Rolling Stone and the Cult of Credulity

The mantra 'I believe' pathologizes skepticism and doesn't help victims.


Now that Rolling Stone has retracted its University of Virginia gang-rape story—a piece of penny-dreadful writing dolled up as journalism—the hunt is on for the culprit in this fiasco. Who's to blame for the appearance of what seems to be straight-up fabulism in the pages of a once-respectable magazine?

Some are blaming "Jackie," the pseudonymous woman who claimed to have been gang-raped for hours by drunken frat boys yet who offered not so much as a smidgen of evidence to back up her tale. Others point the finger at Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the author of this piece, who failed to execute the most basic of journalistic tasks, such as finding the alleged rapists and, err, talking to them. Some hold the editors of Rolling Stone responsible, wondering what possessed them to give the green light to such thin-gruel hackery.

There's no doubt that all these people—from the student source to the credulous journalist to the clickbait-beats-factchecking editors—have a lot of questions to answer. But we also need to cast the net wider. We need to think about the broader climate that could allow such a tall tale to appear in an esteemed publication.

We now live in an increasingly Salem-like culture, in which people are called to suspend skepticism in relation to all allegations of rape, to say "I believe" the minute anyone claims to have been raped, and to be openly and proudly credulous in response to reports of rape. This cult of credulity, this constant chanting of "I believe!" has warped the public debate about rape and sexual assault. It has now reached its nadir in the shocking suspension of skepticism at Rolling Stone in response to a fabricated horror story.

If Erdely nodded along to Jackie's story while robotically thinking "I believe," she isn't alone. Automatically and uncritically believing allegations of rape is all the rage today. Where for most of the Age of Enlightenment it was considered civilized to believe that those accused of a crime were innocent until proven guilty, now it appears the way to show that you are a good and caring person is to do pretty much the opposite. You should believe instantly the alleged victim's every word, and by extension to believe instantly that the accused is guilty as hell.

So when Dylan Farrow claimed she was sexually abused as a child by Woody Allen, the meme "I Believe Dylan" spread like a pox across the internet. #IBelieveDylan trended on Twitter. At IndiewireMelissa Silverstein said "There are a few fundamental beliefs that I hold, and one of them is that I believe women." All women? All the time? Including, say, Condoleezza Rice when she said Saddam had loads of weapons of mass destruction? This is silly. Women are just as capable as men of making stuff up.

The blogger Lindy West recently set up a website called "I Believe You, It's Not Your Fault," where women share their stories of sexual assault and everyone believes them. In the United Kingdom, the website Mumsnet, where Guardian-reading moms discuss the world's problems as a Polish au pair looks after their kids, launched a rape-awareness campaign called "We Believe You."

The allegations against Bill Cosby have likewise led to outbursts of instantaneous belief, with tweeters imploring us to "Believe The Victims" (they mean accusers) and sharing memes declaring that Cosby is a rapist.

The cult of credulity doesn't apply just to women. When Shia LaBeouf rather fantastically claimed to have been raped by a woman in a crowded hipster art gallery, the cult-like chant "I believe Shia" started to spread. A writer for The Guardian, under the headline "I believe Shia LaBeouf," says she was shocked to see "expressions of doubt" on the Internet in relation to LaBeouf's claims. This is the scary situation we now find ourselves in: When it comes to rape, to doubt, to be skeptical, is apparently an act of evil. Even in relation to LaBeouf, whose last extended bit of publicity revolved around his rampant plagiarism as a filmmaker and tweeter.

There's an air of cultish religiosity to the "I believe" movement. Like theism, it is based entirely on faith. It actively discourages and even pathologizes skepticism and is suspicious of calls for evidence. It demands that everyone suspend their skepticism, reject objectivity, and simply utter the mantra: "I believe you." It demonizes objectivity. To say we should be objective about all allegations of crime, including rape, is to run the risk of being branded a "rape apologist"—as I discovered last week when I wrote a piece for USA Today saying we must presume Bill Cosby is innocent because he hasn't been proven guilty, and quickly found myself branded "pro-rape." To be skeptical is to be suspect. To demand objectivity is to be an apologist for evil.

This cult of credulity is the bastard offspring of the "Believe The Children" movement of the 1980s. Back then, in the U.S. and Europe, it was de rigueur to believe every accusation of abuse made by a child, even if a kid claimed, often under the influence of psychologists, to have been ritually abused by Satanists. To express skepticism about any of this was to be branded an enabler of abuse. As the British child-abuse expert Jean La Fontaine argued in her book Speak of the Devil: Tales of Satanic Abuse in Contemporary England (1998), the slogan "we believe the children" pathologized objectivity: "It was emphasized that if adults did not believe children, [then] they were denying help to innocent victims." And so it is today: if you don't believe Dylan Farrow or Shia LaBeouf or "Jackie," then you're heaping further pain on "innocent victims." So instead, you shoul suspend your skepticism and BELIEVE.

This is the climate in which Rolling Stone could see fit to publish an incredible tale of abuse—a climate in which credulity is worn as a badge of pride and objectivity is tantamount to a sin. Now, even as the hollowness of Jackie's claims is exposed, #IStandWithJackie is trending on Twitter and a writer for The Washington Post says we must still believe, "as a matter of default," those who make accusations of rape, because "incredulity hurts victims." It seems as if they still cannot shake their belief in Jackie's story, because theirs is effectively a religious movement, based in blind faith and openly hostile to "expressions of doubt."

The "Believe The Children" movement had a disastrous impact on Western societies. Families were ripped apart on the basis of rumors and people were unjustly jailed. The "Believe The Women" cult is also harming society. It is whipping up a climate hostile to due process and warping one of the central ideals of civilized societies: that individuals are innocent until proven guilty. And it is needlessly spreading panic on college campuses, too. In pushing an expansive new law that will further curtail due process in the name of preventing sexual assault, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has claimed that "women are at a greater risk of sexual assault as soon as they step onto a college campus." As Slate's Emily Yoffe has documented, this is patently false. Women between the ages of 18 and 24 who are not on college campuses are in fact 1.7 times more likely to be the victim of violent crime, including sexual assault. 

When you say "I believe this woman was raped," you are saying something else, too: "I believe the suspect in question is a rapist." This turns every principle of justice on its head. The presumption of innocence has existed in some form or other for centuries, going as far back as the sixth century Byzantine Emperor Justinian the Great, who said: "Proof lies on him who asserts, not on him who denies." In short, it is the accuser we should be skeptical of, and who we should doubt, and not the responsibility of the accused to disprove the claims made against them. The cult of credulity is laying to waste this civilizing ideal, through effectively saying: "She who asserts is telling the truth; he who denies is guilty."

Yes, Jackie and Erdely and Rolling Stone have some soul-searching to do. But let's not ignore the underpinnings to this journalistic debacle—the emergence of an illiberal, intolerant, unjust climate in which all "victims" are instantly believed, even by journalists, and in which, terrifyingly, a suspect can be condemned through accusation alone.

NEXT: Tamir Rice's Mother Speaks Out, Rand Paul Is the GOP Frontrunner, Budget Battle: P.M. Links

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  1. We need to think about the broader climate that could allow such a tall tale to appear in an esteemed publication.

    WRONG. The writer and the editors should never have let that happen. That’s where the blame squarely belongs. They were wrong on so many levels.

    First, if as they claimed they wanted the story to be about the university’s reaction, then that should have been the focus. They didn’t need that many details about the allegations. They didn’t need the parts of the story that identified the fraternity, for instance.

    Second, they had to talk to the accused if they are going to put that much detail out there. If you’re that sensitive to the alleged victim’s concerns, don’t relay her story.

    Third, just because a person seems distraught and you empathize, you have to keep objectivity. The end result of this fiasco tells you why.

    1. just because a person seems distraught and you empathize, you have to keep objectivity.

      You heartless bastard!

      1. I bet he believes Shia Lebouf’s story though.

        1. More more-convincing details.

          1. Slowly. Please relate these details slowly and graphically, preferably, with the lights on.

    2. I liked you better before the beard.

      Serious Fisty is no fun.

        1. There are pills for that now

          1. Cannabis works better.

      1. I liked you better before the beard.

        *Puts on Carnac the Magnificent hat, opens envelope*

        “Things no one ever said to William Riker”

        1. Things pedophiles say?

        2. “Things Tom Cruise’s friends said at his weddings.”

        3. What is it with the pornstaches now. I’m seeing them everywhere.

        4. Said Tsarina Alexandra to Rasputin.

    3. [esteemed publication]

      Which has been little more than a liberal churn for decades. The last real unbiased thought they produced was reporting on the generous over size of Mick Jagger’s crank.

    4. Your comment argues the editors should be held responsible, but nothing about saying “We need to think about the broader climate that could allow such a tall tale to appear in an esteemed publication” denies the editors should not also be held to task. Nothing in your post actually challenges the assertion that the current culture is ALSO a problem. nothing you said even argues your assertion that the article is “WRONG”, especially given the article actually acknowledges the points you did make. But the fact is, while the editors are to blame for the choices they made, it is ALSO the culture in which we live, a culture that no longer see’s the actions (or inactions) that the editors and author took (or didn’t take) as a problem. While the editors are one (of several) to blame for the outcome, the culture in which we live, that left them believing their actions were acceptable, also (as in, in addition to, rather than absolving others of) shares some blame in this. And nothing you’ve asserted actually challenged this idea.

  2. And is another shoe about to drop?

    “As indicated on the copyright page of ‘Not That Kind of Girl’ by Lena Dunham, some names and identifying details in the book have been changed. The name ‘Barry’ referenced in the book is a pseudonym,” the publisher told TheWrap exclusively. “Random House, on our own behalf and on behalf of our author, regrets the confusion that has led attorney Aaron Minc to post on GoFundMe on behalf of his client, whose first name is Barry.”…..legations/

    1. “We are offering to pay the fees Mr. Minc has billed his client to date,” the company continued.

      Indeed. They are even offering money…if I was that guy, I’d ask for all the revenues from the book.

      1. The billables are probably more

      2. That would make my day. If you read the story, it is wholly unbelievable.

        1. Indeed, the people (at Breitbart and National Review I believe) who looked into this already considered the possibility it was a pseudonym and still found no on who remotely fit the description (Even the name notwithstanding, the guy named Barry was actually the closest match of any one, and now he’s off the hook, so who else?)

          Any sympathy given to Dunham is wasted sympathy.

    2. I am interested to see how that shoe does drop. I didn’t read the book, but it seems that since she talks about the same incident twice (someone who’s read it can correct me if I’m wrong), maybe the second story where it’s suddenly rape was shoehorned in right before publication to capitalize on the campus assault frenzy currently sweeping the nation. That’s the cynic in me.

      As for the dude, I think it was Volokh who outlined why the guy has a good case for damages.

      1. My guess is that someone at Random House got wind that the claim was bullshit and was aimed at the Barry in question.

        Now, all of a sudden, it’s a pseudonym.

        It never occurred to Lena that, making that accusation might lead to that new $4 million condo of hers becoming Barry’s new $4 million condo.

    3. The name ‘Barry’ referenced in the book is a pseudonym.

      That implies that everything else she wrote is true, but that they just changed the name.

      I doubt we’ve heard the last retraction/correction on this one.

      1. Their problem is that as far as anyone can determine there was nobody with a Rollie Fingers moustache hosting a radio show there while Dunham was there.

        Ultimately they will salvage this for Dunham by claiming that none of it is SUPPOSED to be true at all, and that she was just “exploring her own relationship to consent and truth vs. falsehood” or something like that and call it a day.

        1. He’s a composite rapist.

      2. That implies that everything else she wrote is true, but that they just changed the name.

        I doubt we’ve heard the last retraction/correction on this one.

        What’s amazing about this is that she also claimed it was a college Republican who goes around in purple cowboy boots – but no one remembers anyone like that.

        So her argument now is “No, the purple cowboy-booted Republican is real, his name just wasn’t Barry.”

        I’d also like to mention that Barry is not a common name and that Lena Dunham juste happened to point her finger at a Republican named Barry who went to school at the same time she did. If it was just a random pseudonym, then what are the odds she would have picked an uncommon pseudonym which happened to link up to a well-known Republican on campus?

        It almost seems like she was pointing the finger at him on purpose and is now backpedaling in a desperate attempt to avoid a defamation suit.

        1. She probably picked a rare name for her fictional rapist precisely in order to avoid a suit. As luck would have it, there is a Barry, now the story changes.

          Maybe it was actually ‘Berry?’ and it was a nickname. Hell, makes the story even better: he was a gay Republican! Why else would he have such a fruity nickname? Or she could have gone with Leopold.

    4. But isn’t “it’s a pseudonym” a b.s. defense? “Barry” is an unusual name, and an Oberlin Republican called Barry while Lena Dunham was there really narrows it down to one or two people.

      It’s as if I said I went to Oberlin with “Lena,” who was smart but dumpy and homely, and her father was an artist in New York, and by the way, she gave me the clap while talking about molesting children. And then when her lawyers contact me, I say, “Oh, ‘Lena’ is just a pseudonym,” would that get me off the hook? I think not.

      1. I didn’t read the book, but purportedly she was relieving herself in a parking lot when the dastardly male fell on her in a sea of lust. Yeah, nothing like the sight of a lady peeing to make men lose it. Feminists talk about men like they’ve never met any.

        1. It was Lena Dunham peeing, not a lady.

          1. Is that like saying “it was STEVE SMITH, not a man”?

        2. Did ‘Barry’ grow up on a farm?

          Cause, only a guy that lost his virginity to livestock would be turned on by Lena Dunham pissing herself.

      2. she gave me the clap while talking about molesting children

        Well, Christ, Papaya, that’s what you get for sticking your pecker in that. I don’t think even John would go there…

        1. Pass the brain bleach please.

      3. No, because it’s true.

  3. “the broader climate that could allow such a tall tale to appear in an esteemed publication” as Rolling Stone.

    I hope that’s tongue in cheek.

  4. The thing is, this institutional credulity is being driven by the political feministas.,and when they have managed to comletely discredit themselves AND those they profess to want to help, they will have the nerve to be surprised.

  5. Melissa Silverstein said “There are a few fundamental beliefs that I hold, and one of them is that I believe women.”

    Wait. Is she saying she *believes* that she believes women?

    (“There are a few fundamental beliefs that I hold, and one of them is that God exists.”)

    1. Wait. Is she saying she *believes* that she believes women?

      well she is a woman, so…

      1. Careful. The Sisterhood’ll get you.

        1. I just meant that she believes in herself.

          /backpedals via my publisher

          1. “I am Women, hear me roar!”

    2. Does that include Sarah Palin?

      1. She said “woman,” not “Republican.”

        Did you learn nothing in school?

    3. I will reiterate:

      There is no reason to believe…anyone, about anything.

      Most people lie, at least occasionally. A very large percentage of people lie routinely. The more pressure people are under, the greater the likelihood that they will lie.

      Any time you hear a person relate a personal anecdote that is any more flamboyant than, “I went to the store and bought some M&M’s,” you should assume that they’re full of shit until you get some decent evidence.

      If the story gets really lurid and starts to involve people rappelling down from the ceiling to kick them through doors and shit, you should definitely roll your eyes until they produce some video or something.

      1. If the story gets really lurid and starts to involve people rappelling down from the ceiling to kick them through doors and shit, you should definitely roll your eyes until they produce some video or something.

        Ask and you shall receive!

        TRIGGER WARNING: Stupid youtube comedian with annoying audio.

  6. Huh. I suppose the TV movie about Erdely’s failure here can’t be called Shattered Glass, as that’s taken by another journalist lacking basic ethics.

    1. Tattered Ass”, then?

    2. “Big, Fat, Stupid Liar?”

      I’ll work on it.

      1. “Rape Porn: A Study in the Hermeneutics of Making Shit Up.”

