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Cleveland Gang-Rape Coverage: Controversy Doesn't Die

The heat over media coverage of the Cleveland gang-rape doesn't show much signs of slacking, as critics question whether stories in The New York Times and Houston Chronicle displayed a "blame the victim" tone.

A round-up of the latest (We've asked Chronicle editor Jeff Cohen for reaction to the criticism; we'll update with any response See update):

The Times responded to the criticism, in a way. A spokesperson said the controversial views were those of residents, not the reporter: "We are very aware of and sensitive to the concerns that arise in reporting about sexual assault," she said. "This story is still developing and there is much to be learned about how something so horrific could have occurred."

The Houston Chronicle brought out boringly earnest, rarely surprising Lisa Falkenberg for a front-page column telling readers that raping 11-year-olds is bad.

Slate weighed in, didn't mention the Chron.

ABC News had a lengthy take on the incident.

And a feminist blog called Chron reporter Cindy Horswell's CNN appearance "a clusterfuck of fail."

Update: Here's Jeff Cohen's take:

People who criticize us for reporting are criticizing the messengers not the speakers. This is a horrific, tragic story. We always edit with care but have been doubly sensitive with regard to anything out of Cleveland. I guess I'd point you to today's Page One column by Lisa Falkenberg. She summed up our feelings quite well.

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