It is kind of interesting to note that the Rice video’s release produced another classic Internet lynch mob with the self-appointed defenders of women howling for more punishment, while the victim they are championing pleads for all of it to stop. She and her husband obviously have a lot to lose were he to be permanently banned from football.
For a rational and intelligent approach to this very unfortunate incident, read John Hinderaker:
The person in this story for whom I have the most sympathy is Janay Rice, Ray Riceâ€™s fiancÃ© at the time of the elevator incident, now his wife. Janay has been with Rice for a long time. They dated in high school and have a child. She has expressed regret for her role in the events that led to her husbandâ€™s downfall. Some think that is outrageous. Not me: she and her now-husband (likely both drunk) were screaming obscenities at one another as they entered the elevator; Janay took a poke at Ray and spat at him before he slugged her. Does that excuse his knocking her out? Of course not. But it is easy to see why she regrets her role in the incident, too. On Instagram, Janay Rice wrote:
I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like Iâ€™m mourning the death of my closest friend. But to have to accept the fact that itâ€™s reality is a nightmare in itself. No one knows the pain that the media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific.
THIS IS OUR LIFE! What donâ€™t you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, youâ€™ve succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is! Ravensnation we love you!
Some think that Janay Rice is psychologically defective because she has stood up for Ray. Others think she is a gold-digger who will dump him now that he is more or less unemployable. They could be right. I donâ€™t know, Iâ€™ve never met the woman. But why not believe her? Is she embarrassed by the videos that have come to light? No doubt. Imagine the worst 30 seconds of your life being published on TMZ. But she has been with Rice since they were teenagers. She knows him a hell of a lot better than you and I do. She got knocked out, and married him anyway. I donâ€™t know; there is a lot of posturing going on here, but my inclination is to be on her side.
Read the whole thing.
Meanwhile, another of those racist Republicans and conservatives, Ian Tuttle, writing at National Review, notes just how thoroughly this kind of media feeding frenzy violates due process.
[T]he release of the video reopened the case not in a court of law, but in the court of public opinion, where millions of amateur observers have psychoanalyzed, speculated, and nitpicked every grainy second of footage.
There is much to be said about the problem of domestic violence, about the rights and responsibilities of victims of abuse, about the way cases of abuse ought to be handled by the legal system. But Ray and Janay Rice made a point of not offering their case as evidence for any argument in these debates. Against their will, the affair they deemed settled, finished, past, has been commandeered for political points, usurped as evidence, transmuted into a morality tale.
TMZ has no doubt garnered millions of website clicks in the last three days. But the release of the video has not served to correct an error or to right a wrong. It has served only to inflame our voyeuristic inclinations and give us de facto permission to readjudicate a settled matter of law.
We do not suffer the consequences of armchair lawyering. Ray and Janay Rice do. However damnable their decisions, in America private citizens still have the right to live private lives.
When I was out running errands yesterday, I heard Rush Limbaugh also sympathizing with the Rices.