Rape

Rolling Stone's Botched Account of a UVA Gang Rape Does a Disservice to Rape Victims

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Wikimedia/UVA

By failing to make basic efforts to check the facts of its attention-grabbing story about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house, Rolling Stone has done a tremendous disservice to rape victims.

Now, when victims tell their stories, and when journalists or advocates report on those stories or share them publicly in any way, those inclined to disbelief will have a prominent example of a shocking, horrific story that was reported as if true, and that was initially defended by its reporter and editor even when significant questions were raised about the strength of the reporting.

Reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely's piece, "A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA," opens with a detailed, ugly account of the alleged gang rape of a young women named Jackie at a date function at UVA's Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house in the fall of 2012. In the story, Jackie is lured into a dark room by her date, then pushed to the ground, through a glass table, and raped for hours by multiple men, including one who uses a glass bottle. The story is told without any journalistic distance. It's presented not as what allegedly happened, but what did.

Since the story was published, the magazine repeatedly offered assurances that the story had been thoroughly reported and verified before publication. "Through our extensive reporting and fact-checking, we found Jackie to be entirely credible and courageous and we are proud to have given her disturbing story the attention it deserves," a statement sent to The Washington Post declared earlier this week. In response to a separate set of questions from another reporter at the Post, Erdely insisted that she found the story credible. "I think I did my due diligence in reporting this story; RS's excellent editors, fact-checkers, and lawyers all agreed," she said in an email. Story editor Sean Woods also vouched for the story. 

What the follow-up investigation published by The Washington Post this afternoon makes clear is that very basic steps to corroborate details surrounding the central event in the story—the alleged gang rape of a young student named Jackie—were not taken at all. And in the course of defending the story against critics, Erdely and Woods were cagey and arguably misrepresented what they actually knew and had confirmed about the story's most prominent event.

Erdely, for example, told Slate that she had attempted to contact the accused. On a podcast with several of Slate's editorial staffers, she was asked, "Did you try and call them? Was there any communication between you and them?" She responded, "Yeah, I reached out to them in multiple ways," and then said "they were kind of hard to get in touch with because their contact page was pretty outdated." Erdely was asked multiple questions about whether she contacted "the boys" and "the actual boys" involved, but responded only that she ended up speaking to two national figures involved in the fraternity. 

It's now clear that Erdely did not reach out to the individuals accused of perpetrating the attack. She agreed not to as part of a deal with Jackie. According to Rolling Stone's own statement today, "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."

Indeed, it appears that not only did Erdely not contact the accused, she did not know the full name of the alleged primary assailant. "Earlier this week," today's follow-up in the Post says, "Jackie revealed to friends for the first time the full name of her alleged attacker, a name she had never disclosed to anyone." Emphasis on never and anyone. Unless the Post's follow-up report is mistaken, then that includes Erdely and the fact-checkers at Rolling Stone.

Yet that is not what Woods, the editor on Erdely's story, said earlier this week. "We verified their existence," he said to the Post, indicating that the magazine had checked with Jackie's friends. "I'm satisfied that these guys exist and are real. We knew who they were." If Jackie had truly never revealed the name of the attacker to anyone, then what Woods said cannot have been true.

In fact, according to the Post, the individual Jackie named this week isn't even a member of Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity at the center of the story. The Post appears to have been unable to definitively identify an individual who matches every one of the details Jackie gave in the story. 

Erdely also apparently failed to corroborate other basic details from Jackie's story. Her Rolling Stone report says that the rape happened during fraternity rush, at a date event on September 28, 2012, and that the assailant who lured her into the room where she was raped worked as a lifeguard with Jackie on campus. Erdely did check that Jackie was a lifeguard. But no corroboration was provided for the other details, and an official statement from the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity this afternoon disputes all of them: There was no social function of any kind the weekend of September 28, 2012, rush—the frat's pledging period—takes place in the spring rather than the fall, and no Phi Kappa Psi member appears on the aquatic centers employee roster for 2012, the statement says.

These details cannot have been impossible to check; in the space of about a week, The Washington Post managed to investigate many of them. We don't have a complete accounting of Erdely's reporting methods, but what seems likely is that Erdely's confirmations of Jackie's story came entirely from people who had heard Jackie tell the same story that she told to Erdely; essentially, the entire account originated from a single source.

But even Jackie's friends in the sexual assault awareness advocacy community at UVA, people who have no interest in her story being untrue, have now "come to doubt her account," according to the Post's follow-up today. They believe that something traumatic happened to Jackie, but they too have tried to check her story, and found inconsistencies and details that cannot be proven or verified.

Advocates for rape victims and sexual assault awareness understandably tend to prioritize support, communication, and community building; they do not have a great responsibility to doubt, to verify, and to rigorously check all the minute details of the accounts they hear or share. But journalists do. To be sure, this sort of checking is almost always difficult, time-consuming, and stressful. Inevitably, some mistakes will be made (I've certainly made a few regretful errors of my own). There are tradeoffs between time and accuracy. But the more sensational the story, the more shocking and potentially consequential its allegations, the more that effort is necessary—especially with a long-form account that is not under the pressures and deadlines of daily journalism, and especially when the subject and major source of the story tries to back out, as Jackie apparently did. 

The Post's damning follow-up story today makes it clear that, despite its claims to diligence, Erdely and Rolling Stone simply didn't make much effort at all. And by failing so thoroughly to corroborate so many essential details of Jackie's account—and by insisting, even after reasonable questions were raised, that the story had been verified to be true, they have made life much harder for the same victims of assault and advocates of awareness that a story like this ought to help. 

NEXT: Gang Rape Story's Credibility Blasted, Garner Grand Jury Denied Options, Supreme Court to Consider First Amendment and License Plates: P.M. Links

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  1. Rolling Stone’s Botched Account of a UVA Gang Rape Does a Disservice to Rape Victims

    If everything is rape, nothing is rape.

  2. Or, fromanother angle, the story can do rape victims a service by hurting those who would use their pain to score political points. The “rape culture” narrative serves dogmatic feminists while doing great harm to rape victims, among others. It must be killed.

    1. I find your use of the ki**ed word to be triggering.

      1. I am offended by your trigger warning.

    2. The only rape culture that I can see is the one enveloping and being pushed by the gender hustlers, who are swimming in it.

  3. Curse the Rolling Stone for making me feel bad about frat boys. When it hit, I knew, like most here, that the story was complete BS. The initial narrative came straight out of Bret Ellis’ first novel (first chapter, actually)… ingenue looking for a boy, ends up drunk with two others.

    Hope the frats sue the crap out of RS now.

    1. IKR! Thanks Reason, I feel now sympathy for rappers, frat boys, and Juggalos, Juggalos for crissake!

      Where will it end? Sympathy for white guys with dredlocks?!?! Is that what you want Reason?! Are you happy now?!

      1. I work with a unicorn white guy with dreadlocks, and he is an awesome human being. I think he mostly does it to get laid, though. There is nothing off about him besides his dreads.

        1. “There is nothing off about him besides his dreads.”

          This will need to be verified. At this point, I find Jackie’s story more believable.

  4. Everyone was so quick to believe that there are people who would assault a woman in such a manner but refused to believe that there are people who would fabricate such a story.

    1. Not everyone. Some of the rapists and rape apologists were a little skeptical.

    2. Looks like Breitbart is claiming that Lena Dunham’s claim of rape in her book was also almost entirely fabricated.

      1. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-H…..rape-claim

        Warning: Disgusting picture of subject appears on linked page.

        1. TRIGGER WARNING

          (That photo triggers vomiting.)

            1. LMAO.

      2. Yeah, well, she checked off a little too perfectly all the boxes on the target of her allegations.

        1. This is perhaps the greatest tell of these liars.

          One thing I vividly recall about the RS UVA Rape piece was in the second paragraph:

          she’d initially been intimidated by UVA’s aura of preppy success, where throngs of toned, tanned and overwhelmingly blond students fanned across a landscape of neoclassical brick buildings

          It just seemed all too convenient that the “journalist” could so readily identify that this evil environment would of course be teeming with blond ablist white privilege. Immediately after reading that, I knew every word that followed would be bullshit. And I was right (must’ve been my priviledge).

          1. It just seemed all too convenient that the “journalist” could so readily identify that this evil environment would of course be teeming with blond ablist white privilege. Immediately after reading that, I knew every word that followed would be bullshit. And I was right (must’ve been my priviledge).

            That’s also why the fact that this story has fallen apart is so important.

            Remember: It’s still possible that the girl was assaulted at some point, but that the story she’s telling is not what actually happened. However, Rolling Stone used the original story as an attempt at agitprop and activist journalism. The fact that none of the broader accusations about this being a frat initiation or about the University of Virginia’s response were true, even if it turns out something bad did actually happen to this girl, Rolling Stone would still not be vindicated.

            The social aspects of their story were the most important part from an activism standpoint, and all of those parts were lies. This was not meant to be one girl’s story, it was meant to be an indictment of American culture, of the frat system, and of a prestigious southern college – all things that progressives reflexively despise and yearn to see destroyed. Instead, it rebounded on progressives and actually ended up being a tremendous indictment of their incoherent and increasingly delusional worldview, as well as their total inability to think critically.