        1. Shattered Glass 2: Electric Kangaroo (Court)

          1. Oooh, with a torrid romance between Stephen Glass and Erdely, in between horrific violations of journalistic and human ethics? Kind of 9 1/2 Weeks meets Shattered Glass? I wonder if Hayden Christensen is available?

            I see this starting with a rape, except maybe she rapes him. I’m not sure.

            1. We’d probably have to call it Shattered Glass Table, otherwise they’ll sic the lawyers on us.

              Stupid lawyers.

              No, it will start out as a breakdance-off. Erderly is handily beaten by some frat boy with his bitchin’ poppin’ and lockin’ and vows sweet, sweet revenge.

              1. Hmmm. Well, if it’s a parody, that’s protected fair use. Maybe we can call it, I dunno, Flattered Ass?

                1. What do you have against period pieces? Plus, since it’s set in the 80’s we have plausible deniability as to character likeness.

                  Wait, you’re going to bill me for this, aren’t you?

                  1. Going to? No. Already have? Yes.

                    Okay, I’ll accept the 80s, but it has to be aerobics with leggings. Is a 2014 version of Olivia Newton John available?

                    1. Is a 2014 version of Olivia Newton John available?

                      I believe her name rhymes with Lena Dunham.

                    2. I was thinking more female.

    3. Fun fact: Erdely and Stephen Glass are both University of Pennsylvania, class of 1994. They knew each other.

      1. They also wrote for the UPenn paper.

      2. Wow! So I assume he raped her?

        1. No he just told her he did.

      3. That is a fun fact! Suddenly, it all makes a crazy kind of sense.

      4. Wow, I’m also Penn class of ’94. Time to go back and fact-check my dissertation. Esecially the part where I blamed the Depression of 1871-7 on fraternities.

  7. We need to think about the broader climate that could allow such a tall tale to appear in an esteemed publication.

    Esteemed publication? I thought it was Rolling Stone.

    1. Esteemed publication? I thought it was Rolling Stone.

      I will never forget Rolling stone taking 2.5 pages out of a 6 page interview with Bob Dylan to basically plead with him to say something nice about Obama. Dylan was doing the smart thing and being neutral, but the interviewer just wouldn’t fucking drop it.

      1. So Mr Dylan please tell us how Barrack Obama’s birth in 1961 inspired your musical career?

  8. But, writes Brendan O’Neill, we also need to cast the net wider and think about the broader climate that could allow such a tall tale to appear in an esteemed publication.

    Did it appear in The National Review under a cross-publishing arrangement?

    The Stone has been the realm of pathetic hack-work for decades.

    (Or, alternatively, was that very dry sarcasm? Too dry, probably, if so.)

  9. “There’s an air of cultish religiosity to the “I believe” movement. Like theism, it is based entirely on faith.”

    Hey, what did *we* do? In my capacity as a moron, I believed the RS story for two or three days, but in my capacity as a theist I wasn’t committed to the story one way or another.

    And the proposition that theism is based “entirely on faith” is *itself* based on faith. Maybe Brendan O’Neill is unconvinced by the rational arguments for the existence of God – maybe he’s read Anselm, Aquinas, Lewis, D’Souza, etc., etc. and found their claims unpersuasive. Fine, then – let him share the fruits of his philosophical study and research! But he seems more like the sort who assumes that anyone who disagrees with him is irrational.

    Credulity seems to me to increase, not decrease, among people who have rejected theism. If you compare regular churchgoers and synagogue-goers with people who post on “skeptical” Web sites, I bet you find more of the latter than the former who nod in agreement with the Rolling Stone article and express shock and horror as the story falls apart.

    1. Incidentally, consider the comments the H&R atheists make about their fellow-atheists’ credulity on so many subjects.

      1. What the hell are you talking about?

        You are conflating the anti-religionists with atheists.

        1. Um, I sometimes hear comments deploring the statism – the “religious” statism – of large numbers of atheists.

          1. This applies to much larger numbers of theists.

            Mistake to lump either together as distinct groups having traits in common. Other than belief or the lack of, they have little in common.

            1. I just think it’s a bit much, in an article about the irrationality and superstition of secular feminists, to drag in theists. Again, what did *we* do?

              1. C’mon, you’re expecting too much from an article that does that at the beginning and then unironically quotes Justinian the Great on credulity.

              2. Fair criticism. I think the problem is lumping all theists in with fanatics. It is the fanatics of all persuasions that have common traits.

                1. The narrative must be believed.

                2. Any facts or reason that contradicts the narrative must be ignored.

                3. Questioning the narrative makes one a heretic.

                4. Heretics must not be allowed to speak.

                The vast number of theists that I know do not fit that description.

              3. I just think it’s a bit much, in an article about the irrationality and superstition of secular feminists, to drag in theists. Again, what did *we* do?

                “In God we trust, all others must bring data.” – W. Edwards Deming

                Agreed, I cringed at the mention of theism as well. I don’t so much care about what the theists did, the jab is irrational and unwarranted. There are legion atheists and theists (of all stripes) in secular contexts telling people to quit being stupid and use their heads. Moreover, plenty of theism (of all stripes) is firmly rooted in the skepticism of the inherently virtuous nature of man. Invoking theism as opposed to religious zealotry or fanatacism is misplaced.

                “When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing ? they believe in anything.” – Cammaert/Chesterton*

                1. I agree. And, right or wrong, there are many theists (of all stipes as m.a says) who do not believe it is entierly based on faith, but on reason and logic.

                  I am unurprised but disapointed in this line.

          2. Look, I may think that Christianity is a silly slave morality, but at least its head honcho is some invisible guy in the sky who doesn’t do anything that everyone can project their emotions and opinions onto. It crosses into complete moron territory when you’re doing the same thing to a flesh-and-blood human being in a position of political power. ‘Religious’ support of statism is a hell of a lot more out-there than religious belief itself.

            1. “slave morality”

              Wait, I’m having deja vu – haven’t I heard that phrase before?

              1. Yes I’m deliberately referencing what you are recalling.

    2. As a former theist myself(to the point of spending a brief time in seminary school. Nazarene Theological Seminary) , I agree with you. Theist with the slightest modicum of intellect at least attempt to base their views on a reason/cause and effect of deeds, pillar of faith. The pillar may be, in my current opinion, based on horribly flawed logic, but it’s a solidly structured foundation to build a line of thinking on.

      They BELIEVE crowd of academia and militant feminism operate under the fallacy that grace through faith alone should be modus operandi in one’s day to day interactions with the rest of humanity and any negative consequences of your actions to your fellow man will be forgiven by a higher power(in most cases, a form of statism). Unfortunately, that holds true more times than I care for, but that doesn’t excuse the actions themselves. Even Christ would sadly shake his head at the wide-eyed, frothing at the mouth zealotry of today’s Crusaders. Do on to others, assholes.

      1. There is often a difference between the teachings of Christ and the teachings of “crusaders.”

  10. You all probably saw this, but just in case:

    Lena Dunham Rolling Stone Cover

    1. My eyes are literally on fire. Flames are actually shooting from their sockets.

      Is that a normal reaction?

      1. why yes. yes it is.

        1. As I’ve said before, 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. Once she gets to her 40s or 50s, Lena will make Edith Bunker look hot by comparison.

          1. I understand and agree with your thinking, but it was Jean Stapleton, not Maureen Stapleton, who played Edith Bunker.

      2. You’ve gotta give that ugly skank props for

        A helluva great publicist.

        How the fuck else is she anything other than an object of pity

    2. They actually make her look passable and placed her in clothing that, along with the pose, hides her hideously shaped body.

      Looking below average is a huge step forward for her. I’m certain she’ll have a huge problem with the amount of photoshopping that was required.

      1. But do read the article titles closely. And the tatoo

        1. The tattoo made me chuckle.

          This RS cover is a mock job in case anyone thinks its real. I saw it on my way to work this morning, actually. Sabo or one of his acolytes always puts his street art on an electrical box at the Westwood/Le Conte intersection.

          The one with a picture of Gwyneth Paltrow labeled as “Obama Drone” was my favorite. It went up during her fundraiser for him.

