Chris Cuomo’s Dharun Ravi interview round up

By Shri

Dharun Ravi’s legal team is on a mission! After the 15 count guilty verdict and an imminent threat of imprisonment and possible deportation, they want to sway public opinion in his favor and influence his sentencing. What other way to do it than a series of media appearances explaining “Dharun’s side” of the story?

I am not a Dharun Ravi hater. I believe Dharun’s sentence should be minimal and symbolic. I don’t think he deserves jail time like murders and rapists. I also don’t blame Dharun for Tyler’s suicide. Having said that, I also believe he is guilty of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation and evidence tampering.

Chris Cuomo’s interview was the very first time Dharun Ravi was speaking out about the webcam incident on television. Since Dharun didn’t testify during the trial, this interview was a great opportunity for him to explain what and why all this happened. I started watching this interview with an open mind. I honestly wanted to be swayed. But the interview left me disappointed. It appeared as a desperate cover up attempt on Dharun’s part.

1) Before Dharun and Tyler met, Dharun googled and found out Tyler was gay. And then he tweeted “Fuck my life! He is Gay.” When Cuomo asked Dharun why he wrote that tweet, this is was the response: “These (my Twitter followers) are my closest friends, they know I don’t hate gay people”. So? What was the point? If you have no problems with gay people, why would you be disappointed to know your roommate is gay?

2) According to Dharun, he was at the dorm room, when MB walked in to the room for his first date with Tyler. Dharun tried to start a conversation with MB but found him very unfriendly. He left the two alone and went to Molly’s room. When Molly was curious to know about Tyler’s date, Dharun first started describing MB and then said to her. “You know what, I can just show you.” He turned on his webcam remotely from Molly’ room. This is Dharun’s explanation of his “accidental” first viewing, but, why did he set up the webcam pointing at Tyler’s bed in the first place? Did he know in advance that Molly would ask him to describe Tyler’s date? What was the intention?

3) Dharun’s explanation about the “I dare you to watch” tweet is again confusing. He said he was concerned that Tyler was making it a routine to bring dates to their dorm room and that he didn’t trust MB. Per Cuomo, instead of addressing these concerns with Tyler directly, Dharun tweeted about it, because that is what young kids these days do. It was that simple. Really? That doesn’t explain why Dharun dared all his twitter followers to watch Tyler’s sexual encounter. Am I missing something here?

4) The very last text message that Dharun sent to Tyler, after seeing Tyler’s FB post about jumping off from the GW bridge is this:

“I’ve known you were gay and I have no problem with it… In fact, one of my closest friends is gay and I have a very open relationship. I just suspected you were shy and never broached it as a topic. I don’t want your freshman year to be ruined because of a petty misunderstanding, it’s adding to my guilt. You have a right to move if you wish but I don’t want you to feel pressured to without fully understanding the situation.”

If Dharun really has a close gay friend, then why didn’t that friend testify during Dharun’s trial? Instead Dharun’s father’s friends and business partners testified that he was not homophobic. But when cross examined they all agreed that they never discussed homosexuality or gay people with Dharun. There is a chance that Dharun’s close friend is in the closet and that is the reason that person couldn’t testify. But why Dharun doesn’t talk about this friend anymore? And if he has a close friend who is gay, why would he tweet stuff like “Fuck my life, my roommate is gay” or “keep the gays away”?


Chris Cuomo did a very lousy job with his cheesy yes or no type questions, overtly dramatic narratives and shallow reporting. He missed (ignored) the chance to talk to Ravi about his “keep the gays away” message, which played a major role in the trial. Cuomo also seemed ignorant of lot of things. He was arguing with Garden State Equality’s Steven Goldstein that what Dharun committed is not a hate crime because there was no violence involved. One doesn’t need to get violent to commit a hate crime. Words hurt more than actions. Kids like Asher Brown and Billy Lucas didn’t commit suicide because they were violently attacked by their schoolmates. They were broken down by words and sometimes with actions that didn’t involve any physical violence.

This tweet from  Mrs_Amelia says it all “Chris Cuomo is a lawyer but last time I checked he wasn’t #DharunRavi’s lawyer. This interview is so pro Ravi its ridiculous!” It was ridiculous. Ravi shows no remorse and claims to be the victim in all of this. At the end, I was not swayed. I know many weren’t. His legal team should find better ways to sway public opinion.

You can watch the interview at: 20/20 Rutgers Webcam Spying Scandal

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2 Responses to Chris Cuomo’s Dharun Ravi interview round up

  1. VR says:

    Shri – do you realize that you do not have the facts correct? To address the issues you have raised:
    1. Dharun was not disappointed when he found out he was gay – he was merely surprised
    2. How would have Ravi known that Tyler was about to have sex the first time MB was in his room? Did you not read that Ravi always had his webcam connected to iChat
    3. You are missing the big fact that Ravi did not record anything on the second night.
    4. Ravi’s gay friend did not turn up at the trial because very often friends are fair weather friends.
    It is because of journalists like you who write without verifying the facts that the world is becoming a horrible place.
    Watch Adam Carolla: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-Ith5BorEU

  2. shrisadasivan says:

    VR: Thanks for reading and commenting. Here are my responses.

    1. How do you know that Dharun was merely surprised and NOT disappointed to learn the fact that his roommate was gay? I inferred his disappointment through the messages he sent to his friends that were shown as evidences during the trial: “Fuck my life! He is Gay.”, “Keep the gays away” – These messages don’t give the impression that he was ‘surprised’. May be you can enlighten us.

    2. Tyler told Ravi that he wants to have the room for himself and Ravi agreed. By agreeing Ravi guaranteed privacy to Tyler and his date. It is anyone’s guess what young people do on a date. I don’t care what they did – kissed, made out or had sex – Ravi after agreeing, shouldn’t have turned the cam on from Molly’s room. That is gross violation of privacy. My point was about how during the trial, the defense team claimed that Dharun turned on the cam to keep an eye on his stuff as he found MB shady. In this interview, Dharun says he turned on the cam so that he could show Molly what MB looked like. Now which version is true?? You say he always kept the cam on. Even if that is true, he shouldn’t have viewed from Molly’s room. Period.

    3. Ravi didn’t record anything on the second night. That is true. I didn’t say he did. I am not sure what your point is. FYI: Ravi tweeted to his friends that they can watch Tyler and his date via iChat the second night. Dharun now claims he switched off the cam later, feeling guilty. But the prosecution says Tyler found out (based on the messages Tyler himself posted on Internet forums) and then switched it off himself.

    4. You seem to know about Dharun and his friends more than anyone else. I am not sure who is using facts here and who is making assumptions: You or me??

    I am not a journalist. I am a blogger/writer. I don’t have direct access to information. I watched the trial and made my inferences. I am free to express my opinion. You can too. But there is no need to get nasty and blame me for making this world a horrible place. To the contrary you are the one who seems to be extremely biased and want to deny justice to a young kid who went through harassment and gross violation of privacy.

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