            1. It’s hilarious that you single out progressives for this kind of nonsense. Where were you for the whole WMD business?

              1. Republicans lie all the time. Corporation lie, cheat, and steal. So-called scientists lie, exaggerating the evidence of global warming. Unions lie. Bill Clinton lied to our faces. Nixon lied about the Vietnam War, + about Watergate. I think he cheated at cards even. Banks lie. Enron lied. Sometimes, college women lie about being raped. Obama lied in 2007 when he said he’d never support an individual mandate. His administration lied when it blamed the Libya attack on a movie.

                Can we agree that all of the above lie?

              2. It’s hilarious that you single out progressives for this kind of nonsense. Where were you for the whole WMD business?

                Well, given that we’re talking about a current instance in which there were blatant lies spread by progressives, rather than conservatives, I don’t know what this has to do with completely unrelated lies which were told 11 years ago.

                As for where I was, I would have been 15 during ‘the whole WMD business.’ For some weird reason, Rumsfeld and George W. Bush didn’t feel the need to consult a Chicagoland teenager before they invaded Iraq. If they had bothered asking me, I would have told them I was in favor of it because I was a retarded 15 year old who was influenced on foreign policy by my Republican parents. Today, if a similar war were in the offing, I’d oppose it, just like I opposed the Libyan intervention, opposed potential war with Assad’s regime in Syria, and vehemently disagreed with the neocon idiots who thought we should meet Russia with force when they entered the Ukraine.

                If you’d like, I can direct you to a whole host of posts I’ve made on this site against war, in favor of prostitution, and against the drug war. Or you could continue babbling non-sequitors that are unrelated to the issue that’s actually under discussion.

                1. It’s hilarious that you single out progressives for this kind of nonsense.

                  Maybe you should change your name to JackStrawman, you mewling puss.

            2. Rolling Stone used the original story as an attempt at agitprop and activist journalism.

              This. Exactly.

              They initial story was a lie, which they either knew or didn’t care because it advanced a pet political cause, and then they lied repeatedly to cover their own incompetent asses.

              In a sane world, careers will be ruined over this, but I’m not holding my breath.

          2. UVA grad here. I may be blond, preppy and successful but I’m pale as a ghost and a bit pudgier than I’d like. They better call me up when this libel case gets rolling

      3. Like anyone with half a brain believed her in the first place.

        1. I believed the part where she said she was “an unreliable narrator.”

          1. Twice during intercourse she discovers that he has removed his condom without telling her. The second time she throws Barry out and, the next morning, she “diligently enter[s] the encounter into the Word document? titled “Intimacy Database.” Barry. Number four. We fucked. 69’d. It was terribly aggressive. Only once. No one came.”

            A 20-yr old guy has sex and doesn’t come?? Really?

            This rapey rape is fakey fake.

            1. Imagine Lena Dunham naked.

              Now imagine cumming.

              I think the idea that there was a man looking at her naked that was unable to cum is the only believable aspect to her story.

              1. As I said yesterday, in some ways I feel sorry for Lena Dunham. She has a certain amount of talent, but it’s almost entirely destroyed by all the clich?s of modern progthink. Plus, she’s just incredibly homely and unsexy. If you are a woman in your 20s, and you lose out in sex appeal to (e.g.) a young Maureen Stapleton, my God, you must dread the future. She’s hit her peak as about a 3, and I see no indication how it could be anything but downhill from here for her.

                1. I’d feel sorry for her, except that she has a repugnant personality to top it all off.

                  In the Army we called it “queen for a year syndrome”. Basically, you’d get a girl that nobody would look sideways at in the States, but on deployment she’s suddenly a 10, because of the attentions of every male idiot who can’t keep it in their pants for a year. So they started shitting on guys because they could get away with it there, and they forgot that deployments eventually end.

                  In their cases, the beatdown they received from reality once they got back home was richly deserved and there was decidedly little pity to be found for them. They proved themselves to be just as unattractive on the inside as they were on the outside…and that’s the kind of girl that Lena Dunham is. She got a TV show, has a bunch of idiots telling her she’s great, and now she thinks she’s good enough to get away with being horrible to everyone.

                  1. In the Army we called it “queen for a year syndrome”. Basically, you’d get a girl that nobody would look sideways at in the States, but on deployment she’s suddenly a 10, because of the attentions of every male idiot who can’t keep it in their pants for a year.

                    Yep, Desert Queens. Saw plenty of those during my time in the Air Force. One of them was my own supervisor–horrible acne and wore ten gallons of shitty-smelling perfume, but had a dude flirting with her outside her room every damn night.

                    1. I see it all the time working on a ship. The pudgy pock faced laundry lady gets macked on constantly. News of a female inspector of some sort spreads like wildfire.

  5. they have made life much harder for the same victims of assault and advocates of awareness that a story like this ought to help.

    How, exactly, have they made it harder? I have seen this claimed repeatedly in the last few hours and I’m still trying to figure it out.

    Best I can figure, it makes it harder in that “people who claim to have been sexually assaulted won’t just be blindly believed”. We’re saying that’s a bad thing, I guess?

    I personally think it would be better if those currently rending their garments over their betrayal (by RS of course, not Jackie nor their own lack of diligence) were learning the lesson that there is reasonable ground in between “we reject your claims without any consideration” and “we take your claims as true without any consideration”. Sadly, I don’t see a lot of people pointing to that as the key lesson yet. Nope, just a bunch of wailing about how this will give the Other Side ammunition that ALL rape reports are false. Which is twaddle.

    1. if that claim is, in fact, true then feminism is an even larger failure than one can imagine. By any standard, life for victims is far, far easier today than in the 50s, 60s, or 70s. If all those movies, seminars, and ‘take the night back’ marches mean victims have it worse, then feminism is truly evil.

      It has absolutely blown the lid off this ridiculous ‘rape culture’ meme and in spectacular crash and burn fashion.

      1. Unsurprising. These types always overreach. Thankfully. It’s luckily in their nature to always fuck up like this.

    2. Fully agreed.

      Fallacy of the excluded middle.

  6. If you hype the shit out of a victim-based subject, there will always be people who crawl out of the woodwork to take advantage of the hype. Whether it is child prostitution and that woman who completely lied about being one, or the people caught fabricating racial and other threats to them on campus, or A Million Little Pieces, or the current masturbation about campus rape, the hype itself will cause some messed up individual or individuals to see how much they can gain from being victims and they will make the shit up. The more sensational, the better, because these people target the people the most invested in whatever it is being true, who will believe it more the more insane it is, even as the rest of us grow more and more skeptical. Such is the danger of wanting something to be true too much.

    It’s a position of power, to be the ultimate victim for a cause. And of course the absolute worst people will gravitate to it.

    Everything Towlie said in A Million Little Fibers is true, though. You wanna get high?

    1. Are you a straight, white, male? Then you are not allowed to have an opinion on this, and we’ll thank you to kindly STFU.

      – your local SJW

      1. Don’t forget to bring a towel, JJ.

        1. Dude I’ve had the shittiest day. Don’t even get me started on how much I wish I had some weed right now.

          1. Well it’s a shame you can’t come hang out with me tonight. And watch Trailer Park Boys (again) while high.

            1. Tiger Woods golf and laundry will be my complementary baked goods tonight.

              1. Gym, pizza, and L4D2 for me.

                1. L4D2

                  …Left 4 Dead 2?

                  1. You are correct. I have a couple friends who play online with me.

                    1. Well you go play a game from 2009. I’ll play my Borderlands the Pre-Sequel. From 2014. By myself. (sobs)

                    2. Good for you and your fancy PC! I’ll have you know I play a lot of older games on my PC because it’s technologically inferior (also sobs)

                      And a lot of people still make some interesting maps for that game. Last weekend we played a modded map that had like… six Zoeys.

                    3. I do have a fancy PC, thank you very much.

                      I…I don’t know what a Zoey is. Is it some kind of Deschanel?

                    4. Try to keep up, Epi.

                      She’s actually from the first L4D, but folks still make maps for that, too.

                    5. I can’t keep track of games from last year, let alone 2009. But for right now, all I care about is my Nisha character. Her action skill is unstoppable.

                    6. Thanks for the link. I’ve never actually played any Borderlands.

                    7. I highly recommend them, though I love games with thin plot, lots of killing, random loot drops, and lots more killing. All the Borderlands games are exactly that, and they make it so. Much. Fun. Additionally, online play is all co-op, so you can get 2-4 people in a party and it makes all the loot drops even better because the enemies are scaled accordingly. I played the Siren/Lilith character.

                      If you ever want to try, you can still get Borderlands 1 from Steam, I believe, for $20 (though I would recommend getting the GOTY for $30 and getting all the DLCs included, as the Zombie Island and General Knox DLCs are great). And since the game was released in 2009, you should be comfortable playing it, since that seems to be your cutoff *cough* living in the past *cough*. Also your hardware can probably handle it.

                    8. Sounds like it’s going on the wishlist. I’ll wait for one of Steam’s insane sales and snatch it up.

                      And I’d like to point out, Mr. Cutting Edge, that plenty of games have replay value!

                      /caresses N64

                    9. Well, yes, I did in fact rewatch The Cutting Edge recently. Oh wait, that’s not what you meant…

                      I’ll admit that I am terrible about technology advances. Most games, even ones I loved like Half-Life or Max Payne or GTA: Vice City, I won’t go near with a ten foot pole because they’re just so…outdated now.