    3. A lot of Photoshop expertise went into that one. Look at the smoothness of her face–for example.

    4. and they put the words “Rape Fantasies” next to her face?

      Seeing that would erase any thoughts of sexual activity from my brain.

  11. “Now that Rolling Stone has retracted its University of Virginia gang-rape story”

    Did they retract? All I saw was a note to their readers.

    1. Their penises retracted into their bodies, probably.

      1. I heard you have a clasper. That’s rape.

        1. All I need is a tight cloaca.

      2. well, THAT didn’t take much, not exactly a great distance.

    2. That’s a good point. I recall reading some hemming and hawing about some details may need more ironing before they’re presented in the studio cut.

    3. “Now that Rolling Stone has retracted its University of Vaginia gang-rape story”

      1. “Now that Rolling Stone has retracted its University of Vagina gang-rape story”

  12. “I Believe.” Sounds like a corny, alternative Christian rock song.

    1. Makes me think of that faith healer in The Far Side just before he heals a vacuum cleaner.

  13. But Ben Fong-Torres from Almost Famous assured me that Rolling Stone did rigorous fact checking.

    1. Apparently they used to, but they’ve either dropped it for important SJW causes, or dropped it entirely.

    2. This is why the Brave New World will never be realized. Utopianism collapses upon itself because it has so many built in flaws.

      Yeah, there are a lot of people with egg on their faces over this. It is funny that no one ever told them when they were children that telling lies is ultimately self-defeating.

  14. Rolling Stone should stick to debating whether or not Dylan going electric was a good thing.

    It’s really all they’re good at.

    1. They sure as hell can’t make a top 100 guitarists’ list that isn’t a ridiculous charade; I’m still pissed about the one they did in 2003, haven’t read it since.

      David Gilmour is #73, while flash-in-the-pan jerkoffs like Jack White are in the top ten? LOL @ Trolling Stoned magazine, what a joke!

  15. Look, I believe! is the left’s position on nearly every public polity issue. If you don’t believe they’ll explain STFU.

  16. So… I guess I have to ask. Did Cosby do it or what?

    1. Perhaps we should wait for some……verifiable facts? Nahhhhhhh.

    2. You know, I can’t decide whether it’s bad that I’m not entirely convinced about him being guilty of any of the accused behaviors, given all the bullshit that comes out these days. I get that I’m a little prejudiced in his favor, having been a fan of his for most of my life, but normally I’d turn on a person I thought was guilty of this kind of crime (well, crimes).

      The flip side of that is the number of accusers. It would be one thing if it were just a few, but it’s more than that. I’m still wondering whether that many could be thrown together just to pillory the guy (who has become a vocal critic of things the left doesn’t want criticized, to be sure). I don’t think so, but it’s hard not to have a nagging doubt. Especially given this business with Rolling Stone and the political nonsense going on at universities.

      1. I heard he raped a chicken heart.

        1. Didn’t even have to look that one up, hey, hey, hey!

      2. I remember, years ago, that a woman was arrested for blackmailing Cosby because she’d had his child. IIRC, all the newspaper articles were about how conniving the woman was…………but I don’t remember a single one that emphasized that Cosby was, indeed, an adulterer.

        I bring this up because I took it to mean that the press was on his side. Has he become more outspoken in his politics now?

        1. Has he become more outspoken in his politics now?

          Yes, he has. He even went on tour as a speaker to various churches in urban Black communities to spread his message of personal responsibility and the importance of parenting.

          Therefore, he must be destroyed.

      3. The flip side of that is the number of accusers.

        What did Hillary call those when they were happening to Bill? Bimbo eruptions?

        1. That was Bill. This is Bill.

          Oh wait. That just hit me.

          I really should have thought harder before I posted that.

      4. These days, I don’t even know that the number of accusers means much. Once on goes public, all the opportunists may just smell blood and go in for the kill just to get some free publicity and some hush money.

        If each one can prove that she was at least in the same room as Cosby at some time, then that’s a start. Be nice to have some forensic evidence though.

  17. …a suspect can be condemned through accusation alone.

    I believe the French gave this concept a pretty thorough attempt – oh, back in the late 18th century.

    1. Hey, that was the “Age of Enlightenment,” buddy!

      1. In France, not so much; or, it’s always darkest before dawn. [a la Rocky & Bullwinkle’s next episode]

  18. Fake but accurate.

    1. Sorry to threadjack, but —

      HM, wrt fascr not working, I can only reproduce on today’s PM links. Is that the case for you as well?

      1. I first noticed it on PM links, but it’s not working on this article either. I can neither block or mute, and previously blocked handles appear in the thread.

        Thanks for all your work on the plugin, btw.

        1. Well, both on my development version and on 0.5.00alpha1 I can reproduce on the PM links but not on this page. Moreover, what seems to be the underlying cause — fascr failing to handle the case where someone has replied to a post, and then said post is deleted (which occurred in tonight’s links) — is at hand in the PM links, but not, as far as I can tell, here.

          1. If it helps, I’m using Win 7 x64 with Comodo Ice Dragon 26 for a browser.

            1. Trying with Comodo IceDragon on Windows 8.1 x64 and fascr 0.5.00alpha1, I still can not reproduce, sorry. There are some more detailed steps we can go over later if you want, but I am busy right now.

              As a side note, IceDragon is apparently based on Firefox 26.01, which reached its end-of-life in February. It is likely that you are missing out on some security updates and you are definitely missing out on some features.

              For instance, since it was last updated in December 2013, it definitely has not been patched to address the POODLE vulnerability — although that can be addressed by manually disabling SSLv3.

              As it stands, upcoming versions of fascr will in fact be using a feature only available in Firefox 34 and above. I can work around that, but I am not inclined to.

              1. Oh, and if for some reason you ended up installing the released-but-as-of-yet-not-announced version 0.6.00alpha0, please note that it indeed uses the aforementioned feature that versions of Firefox (and derivatives) below 34 lack.

    2. what the activists in Ferguson are teaching people now

      That “peaceful demonstrations” often turn violent? That burning and looting are a good response to a non-indictment by a grand jury? That people who are afraid of blacks being irrational violent are right?

      1. What the left really wants is for some crisis, any crisis, to bring about a violent collapse of existing society. What they don’t understand because they live in a bubble, is that the people who don’t want that far outnumber them. Additionally, they are far more empowered than the populations of places where the left has had success in the past.

        People won’t stand for that shit here. The commies were going to go to Ferguson and riot in white neighborhoods and target large corporate offices in the St. Louis area. None of that came to pass.

        1. There have been violent riots in Berkeley for several nights. One guy trying to stop a looter got hit in the head with a hammer. They’re throwing rocks at cops.

          Not that any of that will lead to “revolution,” and you’re right that even if it did, the results would not be to their liking. But plenty of damage can be done.

        2. What the left really wants is for some crisis, any crisis, to bring about a violent collapse of existing society.

          From where I sit, it looks like the left wants the government to keep on expanding into totalitarianism. The violent collapse of our existing society would be more like the fall of the soviets.


  19. once respectable magazine

    When was that?

  20. Be vewy vewy quiet, I’m hunting wapists.

    1. Be vewy vewy quiet, I’m hunting waspist.

  21. I realize that ‘Why We Believed Jackie’ article has been posted a million times the last few days, but there’s a paragraph in here people haven’t really been talking about but which bears a mention:

    For 17 days, we by and large believed Jackie’s story, maintaining only a few fragments of doubt. We were frustrated by the repeated use of the “Rugby Road” song, which appeared to make fun of the rape culture on campus but which most students, in fact, had never heard. We were angered by the portrayal of administrators we had worked with and personally trusted. We were slightly apprehensive at the article’s claim the rape had taken place as part of pledging, noting that pledging takes place in the spring and not the fall. But on the whole, we did not question Jackie herself. And that’s because, when we sorted through Erdely’s snide tone and some small missteps, we found something in that article that struck a chord with us.

    In other words, every fact they were capable of verifying they knew to be untrue, but they believed the story anyway.

