Joel Magid, the Portland musician who earlier this month announced via Facebook that he'd sexually assaulted someone appeared in an interview on KGW, and it's bad.
Magid admits to the assault he described in that post, but denied a second he's been accused of—an accusation that, it's worth noting, preceded his Facebook post (see below).
"I've paid for my one crime more than I think I expected to," he said at one point in the interview. To see public scrutiny as an excessive punishment for a crime says a lot about the way our legal system fails victims of sexual assault. It's a punishment of a kind, sure, but it's one that includes no legal ramifications—something that's all too common in the case of sexual assault. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, only 6 out of 1000 perpetrators of sexual assault will see prison time for it.
But yes, tell me more about how criticism is an excessive punishment for a crime.
I could shout about rape statistics all day—how common it is, how rare false reports really are—but I don't have all day to hide in the whiskey and crying closet, and neither do you. Instead, here's Portland Mercury news reporter Doug Brown, who posted the following on Twitter in response to the interview—including some key transcription of material later deleted by KGW.
This problematic framing is also all too common, even from ostensibly serious journalists. From media handling of the Columbia rape case to the story of this botched rape investigation to school administrators' inadequate responses to sexual assault, we've seen it again and again: Victims are discredited by everyone from reporters to law enforcement to onlookers based on sweeping misunderstandings of what rape and sexual assault actually look like and how they affect people. Media narratives that reinforce these myths aren't just misleading: They have the potential to make victims less likely to come forward, for fear of not being believed. That interview is bonkers, yes, but it's also potentially dangerous.
But back to Doug, because KGW's response here also speaks volumes: