sunday, the paper delivery would be so large that it often required a gigantic rubber band or plastic sleeve to keep it all together. Nevertheless, the newspaper became something we read and developed with our own opinion without influence.
Today the paper seems to have disappeared and replaced with opinionated television news segments and social media platforms that always dictate the narrative rather than allow a reasonably developed opinion. We rarely, if ever, witness an errors and corrections segment on the 6 o’clock news or an apology statement on social media platforms. We see reporters seeking pro-registry supporters for an eight-second impromptu camera appearance, citing, “they need to be on the registry!”
Recently in the Eastern part of North Carolina, people were accused of sex crimes. The names of the accused were splattered all over the television and social media sites. What makes this interesting is that the people indicted or criminally charged had their charges dropped because of false statements by victims. You won’t find any section marked errors and corrections to restore dignity to the accused. Instead, they are forced to rebuild their shattered lives while the same newsagents go about their business as if nothing happened with no regard for the harm they levied.
What makes matters worse is that the news agencies and social media platforms that created a panic culture of a predator on the loose quickly forgot about the true predator that made the false claim. It seems incredible that news and social media are habitually responsible for maintaining a false narrative about sex crimes when it appears that, in some cases, there is nothing to lose by “victims” reporting a false claim. If police and prosecutors won’t punish those for making false police reports, what is the incentive for the news and social media to post an error or correction?
If the registry was supposed to keep the public safe from predatory sexual offenses, then why is it that news, social media, police, prosecutors, and pro-registry allies shield “predators that pretend to be victims” who break the law and lie to communities about false sexual claims? Maybe this is why public trust in police, social media, the press, and our legal system is deteriorating at a rapid level. There isn’t a big rubber band or plastic sleeve to keep this mess together.