    1. Ehrlich got some of the details wrong, but he’s right in general.

    2. They’re also convinced that Jackie is not obligated to prove her story but we are obligated to prove she is lying.

      It’s a very weird time.

    3. Confirmation bias is a hell of a thing Irish.

      Read ‘struck a chord’ as ‘confirmed the narrative’.

    4. Oh, don’t worry, Irish. They will find a way to excuse themselves to themselves for ignoring that every data point they could verify was false, because, ultimately, if they were the kind of people to whom integrity matters, they wouldn’t have believed it whole hog in the first place.

      Now it’s just a pathetic attempt to save some face and to pretend that they actually thought about this instead of seeing something that (from their perspective) was too good to be true and swallowing it hook, line, and sinker.

      They’re like inveterate gamblers who got taken by a con artist; they’ll hem and haw that they should have known, and make excuses, but the next one that comes along with the “right” situation again will take them in. Again. Because it’s what they want.

      1. ^This.

        Also, I am betting we haven’t heard the last version of the UVA rape of ‘Jackie’.

        There will be at least one more with the caveat that ‘this time we really mean it’.

        After that collapses they will slink off, pretend this never happened and wait patiently for the next one to come along.

        1. I swear that the only thing that stops a new one from coming out of the woodwork is the rest of us and how we’d jump all the fuck over it. They want it to be true so badly; in a way, it’s more like a creepy fantasy than a horrific story to them. Just like how obsessive anti-gay activists tend to talk a lot about gay sex, the lurid details in these fantastical rape cases and the desire for those explicit details from the people who are most invested in this stuff just sets off all kinds of warning bells for me.

          There is some fucked up shit going on in these people’s heads.

          1. This is actually a good analogy. They actually seemed upset that a girl hadn’t been viciously gang raped. Now they’re actually consigned to hoping that she was violated in some other way, so that they can at least say ‘well, she was assaulted! At least that was true!’

            This is what happens when you’re a collectivist. You start caring so much about theoretical people in the aggregate that you don’t actually give a shit how much they’re suffering individually. Therefore, if one girl has to suffer the worst peace time sexual assault in North American history in order to advance the narrative, get fraternities banned, and get more money for campus rape hotlines, then that’s a price feminists are willing to gladly pay.

            1. This is what happens when you’re a collectivist. You start caring so much about theoretical people in the aggregate that you don’t actually give a shit how much they’re suffering individually.

              Or it’s what happens when you’re a sociopath. You have to be something of a sociopath to be a collectivist; instead of seeing people as people, you see them as pawns and puppets for your schemes and amusement. This is why so many collectivist movements have had no problem with mass killings. They can dismiss people as being individuals by just cramming them all into a mental box labeled “males” or “blacks” or “kulaks” or whatever.

              1. Why the hell weren’t you teaching sociology when I was in college? Seriously – it is sad that I have never seen this fracking obvious connection before!

          2. Hell Epi, you’re also talking about the gun control freaks that can’t wait to dance in the gore of the next mass shooting.

            1. In some cases, yes. I think for some of them, they come to connect the glee of the possibility of passing new gun control legislation with news that a mass shooting has occurred, and those things become interconnected to them. But I don’t know if they fantasize about the details of a mass shooting the way Jackie’s most vocal proponents seem to have immersed themselves in/fantasized about the very explicit details of her supposed rape, or the way that anti-gay activists often seem to be super interested in the very specific details about gay sex. Maybe I’m being too charitable, but gun control seems to be about animism and control, not thinking about the details of an assault rifle. The rape people seem to be way, way into thinking about and obsessing about rape and rape details all the time.

    5. Here’s the thought that never occurs to them: If a false story strikes a chord with you, maybe it’s not that the story is true in some ethereal sense of the word; maybe it’s actually your chord that’s broken.

      Watching how these people behave after a rape claim turns out to be spurious is like listening to someone who’d car just broke down wonder in amazement at why the street stopped moving.

    6. It struck an emotional chord with us, so we declined to follow up on the details that made us apprehensive.

  22. I believe I’ll have a beer..

    1. Good call. I like your decision making skills.

      1. Great idea. Wait a second, it’s 9:30 am here. Well doesn’t matter because it’s 9:30 pm somewhere. See, I could write for RS.

  23. Everyone who continues to perpetuate this “rape culture myth” including Rolling Stone is at fault. Also, everyone in the media who treats these people like they’re some legitimate flip side of opposing opinions. There are legitimate opinions on issues, and there are people who pull lies out of their ass to get attention and act sanctimonious about fake issues. the fact that those people are treated by the media as representing more than a small percentage of insane crazies is ridiculous.

  24. Let’s see, RS didn’t check with the accused to get their side of the story. Yet now that RS is the accused, they want us to hear their side of the story?

  25. Has anyone been paying attention to the, shall we say, unlikely aspects of some of Erdely’s other articles? Like her article about a woman whose dad got murdered by the mob when she was 9 who then ran away from home at 14, became a sex worker at 15, cut herself, got addicted to heroin, married her stalker, got her GED, got a degree from Rutgers, became bored of her cushy suburban life, started working as a high powered madame, and did all of this while being perplexed why anyone would find prostitution immoral since she herself goes to Catholic mass two times a week and doesn’t see anything wrong with it?

    She also says very believable things like:

    A whore will always know a trick. Just like a whore will always know another whore. You can just look at someone and go ‘Okay, she sold her ass.’

    1. I haven’t. Here’s what I don’t get. She could probably make just as good a living writing this fictional bullshit and labeling as such. If not better a better living with no questions asked. Hell Lifetime channel eats this shit up. She would have no shortage of depressed. angry harpies lapping this shit up.

      1. Here’s a 100% factually accurate story about a suburban mom doing heroin.

        Of course that kind of thing happens. However, I’m a bit skeptical of the story she tells when the suburban mom is working as a nurse and gets caught stealing medicine:

        It happened at work, January 2005. A slow night, when the ER was nearly empty. Tina was reaching into a dispenser for some unauthorized Dilaudid when a doctor happened into the room. Tina froze. The two of them locked eyes. The doctor yelled for a nursing supervisor.

        Tina fled for the parking lot, though not before politely shouting down the hall “Nice working with you all!”


        1. I am not clicking that link, even just hovering over it made my IQ drop 8 points.

          1. You don’t want to change your look without surgery?

    2. A whore will always know a trick. Just like a whore will always know another whore. You can just look at someone and go ‘Okay, she sold her ass.’

      I’ve watched my share of prostitution stings on cops and I can attest that that is not true.

      1. Your handle reminds me of an old Emo joke.
        ” My mom told me idle hand are the devil’s workshop. So I jerked off constantly.”

    3. No, I haven’t. Wow.

    4. I’m sure there are people chronicling and looking into this right now. Since people who are willing to lie on this scale (especially considering what getting caught can do to your career, reputation, and more) tend to do it all the time, I would bet money that at least a few if not more of her previous works are going to turn out to be lies too.

      Erdely is not going to have a Happy New Year.

      1. I’m thinking this may become a new phrase for how to destroy your credibility in a thermo-nuclear fashion, e.g. He Erdely’ed himself on that story.

      2. Since people who are willing to lie on this scale (especially considering what getting caught can do to your career, reputation, and more) tend to do it all the time

        a.k.a. performing up to expectations, a.k.a. promoted into incompetency…

    5. That a person like that must have existed in a country of 350 million(?) renders it unnecessary to actually find her. Write the story and she will come, crawling out of a corn field with shards of glass in her ass. Obama heard the voices of those who didn’t vote in the midterms and Erderly hears the voices of those who didn’t scream, “Rape!”.

  26. Meanwhile, at Raw Story, this is a response I got for insisting that all rape allegations be investigated by the police with no option to merely have the university investigate and discipline internally:

    Wow. That’s fucked up. Any other crimes that you feel should always involve the police? Like if I’m a kid and my brother hits me, should I be forbidden from telling my mom before calling the cops? And if I don’t call the cops, should I be branded a liar out to destroy my brothers reputation if I tell me friends about it?

    I’m so sick of the idea that rape needs to be treated so much differently from other crimes. In no other case would you be telling people that they shouldn’t be allowed to talk about their own experiences without police approval.

