In the news

Who’s been following this Rolling Stone-UVA mess? I don’t know what to say. But that’s never stopped me before.

So, I didn’t get around to reading the original piece until yesterday. Like probably everyone else who read it, I thought, “Wow. UVA has a real problem on its hands. I mean, those fight song lyrics alone call for a federal investigation.” After I finished the article, I quickly read Slate’s take on it. In reading the first couple of paragraph’s of the Slate piece, I thought, “Well, sure, maybe Erdely should have made an attempt to contact the alleged perps, but really the story isn’t about ‘Jackie,’ it’s about the culture of rape at UVA, right?” But then as I got to page two of the article, I realized that Rosin and Benedikt were right: if “Jackie” isn’t credible, there goes the story. Does UVA have an obligation to address crimes that didn’t happen? Uh, of course not. So, I found myself troubled by the whole thing, asking my friend at happy hour, “What the hell happened?”

And just now Rolling Stone has hedged its defense of its story.

And now I really don’t know what to make of the whole thing. What obligation does RS have to explain to us the inconsistencies it references in its veiled “apology”? Should we just let the story die? How does UVA respond to this? How does “Jackie”? How do we?


UPDATE: The WaPo has details on the problems with the RS story. I admit that this has a larger-scale Audrey Seiler feel to it. Jackie is clearly struggling, but it doesn’t seem like it’s because of a gang rape at a fraternity during her freshman year at college. Ugh. What a mess.


1 Response to “In the news”

  1. 1 Terry December 16, 2014 at 11:07 am

    When you first wrote this, I was also kind of immobilized by the thought of how much damage this kind of sloppy “reporting” had likely done. I doubt there is a woman out there who has attended college who hasn’t known or heard of assaults on women on campus, often surrounded by the murkiness of the ingestion of too many substances to make a report to law enforcement feel worthwhile. Now comes Camille Cosby using the aftermath of this garbage in RS to defend her husband. What a mess.

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December 2014

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