Bringing Awareness

I’m super proud of Jesse Byrnes (www.jessebyrnes.com), a student journalist at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. He’s one of my main debate coaches for my local club. On Sunday he tweeted a UCCS website and the scoop went viral.

Monumentum 2013

Jesse and I are coaches for our team in Monument. I’m on the left, Jesse’s on the right.

Local television, of course, picked it up, but some national syndications did, too. All political extremes picked up on it: Megyn Kelly from Fox News and Meegan Morris from Cosmopolitan ran biting responses. Here’s the scoop on the scoop. 

Jesse used his award-winning debate analysis to give notice to a vulgar page on his college’s website. Timing was perfect, for it related to a recent news story also in Colorado. Real quickly:

  1. In an attempt to justify stricter gun laws, Colorado’s Joe Salazar suggested that women being raped don’t need a gun to protect themselves. (In all fairness, he apologized yesterday.)
  2. UCCS, the school Jesse attends, had a top 10 list of what women could do to resist a rapist. Nowhere on the list is “own a gun,” but the list included such suggestions like urinating and puking. (UCCS removed the list, but ABC News posted it here.)

Jesse let the pundits connect the dots. All he did was tweet it, Michelle Malkin retweeted it, and that was the end of it. Vulgar story goes viral.

Jesse’s debaters think their debate coach is the coolest journalist in the world. He broke the story, man!

He’s facing heat, no doubt, as other news agencies prodded for hidden political agendas. There isn’t any; Jesse just reported like a good reporter. UCCS posted that the list was “taken out of context” and apologized “for any miscommunication.” Was that really an apology? Not sure. You can read their long list of excuses here.

Journalism is sometimes about bringing awareness to something people need to be aware of. Jesse did that. I’m very proud of him for that.

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