Dave Catanese, Politico Reporter, Yanked from Todd Akin Coverage

Categories: Politics
Dave Catanese.jpg
Dave Catanese in a 2011 television appearance.
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Dave Catanese, a Politico writer and former local political junkie, really stepped in it as the Todd Akin "legitimate rape" thing was absolutely melting down Twitter on Sunday evening. Catanese apologized for a series of tweets and was then pulled from covering the entire issue by his bosses.

All this despite the fact that he charged right in, seemingly, with total confidence in this first tweet: "@davecatanese: Ok, I'm gonna (ask for it) & defend @ToddAkin for argument's sake. We all know what he was trying to say . . ."

It quickly went downhill from there.

As some will recall, Catanese was a beloved KY3 reporter and contributor to the political blog KY3 Political Notebook. He left town for Politico in late 2009, though he seems to have kept a special place in his heart for the goings-ons in Missouri.

So naturally he jumped right in as soon as the boneheaded comments by Congressman Todd Akin lit the internet on fire Sunday afternoon.

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Jacob DeVore
Jacob DeVore

Bottom line: Akin legitimately fucked himself.

Tara Daniels
Tara Daniels

@Brian: Actually, Akins wasn't talking about legitimate rape in a legal sense. He believes that if a woman is really a victim of rape, then it's impossible for her to get pregnant because apparently women have some biological defense mechanism to stop from getting pregnant when attacked. 3,000+ pregnant rape victims would disagree. Also, yes, there are women who lie about being rape (which is idiotic and irresponsible), but there are a lot more women who are raped by strangers, coworkers, friends, family, and significant others who won't ever get justice because of the belief hat there are all these cases of women lying about being raped. Rape is an evil act and it happens to not only women, but men and children as well and it's a problem when people decide to shame them in various hurtful ways.


This isn't just being a devil's advocate, Chad. At least half of all rapes in the US go unreported, and only a tiny fraction of those that ARE reported result in a conviction. It's been estimated that less than 6% of all reported rapes are falsified, so Catanese's comments are bunk. (source here, if you want to read about it: http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/false-rape-allegations-are-rare/)


You know what's really fucking hard? Telling people that you were raped. There is a huge culture of shame and humiliation around being a survivor, the process for reporting is incredibly traumatic, and most of the time women are raped by someone they know so there are a ton of social ramifications.


You know what isn't hard? Being a man spouting off on the internet about how women should  just chillax about all of this stuff because this whole thing would blow over if only women didn't get so irrationally angry.


RAPE CULTURE IS REAL. Todd Akin is not an anomaly, he is part of a system that works to systematically prevent women from having agency over what happens with their bodies. If we shut down the conversation about this, we shut down the opinions of 51% of the population in this country, roughly 20% of whom have had the most traumatizing experience that you could ever imagine. 

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

Legitimate rape = a proven rape as opposed to a lie. Women have been known to lie about it. Its not difficult to understand. Ask a cop how many scorned women have claimed rape or battery where nothing had happened. Or a scared teenager becomes pregnant and doesn't want her family to know she's promiscuous so she claims rape to save some humiliation. Yes rape is an evil thing. No one is denying that or trying to make light of it. I don't see how you twisted his words to reflect that unless it fits your agenda.

Stella Ramsaroop
Stella Ramsaroop

Rape is not a topic in which to play devil's advocate. Considering the intense physical, emotional and mental reprecussions a woman endures during a rape and for years afterwards, how can any person (much less a national leader) utter the two words "legitimate rape" together in the same sentence?

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

Well any time a man mentions a woman's uterus the fembots go into a tizzy. Yes Akin's remarks were stupid but far from hateful or sexist.

chad_garrison moderator editor

I expect more of this to come. Media companies want their reporters to have a strong social-media presence that not only reflects the corporate brand but also showcases the personalities of its writers. But when someone like Catanese dares to argue a contrarian viewpoint that offends a few Tweeps, the media company immediately buckles to the outrage of the Internet. An outrage, mind you, that probably would have blown over in, oh I don't know, the time it takes to refresh a Web browser. Meanwhile, Politico loses its best reporter on the Missouri races. Pathetic.

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