When all of the panelists on Fox News’ Outnumbered agree on something, it can feel powerful. After all, the show was designed to be full of points, counterpoints, and arguments. When an action is so reprehensible that there is no room for disagreement in denouncing it on the daily program, it means something.
Today, like a number of pundits before them, the women on the couch discussed the sentencing of Brock Allen Turner. Turner, for those who may not know, was once a star athlete at Stanford University. A jury recently found him guilty on three counts of sexual assault against a woman who detailed the attack in which she was found unconscious behind a dumpster in a moving statement of over 7,000 words. His judge, Aaron Persky, decided to give him six months in county jail. There has been considerable discussion of this on social media and now, there is blowback against everyone from the local columnist who wrote on it to the police department that withheld Turner’s mugshot to the former athlete’s father, who wrote a defense of his child that has infuriated many who read it. Finally, Persky has been on the receiving end of the culture’s collective wrath, too; there are petitions to have him removed from the bench circling the Internet today as he runs unopposed for reelection to his current position in Santa Clara County.
That’s where the women of Outnumbered jumped in. Jedediah Bila read portions of the victim’s letter and the letter written by Turner’s father as Democratic strategist Julie Roginsky shook her head “in disgust,” by her own account.
“Does the dad not realize that someone was just raped and forever damaged by this?” demanded Bila, a conservative columnist and author.
“What is incomprehensible to me is this judge,” said Roginsky. “What is incomprehensible to me is this notion that this poor, poor boy — who is really a man — is going to pay the ultimate price, essentially, be a registered sex offender for life and have his whole career and life destroyed and never be able to swim for the Olympics and do anything else in life because of 20 minutes of quote-unquote ‘action.’ That ’20 minutes of action’ destroyed a woman’s life.”
Liz MacDonald, too, said “The dad is being completely misleading. It was 20 minutes of an assault, not action.”
MacDonald moved forward, asking what sort of message Turner’s lenient sentence — which will probably result in him serving three months instead of the full six — sends to other victims while Bila angrily backed her up.
Finally, Harris Faulkner and Tony Seyegh discussed whether it’s time for the American people to examine whether judges have too much unilateral power. Faulkner concluded by saying that she condemned the father’s choice to defend what his son had done, rounding out the unanimous coalition of disgusted panelists.
As Faulkner read the final line of the father’s letter, which was about the best way to put Turner back into society in a “net positive way,” she quietly asked, “For whom is this positive?”
“Only for him,” she said at the same time as Roginsky.
[image via screengrab]
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