                      As for Borderlands, definitely give it a shot. If the words “first person shooter RPG with randomized loot drops and millions of potential unique weapons” sounds good to you, it is the ultimate example of that. Plus it has a substantial dose of humor to along with the killing and the looting. B2 and the Pre-Sequel are more of the same, just with certain game advances. Like LASERS!

                    10. I neglected to mention that my copy of Tiger Woods that I’ll be playing is the 2011 version.

                      I’m glad I’m not the only one who plays video games that are so severely dated.

            2. That’s assuming I’d even lower myself to hanging out with a person of African* ancestry.

              *African in this case being defined in the typical northern European fashion of, “anyone south of the Alps”.

              1. Not even towels?

                1. Especially not towels. Unless they had some crack. Then maybe.

                  1. What about printer duster?

              2. That’s assuming I’d even lower myself to hanging out with a person of African* ancestry.

                I was going to let you be Little Mac next time we played Smash Bros., jerk!

        2. Don’t forget to bring a towel, JJ.

          BZZZZ, illegal crossing of pop culture themes -1

          1. I’LL CROSS THE STREAMS HOW I FEEL LIKE IT

            I don’t fear total protonic reversal.

      2. Scroll down and see some Jezzie on twitter tell Robby Soave he is gloating, when he obviously isn’t:

        http://hotair.com/archives/201…..pe-at-uva/

        They are truly pissed their narrative is falling apart.

        1. So, does this mean we can start using “Merlan” as an epithet?

          The “Sure you are” snipe just seals her cunt indictment.

        2. I don’t think pissed covers it, Slim. They are still in shock, but once that ends they are going to go apoplectic on us.

          This will be their Waterloo and I think they know that. A beast is always most dangerous in its death throes when it has nothing to lose.

          1. If only. The Duke Lacrosse incident didn’t slow them down, neither did the Hofstra U false rape claim. Neither will this.

            Just wait, in a couple weeks they’ll be acting like it never happened, and so will their follower. They have what one could call strategic anterograde amnesia.

      3. Do SJW’s really hate white males the same way Nazis hated Jews?

    2. You’re a towel!

  7. No, it does a disservice to a civilized and free society.

    These are people who want to push a leftist agenda and shut down free speech, by creating permanent victim classes and dividing people up against each other.

    There is nothing new here, same old leftist tyrants, same old tactics. Fuck all of these assholes, no apologies.

    1. How is it morons like you see this as a specifically leftist disease? Were you in a coma during the Bush years? During Nixon’s Presidency? During Reagan’s multiple impeachable offenses?

      You’re as bad as a feminist, making up phony divisions.

      1. I like this troll. He’s *spicy*!

      2. Because conservatives typically don’t push the rape culture meme.

        Next question.

  8. I find it hard to believe that anyone was taken in by this story to begin with.

    It has all the hallmarks of the crazy day care center stories of the 90’s or the Satanic sacrifice stories of the 80’s.

    I’m sure rapes happen at frat parties. And I’m sure gang rapes happen at frat parties.

    But I’m also sure that generally these events are stumbled upon, by perpetrators and victims alike. Somebody gets drunk and passes out and gets violated by one guy, and then another joins in, and then another. But the situation develops organically. The whole moustache-twirling, Saddam Hussein son rape room element of this story should have tipped people off that maybe something wasn’t right here. The “cute guy who lures the unsuspecting freshman” element of the story, the violent attack on the totally sober girl who will make a good witness later element of the story, the broken glass table, the length of time that passes, the use of the pronoun “it” – none of it sounds remotely like how something like this would actually happen, and all of it sounds like a story someone would make up out of different pieces of rape fantasies / nightmares.

    1. I find it hard to believe that anyone was taken in by this story to begin with.

      Well, at least there’s some evidence to prove that at least some people were taken in.

    2. When it’s too much even for a Lifetime movie, it starts to get ridiculous.

    3. Fluffy|12.5.14 @ 5:02PM|#
      “I find it hard to believe that anyone was taken in by this story to begin with.”

      Commie kid, turd and Tony bought Gruber’s bullshit; why not lefty ignoramuses swallowing this?

      1. So you weren’t one of the morons taken in by WMDs?

        I’m sure.

        1. Next on Lifetime:

          Abandoned as a baby, taken in by WMDs, and raised to be a fission-fusion weapon!

        2. Yeah, well, where were you when Woodrow Wilson was hyping up the Zimmerman notes?

          See I can be impertinent too.

        3. If you had been anywhere near this blog during the WMD claims by the Bush Admin, you would have seen many people doubting that story.

          Besides, dumbass, this story was bullshit ON ITS FACE. Those of us who doubted the WMD story could not point and say, “See, that proves there is no way Iraq has anything that might be called a WMD in it’s possession.”

          And don’t you have some Duke Lacrosse players to apologize to, fucktard?

    4. “Law and Order” will eventually have an episode based on this incident in which the accuser is believed without question and the accused “perps” getting roughed up by the SVU detectives and threatened with prison rape unless they confess.

      The final scene will show their conviction.

  9. how obviously crazy must she be that the SJWs closest to her aren’t doubling down?

    1. I was actually looking forward to them coming here to attack us after the Reason story, but it looks like they aren’t going to show.

  10. Rolling Stone does a service to the falsely accused”. Those inclined to belief will have a shocking horrible…

    Suderman: It sounds just as ridiculous as the way you wrote it

  11. STEVE SMITH CANCEL APPLICATION TO UVA GRAD SCHOOL!

    1. FRAT PARTIES TOTALLY NOT AS ADVERTISED!

  12. From the comments on the original “Soave is an idiot” Merlan post:

    Anna Merlan
    Monday 4:25pm

    Hi Robby! Thanks for stopping by! One small correction: I don’t think you’ve ever “reported” a goddamn thing in your life. (And because I know you’re going to do this, either here or in my Twitter mentions, which you and your friends are currently stink-clouding up with your Feelings, I have a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia and I write investigative stories. Have done for years, both at Jezebel and before I got here. Thanks for asking!)

    Instead, I think, as I made clear above, that you’re piggy-backing on the work of other people who are calling Erdely’s story into question without a single shred of evidence. You don’t get brownie points for saying *IF* the story is true *THEN* UVA should have called the cops. That’s what any decent human being would suggest.

    But by all means, do some journalism! Follow up on those leads! Let’s see it! Can’t wait!

    Oh, the pain.

    1. Almost makes you doubt the efficacy of teaching at Columbia. Any other high profile examples to check?

  13. Anna Merlan

    […]

    What Soave and Bradley are doing ? on the basis of nothing whatsoever ? is accusing Erdely of either being so gullible she bought a fabricated rape story, or so dishonest that she fabricated it herself. Those are career-ending, life-ruining charges for a journalist, and the fact that Bradley in particular is throwing them around so carelessly is very disturbing to me.

    In the very unlikely event that Erdely’s story is proven to be false, I will be the first to say I was wrong and publicly eat crow. I bet good money that neither Soave nor Bradley will do that if the police investigation goes the other way. I hope I’m wrong about that.

    The horror.

    1. Those are career-ending, life-ruining charges for a journalist

      Unlike career-ending, life-ruining false charges of rape?!?

      Holy christ this person is a sociopath.

      1. Just wondering, has Erdely announced her resignation in disgrace both from RS and from journalism as a profession? That’s what Anna promised.

        1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          Oh, you’re serious. Not a chance. Though Erdley may get fired, and hard.

          1. Hilariously, her post “Please read my latest @rollingstone article, A Rape on Campus” about sexual assault at University of Virginia” is still pinned to the top of her twitter feed.

            And oh yes, there are comments.

        2. Of course not.

          Did Amanda Marcotte lose more than half a step after her Duke lacrosse abominations?

          The story FELT true to too many. Erdely’s career is safe.

        3. If she does resign, I hear TNR might be hiring…

    2. In the very unlikely event that Erdely’s story is proven to be false, I will be the first to say I was wrong and publicly eat crow.

      For anyone interested in helping Merlan out,

      http://www.birdfarm.com/sale/p…..r-sale.asp

      Should we take up a collection?

    3. What really annoys me about this Merlan asshole is that she has the giant brass fucking balls to tell people who are gloating about her error now that there’s something wrong with their tone.

      Their motherfucking tone.

      Read her article denouncing Soave, and then read every post she makes in the Comments section of her own article. Look at the tone she uses. Since she used that tone and was proven wrong, now she gets to shut her fucking yap and let people use that tone right back at her – forever.

      1. Sorry, won’t read Jezebel. Especially after seeing her dick comment I posted a link to up above.

        She does sound like a righteous bitch though — what got you so pissed, MS. CJS

      2. ^This, Fluffster, this.

      3. Exactly.

    4. I’ve known people like this.

      Utterly miserable people to be around. So irrational and committed to their cause or ideas they’re willing to project EVERYTHING if you dare challenge them.

      Call them what you want be it sociopath, narcissistic…they’re just flakes to me.

      1. Life is better if you ignore them. I do.

    5. So her response to an accusation of falsehood is…

      1. Verbal abuse ( I don’t think you’ve ever “reported” a goddamn thing in your life.)
      2. Projection ( you and your friends are currently stink-clouding up with your Feelings)
      3. Irrelevant statements ( I have a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia)
      4. Ad hominem (Instead, I think…you’re piggy-backing on the work of other people)
      5. Appealing to ignorance (I, in my wisdom as a graduate of CSJ, couldn’t imagine Erdely being hoodwinked or lying, therefore, it’s not true)

      1. 6. Apologize profusely for shitty and improper journalism.

