News Column

UT DJ's Steubenville Twitter Comments Spark Outrage

March 21, 2013

Nolan Rosenkrans

A disc jockey for a University of Toledo-affiliated radio station has come under a torrent of social media-based criticism for tweets seemingly blaming the victim in the Steubenville rape case.

Jimmy Momenee, a DJ for 88.3 FM WXUT, UT's student run station, has suspended his Monday night radio show after scores of people responded with shock and anger to comments he made on Twitter about the high profile rape convictions on Sunday of two Steubenville high school football players. Mr. Momenee, who graduated from UT in May, first posted Sunday about the convictions, and then had a string of further posts after Twitter users reacted. Most of those tweets were deleted, and Mr. Momenee's once active Twitter account is now silent.

"Disgusting outcome on #Steubenville trial. Remember kids, if you're drunk/slutty at a party, and embarrassed later, just say you got raped!" he wrote Sunday, sparking the backlash.

A radio station manager deferred comment on the matter to UT administrators. The station distanced itself from Mr. Momenee Monday, tweeting that the DJ's views were his own, but offering no apology on behalf of the station.

Reaction on Twitter was swift, furious, and continued today. Many responses were vile in their own right, expressing hope that Mr. Momenee either die or was raped himself.

Many others, however, lashed out on Mr. Momenee's assertion that a rape had not occurred, because the woman was drunk and perhaps behaving in a promiscuous manner.

"Everyone is open to their opinion of your opinion. Your opinion is ignorant & uninformed. Rape IS rape. Drunk doesn'tyes," user @SusanMileyWV posted.

Mr. Momenee said in a post that he was "on Twitter vacation indefinitely," citing what he called death threats and evil wishes. He later said that his wording was poor and that he was not "advocating rape or rapists or assault."

Mr. Momenee is not paid for his DJ position at WXUT. The radio station is overseen by a UT faculty adviser and the university's Dean of Students Office. Calls to the dean's office were not returned today.

"The recent remarks of one of UT's alums, Jimmy Momenee, lamenting the guilty verdict of two Steubenville teens convicted of rape were revolting and directly contradict the values of The University of Toledo," UT spokesman Tobin Klinger said in a statement. "The only victim in this case is the young woman assaulted. On his Twitter page, Mr. Momenee has expressed regret and apologized for the comments and rightly so."

Mr. Klinger said the radio station's return will be considered at a later date.

"No matter if it is the original offensive Twitter post blaming the rape victim, the avalanche of justified outrage or the occasional response that directed rape and death threats toward the friends and family of Mr. Momenee for his thoughtless words, Mr. Momenee is learning a difficult lesson about the power of social media and the consequences that come with the words we choose, " Mr. Klinger said.



Source: (c)2013 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio). Distributed by MCT Information Services.


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