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The Reaction to Ashleigh Banfield Reading the Stanford Victim’s Letter on TV Is Staggering

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 1.58.54 PMToday at noon, my mouth fell open as I realized that CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield was planning to use her hour-long show, Legal View, to read the statement of the unnamed victim of sexual assault by Brock Allen Turner at Stanford University whose firsthand story spread across the Internet like wildfire this weekend. I read it on Saturday and it took me about half an hour, in part because it is extremely long and in part because it’s a difficult piece of writing to digest. All told, Banfield read it for about 40 minutes today, which is a rare move in the world of cable news.

When I saw what Banfield planned to do, I sent out a tweet, but didn’t expect just how many other people were tuning it at that moment and sending out their own messages of support for the anchor. Since Mediaite is a site focused on the goings-on of cable news, I feel qualified to tell you that ususally, 40 minutes of one person sitting on screen and reading a letter does not make very compelling television. The amount of tweets from viewers of CNN today shows that the Legal View team found the exception to that rule.

First, watch some here:

Regular viewers and media insiders alike were watching and commenting.

CNN staff rallied around her, too.

The overwhelming consensus seems to be that this was riveting, powerful, and important.

[image via screengrab]

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