Don’t wave it off because she’s eye candy or an actress or whatever. What you’re getting here is raw candor in all its ugliness. They look like frat boys — rich, white, “cookie cutter,” the cardinal sin to noisy nonconformists — and so they “stand” for all the rich white kids who’ve ever taken advantage of their privilege at another’s expense. In which case, if they had been convicted, well, that’s rough justice even if it’s a tough break for the not-so-guilty parties themselves. Terry Moran couldn’t have put it better himself.

Ace has already teased this out in a bunch of posts today, but note what’s happening here, completely transparently: She’s trying to salvage the storyline of the black victim and the white aggressor by imputing to them crimes they simply must have committed by virtue of their race and class. It’s the inverse of those old psychological tests where you’re briefly shown a drawing of a black man in a suit being threatened by a white man with a knife and then asked to describe the drawing from memory — and somehow it’s the white man who ends up in the suit and the black man with a knife. This fiasco is the flip side of that. The next step, I promise, will be an attempt by some of the media to claim that Fox’s decision to publish the name of the accuser — which has been publicly available for months and months and has also now been published by media outlets closer to home — is actually a coded incitement to harass or threaten the accuser. She is and must be a victim, no matter how much harm she’s caused, and so no effort should be spared in restoring her pristine victimhood. Watch and see.

Behar, the dumbest one on the show no matter what Rosie says, also tips her hand by gratuitously emphasizing the whiteness of the “little white boys’ club” that hired the strippers. When Hasselbeck asks her to elaborate, she gets nervous and plays it off as a simple descriptive observation — they were a boys club, and also they were white. Nothin’ more to it than that. But of course there is: she’s suggesting, like McGowan, that they’re guilty of something, namely sexism, even if they’re not guilty of rape. Which doesn’t mean they belong in jail … but does mean they’re sort of the aggressors in all this, doesn’t it? White aggressors, too. Which makes sweet little Crystal conveniently a victim again.

A lot of analysis for such a stupid show, I grant you, but I wouldn’t have bothered with it if I didn’t think this reflected a much wider body of thinking. Meanwhile, highbrow media is starting to cover its tracks on this subject. Shamelessly.

Thanks as always to the ‘Busters for watching the skies.

Update: Ace is filled with heart-ache that I haven’t named the accuser, Crystal Mangum. Thus endeth the heart-ache. I didn’t name her before because we all know what’s going to happen if someone so much as looks crossly at her on the street or leaves a bag of dog shinola on her porch: like I said, the media will use it as a pretext to restore her victimhood and scapegoat the hell out of its political enemies, which in this case means right-wing media and blogs. They do this to Michelle all the time, most notoriously when that lunatic who sent Olbermann a letter with fake anthrax turned out to be a fan of hers (and Coulter’s and Laura Ingraham’s) and Olby naturally turned it into a six-minute hit piece about the right-wing’s “culture of violence” or whatever with her photo splashed all over it. It’s easy to say, “well, he’s a douche,” but among the eleven or so people who watch his show I’m sure there were a few who didn’t know better and took him at his word. Which is precisely what he was counting on. Mangum’s name is out there, I’ve linked to at least two articles here that state it, and now I’m stating it myself essentially because Ace dared me, but there comes a point where you do what you can to limit their opportunities to show their bad faith and breathtaking disingenuousness.