The Daily News Hits a New Low


While we all know the media has been handling this situation disgustingly, I was still pretty stunned to see this Daily News headline. This is not to mention the actual content of the piece is full of victim-blaming banter:

[I]nsiders are rumbling that Chris shouldn’t be taking the anger management classes alone. “Rihanna is temperamental, too,” says our snitch. “They’re both too hot-headed for their own good.”
Adds another source: “It didn’t help that Rihanna grabbed the keys out of his rented Lamborghini and threw them down the street. She knew it would really infuriate Chris, and it worked.” (Emphasis mine)

Um, what? So not only does she need anger management for throwing keys out of a car (because of course that totally equates with domestic abuse), but she also “got what was coming to her”? Regardless of how angry a person may get or how much they’re perceived to have “provoked” their partner, there is no excuse to turn to violence. Ever.
The Daily News should be ashamed of themselves. Send a letter to the editor and let them know.

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59 Comments

  1. liv79
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Why is it that they teach “no hitting” in elementary school- even if the other kid hits you first- but it seems so hard for adults to grasp?

  2. MissKittyFantastico
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    That’s appalling. Definitely a messed up article.
    But just a small note: nowhere in the article does it say she “got what was coming to her.” I did a word search and its not there. So why is it in quotes?

  3. rustyspoons
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    It’s an unfortunate part of the abusive mentality that abusers tend to justify their actions by having this “line” in their minds that when a person crosses it, it’s somehow ok to commence with the abuse. As in “once she does A, B, and C, she deserves to be hit.” This type of article just feeds into that type of thinking. Throwing keys is immature and rude, but that doesn’t make assualt suddenly legal. The abuser needs to learn to change their own attitudes and responses towards their partner in a conflict. all this amounts to is a bunch of “adults” acting like kids who got busted on the playground: “But, but teacher, Rhianna started it! Ask Daily News! They SAW!”

  4. Vanessa
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    MissKitty:
    I generally put sayings often used for victim-blaming like “she got what was coming to her” in quotes because I think they’re full o’ bull – I just used that expression to get to what the actual quote from the article was implying. Sorry if that comes off as confusing!

  5. MissKittyFantastico
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Normally I would have understood it to mean that, but when it directly follows quotes from an article its unclear. I’m not sure how you should phrase it better but it does come off like you are quoting the article, maybe farther down than the main part you indented.

  6. conductress
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Generally, I see double quotation marks (“) used for direct quotations and single quotation marks (‘) used for anything paraphrased or implied. It’s a pretty good way to cut down on confusion!

  7. conductress
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Generally, I see double quotation marks (“) used for direct quotations and single quotation marks (‘) used for anything paraphrased or implied. It’s a pretty good way to cut down on confusion!

  8. AnatomyFightSong
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never heard of that use of single quotes before (in American English, anyway) — journalistically, you use single quotes to set off a quote inside a quote. Like,
    “My mother said that she hopes Obama ‘swings for the fences’ when it comes to human rights issues,” AnatomyFightSong said yesterday.
    I just want feminists to be accurate and stuff — sorry if I sound like a grammar know-it-all :-)

  9. Victorianox
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Actually MissKittyFantastico describes exactly how I was taught to use single vs. double quotes in an American high school and see it frequently.
    I frequently use single quotes for sarcastic, paraphrased or other non-literal purposes and reserve double-quotes for verbatim attribution and reporting.

  10. conductress
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    I can’t say whether or not it’s technically accurate, but I do see it frequently in colloquial writing, as well as in some academic writing (usually philosophy). I think it’s extremely useful and if it is ungrammatical, well, we should amend the rules!

  11. ZacRfron
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Anger management? Gimme a break.
    While I don’t know if Rhianna would benefit from anger management treatment, I don’t see what they would to for Chris Brown.
    How many times has Brown punched out, or choked, or physically abused someone his own size? Probably not many.
    Cuz he knows he would take a beating. At least somewhere down the road.
    This is like trying to prescribe AM to Ron Artest, the basketball player In the middle of the NBA brawl that happened when he jumped into the stands. He could have fought the man bigger than him who shoved him, he was right there.
    But a lot of guys are FULLY AWARE when they fly off the handle. The ones with real anger issues can’t control themselves and get into situations they can’t handle and pay for it in black eyes and broken noses.
    Chris Brown has no anger issues a slap to the face wouldn’t solve.