    Being hit by your big brother and being violently gang raped on a glass table are the same thing.

    And I guess the university is the mother in this analogy.

    1. Why do you do this to yourself? Raw Story will rot your brain, young man.

      1. And that’s all for me! Marcotte herself showed up and blocked me and a bunch of other people for asking completely logical questions about the wisdom of her post.

      2. HA – says the guy who regularly trolls Salon.

        1. Hey man, I haven’t done that in months. Sometimes I still get withdrawal symptoms and awake in the night screaming ‘RETHUGLICAN! TEABAGGER! RAND PAULTARD!’ but overall my treatment is advancing well.

    2. Who is saying that rape victims are forbidden from talking about their victimization without permission from cops.

      Wait…what is that smell? Oh, fresh hay….

    3. And I guess the university is the mother in this analogy.

      Well….in loco parentis and all.

      1. Her parents are crazy too?

    4. It’s almost as if they are misconstruing their opponents arguments or something.

    5. Wait a second… didn’t you tell me you got banned from there? You went back?

      I got banned from there for saying ‘opposition to affirmative consent does not mean I am a Rapist’

      I recently got a one-post ban from ‘Vocative’ for saying that this kind of ‘dirt digging’ was scummy

      because like, its not bad enough the guy has to worry about Al Qaeda ever trying to kill *him*

      1. I have a secondary email address that I used. I don’t know, my girlfriend says I have a problem.

        1. There’s still hope. When you’ve gone throught the list of anonymous email address services, getting each domain banned in turn, it’s time to sit down with the family and admit you have a problem.

          That or program a bot to do all that shit for you.

  27. I must be out of the loop but what has Shia Lebouf claimed?

    1. That she was raped while sitting in a chair doing some performance art. Poor thing.

      1. Wait a minute…the performance art piece was #IAMSORRY.

        Sorry for what?

        Ok Notorious, here I go again. This is like a wave of religious fanaticism where after one believer has a vision there is a rash of others.

        Notice I am saying that these fanatics are acting the same way other fanatics act. I am not focusing on the theist angle. It could be Moonies, Commies, Environuts, etc.

        I simply picked that example because it has happened so often.

        1. One of the advantages of reading history and getting older is that it makes you more aware of how much intellectual fads and moral panics influence public discourse. The current “rape on campus” fad looks a lot like the “Satanic day cares” of the ’80s.

      2. Revenge for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

        1. Was there ever a Revenge of the Crystal Skullfuck?

    2. That seven frat guys took him into a darkened room and….well….you know!

    3. What’s a Shia Lebouf?

      1. Hard to spell?

      2. Its a pretentious skhish-kebab joint in Basra, Iraq

      3. Basically the same as a Shiite LeBouf but they are both too busy killing each other to explain the difference to anyone

    4. That he said “Stop sucking my dick or I’ll call the police!”

  28. It’s shameful that people didn’t believe Ruby Bates and Victoria Price.

  29. I continue to believe the expression “Moral Narcissism” is far too under-utilized.

    These “ostentatious showings of belief” – jumping up and waving their arms about how much they are prepared to any claims of victimization accept without question -are so much ‘social signaling’ which has nothing to do with *actual violence/crimes/rape/abuse*

    Its basically like a left-wing version of the I SUPPORT THE TROOPS yellow-ribbons on trees, cars, lapel pins, etc.

    Sure some of those people donate money to causes and actually ‘get involved’ in issues; but for the most of them its so much TEAM-SPIRIT cheerleading that requires zero actual effort or knowledge of the issues*

    (*i was once chastised by a stranger when I was describing the movie ‘Restropo’ to someone else at an airport bar. They thought i was being critical of ‘the troops’; when i asked them if they personally thought the mission in the Korengal valley was well-conceived, they started talking about WMD intelligence as though i was criticizing ‘Iraq’; they didnt know where Korengal was)

    I “I believe” bullshit is like a Giant Foam Finger that says PROGRESSIVES WIN EVEN WHEN WE LOSE

    1. Moral Narcissism is directly correlated to Identity Politics.

      When your views are determined by your identity, you cannot be wrong. This leads to people adopting views based solely on pragmatism (principals over principles) and to moral narcissism.

      How can you attack me about [insert issue here]? I’m a [insert politically correct victim group], and we have had life so hard because of [insert pseudoscientific moral preening]. You are against equality and fairness, and are a [insert derogatory description of an opponent of the politically correct victim group] if you don’t support [insert issue here].

      Identity Politics, Political Correctness, Moral Narcissism, Low-Information Partisan… all ways of describing different facets of the same phenomenon.

      1. This is all true, and moral narcissism is a great term. Another aspect: once you have defined The Most Urgent Problem Of Our Time, you are excused from normal moral restraints. You can block roads, loot business, and burn buildings, and it’s all good because the people you have inconvenienced or stolen from Need To Understand The Serious Of The Problem. You can have the fun of destroying things for a Good Cause.

        1. And because the “egalitarian” utopia you’re creating is so perfect, that no amount of injustice incurred to get there is not ‘worth it.’

          Like Mao admonished, revolution is not a dinner party. So ‘let impure blood water the furrows of our fields.’ (from the French national anthem, written by a Jacobin).

    2. I would say this is very true for your average Facebook douchebag who puts up posts about this stuff and has VERY IMPORTANT THOUGHTS on it and the like.

      But for the Erdleys of this world, for the obsessed feminists, there’s something else going on here. They revel in the lurid, horrific details. The reason it was able to be sold to them so easily was because of the extreme, hard-to-believe (by normal people) nature of the story, not despite it.

      It’s like school administrators spinning tales about “rainbow parties”. Extreme detail about teenage girls sucking cock wantonly in a way that pretty much anyone sane would go “uh…that sounds pretty unbelievable”; yet those who do go for it are all about those details. Those details are what attract them to the story.

      I’m going to harp on this again: this rape obsession reminds me of nothing so much as vehement anti-gay activists going into lurid, extreme detail about just what terrible sexual acts those horrible sodomite deviants are up to. You can basically see them licking their lips as they tell the story.

      1. I think that falls into the identity politics box as well. Think about Saving Private Ryan. There are good guys, bad guys, and you know how it’s going to end.

        Why, then, do people watch? That movie is gruesome and disgusting in certain parts, as we watch the good guys get disemboweled in horrifying ways. It seems like we would much prefer a sanitized propaganda piece. What is missing from those sanitized pieces is the concept of heroic sacrifice. You just can’t replicate heroic sacrifice without impressing on your audience the dire consequences of that sacrifice. In Saving Private Ryan, it’s watching men gather their intestines in their hands and cry for their mothers as they bleed out. For the feminists, it’s reliving a gruesome and horrifying rape word-by-word. By doing so, the good guys become heroes, and their sacrifice is honored. The bad guys are hated even more for inflicting this pain on the heroes.

        Why didn’t Saving Private Ryan spur an entire generation of pacifists? You would think that people being exposed to that near-real depiction of war would sour their taste for it. It’s for the same reason that these feminists almost appear to want college girls to be raped… they need heroes to be knighted because without heroes, they don’t have a war to fight. End the war? Why would they do that? It is who they are. They’re the good guys, and they will defeat the bad guys, even if they have to make the bad guys up.

        1. There’s a difference between watching horrific movie violence and wincing but understanding that this is intended to make the sacrifices of some real people that more vivid, and latching onto a completely unbelievable story because it pushes all your buttons, even if the story is so over the top that the only person who would believe is someone who wants to believe it.

          It’s my belief that incredible, difficult-for-normal-people-to-believe stories say far more about those who believe them than people realize. Conspiracy theorists are an excellent example of this phenomenon. In fact, in this case, the people who fully bought into the story are essentially conspiracy theorists who in their heart of hearts just know frats and frat boys are existential evil, like people who believe in the Illuminati or ZOG or whatever. They’re exactly the same, they just obsess about different stuff.

          They don’t need heroes. They just want confirmation that all the conspiracies they believe in are true. And they’re willing to be extra crispy friend stupid when presented with something too good to be true.

