As my colleagues at NewsBusters have documented, the liberal media have already jumped on the bandwagon to defend an 18-year old Florida woman with unlawful sexual conduct with a 14-year old girl, saying authorities are only pressing charges because she's a lesbian. On Wednesday evening, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes joined the media frenzy by declaring this case an example of “LBGT Injustice.”
On the May 22 edition of "All In," Hayes featured 18-year old Kaitlyn Hunt, her mother Kelly Hunt-Smith and their attorney Julia Graves to hype what Hayes remarked was an “incredible story.” With the on-screen graphic titling the segment, “LGBT Injustice.”
Hayes made clear he sympathized with Hunt's plight, not merely because she's a senior in high school facing a serious criminal charge but because this was an opportunity to allege that bigotry against lesbians was animating the criminal justice system in central Florida:
There were people at the news conference today wearing t-shirts that said "stop the hate," and my sense from following this is that your belief is that the parents of the girl in question called authorities because this was a relationship between two teenage girls.
But Hunt’s mother admitted she had no idea whether or not the 14-year-old victim’s parents were aware of the relationship, instead noting:
You know, we have a situation where we have two teenaged girls in a mutual dating relationship, you know, I've had this girl in my home. We had a relationship with her. She has relationships with my younger children.
Hayes then turned to Hunt's attorney Julia Graves, tossing out a softball for her to drive home the liberal narrative on the story:
There's people undoubtedly watching right now who are saying, look, the law is the law and the cutoff in the law exists for a reason and if the facts, as presented, are true, then that's just the way things work. Why is that not right?
While Ms. Graves admitted that Kaitlyn broke the law, her logic was that “if we chose to prosecute everyone who was violating this law, then we wouldn't even have room for all the cases in the courthouse. I believe that times have changed a little bit since the law's been put into place” is flawed.
Of course, the parents of the victim chose to go to the police, and there is no evidence that they went to the police because of some anti-gay bias. Indeed, even if that were the case, it's irrelevant because the law is intended to protect impressionable minors -- and a 14-year-old is precisely that -- from the sexual predations of adults, regardless of their sexual orientation. Additionally, the police and prosecutors have an obligation to act upon such allegations under the law.
To Hayes, that detail seems to be irrelevant, as he chose instead to hype the story as an example of "LGBT Injustice" without any actual evidence to support his claim. Once again, MSNBC has chosen to create a story to fit its gay agenda, even though there's no there there. Additionally implied is that laws against statutory rape in and of themselves are outmoded and improper, which is a bridge too far for even many liberal parents, who certainly don't want say a 25-year-old man or woman having sex with their daughters.
See relevant transcript below.
All In w/ Chris Hayes
May 22, 2013
8:25 p.m. Eastern
CHRIS HAYES: We've been following an incredible story, which comes to us from the city of Sebastian, Florida. It is a story of Kaitlyn Hunt. Kaitlyn is an 18-year-old high school senior, who's been arrested and charged there with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child, sex abuse charges, which carry heavy penalties in the state of Florida, including having to possibly register as a sex offender. Her crime was that she was having a consensual relationship with another girl at her school, a freshman, a minor. Katelyn, her mother, and their lawyer will join me in a moment, and today they held a press conference hoping that common sense would prevail.
JULIA GRAVES: The state attorney's office, the sheriff's department, and the parents of the other girl involved are prosecuting her under a law intended to protect children from being preyed on by adults.
HAYES: And today, for the first time since her arrest, Kaitlyn Hunt responded to the overwhelming support she and her family have received.
KAITLYN HUNT: I'm just thankful and grateful that all these people are by my side, and that they've been by my side since day one. Overwhelming, to say the least. Scared, I'm scared. Just kind of hopeful for the best. Didn't think it would be this big at first, but I'm glad it is, you know, I'd rather people see how it is across the world than just here in Sebastian.