  12. nightingale
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    It’d get pretty confusing pretty fast on the Internet, where you’re liable to have people who use single quotation marks to denote real quotes. I myself have never seen single quotations used unless it is a nested quote (I said, “She said, ‘Hi.’”) or instead of double quotation marks but for the same purpose. Given, nothing is perfect, but I think it would be easier to say something like, “With people saying, basically, she got what she had coming,” rather than further confusing grammatical rules. IMO part of good writing is reworking a sentence until it will make sense for everyone reading it, not just the people are familiar with a new grammatical construct.

  13. AlmostAmanda
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Are you fucking kidding me!
    “She threw his keys out of his car to piss him off.”
    Sounds like a good reason to break up with her.
    “She cheated on him.”
    Sounds like a good reason to break up with her.
    “She nags him.”
    Sounds like a good reason to break up with her.
    “She’s too clingy.”
    Sounds like a good reason to break up with her.
    “She’s just an asshole.”
    Sounds like a good reason to break up with her.
    You know, for every supposed “reason” I’ve heard for Chris Brown (or any other abusive shit) to hit their parther, I always end up with a good reason for two people to no longer be in a relationship, but never for one of them to end up in the hospital at the hands of the other. I guess it’s just my crazy logic that says an individual is responsible for controlling his/her actions and anger.

  14. sceeterlove
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Chris Brown turned himself in to the police.
    Yet the tabloids, newspapers and tv media CONTINUE TO SAY “ALLEGED” before the poofy words they use to describe Rihanna getting the begeezuz beat out of her. Boy, they are really not ready to put Chris Brown on the list of “blacklisted woman beaters” huh? They are candy coating everything and it is making me sick to my stomach.
    As for the “she is moody/clingy/blah blah blah….” Is he an animal? Unless he admits to being a barbaric animal who has no control of his upper body much like “lenny” from “of mice and men”…he is a monster. He should be dealt with as such.

  15. Cicada Nymph
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    As somebody who was trained in domestic violence and worked a crisis hotline we were taught that abusers do not abuse because of anger issues, but because of control. They abuse to control their partner. That is why, as another commenter pointed out, that abusers abuse their spouses and don’t go off on their boss, a cop, or a huge ripped dude (there would be immediate repercussions in those cases). Abusers are not “out of self control”, they are trying to control the other person. I don’t know what exactly went on during this incident, but if they were arguing and his keys were thrown, it would be a good guess that Chris hit her to try to shut her up and punish her for her actions, both attempts to control. Anger management classes has been proven not to work with domestic abusers. It is sad to see that so many people are still so ignorant about this issue.

  16. etherspirit
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    What about:
    “She threw a phone at me.”
    “She hit me in the head.”
    This is, according to Chris Brown.
    http://www.monstersandcritics.com/people/news/article_1461646.php/Chris_Brown_was_just_defending_himself
    But he definitely applied the 10-fold principle in retaliation….
    *

  17. laughingrat
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Correct grammar or not, sometimes people put slang words or phrases in quotation marks. I’ve also seen people put phrases or words in quotation marks when they are using them sarcastically. Both situations would apply in this case.

  18. laughingrat
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Even assuming that actually happened, he was never in any danger from her that simply not seeing her again couldn’t have fixed. The fact that he was physically capable of administering a beating to her proves that, if nothing else.

  19. laughingrat
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Let’s face it: according to a sexist society, women already are halfway to deserving a beating just for the crime of being women. We better step lightly and avoid doing anything to piss off our social betters, because the least littlest thing we do is gonna tip us over into a world of hurt.
    Sexists are mired so deep in this shit that they breathe it, smell it, taste it, and regurgitate it without a second thought. Beating a woman just isn’t shocking to them. Hell, it’s probably more shocking not to beat one. The Daily Mail isn’t telling us anything new.

  20. AlmostAmanda
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    If she hit him or threw a phone at him, I’d say that’s a good reason to break up with her, kick her the fuck out of his car, and press charges. She doesn’t have any more right to assault him than he does her. But that is not what he chose to do.
    If he felt he was in danger and needed to push her back for the sole and immediate purpose of moving her off of him so he could get away from a physical attack, I would also find that acceptable. But that’s not what he chose to do.
    It’s pretty damn clear that whatever happened, he had (or ended up with) the upper hand and chose to beat the shit out of her rather than remove himself from the situation. There is no excuse for that and he needs to take full responsibility for the consequences of making that choice.

  21. Attorney at LOL
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    If you ask me, somebody who is Chris Brown’s size needs to learn him a lesson.

