So why did this story get traction in the mainstream media?
Reason number one: Not just one, but two reasonably photogenic targets.
Reason Two: Story captured on video and posted to parallel media first.
Document, document, document.
Short captured much of the incident, which she charged was a "deliberate" provocation by Miller-Young, on a cellphone video later posted to YouTube
Reason Three: The targets pressed charges
Bullies succeed through intimidation. Part of that intimidation is through passive-aggression. They twist the narrative and bind their target through shame and fear.
The Short family did not accept the twisted narrative. They demonstrated fortitude and righteousness. They exercised the system.
Miller-Young was charged with one misdemeanor count each of theft, battery and vandalism in the March 4 incident, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced Friday. The charges came days after 16-year-old Thrin Short and her parents met with prosecutors.
Reason Four: An abundance of physical evidence.
I have put down dogs for less than what is shown in these pictures.
Reason Five: Miller-Young is not photogenic
Modern media is driven by visual images. I don't defend that position. I merely report what I believe to be fact.
Reason Six: Miller-Young is a caricature of a Liberal Intellectual
Miller-Young plays into many of the stereotypes of a Liberal Intellectual from the affection of her hyphenated name to her fields of expertise.
Miller-Young, whose faculty web page says she specializes in black cultural studies and pornography...
There is a body of aggrieved people who will believe every vile accusation that might be made about Miller-Young.
Reason Seven: Miller-Young's monumental ineptitude in handling the situation
We all do dumb things. Adults cool off, assess the situation and apologize. If we are in really deep doo-doo we seek professional advice. I see no evidence that Miller-Young did any of these things.
She did not cool off. She did not assess the situation. She kept doubling down. A bad move when you have a pair of deuces in your hand.
Rather than apologize she is quoted as saying
In the report filed by campus police, she claimed she had a "moral right" to act in the manner she did.
Is the tide turning?
Some hope that this will be a watershed event. That it is a harbinger of the mainstream media holding self-appointed elites to the standards of accountability that the rest of us enjoy.
I think not.
However, this event can provide a functional template of how to get one's side of the story out even when the deck is stacked against you.
- Video. That means a team of three if a confrontation is anticipated. The "actor", the person shooting the video and a third person to provide situational awareness for the person shooting the video.
- Do not bait or antagonize. Video does not lie. Truly stupid people do not need any help being stupid. It is their special gift.
- Protect physical evidence
- Parallel media first.
- Press charges. Crimes were committed.
- Make spokesperson/people as photogenic as possible. Get professional advice about what photographs and videos well.
- If interviewed in front of cameras, choose a sympathetic outlet. If you are not sure that the outlet is sympathetic, stick with no-video policy. Any producer can make you look like an evasive liar by shining bright lights directly into your eyes. You will blink, turn your head and appear to be avoiding "eye contact". You can be pure of heart and God can be in your soul...but that producer can make you act like you are lying your azz off.