  30. If you’re so innocent, why won’t you admit that you’re not?

  31. Also, Sabrina Erdley is fucking OBSESSED with rape. Obsessed.

    Here are archives from her personal website where she lists some of her work. She’s got an article about Catholic priests raping people (which, incidentally, also might be inaccurate. I read an article today claiming that the boy she interviewed has changed his story 4 times, and that there may very well be priests in prison for a rape they didn’t commit). She then has articles about a rape in the army (which I’ve also heard rumblings has factual inaccuracies), multiple articles on women getting stalked and assaulted, an article on domestic abuse, and an article on a gynecologist who would non-consensually finger his patients.

  32. Bleeding Heart Libertarians on UVA Rape Culture

    “Among the (many) steps that UVa’s campus community must take to repair the wrong of rape-culture on campus, one change that must be on the list is scaling back all the TJ talk. Thomas Jefferson was a rapist. If UVa is serious about changing their longstanding tolerance for rape, they should start by withdrawing any idolization of their founder- who not only owned hundreds of people he also had an ongoing sexual relationship with Sally Hemings, whom he never freed.

    Although there are many definitions of rape and sexual assault, let’s agree that sex without the presence or possibility of consent is rape. Under the institution of slavery, people who are legally enslaved do not consent to work. They work because they are implicitly or explicitly threatened with death or violence, and those threats violate slave’s rights. In other words, slavery is forced or coerced labor. Similarly if a slave owner has sex with a slave she cannot consent, because if she refuses (just as if she refused work) she could be killed or otherwise assaulted and she would have no legal rights. In other words, sex with a slave is forced sex, which is rape.

    That’s why Thomas Jefferson was a rapist.

    It seems strange to me that I need to spell this out, but when the President of UVa approvingly quotes Jefferson in a letter about rape culture apparently it needs to be said.”

    1. I’ve been saying this for years, although I would certainly take it a step further, to really show our support for the reformation of rape culture.

      Personally, I think we should burn the Declaration of Independence and never speak of it again.

      1. I favor tearing down Monticello, scorching the Earth around it for 5 miles in every direction, and then sowing the fields with salt such that nothing shall grow there again.

        After that, we’ll cross the ocean and bomb the shit out of the Palace of Versailles, because it’s wrong for tourists to enjoy a beautiful building which was constructed through wealth appropriated by a privileged aristocracy.

        1. Will you at least let some of us move before the carpet bombing?

        2. Maybe there’s a middle ground between idolizing and what you’re talking about?

          1. Sure, it’s called recognizing that those people were human and a product of their time. Therefore, we should only “idolize” their ideas and not them as a whole. We should also call out as repugnant their ideas that have not withheld the test of time when they are touted as good ideas.

            I don’t see the same need that you appear to see in qualifying anything said by an imperfect person based upon their individual sins.

            1. Feel the same way about a guy like Woodrow Wilson? After all, Progressivism and racism permeated his time.

              1. Feel the same way about a guy like Woodrow Wilson? After all, Progressivism and racism permeated his time.

                Yes. If there were a school named after Woodrow Wilson where the kids talked about Woodrow Wilson I wouldn’t care whatsoever.

                We’re not all whiny bitches, Bo. I’m sure Shakespeare had some untoward beliefs given that he lived in the late 1500’s/early 1600’s, so should we stop letting people have Bard Festivals due to Shakespeare’s unfortunate depiction of Jews in Merchant of Venice?

                John Milton treated his daughters horribly! Let’s strike Paradise Lost from the canon, lest our children be corrupted by his foul mistreatment of his children!

                Moreover, what the people are idolizing about him is relevant. The people at U-VA idolize Jefferson for his democratic ideals, not because he was a slave owner.

                Mandela advocated Communism and his wife was pro-terrorism. Should we not applaud him for helping to rid Africa of polio because of his ideals that we find less palatable?

                1. Ah, but Irish, you don’t idolize Shakespeare for being a champion of liberty, so if he owned slaves let’s say you’re right that wouldn’t diminish his skills as a wordsmith. Jefferson, on the other hand, is revered for his love of liberty, as he willingly engaged in the single most abhorrent practice under that ideal possible.

                  1. Hypocrites can still be right, ya know. If it was found that the guy who invented the condom had knowingly and personally infected thousands of people with STDs through unprotected sex, would that be a reason to stop using condoms?

                    Odd choice of example in retrospect.

              2. I wouldn’t care if Wilson were a racist or not if it didn’t lead him to actively hurt nonwhite people by re-segregating the civil service after decades of it being open to blacks.

                1. That sticks in your craw, but TJ’s owning black people doesn’t? Wow.

            2. That post exhibits the error of presentism.

              1. So, Woodrow’s ok with you too?

                1. So, Woodrow’s ok with you too?

                  Yes, Bo. No one here would bitch about this, no matter how much you desire to pretend we’re hypocrites on this issue so that you can have a little smugfest.

                2. Noooo, and it’s not really the same thing. One can condemn historical figures for their actions, but it becomes the error of presentism when it involves projecting today’s morality into the past. The BHL piece uses a modern definition of “rape.” If Jefferson and Hemings did have a consensual relationship, nobody then would have considered it rape, because it did not involve force or a threat of force.

                  I don’t have to redefine any terms in order to condemn Wilson.

                  1. So your distinction is sleeping with your slave is a modern redefinition of rape? Wow. You realize that’s because we see something TJ didn’t, that slavery vitiates consent and natural rights.

                3. So, Woodrow’s ok with you too?

                  You must’ve missed the entire point yet again. The point is to stop with the ad hominem bullshit when discussing ideas. Using a Thomas Jefferson quote is not the same as endorsing every action that Thomas Jefferson has taken.

                  If you were to scrounge around and find a Woodrow quote that I agreed with, my agreement doesn’t make me into a Progressive. It also doesn’t mean that I agree with his racism.

                  1. Have you been to UVA? It’s a bit more than the occasional quoting of TJ going on up there.

                    And you still don’t get it: if you want to use a quote from Wilson about federalism, go nuts, his racism doesn’t make that quote absurd. But if you quoted him on racial tolerance it would be a rhetorical nightmare, like quoting a rapist on combating rape or a slave owner on liberty.

                    1. What if it is the quote that one likes, regardless of the person who said it? If he stated a case more incisively than any one else ever did, I don’t see why we should avoid reusing it because of what he did.

                      I have a feeling this notion ends with me not being allowed to enjoy Wagner’s operas because he was antisemitic, or quote Nietzsche on just about anything.

                    2. When I listen to Wagner I get an itch to invade Poland. And Bo Cara Esq., if that is your real name, repeating a tu quoque fallacy over and over ad nauseum does not make it valid.

                    3. …no but it shows how us again and again how dumb he is.

    2. Proof that Rape Culture is real. George III and Lord North are heroic defenders of women’s rights.

    3. Similarly if a slave owner has sex with a slave she cannot consent, because if she refuses (just as if she refused work) she could be killed or otherwise assaulted and she would have no legal rights. In other words, sex with a slave is forced sex, which is rape.

      The evidence suggests his relationship with Sally Hemmings was consensual. Indeed, while in Paris with Jefferson during his duties as ambassador to France both Hemmings and her brother could have elected to remain and be de facto emancipated since the new French Republic did not recognize slavery.

      That and the sheer longevity of their relationship and the fact that she was a relation of his late wife suggest there was no coercion involved beyond the impropriety of making an advance on someone who is subservient to you.

      1. AFAIK there is also no conclusive evidence that he’s the father of any of her children, and Thomas also had a wastrel brother who is a suspect as a father of one of them, but even that’s unproven.

      2. “while in Paris with Jefferson during his duties as ambassador to France both Hemmings and her brother could have elected to remain and be de facto emancipated ”
        Didn’t he own other family members back home?

    4. Hey Bo, remember how you bitch and moan about how the conservatives on this site should go complain on Breitbart? Perhaps you should go whine on Bleeding Heart Libertarians instead. They seem to be more tailored more towards your brand of self-righteous moral superiority libertarianism.

