By Arturo R. García
Based on this interview he did with NPR, the Antoine Dodson phenomenon seems to be turning out more favorably than these memes tend to. But not without reaffirming some of the worst tendencies of both media distributors and consumers.
By now many of us know how the story started: on the morning of July 28th, a man broke into the Dodson home in Huntsville, Ala. and, according to Antoine’s sister Kelly, attempted to assault her in her bedroom. As originally reported by WAFF-TV, Antoine struggled with the assailant, who subsequently escaped.
The first thing to note is that WAFF’s original story was not a live-shot. Meaning both the reporter, Elizabeth Gentle, and her editors had virtually the entire business day to get an interview with either a police spokesperson or the crime scene investigator shown at the scene to add to the story and respond to Antoine’s allegation about there being “a rapist in Lincoln Park” – for instance, had there been similar incidents in the area as of late? Gentle also had time to get a description of the alleged assailant from either the Dodsons or the police department, information that would be useful when the suspect in a forced entry and attempted sexual assault is still at large.