        What, hasn’t yet? I’m sure it’s coming, wait for it, wait for it

    6. Of course, Bradley was anything BUT casual in his original disputing of the story, so Merlan was already trying to mislead her readers.

      Neither Soave nor Bradley accused Erdely of fabricating the story anything like outright, either. Does Merlan think lying about what we have right in front of us is remotely convincing?

    7. To Merlan’s Credit she did admit she was wrong and apologize after the Post story came out and RS retracted the story

      1. But the shitty “sure you are” came after that.

  14. they have made life much harder for the same victims of assault and advocates of awareness that a story like this ought to help.

    For real victims of real rapes, I don’t really think so. Go directly to the cops immediately after, and this won’t have any effect at all.

    A smart women’s advocacy campaign could be built on this basis: Don’t be a Jackie. If you are a victim, do the smart thing: go straight to a hospital, where trained nurses will collect evidence, and you won’t have to worry about having people attack your story as a hoax. Because there will be, like, evidence that its not.

    Oh, and you, as a victim, have a duty to get your attacker off the streets. Don’t mope and whine and let him get away with it. Go after him. Use the cops for one of the few things they should be used for.

    I can guarantee this angle won’t be taken by a single SJW activist group.

    1. For real victims of real rapes, I don’t really think so. Go directly to the cops immediately after, and this won’t have any effect at all.

      This. Perhaps no crime leaves more unmistakable forensic fingerprints as violent rape of the sort described in the UVA campus rape article. If the back story surrounding this article serves any function, it is to demonstrate the critical importance of immediate reporting should something like this ever occur.

      1. Exactly. If this rape had gone down the way she said it did, there’d be DNA all over the fucking place.

        1. Minimum there would be scars on her back that the reporter could have easily asked to see.

          I think she did get drunk somewhere and like Lena Dunham had some sloppy sex that she regrets and it’s now a fantastic rape story from an issue of True Detective (magazine, not TV series).

        2. Exactly. If this rape had gone down the way she said it did, there’d be DNA all over the fucking place.

          The Education of McLovin, Part II

    2. Don’t be a Jackie. If you are a victim, do the smart thing: go straight to a hospital, where trained nurses will collect evidence, and you won’t have to worry about having people attack your story as a hoax.

      This.

      And if you show up 20 years later after your perp is rich and famous, fuck you.

      1. But my caus be good.

    3. Go directly to the cops immediately after, and this won’t have any effect at all.

      Victim-blaming! A victim is a holy and sacred creature and can’t be expected to do things like report a crime in a timely fashion when evidence can be gathered and recollections are still fresh!

      If you are a victim, do the smart thing: go straight to a hospital, where trained nurses will collect evidence, and you won’t have to worry about having people attack your story as a hoax.

      Stop blaming the victim! A victim is a holy and blameless creature! The word of a victim should be sufficient to have the entire fraternity of penis-wielding dudebro rapists convicted and sentenced to 99 years!

      Oh, and you, as a victim, have a duty to get your attacker off the streets.

      OMG you victim-blamer! A victim is a holy and sanctified creature! A victim must focus on their own healing and not worry about trifling matters like a duty to a rapists potential victims to get the accused off the street!

      1. Exactly. There’s a good reason police have that mutant Dr. Xavier chained up in their basement doing his mass-telepathy thing to find rape victims: so victims don’t have to actually, like, report a crime, for police to automatically make everything better.

        Personally, I blame it all on Professor X. Couldn’t pick up poor Jackie’s victim vibes , really dropped the ball here. Or was he in on it!!!

    4. Go directly to the cops immediately after, and this won’t have any effect at all.

      And there, right there, is your way of furthering and maintaining the rape culture that women live in this nation’s college campuses. How dare you suggest that that these poor victims, traumatized by their violators, seek corroboration for their total fabrications and fantastic accounts rather than enjoying the benefits of their victimhood, you pig! Shame on you!

    5. Actually, RC, there are some police departments that already ignore rapes. Namely New Orleans and Harvey, IL. I’m sure there are others. I’m afraid some borderline PD’s will just use this as “good grief, another ‘rape’ accusation – take a test kit and file it.”

      Shit, didn’t the Wellseley, MA PD ignore the accusation of one of the eventual marathon bombers? “We’ll catch him when he does something again” is a cop-out for lazy PD’s who would rather investigate victimless crimes because there’s more money in it.

      1. Actually, RC, there are some police departments that already ignore rapes. Namely New Orleans and Harvey, IL.

        THAT’S RACIST!!!!!!

      2. lazy PD’s who would rather investigate victimless crimes because there’s more money in it.

        Holy God, yes.
        They give seminars on which shit to steal from random people under asset forfeiture, but they can’t be bothered to investigate actual rapes.

    6. “For real victims of real rapes, I don’t really think so.”

      Agreed. Btw, real victims of real rapes tend to not want to tell their stories in excruciating detail anyway.

    7. Of course not. If it is, there goes the precious victim narrative.

  15. Are victims not taught to go immediately to the police and to preserve evidence?

    If I read a narrative where a woman testified that she got to the police as soon as she could, what steps she took to collect and preserve evidence, I’d be much more likely to believe her story.

    1. People have weighed in with what made them suspicious about the story. This was it for me. The story seemed concocted so that all the forensic evidence of the rape happened to be not available. That seemed too convenient. In fact, it seemed to me that if she was cut up by glass, some shade of the scars might still be there 2 years later.

      1. I have a slight scar on my left leg from accidentally cutting myself with a piece of glass in a trash bag I was carrying to the curb. I didn’t even notice I’d cut myself–it felt like something scratching my leg so I ignored it–until I saw that my jeans were sliced open. We’re talking about an inch long cut. I was 12. I’m 36 now. It’s still there. In other words, there would be scars.

    2. going to the police doesn’t help because the police ask questions and want details, which apparently is known as “blaming the victim.”

      1. This is part of the evil of telling women they should be automatically believed–it makes the normal course of a police investigation seem aggressive and disbelieving.

  16. Mr. Suderman,

    You make the mistake of assuming those perpetrating this fraud give a shit about rape victims.

    That isn’t clear to me.

    It seems much more plausible to me that their intention was to score an attack on the greek system. It strikes me as much more plausible that their intention was to reinforce the “rape culture” narrative. It strikes me as more plausible that their intention was to support the notion that colleges should act as agents of the SJW brigades in support of their crusades against heteronormativeciswhitemaleprivilege.

    1. That’s awful and funny in equal measures.

      1. Agreed. Funny comments, too:

        Sharing this piece should help trim your “friends” list on social networks

        Understatement of the week!

    2. “some without even knowing his name or spending more than a dozen minutes in his company.”

      “You. Restroom. Now”

      1. “You’re with me, leather”

        http://deadspin.com/166410/he-…..–the–way

  17. Now we know EXACTLY what Merlan is worth when it comes to journalistic credibility.

    1. Anna Merlan
      I have a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia and I write investigative stories. Have done for years, both at Jezebel and before I got here. Thanks for asking!

      Who needs credibility when you have credentialbility?

      1. Sounds about as credibility-establishing as:

        “I have a master’s degree in Military History from Bob Jones and have been writing stories on urban street crime both at Stormfront and before I got there.”

  18. ‘Heathers’ was on tv the other night. It reminded me of the suicide ‘epidemic’ of the 80s and how everyone was crusading with awareness campaigns. That jumped the shark pretty quick and so will this nonsense.

    1. You forget to mention that Heathers is a great movie.

      “Whether to kill yourself or not is one of the most important decisions a teenager can make.”

      1. “I love my dead gay son.”

        1. “Football season’s over, Veronica. Kurt and Ram had nothing to offer this school but date rapes and AIDS jokes.”

          1. Veronica, why are you pulling my dick?

        2. “If you want to fuck with the eagles, you have to learn how to fly.”

          1. “I’ve already started underlining meaningful passages in her copy of Moby Dick.”

            Shit, I need to stop before I just paste the entire script.

            1. ‘Eskimo’

      2. I thought that went without saying.

  19. Mendacity from the get-go, from top to bottom. Liars and sociopaths for a cause. And why should we even believe this jackie character is not part of the fiction? It isn’t only the fraudulent story, but we should doubt even the very existence of an original liar or hysteric who supposedly told the false story. Until “jackie” has a real name typed on a lawsuit, why should we even believe that detail? This whole thing stinks to high heaven – it isn’t just a failure to do the fact checking. To believe this was a problem of fact checking is really just too apologetic.

  20. Rolling Stone backs off of Jackie gangrape story; Feminists give zero fucks because narratives trump facts

    Rolling Stone magazine on Friday has apologized for “discrepancies” in its bombshell story that said a female student at the University of Virginia was gang-raped at a fraternity ? prompting the school to suspend all Greek activity last month. The account given by the student ? identified only as Jackie ? allegedly took place at a Phi Kappa Psi party in September 2012, when she was 18. The magazine had not interviewed any of the seven suspects for the report.

    UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan said that although the story has been called into question, the focus on the issue of sexual assault on college campuses sparked by the article must “remain our top priority.” Police will continue to investigate Jackie’s specific allegations and UVA’s sexual assault policies won’t be abandoned, according to Virginia’s attorney general, Mark Herring.

    This goes to show that you can’t unring a bell and feminists lack the grace to stop even when their lies are exposed.

    1. Out of curiosity, has UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan had anything to say about the campus-wide fraternity ban that was put in place based apparently on no more evidence than a bunch of lurid accusations in Rolling Stone?

      1. You damn patriarchal shitlord! What part of “focus on the issue of sexual assault on college campuses” and not “the story is fake, but accurate” do you not understand?

        Even if this particular fraternity didn’t gangrape a woman on broken glass for three hours and sodomize her with various objects, it doesn’t mean some other pack of fraternity dudebros didn’t!

        Kill them all. Goddess will know Her own.

        1. Laugh out literally. For real.

        2. +1 for “shitlord”

    2. For feminists, false rape claims serve the same purpose that the Reichstag fire and “Operation Canned Goods” served for the Nazis.

      Now, after all the hard work they put into it, you wouldn’t be so callous as to ask them to uninvade Poland, would you?

    3. Police will continue to investigate Jackie’s specific allegations and UVA’s sexual assault policies won’t be abandoned, according to Virginia’s attorney general, Mark Herring.

      When asked if he had ever heard of Mike Nifong, Herring turned red and responded, “Who?”

  21. Erdely went looking for a shocking rape story to write about, and she was bound to find one. What is interesting is that she went for the most lurid, most extreme story she could find, regardless of whether it was documented or verifiable, rather than a more mundane, but more credible, one.

    1. If it bleeds, it leads, Hazel. As I said above, one of the saving graces about mendacious social agenda-pushing scum is that they have no sense of tact, no feel for proportionality. They’re the kind of people for whom it can’t be lurid enough, because they don’t get the concepts of believability, because they’re pathological liars. This is good, because if they were smarter about it, a lot more horrible lies would have gone uncovered.

  22. Payday is coming to some folks involved in the fraternity. RS should be talking to their lawyers about a settlement amount pretty soon.

    1. I sincerely hope the fraternity (heck, all of the UVA fraternities) proceed to tear Rolling Stone a new asshole (metaphorically speaking). I don’t think Rolling Stone will be able to raise a defense under NYT v. Sullivan. While the present rape hysteria aimed at fraternity dudebros is (rightly or wrongly) a public concern, this chapter of the fraternity and its individual members, did not voluntarily enter into this public argument, but were dragged into it, feet first, by Rolling Stone.

      If I were a slightly less than scrupulous attorney, I would recommend that all of the fraternity members run to a psychiatrist, complaining of insomnia, depression, nervousness, anxiety, and panic attacks, to lay the groundwork for individual claims of defamation or intentional infliction of emotional distress.

  23. There are tradeoffs between time and accuracy.

    No one was going to scoop them on this. They had all the time in the world.

    1. “There are tradeoffs between time and accuracy.”

      Yeah, who wastes time finding out if it’s true?

  24. So, I wonder what approach Rolling Stone’s new owner, Phi Kappa Psi, is going to take? Perhaps fewer covers with Neal Young and Bob Dylan?

    1. I’m fine with whatever as long as they stop ranking fucking Imagine as the greatest song ever written.

      1. ranking fucking Imagine as the greatest song ever written

        Please tell me you’re kidding. No one can have taste this awful. Not even a serious Beatles fan.

        1. Actually they ranked it as #3. But that’s still bad enough.

    2. Nah, like all hipsters they’ll probably devote an entire year to Lou Reed

  25. ” Now, when victims tell their stories, and when journalists or advocates report on those stories or share them publicly in any way, those inclined to disbelief will have a prominent example of a shocking, horrific story that was reported as if true, and that was initially defended by its reporter and editor even when significant questions were raised about the strength of the reporting.”

    Already had an example. Ask the Duke lacrosse team if you need any details. Oddly, it seems like most of the SJWs big, media grabbing rape cases go down in flames.

    1. Oddly, it seems like most of the SJWs big, media grabbing rape cases go down in flames.

      Usually takes longer than a week, though.

      Besides, I don’t think anyone besides that Mike Nifong guy (who is neither an academic nor a journalist) really suffered any repercussions from the Duke episode, so why would they do any soul-searching over it?

      1. Nifong was disbarred & ended up declaring bankruptcy to get away from the lawsuits.

        1. That’s because he was the Designated Scapegoat. They needed one once the evidence came out about how horrible the case was. And Nifong deserved what happened to him and more.

          But scapegoating him helped get the cops off the hook, not to mention the professors who rushed to judgment and then refused to retract anything they said because the revolutionary truth remained intact.

    2. We’ve had an example since Tawana Brawley. Hasn’t helped. Al Sharpton is not in jail and broke, for instance.

  26. Kudos to the Washington Post. Bezos effect?

    1. I gotta think so. That paper has seemed infinitely better since Bezos acquired it.

      1. WE ARE SEIZING CONTROL. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RESIST THE LIBERTARIAN MOMENT. NON-COMPLIANCE WITH FREEDOM WILL BE CORRECTED BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

    1. I’ll be honest, I was hoping for more.

      Carl: What the hell? No, no, no, no, no… Bad boy, bad boy. You live over there. Go… go back to the freaks.

      Handbanana: Who you callin’ boy? My name is Handbanana.

      Carl: Wha… You talkin’ to me here or…

      Handbanana: No, not anymore. [slams door] We’re done talking.

      Carl: Hang on, let me bend over and pick this thing up.

      Carl: [Handbanana rapes Carl] Handbanana, no!

        1. …a little.

  27. Peter,

    I’m a little confused about the point of this article. That journalists should check their sources? Certainly. That rape councilors should doubt the veracity of someone who claims to be raped, that young women on college campuses have an unjustified fear of being raped, the perfidy of Lena Dunham and modern day feminism? Hmmm, not making that connection

    While listening to right-wing radio this morning I learned that Dennis prager thinks that accusing someone of rape is the same as rape. Peter! I propose we test this out, grab this fat boy in a deserted suburban cul-de-sac, find ourselves a good sized coke bottle and let this right-wing gasbag put his principles where his anus is.

    1. I’m a little confused about the point of this article.

      That’s because you’re fucking stupid. The point is pretty clear: RS should have checked their sources and feminists should stop treating those skeptical of their hysteria as rape-enablers, and themselves should be more skeptical of BS like ‘rape culture’ instead of disseminating it.

    2. Maybe you missed this little blurb in your fav gossip blograg.

      Anna Merlan, Filed to: ROLLING STONE

      This is really, really bad. It means, of course, that when I dismissed Richard Bradley and Robby Soave’s doubts about the story and called them “idiots” for picking apart Jackie’s account, I was dead fucking wrong, and for that I sincerely apologize. It means that my conviction that Sabrina Rubin Erdely had fact-checked her story in ways that were not visible to the public was also wrong. It’s bad, bad, bad all around.

      1. She’s better than many.

        1. Meh, she’s obviously slow to learn the meaning of humility

          Her response to Robby Soave’s response to her initial tweet asking him not to gloat.

          1. From the comments:

            Anna, I realize that you’re trying to be gracious here, but the Bradly/Soave article(s) were incredibly dismissive and elitist. Your response was warranted more than their “it couldn’t possibly have gone like that” tone.

            Being right and using common sense is so elitist and mansplaining of Robby.

          2. What’s amazing is that Soave has been so even tempered and nice during this whole ordeal that there’s no rational reason to worry he’d gloat.

            I mean, I’m a horrible human being. I would not only be gloating, I would make t-shirts of Anna Merlan’s quote about graduating from Columbia and just underneath it would be a gigantic recreation of Rolling Stone’s retraction. I would then find a dead crow and write a recipe for how to turn a crow into a pie. I would send the T-shirt and the crow-pie to Anna Merlan with a letter that seems at first to be gentlemanly, but is actually written in code so that if you take every third letter it would read ‘Go fuck yourself Anna, I hope you enjoy your crow-pie recipe as you slowly waste away until you die alone.’ Admittedly, it would be hard to write such a letter, but I’m creative when I’m vindictive.

            Robby, however, would do nothing like this. As a result, I assume that the reason Anna is assuming Robby will gloat is because Anna herself is a terrible human being who would be gloating in his position. She’s projecting her own moral failings onto a man who is approximately 700x the person she is.

            1. Dammit Irish it’s high time Reason hired you as a writer and I won’t donate until they do.

              1. *snicker*

            2. Anyway, like I was sayin’, crow is the fruit of the sky. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, crow-kabobs, crow creole, crow gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple crow, lemon crow, coconut crow, pepper crow, crow soup, crow stew, crow salad, crow and potatoes, crow burger, crow sandwich. That- that’s about it.

      2. Again, can I derive any lesson from this beyond the obvious one about journalists getting their facts straigh?

        1. This isn’t even about journalists getting their facts straight. It’s about the uncritical acceptance of an obviously flawed and almost impossible story by millions of people. It’s about a university punishing the entire Greek system for a story that ended up being a lie. It’s about the vandalism of a house which was caused by the failure of the public to look at a story reasonably and critically.

          Basically, a large number of innocent people were just victimized by the inability of leftists to look at a story critically. All those people who engaged in what amounts to a moral panic over an obviously fallacious story are just as guilty as Rolling Stone.