  22. sarah
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    And if he DID hit her because he was mad, then before the fiasco started he should’ve walked away from the situation altogether and take a breather before he took it that far.

  23. MissKittyFantastico
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    The problem is the way that she phrased it; she’s saying something along the lines of: wow, not only did the article say what I quoted above, but it also said “she got what was coming to her” ? I think that is what makes the usage much more unclear and makes it sound like it comes from the article. In general, if someone used a quote like that while not directly referencing an article that said something similar, I would assume it was scare quotes. But here it does sound like it comes from the article.
    I’ve never heard of single vs double quotation marks that way, only the nested way others have described, but maybe it would be good to have a standard for situations like this…

  24. Dear Audrey
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    I recently watched a documentary on the very poor results of voluntary anger management classes. It takes more than a course to change a life time of misogynistic indoctrination.

  25. zp27
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    There are programs specifically geared towards abusers, though: I’ve been to some in conjunction with my job. I don’t know how much ‘good’ they do: the men there were sullen and defensive. But I also realize that I saw only a few sessions, spread out, with different people. Having someone confront you with what you’ve done, and tell you over and over that it’s not acceptable _might_ work for some people.

  26. fatima
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    you know, i wouldnt say that “there is no excuse to use violence. ever.”
    a lot of survivors use violence to defend themselves against their partners. so even if rihanna DID hit him or did some other act that could be seen as ‘abusive’, it’s justified. abuse and domestic violence is not just one incident…it is an ongoing pattern of power and control and manipulation, emotionally speaking.
    i think it is important to understand the complexities of violence and to also understand when it is necessary to use in order for a survivor to SURVIVE. and i think saying that there is no excuse for violence EVER is harmful because many survivors do use violence and then are told that they, too, were abusive towards their partners. without more nuanced dialogue around dv and violence, how can we respond to people who say that the survivor is the abuser because ‘she hit him first’?

  27. Lisa
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Journalists use ‘alleged’ in any case where there hasn’t been a conviction. That’s standard protocol that protects newspapers and shows from defamation lawsuits, it’s not some sort of commentary on whether or not they feel Chris Brown is guilty. Also, turning yourself into police is not an admission of guilt. Clearly there’s little doubt that he did the crime, but I just wanted to point out that an innocent person is still required to turn themselves in when there is a warrant for their arrest.

  28. Lisa
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Journalists use ‘alleged’ in any case where there hasn’t been a conviction. That’s standard protocol that protects newspapers and shows from defamation lawsuits, it’s not some sort of commentary on whether or not they feel Chris Brown is guilty. Also, turning yourself into police is not an admission of guilt. Clearly there’s little doubt that he did the crime, but I just wanted to point out that an innocent person is still required to turn themselves in when there is a warrant for their arrest.

  29. Lisa
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Journalists use ‘alleged’ in any case where there hasn’t been a conviction. That’s standard protocol that protects newspapers and shows from defamation lawsuits, it’s not some sort of commentary on whether or not they feel Chris Brown is guilty. Also, turning yourself into police is not an admission of guilt. Clearly there’s little doubt that he did the crime, but I just wanted to point out that an innocent person is still required to turn themselves in when there is a warrant for their arrest.

  30. Lisa
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Journalists use ‘alleged’ in any case where there hasn’t been a conviction. That’s standard protocol that protects newspapers and shows from defamation lawsuits, it’s not some sort of commentary on whether or not they feel Chris Brown is guilty. Also, turning yourself into police is not an admission of guilt. Clearly there’s little doubt that he did the crime, but I just wanted to point out that an innocent person is still required to turn themselves in when there is a warrant for their arrest.

  31. Lisa
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Journalists use ‘alleged’ in any case where there hasn’t been a conviction. That’s standard protocol that protects newspapers and shows from defamation lawsuits, it’s not some sort of commentary on whether or not they feel Chris Brown is guilty. Also, turning yourself into police is not an admission of guilt. Clearly there’s little doubt that he did the crime, but I just wanted to point out that an innocent person is still required to turn themselves in when there is a warrant for their arrest.
    I agree on the rest.

  32. Lisa
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Journalists use ‘alleged’ in any case where there hasn’t been a conviction. That’s standard protocol that protects newspapers and shows from defamation lawsuits, it’s not some sort of commentary on whether or not they feel Chris Brown is guilty. Also, turning yourself into police is not an admission of guilt. Clearly there’s little doubt that Chris Brown did the crime, but I just wanted to point out that an innocent person is still required to turn themselves in to authorities when there is a warrant for their arrest.
    I agree on the rest.

