Friday, December 5, 2014

In Case You Missed It (updated)

...or in case you've forgotten what real journalism actually looks like:
To Our Readers:
Last month, Rolling Stone published a story titled "A Rape on Campus" by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, which described a brutal gang rape of a woman named Jackie at a University of Virginia fraternity house; the university's failure to respond to this alleged assault – and the school's troubling history of indifference to many other instances of alleged sexual assaults. The story generated worldwide headlines and much soul-searching at UVA. University president Teresa Sullivan promised a full investigation and also to examine the way the school responds to sexual assault allegations.
Because of the sensitive nature of Jackie's story, we decided to honor her request not to contact the man she claimed orchestrated the attack on her nor any of the men she claimed participated in the attack for fear of retaliation against her. In the months Erdely spent reporting the story, Jackie neither said nor did anything that made Erdely, or Rolling Stone's editors and fact-checkers, question Jackie's credibility. Her friends and rape activists on campus strongly supported Jackie's account. She had spoken of the assault in campus forums. We reached out to both the local branch and the national leadership of the fraternity where Jackie said she was attacked. They responded that they couldn't confirm or deny her story but had concerns about the evidence. 
In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie's account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced. We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.
Will Dana
Managing Editor
It's something of a big deal because when you get it wrong you have to own it, and you have to stand up, and you have to say you got it wrong.  Which is something that happens once in a while, but which is something that seems never to happen in a certain segment of "the media" where they get it wrong a lot and never say so.  

But this development does nothing to lessen the rather dire state of affairs on- and off-campus. We have a problem here and we're not gonna get any nearer to finding the solutions we need unless everybody's willing to stand up and speak the truth as they see it - even when the truth is that they kinda blew the report by not properly vetting the fucking source - which just gives all the wrong people all the perfect excuses to do exactly what RS seems suddenly to be doing, which is to blame the fucking victim.


Ahem - sorry - channeling Charlie Skinner there for a minute.

The thing that does change right now tho' is that all the usual Smarmroaches will probably come scurrying out to start chanting "Death to The Demon Liberal Media", and the rubes can go back to feeling smugly comfortable sitting and waiting for the Daddy State to tell them what to misunderstand about the next episode of All My Phony Outrage.

hat tip = Facebook friend HH

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