          1. Anybody gonna look further into Emily Renda? She’s the “activist” who’s testified before Congress and connected the RS reporter to Jackie.

            Renda was raped herself as a freshman at UVA, and of course didn’t report it. Narrative’s gotta come from somewhere. Maybe we have to wait until Discovery by PKP’s lawyers.

        2. “Again, can I derive any lesson ”

          Can YOU? No, you’re stupid.

      3. Merlan goes on to blame Erdely:

        It means that my conviction that Sabrina Rubin Erdely had fact-checked her story in ways that were not visible to the public was also wrong. It’s bad, bad, bad all around. (And, frankly, it could have been avoided, had Erdely been clearer in her disclosures about what she’d done to reach Jackie’s alleged attackers and what her agreement with the girl had been. This announcement wouldn’t be producing nearly the same shockwaves if those things had been clearly outlined.)

        Then Merlan goes on to lie about where we are.

        Saddest of all, this is bad in ways that have far-reaching social consequences: we’ve just begun, as a society, to not immediately and harshly question a woman who says she was raped. We’ve just begun to talk about campus sexual assault ? which is, to be clear, still a very real problem at UVA and across the country.

        Merlan offers no evidence, as there is none, that the prevalence of rape and sexual assault on campus is any different than its prevalence off campus.

        There is no crisis, no epidemic, no reason for “affirmative consent” laws that wildly distort consensual sex, no reason for wrecking Constitutional and due process protections for the accused at a time when civil liberties are already under dire attack.

    3. How about this: Send you to a socialist country where you can enjoy the full blessings of your ideology!

    4. How many people were raped by the Checka? Or by Mao’s Red Guards? Or by Castro’s secret police? You have nothing to contribute to this conversation you fucking, piece-of-shit sociopath.

      1. Hell, there were more violent rapes in Germany perpetrated by the Red Army in a single year than the total number of violent rapes in the US since such have been recorded faithfully starting in the early 20th century.

      2. What I want to know is how many people have been raped in Danish prisons versus American ones. Since the former country is a dreaded socialist gulag surely the number is higher.

        1. But, my dear, you are not a social democrat, so you don’t get to use the Netherlands. You’re a no-joking around orthodox Stalin-Leninist. So, now that your sophistry has been exposed…how many people have been raped in North Korea’s political internment camps, you piece-of-shit sociopath?

          1. Heroic Mulatto|12.5.14 @ 7:46PM|#
            “You’re a no-joking around orthodox Stalin-Leninist”

            You’re too kind. Commie kid is a stinking pile of shit.

          2. Nah, I’m a welfare state libertarian socialist who thinks there are too many laws. Essentially I agree with the quote “the only laws I respect are those that make women and children warmer in the winter… And beer stronger.”

            1. Essentially I agree with the quote “the only laws I respect are those that make women and children warmer in the winter.

              So by that rationale you were in favor of Holocaust ovens.

              You’re a simple-minded fucktard who bases his ideology off of dumb quotes.

        2. To paraphrase Milton Friedman, I bet Danes commit rapes at the same rate in both places.

      3. Unnecessary comma!

    5. I’m a little confused about the point of this article. That journalists should check their sources? Certainly. That rape councilors should doubt the veracity of someone who claims to be raped, that young women on college campuses have an unjustified fear of being raped, the perfidy of Lena Dunham and modern day feminism? Hmmm, not making that connection

      The lesson of the article is that we should treat rape accusations with the same scrutiny as other crimes in order to avoid moral panics and catastrophic lynch mobs. Given that people just had their house vandalized based on false accusations, why don’t you spend a little time worrying about those victims, you sociopath?

      While listening to right-wing radio this morning I learned that Dennis prager thinks that accusing someone of rape is the same as rape. Peter! I propose we test this out, grab this fat boy in a deserted suburban cul-de-sac, find ourselves a good sized coke bottle and let this right-wing gasbag put his principles where his anus is.

      You are a sick demented human being. I think what Prager was saying was that falsely being accused is as bad as rape. And it is. Given that a false accusation can result in years of jail time, in which you actually will potentially be assaulted given the state of American prisons, false accusations are as serious and as evil as rape itself. Why don’t you spend 5 years in prison and tell me how it goes?

      1. You’d think, out of all people here, AmSoc would be familiar with the phrase A u vas negrov linchuyut!

        But of course, he doesn’t as he is an under-educated buffoon. Thus, the delicious irony is lost upon him.

      2. I’m a fan of first principles. We should check that these accusations are false. I didn’t know that on the basis of a magazine article alone one could be sent to jail. Rolling Stone eds. have this power? The power of the public sphere is truly diminished.

        1. We should check that these accusations are false.

          You mean “we should check that these accusations are true”. Last I checked, the American legal system wasn’t an inquisitorial system based on civil law.

          1. Articles in Rolling Stone are subject to jurisprudence?

            1. They don’t have libel and slander laws in countries ruled by workers’ councils?

              1. [standing ovation]

          2. HM, to be fair, the civil law generally requires the accuser to prove his/her claims, just like in the Anglo-Saxon world!

    6. AmSoc, I am disappoint.

      As a socialist, I expect you to be a bit smarter than the rest of the left. You at least (ostensibly) have a coherent view of the world — counterfactual and unnatural in its bases and evil in its conclusions, no doubt, but coherent nonetheless. I don’t expect you to be less evil than your peers on the left (I expect you to be more evil!), but I do expect that the ability to cogitate be extant in your posts.

      Alas, you’re not really a socialist — you’re a fraud who thinks socialism means “really, really left-wing cocksucker” or “conservative corporatist/bureaucratist”, either of which describe the current dimwitted left quite well.

      Fact is, Peter’s problem is that the well has been so poisoned that obvious narratives with factual holes in them are accepted without critique by the left, and are expected to be dealt with coercively without the slightest attempt to fact-check. Were you a socialist, you would have understood and denounce the actual argument, rather than engaging in the intellectual equivalent of exposing your pathetic manhood and wondering why everyone is politely holding back peals of laughter.

      1. I denounce shoddy reporting. I’m trying to read between the lines since from the tenor of peter’s article there seems to be a SOMETHING MORE that I should read from his article. I just hate being out of the right-wing loop. I usually get that it’s someone, somewhere that is victimizing you– but here I come up with nothing.

        ???

        Help?

        1. I’m so, so sorry that modern socialism has failed you so badly, AmSoc. If you’d been immersed in Marxism during the 70s or the 80s, you’d be just as evil and wrong, but far more inclined towards abstract thought and intellectual pursuits. When I was a socialist, we read Derrida and Sarte and critiqued Heidegger and Mises; now the socialists read the Guardian and carp at Fox News. Back then, Marxism was like a fanatical Jesuit camp; you would have either been forced to shape up intellectually or drummed out. It is a tragedy that it is now more of a mutual pity party of the inept and mindless than a coherent movement; it would almost be satisfying to be politically bested by such an enemy instead of the mindless rabble which you represent so well.

          1. Interesting insight into yesteryear.

          2. TIT,

            Yeah. That was my socialist experience too.

            I got cured by the boat people who took to the seas (50% death rate) rather than hope for mercy from the socialists who “won” the war in ‘Nam.

            And Oh. Yeah. John “Fn” Kerry. “They will only kill 3,000.” The direct number of deaths being actually 100,000.

            How did that communist wind up as Secretary of State? Ah. The President nominated him.

            1. Hey simon,

              How many people did the western democracies kill in Vietnam? I trust you’ve heard of napalm and Agent Orange. Personally, I’d put the human rights record of Uncle Ho against LBJ and Nixon any day.

              1. That’s because your a demented immoral monster.

                1. Whoa, whoa, whoa… I didn’t know Nixon and Johnson were such icons of the libertarian movement. Sure they killed 2 million people in a genocidal war, but they were fighting commie nationalists so means justify ends.

              2. Since most libertarians here wouldn’t support either Ho Chi Minh, LBJ, or Nixon, you not only make an argument based on a false dichotomy, but you make one based on a laughably irrelevant false dichotomy.

                TIT had it right…you aren’t even smart enough to be a real socialist. Which is sad, because that’s a very low bar.

        2. Actually, you had most of it in your first post:

          1. There is no epidemic of rape on college campuses, and the claim that there is relies on extremely dubious re-definitions of rape, on one hand, and wholesale rape fantasy exercises by the media, like this one, on the other.

          2. Whenever anyone anywhere says, “[A group of people] would never lie about [some topic]!” it means that large numbers of members of that group of people lie about the topic, and you are about to be asked to swallow the latest lie uncritically.

          3. Modern feminism is being rebuilt around blatantly false “narratives” and whenever the falsehood of one of those narratives is pointed out the feminist response is to claim that truth is not important and “raising discussion” or “showing compassion” is.

          1. What I love is that this “epidemic” occurs on campuses where the student body is heavily female (UVA’s 55-45; some schools it’s 2-1.) Perhaps rape crisis counselors are wondering where their jobs are gonna be in a few years.

          2. Whenever the “epidemic” of campus rape is mentioned I ask for a single credible study showing it is so.

            I have never gotten a reply.

        3. Amsoc:
          ” I usually get that it’s someone, somewhere that is victimizing you– but here I come up with nothing.”

          As opposed to socialists and Marxists, who focus like laser beams on personal responsibility and what they can do as individuals to make the world a better place.

