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CNN’s Classy Headlining of the Austrian Rape/Imprisonment Case

June 11, 2008

You may recall that, a couple of months ago, a story broke about a man who had raped his own daughter repeatedly which resulted in her having several of his children. The man, Kerstin Fritzl, kept them all imprisoned beneath his home, including the 24-year imprisonment of his daughter.

One of the resulting children – now a 19-year-old – has awoken from an induced coma. CNN’s way of headlining this for its front page?

That’s right, “incest dungeon girl.” Really conveys the years of abuse, doesn’t it? I’m also not sure that the article’s “Josef Fritzl’s incestuous relationship with his daughter Elisabeth” was a good turn of phrase – decades of rape and imprisonment seems to be well beyond “incestuous relationship.”

PS-I think my reaction to the headline just above should go without saying. Head. Explodes.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Liz permalink
    June 11, 2008 11:41 am

    I completely agree. I had the exact same reaction. “Incest dungeon girl”? Really? The title was completely insensitive and frankly quite disturbing.

  2. David B permalink
    June 11, 2008 12:01 pm

    Wow Rachel. To be honest I really didn’t think of it in that way when I read the headline but you are right on the mark on this. The poor women is a rape victim. Her relationship to the rapist is secondary.

  3. Deb W. permalink
    June 11, 2008 12:10 pm

    To all of the above, agreed. ‘Incest dungeon girl’ sounds disturbingly like some Weekly World News headline: ‘Monkeyboy fathers child with llama.’ It’s just wrong on so many levels. As a journalist, I’m completely embarrassed and offended.

  4. soha permalink
    June 11, 2008 12:34 pm

    All the above comments. i totally agree.
    why do they have to go overboard before knowing what exactly happened? disastrous to the girl.

  5. June 11, 2008 2:01 pm

    Yeah, I was watching CNN when they broke that story today. I was upset with the way it was portrayed, too.

  6. n/a permalink
    June 11, 2008 2:16 pm

    Comment deleted by administrator for anonymous jerkiness.

  7. Anil permalink
    June 11, 2008 8:14 pm

    i completely agree with everyone who says that CNN’s headline was revolting. i cannot believe it’s still in print. CNN should explain!

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