  33. Lisa
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Journalists use ‘alleged’ in any case where there hasn’t been a conviction. That’s standard protocol that protects newspapers and shows from defamation lawsuits, it’s not some sort of commentary on whether or not they feel Chris Brown is guilty. Also, turning yourself into police is not an admission of guilt. Clearly there’s little doubt that Chris Brown did the crime, but I just wanted to point out that an innocent person is still required to turn themselves in to authorities when there is a warrant for their arrest.
    I agree on the rest.

  34. evann
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    THANK YOU. I am so sick of people treating this as an “anger” issue. NOPE. As I mentioned on another site, it’s also not a stress issue or an addiction issue. It’s ONLY about the NEED to control your partner, through escalating means of physical and emotional violence.

  35. Lisa
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Journalists use ‘alleged’ in any case where there hasn’t been a conviction. That’s standard protocol that protects newspapers and shows from defamation lawsuits, it’s not some sort of commentary on whether or not they feel Chris Brown is guilty. Also, turning yourself into police is not an admission of guilt. Clearly there’s little doubt that Chris Brown did the crime, but I just wanted to point out that an innocent person is still required to turn themselves in to authorities when there is a warrant for their arrest.
    I agree on the rest.

  36. Lisa
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Journalists use ‘alleged’ in any case where there hasn’t been a conviction. That’s standard protocol that protects newspapers and shows from defamation lawsuits, it’s not some sort of commentary on whether or not they feel Chris Brown is guilty. Also, turning yourself into police is not an admission of guilt. Clearly there’s little doubt that Chris Brown did the crime, but I just wanted to point out that an innocent person is still required to turn themselves in to authorities when there is a warrant for their arrest.
    I agree on the rest.

  37. Liza
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Well, it’s possible that she is hot-headed and has a temper also. That doesn’t mean she deserved the be beaten, of course.
    As someone up there said, those “reasons” (or would you prefer I say ‘reasons?’ I wouldn’t want to confuse anyone) to have hit her are are perfectly acceptable reasons to end the relationship, but not to resort to violence.
    And as far as “there’s no excuse for violence” I don’t consider self-defense to be violence. If she were attacking him and he reached out to stop her then walked away, that would be self-defense. And even if she did that, to then continue into beating her to the point that she was hospitalized and so badly bruised goes beyond defense and goes into actual violence. When I hear ‘violence’ I think of being on the offense, being the aggressor.

  38. Lisa
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Journalists use ‘alleged’ in any case where there hasn’t been a conviction. That’s standard protocol that protects newspapers and shows from defamation lawsuits, it’s not some sort of commentary on whether or not they feel Chris Brown is guilty. Also, turning yourself into police is not an admission of guilt. Clearly there’s little doubt that Chris Brown did the crime, but I just wanted to point out that an innocent person is still required to turn themselves in to authorities when there is a warrant for their arrest.
    I agree on the rest.

  39. Lisa
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Journalists use ‘alleged’ in any case where there hasn’t been a conviction. That’s standard protocol that protects newspapers and shows from defamation lawsuits, it’s not some sort of commentary on whether or not they feel Chris Brown is guilty. Also, turning yourself into police is not an admission of guilt. Clearly there’s little doubt that Chris Brown did the crime, but I just wanted to point out that an innocent person is still required to turn themselves in to authorities when there is a warrant for their arrest.
    I agree on the rest.

  40. Lisa
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Journalists use ‘alleged’ in any case where there hasn’t been a conviction. That’s standard protocol that protects newspapers and shows from defamation lawsuits, it’s not some sort of commentary on whether or not they feel Chris Brown is guilty. Also, turning yourself into police is not an admission of guilt. Clearly there’s little doubt that Chris Brown did the crime, but I just wanted to point out that an innocent person is still required to turn themselves in to authorities when there is a warrant for their arrest.
    I agree on the rest.

  41. Lisa
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Oh sweet jesus! I didn’t mean to enter 30 responses. I kept getting an ‘submission failed’ message every time I entered my comment. Then suddenly they all showed up! Sorry, hopefully someone can clean this up quickly.