      1. I guess it pains some to be reminded how difficult principle is.

        1. Says the man who deflects when it’s pointed out that he has directly benefited from slavery in the 21st century.

          1. You have a pretty tortured definition of ‘directly’ as well as your laughable analogy to Jefferson’s life long direct and actual ownership of other human beings.

            1. Like opposing militarized policing while ignoring how the Civil War and Reconstruction where accomplished by the US Army.

            2. You own electrical devices that are a product of forced human labour, that’s pretty damn direct. I’m not making an analogy to Jefferson’s views and actions regarding slavery, I’m pointing out the fact that you’re a moral hypocrite who proclaims your superiority while ignoring the consequences of your own purchasing habits. You talk about ‘principles’ but do not hold yourself to them.

              1. Basically, I expect holier than thou people to actually hold themselves to the standards they expect of others. You do not.

                1. You’re analogy is hilarious. A product I bought might have had a component in it procured at some point by some modern equivalent of slavery = enthusiastically owning and running a slave plantation!

                  1. Once again, you deflect, ignoring basically everything I’ve written in order to argue with a pre-constructed notion.

                    You specifically cite Jefferson and others use of slavery as a means to discredit their writings. You talk constantly of maintaining principles and your own moral superiority. But when someone points out your own moral failings it’s deflect, deflect, deflect. You refuse to hold yourself to the principles that you claim should discredit others.

                    So what, slavery is suddenly far more acceptable when it’s you benefiting on a smaller scale? It shouldn’t discredit anything you have to say in regards to liberty just because it’s you? This isn’t a matter of degrees, either benefiting from slavery discredits your views on liberty or it does not. So what’s your stance on slavery Bo? It’s only acceptable when you get shiny devices out of it? You should be willing to admit your own moral failings on the subject if you feel so strongly about it. But from what I’ve seen you’re far too narcissistic towards your own moral superiority to actually hold yourself to the standards you expect.

                    1. So what’s your stance on slavery Bo?

                      He’s for it, as long as it’s teh Joooss being enslaved.

                      Well and pseudo-Jooz; however he defines them on any give day.

      2. Libertarians who talk about “social justice” are missing something critical about libertarianism. Hint: there’s no such thing as “group justice.”

        1. Is BHL as bad as I think? Filled with pretentious pseudo-intellectual babbling that the progs aren’t totally wrong?

          1. Is BHL as bad as I think? Filled with pretentious pseudo-intellectual babbling that the progs aren’t totally wrong?

            It’s worse than you think. There was a writer there who argued in favor of parenting licenses.

            1. Try not to vomit.

              Over the last few years, with a clearer window into the world of bad parenting, I have come to think parental licensing would be well worthwhile, even in a libertarian state. So here is the controversial part:

              3. The state should require parents to be licensed. That is, there is no moral right to raise a child, and we would do well to think of it as a privilege that the state grants and can refrain from granting to certain individuals. If you don’t like that way of putting it, I am comfortable with a weaker claim: whatever moral right to raise a child there might be is defeated when the parent-to-be is significantly likely to cause the child substantial and avoidable harm, or, of course, if the parent does cause the child such harm. Those that should be refused a license to parent a child are those who are likely, in parenting, to harm the child. Those that should have a parenting license revoked are those who do harm the child. (In our society, the latter is called “termination of parental rights” because there is an assumption of such rights. Its worth pointing out that I have not seen a good defense of the claim that natural biological parents should be assumed to have the right to raise the child they create.)

              There is no way this could be abused to prevent ‘undesirables’ from raising children. No way.

              1. FFS Irish, you might as well be trolling Salon.

              2. Much as I think so many parents are abysmal at parenting and should never have reproduced, I’m pretty sure you average child services employee is borderline retarded and about as qualified to make decisions about who can raise kids as a convicted pedophile.

                Instead, we should probably just make the government stop rewarding stupid people for having kids and punishing smart people for having them, as it implicitly does now.

        2. Libertarians who talk about “social justice”…


          1. Any form of “Social Justice” that is libertarian is so far removed from what is the usual definition that using it meaningless. Unsurprisingly Sheldon Richman who talks about “social justice” doesn’t think “socialism” is too bad yet “capitalism” is too far gone.

            1. I am perfectly OK with libertarians being concerned about justice, and even all the things “social justice” types are concerned with. I just insist on saying the term is bogus, and leads to all sorts of fallacies and errors.

        3. As I understand it, these days, if someone adds the word ‘social’ before another word, it usually negates the other word. ‘Social justice’ is for people for whom justice isn’t good enough; they need to do injustices to people in order to achieve some hypothetical greater good.

          1. Like social sciences! And social worker. Social security. You seem to be right.

    5. Wasn’t Sally the first Mrs. Jefferson’s half-sister?

  33. I think Sheldon Richman should write some articles on how libertarians are Communists because we support Communities, Nazis because we supported national socialization, fascists because we want the people to have power and socons since we want to conserve society.

  34. Is anybody surprised at this? What would you expect when your hangman’s noose and swastika hoaxes no longer get any rise from anybody?

  35. Anyone who’s seen Freddy Got Fingered knows how easy it is to make up an accusation!

  36. For what it is worth, my daughter, who works in the music industry, lives in Brooklyn, use to loved Obama just emailed me this:

    “Fuck Lena Dunham. Voice of a generation my ass.”

    There may be hope.

    1. No hope – because no one wants to fuck Lena Dunham. Even the guy who took her virginity couldn’t finish the deed.

  37. Given Erderly’s obvious laziness, I have to wonder if she didn’t make the whole thing up herself. She wouldn’t be the first “journalist” to pull a story out of her ass to further her career.


  38. Suggested new Libertarian T-Shirt:

    Without evidence – I DON’T BELIEVE !

  39. A Lot of people besides Rice believed Saddam had WMD. John Kerry for instance.

  40. Whether it be guns, drugs or anything under Sun the new American standard is not to punish individual citizens not for crimes they have committed, but to punish huge swathes of society for their potential ability to commit particular crimes. Nothing new with the Rolling Stone demanding lynchings without a shred of evidence. All men are potential rapist and must be dealt with as such. Just trying to recall when the Rolling Stone was “a once-respectable magazine.”

    1. Ignore either the first or second “not” in the first line.

    2. This is how I explained growing up in a socialist society to my American wife:

      Think back to when you were in school.

      Do you remember being punished for eating candy, unless you brought enough for everyone?

      When someone did something bad, but had not been identified by the teacher: Do you remember the entire class being punished, unless they ratted that person out, or that person came forward willingly?

      That’s what living under socialism is like.

      1. Try not to be an idiot. In the mid1960s it was routine to punish an entire class until the miscreant stepped forward.

        Socialism? Thanks god under capitalism we only have to deal with lies about WMDs.

  41. We need to think about the broader climate

    And the CO2 causes Climate Change brand of credulists.

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  43. Yesterday I picked up a brand new Lotus Esprit after making $6059 this ? 4 weeks past an would you believe $10 thousand this past-month; this is actually the most-comfortable work I’ve had . I actually started 10-months ago and pretty much immediately got minimum $80 per-hr .

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  44. Innocent until proven guilty is good, but on the flip side, don’t go to the other extreme and assume all women are lying. Being accused of lying is enough to keep me from pressing charges against one of my abusers (the other is past the 20 year statute of limitations). Being that it happened when I was 12-14 I don’t know how I’d go about proving it, anyway.

    It pisses me off that someone would lie about being sexually abused as a way to get attention. Are their lives really that boring? I can only hope this “Jackie” bitch never has to experience sexual abuse. The resulting ongoing psychological issues aren’t something I’d wish on my worst enemy.

    1. how about “I’m concerned, but I will reserve judgement until I’ve seen the evidence.”

  45. I have the answer: Body cameras for all men on campus!
    Sometimes the video will provide firm evidence, but more often, the women will simply stay miles away, out of fear of embarrassment.

  46. The only real antidote to the “false rape accusation culture” in which we live is simply to not believe any accusation made through the media and not the police.

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