        4. american socialist|12.5.14 @ 7:43PM|#
          …”I just hate being out of the right-wing loop.”

          Shitstain, the only loop you’re in is the mass-murderer loop.
          Pay your mortgage yet, you stinking pile of shit?

    7. american socialist|12.5.14 @ 7:14PM|#
      “Peter,
      I’m a little confused about the point of this article.”

      That’s because you’re an ignoramus along with being a stinking pile of shit.

    8. If you doubt that false accusation is so serious, why don’t you try this: turn yourself into the police for the latest unsolved rape in your town, go do your sentence, and while your holding onto the bars for dear life as your celly tears up your asshole (no lube in the joint) and the guards look the other way because “you’re just getting a taste of your own medicine”, then explain to us just how unserious it is.

      Also, perfidy of Dunham an modern day feminism? That’s self-evident. And rape rates on campuses are at an all time low, and are lower, not higher, than in the general public of the same age group. So yes, the hysteria is unjustified. Man, your shit must smell good, only reason I can imagine you keep your so deep in your asshole.

    9. I propose we test this out, grab this fat boy in a deserted suburban cul-de-sac, find ourselves a good sized coke bottle and let this right-wing gasbag put his principles where his anus is.

      Wouldn’t it just be easier to falsely convict him and let him get ass-raped in prison?

  28. Advocates for rape victims and sexual assault awareness understandably tend to prioritize support, communication, and community building; they do not have a great responsibility to doubt, to verify, and to rigorously check all the minute details of the accounts they hear or share. But journalists do.

    This is of course why rape advocacy, journalism, and the judiciary are distinct societal branches entrusted with different functions, and which (in theory, anyways) should not be collaborating one with another to establish a uniform treatment of rape allegations.

    Unsurprisingly, this straightforward bit of logic is impossible to reconcile with feminism — since feminism alleges what is in essence a male conspiracy to quash women in all quarters, the existence of perfectly healthy institutions available for those who have been raped is a counterfactual which cannot be accepted, given that it is a model which pre-exists political feminism.

    Of course, when one starts with completely counterfactual and absurd claims at the center of one’s ideology, one’s interpretation of reality is impossible to reconcile with actual fact in the areas where these counterfactuals are relevant.

  29. I’m getting incredibly irritated by the argument that the victims we should be worried about are ethereal future rape victims whose supposed suffering is totally hypothetical. I have seen not one scrap of evidence that the refutation of a lie will somehow stop people from getting help when they are telling the truth. In fact, the speed with which people mindlessly believed what was obviously a flawed story tells me that we should scrutinize claims of sexual assault in the same way we scrutinize the claims of other crimes. We should be more critical of rape accusations because this situation shows that if anything most people are far too credulous on the subject.

    I don’t see how greater scrutiny in the future will hurt actual rape victims. What it will do is prevent potentially catastrophic false accusations. If there’s actual evidence a rape occurred, then scrutiny won’t magically make that evidence vanish.

    Secondly, this is a case where we have actual victims. We have a dean who was fighting for her job for two weeks after a fallacious Rolling Stone article claimed she heartlessly ignored a rape victim. We have the frat boys who actually had their house vandalized, their names defamed, and were subjected to a police investigation.

    When there are actual flesh and blood victims who are provably real, why are people worrying about theoretical future victims we can’t even be sure will ever exist?

    1. Because they’re anticipating public opinion to swing from one extreme to the other – from automatically believing any woman who claims rape, to stoning these women to death because they confessed to extramarital sex.

      That’s the way the world’s Sudermans think – there’s a Talibanesque sentiment out there in the public which will be activated (triggered) by false rape stories.

      1. Basically, they think America is just emerging from a Dark Age in which rape was never punished, and false accusations will provoke the public into returning to that alleged Dark Age.

        1. I don’t think they do. This whole sexual assault on campus epidemic narrative isn’t about any real fears of sexual assault. It’s simply another tactic to achieve the primary end-goal of feminism: maximal restriction on male sexuality while removing all restrictions (social, legal, and moral) on female sexuality.

          1. I wouldn’t say that feminism has ever been very warmly received by women or that feminism is primarily concerned with libertarian female agency (even in sexual matters). Plenty of women are “virgin-shamed” by feminists in like manner as housewives are scolded; the intent is to create a New Feminist Woman, not to embrace and unshackle woman as she really is (which, as H.L. Mencken wryly observed, would per the female preference make society *even more* socially conservative and less egalitarian RE: the sexes).

    2. The problem is with conflating civil society and legal society.

      In civil society, it is acceptable and even somewhat healthy in certain circumstances to offer sympathy on an expectation of truth, given the severity of the claim. This does not necessarily entail ostracizing the person accused of rape without evidence, but a show of support is not inappropriate even if the allegations are unusual or unproved.

      In legal and professional society, this is completely unacceptable, given the consequences to the innocent in the case of either loss of liberty or livelihood.

      The problem is that the feminist left is totalitarian and does not admit a separation between these spheres. If they had any large amount of power, we might be worried about their frankly evil ambitions, but even with the small amount given to them they are already wreaking havoc.

    3. I’m struck by the argument, that’s also been specifically offered in the Jackie case, that “men just can’t understand” the horrible “social pressure” that women face on college campuses to “not come forward”.

      You’re right. I don’t understand it.

      If 7 guys gang-raped me, I would make it my fucking Captain Ahab lifelong mission to utterly destroy them, using the law if I could, and by fucking murdering them if I couldn’t. I would never rest. I would never consider forgiveness or understanding or healing. There would be no room in my heart for anything but hate.

      The idea that I could be somehow dissuaded from going to the authorities, the newspapers (under my own name in the biggest font I could get them to use, and and stating their names in the biggest font I could use) and the college administration by the “social pressure” of the fact that maybe in the future I wouldn’t be invited back to the type of party I was gang raped at is so incredibly ludicrous that it’s hard for me to credit it in anyone else. “I can’t punish my gang rapists! I want to go to another frat party next week, and if I punish my gang rapists I might not get invited!” Come on, give me a fucking break. How can you not be the fucking Rorschach of the college campus at that point?

      It just doesn’t make any sense.

      1. It made a lot less sense before Rolling Stone cried wolf.

        If a girl got gang raped at a fraternity at UVA next week, I can understand why she might not want to come forward right now.

        Who wants to be the next girl at UVA to cry wolf?

      2. “Why would Chewbacca, a wookie, live on the planet Endor?

        That. Does not. Make. Sense.”

      3. Clint Eastwood made a fine documentary showing just that

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudden_Impact

        Seriously, yeah I’d be the same way. And if my daughter or sister had had that happen, same thing.

    4. Maybe we should determine if these accusations are indeed false before we send a bouquet of flowers and am apology card to phi kappa psi. I haven’t seen definitive evidence either way so I can’t comment– like you do– on who the real victims may be.

      If these allegations turn out to be true you are going to tell us what a dumb fucking jackass you were, correct?

  30. I will say that I do agree with the feminists on one thing here: it was absolutely shitty the way Rolling Stone blamed the debacle entirely on ‘Jackie’ instead of their reporter who couldn’t be bothered to fact-check or get the other side’s story before publishing an inflammatory article.

    We don’t know enough about ‘Jackie’ to determine if she is an attention-seeking whore or a really, really damaged and mentally unstable person that
    s suffered from trauma.

    But we do know for sure that Rolling Stone should never been taken seriously again as a publication of note beyond it’s little culture soap box.

    1. I will say that I do agree with the feminists on one thing here: it was absolutely shitty the way Rolling Stone blamed the debacle entirely on ‘Jackie’ instead of their reporter who couldn’t be bothered to fact-check or get the other side’s story before publishing an inflammatory article.

      We don’t know enough about ‘Jackie’ to determine if she is an attention-seeking whore or a really, really damaged and mentally unstable person that
      has suffered from trauma.

      This is because Rolling Stone is run by sociopaths who like to pretend they care about other people. They’re the sort of progressives who ‘care’ about people so long as caring about them doesn’t carry any costs for the progressive himself.

      Progressives are tremendously giving people provided they’re not required to bear any of the costs for their actions.

    2. I think it’s arguable that both are reasonably culpable in this charade. The original lie is required to give cover to whomever repeats it.

      1. Right, but I still think it’s entirely possible that Jackie was raped or sexually assaulted in someway and the exaggerations were her acting out to get attention.

        That or she’s mentally ill and genuinely thinks that’s what happened.

        The alternative is either she’s a liar or the Rolling Stone reporter embellished to make the story more shocking and powerful.

        1. Another possibility is that she was sexually assaulted much earlier in life (say, as a child), and this is a psychological or survival mechanism of sorts.

          This is not always the case with victims of physical/sexual abuse, but often can be.

  31. See a chart showing a 58% decline in rape in the general population:
    bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fvsv9410.pdf

    “From 1995 to 2010, the estimated annual rate of female rape or sexual assault victimizations declined 58%, from 5.0 victimizations per 1,000 females age 12 or older to 2.1 per 1,000.”

    Consider: Male college enrollment has declined to the point where the women now outnumber the men on most campuses.

    Yet many young campus feminists say the “rape epidemic” is growing. This raises at least two questions:

    -Why would rape be increasing on campus, where every year fewer men show up, while decreasing in the general population?