  42. adag87
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to have to disagree with you there. I understand that people use violence in self-defense, but even if Chris Brown claimed self-defense, I don’t think he could make a case for himself in this situation.
    1. Rhianna, while being in shape, is a hell of a lot smaller than Chris Brown.
    2. Rhianna wound up in the hospital with visible marks on her body after being beaten – I don’t see any marks on Chris Brown’s body. Nor did he take himself to the hospital (like Rhianna did).
    I could maybe agree with you if Chris Brown had reported prior accounts of abuse to the police, or if his injuries were just as severe as Rhianna’s. It doesn’t look like either of those happen to be true in this situation.
    Rhianna having “a temper” is a different claim than “Rhianna beat the shit out of Chris Brown, so he beat her back”.

  43. adag87
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I think I may have misunderstood your comment. I reread that and now it looks like you’re saying that SOMETIMES, in some cases, self-defense is necessary but that wasn’t the case in this situation.
    So, I apologize for getting all up in arms about that.

  44. feministinmississippi
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    i’d just like to point out that animals are not barbaric. and animals don’t inflict abuse on members of their own species, let alone their mates. fighting over territory is different, it’s not abuse.
    it’s only humans who are abusive. it annoys me when criminals are compared to animals as if animals are lower than humans. that comparison is not even correct. animals are more humane than humans themselves!

  45. llevinso
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Yeah I don’t think fatima (correct me if I’m wrong fatima!) was talking about Chris Brown as if he was a victim of abuse and was just defending himself. I think she was referring to just the statement in general about how “there is no excuse for violence. ever.” Many victims of DV are constantly threatened by their partner and in turn have to physically defend themselves. But as Liza says down below, I don’t consider that violence either. That’s self-defense and DV victims don’t often have many options.

  46. MissKittyFantastico
    Posted March 1, 2009 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    While I’d agree that humans are usually MORE barbaric than animals, its not true that animals never hurt each other. We had a thread recently where people discussed which mammals and birds are known for committing violent and/or gang rapes (doplphins and ducks, at least).

  47. GREGORYABUTLER
    Posted March 1, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    You’re right about “Anger Management classes” – they don’t work because they ignore the power issues.
    Chris Brown would never in a million years hit Suge Knight 1) because Knight is more important than him in the music business 2) because Knight is an ex college football player, a current Bloods gang member and a very physically large man who could and would beat Brown very serverely.
    Nor would Chris Brown hit Lyor Cohen – because, while Cohen is smaller than Brown, Cohen is very very very rich, and very powerful in the music business. If Brown hit Cohen, his music business career would be OVER pretty much on the spot.
    But, when it comes to beating a 100 pound person (who has been socially conditioned – as most women have been – that she is not supposed to fight back physically) then Brown, like most men who hit women, is the big tough guy.
    But guys like that NEVER fight back against more powerful men.

  48. GREGORYABUTLER
    Posted March 1, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    All this anal retentiveness about grammar is totally missing the POINT OF THE ARTICLE!
    You know what she meant, why be such a “grammar nazi” about how she said it!
    Despite what your high school English teacher taught you, the only “rule” to language are that – the listener/reader is able to understand the speaker/writer.
    Everything else is a bunch of bunk – made up by folks who think that you don’t speak English like a 19th century British aristocrat, you are speaking “incorrectly”.
    So, folks, please lighten the hell up – listen to the message, not the textbook “rules” please!!!!!

  49. GREGORYABUTLER
    Posted March 1, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Again, those are great reasons for him to dump her.
    And pathetic excuses for him to beat up somebody half his size – who depends on her appearance to make her living!

  50. dan&danica
    Posted March 1, 2009 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Why so much focus on the size thing? I get where it comes from and it is also logical to me but I think we put too much focus on it. When I was 10 or 11 or in my very early teens I was a bully. People would always tell me to pick on someone my own size, so I did, my size and bigger. In my mind then it didnt matter. I grew out of that, Chris Brown may have never been that type and he may have done things to his girlfriend he would never do to suge knight or to me in a bar but who knows what his history is? Even with that, anger counseling probably wont help.
    I guess the reason the size thing and the markings, or evidence of assault thing, bothers me is that in my life I’ve been hit by many partners far smaller and physically weaker than me. They hit me, as part of an ongoing thing, but never any marks, never any injuries. If I backhand them in retaliation or push them to get away I am suddenly the horrible guy who no one believes. “You outweigh her by 150 pounds, even if she did hit you its ok because she cant ‘hurt’ you”. I just dont understand it, I get that its probably in the extreme minority of intimate partner violence and that it is incredibly privieged to be so physically healthy but in a lot of ways, for a non-violent person, large size and a lot of physical strength seems more like an obstacle than an asset sometimes.

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