HAYES: Katitlyn Hunt went to Sebastian River High School and played on the basketball team, she and her freshman teammate developed a relationship at the beginning of the school year, the younger girl's parents, upset about the relationship, notified the authorities and Kaitlyn hunt was immediately arrested, handcuffed, and charged with two felony counts on lewd and lascivious behavior on a child 12 to 16. Kaitlyn now faces a deadline of this Thursday on whether to accept a plea deal that includes pleading guilty to child abuse, a sentence of two years of house arrest, and attending sex offender counseling, where her lawyer noted today, she would be joined by sex offenders guilty of genuinely predatory behavior. A Change.org petition on Kaitlyn’s behalf has gathered more than 56,000 signatures; a free Kate Facebook group has topped 30,000 followers. But authorities say they will not drop the case, the state attorney for Florida’s 19th Circuit Bruce Colton told "All In" that there are 20 to 25 cases a year involving relationships between someone 18 or older with a minor 12 to 16 years old. 98% of those cases never go to trial, however, mostly due to plea deals. I’m joined tonight from Orlando, Florida by Kaitlyn hunt, her mother, Kelly Hunt-Smith, and Julia Graves, Kaitlyn’s attorney. And Kaitlyn, I want to begin with you, and I know you don't want to discuss the details of the case, but having being 34 years old and having a little bit of experience being in the midst of a public firestorm with a lot of attention, I can only imagine how it feels to be going through that as an 18 year old.
KAITLYN HUNT: Very overwhelming. And crazy.
KAITLYN: I talked to a lot of people, I try to talk to everybody that I can, all my supporters across the world and here, and I just try to say thank you to everybody, especially to my family and my lawyer Julia for doing everything that they can to help me through this situation.
HAYES: Kelly, there were people at the news conference today wearing t-shirts that said "stop the hate," and my sense from following this is that your belief is that the parents of the girl in question called authorities because this was a relationship between two teenage girls.
KELLY HUNT SMITH: Yes, that is my opinion.
HAYES: And is there anything that has led you to believe that specifically?
SMITH: Lots of things, several things. You know, we have a situation where we have two teenaged girls in a mutual dating relationship, you know, I've had this girl in my home. We had a relationship with her. She has relationships with my younger children, and—
HAYES: So you knew about it and their parents knew about this relationship?
SMITH: I can't speak for them, but I did know about their relationship, yes, I did not know it had become a physical relationship, but I did know that they were dating.
HAYES: Julia, there's people undoubtedly watching right now who are saying, look, the law is the law and the cutoff in the law exists for a reason and if the facts, as presented, are true, then that's just the way things work. Why is that not right?
GRAVES: Well, the law is the law, but I think that if we chose to prosecute everyone who was violating this law, then we wouldn't even have room for all the cases in the courthouse. I believe that times have changed a little bit since the law's been put into place, and other states have recognized this, I believe that the state of Georgia has reduced this to a misdemeanor, the state of Wisconsin has set it out on a first offense you attend a class and there is educational counseling for you and once you complete that, there are no charges brought against you. I just believe that the laws of the state of Florida need to be changed, and unfortunately, we're here with the law as it is, but we're hoping that as we said earlier, common sense can prevail and we can get both of these girls out of this without completely destroying them.
HAYES: Julia, what would common sense look like for you, what would be a fair, just outcome to this situation?
GRAVES: A fair, just outcome for me would be a misdemeanor charge. I have never once asked the state attorney's office to just drop the charges. I understand that what Kaitlyn did under the law was wrong, and Kaitlyn did not understand that at the time, and I don't believe her parents or anyone else understood it, but we put the children in this school together, and we expect them to behave as children and then when one of them becomes an adult, then we charge them with this crime. But what we think would be fair would be a misdemeanor charge and to have some probation and maybe some education, community service, and no contact with the victim, if that's what they desire. And everyone move on with their lives, where the victim doesn't have to live with the fact that she, because of her consensual relationship, left her girlfriend with a felony and that the charges that are being offered now, the third degree child abuse, those cannot be sealed under the state of Florida.
HAYES: That will follow her around for the rest of her life. Kelly, what have you learned? Has this change the way you think about the criminal justice system, having to interface with it in this way?
SMITH: Oh, absolutely. You know, I did not know. I'm 37 years old, and not one time did I even consider their relationship illegal or criminal ever. I have five children, I have five girls, and, you know, they date. I have two older girls, 17 and 18, and they date. I've never -- they are in high school. I didn't consider it wrong or criminal at all, so I'm definitely learning a lot of things right now.
HAYES: Attorney Susan Graves, Kelly Hunt-Smith and Kaitlyn Hunt, thank you all for your time tonight. I really appreciate it.