    -What parents in their right mind would let their daughters leave the relatively safer gen pop and go to college and face a much higher chance of being sexually assaulted.

    Now consider:

    “In the U.K., one-third to one-half of domestic violence cases involve male victims. And in the U.S., more than 1 in 4 men have experienced “rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner.” http://www.upworthy.com/youll-…..it-changes

    And this:

    Cont’d…

    1. “How Often Do Women Falsely Cry Rape?”
      slate.com/

      Excerpt: “If we use the Bureau of Justice Statistics that show about 200,000 rapes in 2008, we could be looking at as many as 20,000 false accusations.” In the gen pop, as many as one in ten men accused of rape may be falsely accused.

      On campus are many young, impressionable feminists who, I suspect, are so politicized that they may see — or may want to see — the goal of assault in every man’s gaze, every man’s request for a date or sex or agreement to a date or sex…..

      That politicization could partly explain what appears to be a higher sexual assault rate on campus than in the gen pop.

      If those feminists can make the one-in-five claim, and say in effect that sexual assault is much higher on campus than off, I can make this claim: the rate of false accusations is much higher on campus than in the gen pop.

      I sincerely believe it all could have been so very different between men and women. There’s still hope. See:

      “The Sexual Harassment Quagmire: How To Dig Out” http://malemattersusa.wordpres…..-quagmire/

      1. OK, not gonna read it now, but worth a look.

  32. So I was reading an article today about the alleged ‘rape epidemic’ and they mentioned that the claim that only 2% of rape accusations are false comes from a random polemical tract published by a radical feminist named Susan Brownmiller in 1975.

    Now, let’s think about this critically. First of all, the person who wrote this has an obvious ax to grind, and her statistics are therefore tremendously unreliable unless they’ve been backed up by a later study. Secondly, this claim is 50 years old. Therefore, even if only 2% of accusations were false in 1975, there is no evidence whatsoever that this percentage of false accusations has remained constant for 5 decades.

    Why is it that every time I look at a ubiquitous feminist statistic it comes from an unreliable source which is usually decades old? Don’t these people at least like to pretend that feminism is a serious social science?

    1. They’re too busy being in awe of Judith Butler’s incomprehensible prose to bother with the legwork to resemble even the lower social sciences’ output of bullshit statistical work.

    2. Yes, but not Patriarchal Science with data and stuff.

    3. Secondly, this claim is 50 years old

      Actually it’s 40 years old. Oops.

      1. Still older than either of us, which I find unfathomable.

        1. GET OFF MY LAWN

    4. Because they don’t have to. They’re winning the war by just repeating lies over and over and the media generally goes along with them.

    5. So, according to Ms Brownmiller, the black men who were lynched for raping white women were actually guilty of rape?

      Seems like we have conflicting progressive memes here.

      1. If a young white girl claims to have been raped by a black man, there would be two SJW reactions.

        1. Her word should be treated as the truth, regardless of any internal inconsistencies. She should have access to the morning after pill. If a suspect is found, he must be punished, even if it means denying due process.

        2. She provoked the rape by flaunting her white privilege.The rapist is just a victim of our racist society, and should not be charged even if he posted a video confessing to the rape. she should be denied the morning after pill, and if she becomes pregnant, she should be forced to give birth, even if it were to endanger her life, because abortion in this case would merely perpetuate white privilege. The right to an abortion should not apply to a white female who got pregnant from rape by a black male.

        Of course, here is my reaction, and I suspect almost all Americans would agree with me.

        3. The accuser should get appropriate medical care, including the morning after pill. The authorities should investigate the claim, and if it yields evidence that someone committed a crime, the criminal suspect should be prosecuted consistently with our due process traditions.

    6. Even the 5-8% claim the savvier feminists use from the FBI is fatuous on the face of it: 5-8% are ruled unsubstantiated by police. That does not, however, mean the other 95% are true. It is not the job of police to decide definitively whether a crime happened, that is the job of prosecutor,judge, and jury. Only in cases of the victim recanting or obvious evidence that the crime didn’t occur do the police rule unsubstantiated.

      In other words, to say that all accusations not ruled unsubstantiated are necessarily true is like saying that all accusations that don’t result in a trial and guilty verdict are false. Clearly nonsense; some rapists slip through the cracks, as do some false rape reports.

      So those single digit numbers they cite, the proportion unsubstantiated, are actually more like the bare minimum proportion that are false, not the actual proportion that are false.

  33. Is anyone going to acknowledge how Steve Sailer really pushed the skepticism on this story?

    1. Who? Seriously no idea who you’re talking about, since he wasn’t important.

      1. Yeah, good point. Steve is an unperson.

        1. Hey Steve. Probably shouldn’t make anonymous comments pretending you’re super duper important. It’s tacky.

        2. Guess who’s back, back again. Murkin’s back, tell some men.

  34. The Piltdown Man is the most famous paleoanthropological hoax ever perpetrated.

    Two generations of scientists and educators accepted the Piltdown skull as proof positive of human evolution, proof of a “missing link”–which was found conveniently close to London.

    Finally, 40 years after the skull’s “discovery,” investigators determined an orangutan jaw had been added to a human cranium.

    Moral of the story: sometimes, the need for a metanarrative overwhelms objective analysis.

    In her search for a college to highlight a rape-culture, Ms. Erdely left Philadelphia, which has the two most dangerous colleges in the US (#1 UPenn and #2 Temple on Elite Daily’s list), and headed south to a school that “felt right”…”like most colleges across America, genteel University of Virginia has no radical feminist culture seeking to upend the patriarchy.”

    1. “like most colleges across America, genteel University of Virginia has no radical feminist culture seeking to upend the patriarchy.”

      This part is untrue. All one needs to do is look at the damage done to the frat after the accusation and the threats made to the university. I graduated from UVA a few years ago and we had at least 5 separate sexual assault awareness groups, one of which was men only. That was the most insufferable one.

      There’s probably less of a radfem culture at UVA than schools in the northeast or california, but it’s definitely there

  35. Ms. Erdely’s story requires suspension of disbelief.

    She cites an anonymous source who alleges a gruesome assault that occurred years ago. There were no corroborative witnesses, no photos, no hospital reports, no police reports–no forensic evidence, nothing.

    And, there was no Phi Psi event the night of the “assault.”

    There may have been a kernel truth somewhere in Ms. Erdely’s RS account. Yet, “Jackie” may have been a composite of several women.

    However, Ms. Erdely’s representation that 7 men brutally raped “Jackie” for 3 hours on a bed of glass was problematical. Many commentators have noted that shards of glass would have been embedded in her back, which would have necessitated medical attention. Also, a reasonable person could also have expected that one, if not all, of the alleged perpetrators would also have required medical attention.

    However, this was as far as this line of inquiry went.

    Why not one step further?

    How much blood would a normal person lose if his/her back was ground into broken glass for 3 hours? (Is there a doctor in the house?)

    Would that amount of blood loss have rendered a normal woman unconscious? If so, for how long?

    Would that woman have needed an immediate transfusion?

    Or, would a normal woman have died if this attack happened as reported?

    From exsanguination (blood loss)?

    Raped on a bed of glass conjured frightening imagery, but this “fact” also renders Ms. Erdely’s completely implausible.

    Statistics cannot cover the hoax.

    1. *** rising intonation ***

      Perhaps it was *tempered* glass?

    2. “How much blood would a normal person lose if his/her back was ground into broken glass for 3 hours? (Is there a doctor in the house?)”

      The story is horseshit, but this won’t prove it. See Rich (above); tempered glass breaks into kernels with little chance of breaking the skin or causing bleeding.
      By 2012, it’s hard to believe a glass table top wasn’t tempered, especially in a frat house where non-tempered tables had probably been broken years ago by those watching a football game.

  36. War on womyn flatlining and anti-amnesty backlash. Must! Change! News! Cycle! Rape! Rape! Rape!

  37. She may have gotten drunk and squeezed the sperm from five to seven people and then sobered up and regretted this choice. She may have had sperm deposited in her and upon her after passed out and deposited by enough people to be obvious when becoming sober.

    Who would read “Rolling Stone” magazine and expect professional journalism anyway?

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  39. I got financially raped at a titty bar

    1. You weren’t doing it right.

  40. Most rapes are done by family members (step fathers) or close acquaintances.

  41. In all seriousness, this really does hurt the real victims. Thanks to the Rolling Stone, those bastards Spielberg and Lucas are going to get a way with gang raping Indiana Jones. Senseless tragedy.

  42. As I abandon this thread, do not forget, fair readers, that we live in the age of twitter, facebook, instagram, and the ubiquitous cell phone cameras that feed the fires of social networking. If you think a fucking gang-rape in a frathouse can occur without a single photograph or video finding its way to Vimeo, you’re sorely mistaken.

    That is all.

  43. So Peter is married to Megan McArdle ??? I had no idea…

  44. The problem isn’t that non-feminists gloat at non-rape, the problem is that feminists gloat at rape; it fires them up and, more importantly, rewards them with speaking engagements, article sales, and attention.

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  46. I’m extremely happy that this whole thing only took three weeks to blow up, instead of months as the Duke lacrosse disaster took. I hope all the perpetrators get sued, along with the UVa administration that rolled over for them, and the monkeys that trashed the Phi Kappa Psi house (you know, the frat house where NOTHING HAPPENED.)

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