colleges

Nicole Eramo Wins: Rolling Stone Committed Defamation in UVA Rape Article

Sabrina Rubin Erdely's actions meet 'actual malice' test.

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UVA
Public Domain

University of Virginia Dean of Students Nicole Eramo put Rolling Stone on trial for libeling her in its infamous, demonstrably false article about a gang rape on campus. And she won.

On Friday afternoon, a jury determined that Rolling Stone, publisher Jann Wenner, and author Sabrina Rubin Erdely were responsible for defamation, with actual malice, according to The Washington Post.

Earlier, a judge had ruled that Eramo—who was wrongly portrayed as indifferent to sexual assault victims in the article—should be considered a public person, which meant she had to prove actual malice on the part of Rolling Stone, not just recklessness. Many thought this higher standard was too difficult to meet, but as I noted in my preview of the case, Eramo's argument was much more compelling than people understood—in large part because the magazine failed to retract the article for months even though it knew Jackie's account was false.

As I wrote then, "essentially, Eramo has claimed that Rolling Stone continued to expose new readers to false information about the dean, long after its editors admitted to realizing the story was false."

Rolling Stone and its publisher tried to argue that they made an innocent mistake: they trusted Jackie, a woman wholly committed to deceiving them. During the trial, Wenner went as far as to suggest that the article was accurate, aside from Jackie's account—as if the two were capable of being separated. He even said that he disagreed with the editor's decision to retract it, which was done only after the Columbia University School of Journalism released a scathing report about Rolling Stone's failings.

Erdely took the stand as well, emphasizing the elaborate pains Jackie took to prop up her lies. Jackie even brought Erdely to the fraternity in question and faked an episode of PTSD in front of her.

Of course, Jackie's lie would have been exposed had Erdely or Rolling Stone's editors done one of two things: press her for the real name of her attacker, or verify that friends Ryan Duffin, Alex Stone, and Kathryn Hendley had actually said the things attributed to them by Jackie. Indeed, Ryan and Alex could have clued Erdely in to Jackie's weird catfishing scheme, and Kathryn could have related an illustrative anecdote: Jackie faking a terminal illness and spread a false rumor that Kathryn had contracted syphilis.

Eramo's suit asked for $7.5 million in damages, though she can ask for more now that the verdict has been reached. It's not a large enough sum of money to destroy Rolling Stone, though the magazine's pride is no doubt wounded. Rolling Stone sent me this statement:

For almost 50 years, Rolling Stone has aimed to produce journalism with the highest reporting and ethical standards, and with a strong humanistic point of view. When we published 'A Rape on Campus' in 2014, we were attempting to tackle the very serious and complex topic of sexual assault on college campuses, a subject that is more relevant today than ever. In our desire to present this complicated issue from the perspective of a survivor, we overlooked reporting paths and made journalistic mistakes that we are committed to never making again. We deeply regret these missteps and sincerely apologize to anyone hurt by them, including Ms. Eramo. It is our deep hope that our failings do not deflect from the pervasive issues discussed in the piece, and that reporting on sexual assault cases ultimately results in campus policies that better protect our students. We will continue to publish stories that shine a light on the defining social, political and cultural issues of our times, and we will continue to seek the truth in every story we publish.

You might recall that I was among the first journalists to scrutinize the article, days after it first appeared online. (My post on the subject cited Richard Bradley, whose criticisms had appeared even earlier.) It's been quite a journey from then to now—remember this? I didn't—but my point-of-view has always remained the same: the campus sexual assault issue is a complicated problem made more incomprehensible by bad statistics, junk science, and activist reporting coming from all sorts of ideological directions.

If we're going to make college a safer environment—for both victims of sexual assault, and the wrongfully accused and maligned—the truth has got to matter more than the story.

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NEXT: Jury finds Rolling Stone and Sabrina Erdely acted with reckless disregard of falsehood in "Rape on Campus" story

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  1. Wenner went as far as to suggest that the article was accurate, aside from Jackie’s account

    “Everything was true except the facts and the premise!”

    1. And the conclusion….and the background, and the perp’s name…and….

      1. Well, there is a University in Virginia, and Eramo is/was the dean of said University.

        2 out 178 ain’t so bad, right?

        1. Phi Kappa Psi is a fraternity on the UVA campus. It’s 3 things!

          1. I invite Eramo and other UVA officials to join my campaign to re-criminalize libel, in consonance with the major steps recently taken in New York to suppress inappropriately deadpan Gmail “parody” of a well-connected academic department chairman. Surely neither Eramo, nor any of her distinguished colleagues, would wish to defend the “First Amendment dissent” of a single, isolated judge in America’s leading criminal “satire” case? See the documentation at:

            http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

          2. I’m making over $17k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. More info this web.. http://www.Trends88.com

        2. They probably got “is” right too.

          1. “It depends upon what the meaning of is is”. – William Jefferson Clinton

            1. My best friend’s ex-wife makes $95/hr on the laptop. She has been unemployed for 6 months but last month her income with big fat bonus was over $15000 just working on the laptop for a few hours.
              Read more on this site… http://www.Trends88.com

        3. I certainly hope not-

          Meatloaf

      2. And the existence of the perp, and….

    2. Finally! There is a great way how you can work online from your home using your computer and earn in the same time… Only basic internet knowledge needed and fast internet connection… Earn as much as $3000 a week… ………………… http://www.jobnet70.com

  2. Wa
    Hoo
    Wa

    1. Univ-V Virgini-a!

      1. Hoo Ray, Hoo Ray

        1. That’s “hoo RAH ray, hoo RAH ray.” What are you, a Hokie?

          1. I swear we didn’t put the “rah” in the middle while I was there (early 90s). Maybe we weren’t taught well?

            1. It flows better with three syllables.

              1. Ya know, I was probably 2-3 SoCo and cokes in every time I sang it, so we shouldn’t rely on my memory.

                1. No worries, i’d been to enough football games to just assume that was the case.

                2. Yeah, I’ve never been able to sing the Good Old Song sober. I would be drunk, and I’d slur something out that sounded vaguely like what everyone else was singing.

                  Basketball tips in a week. Thank you god for delivering me from the neverending torture that is Virginia football.

            2. Yeah we did!

              It was “hoo RAH ray”
              – AND we still wore ties to the football games
              – AND we didnt’ have a “marching” band

              (SEAS 1992)

              1. CLAS ’99. A lot of people still wore ties to the games. I did not. The games were worth going to then. I will always savor the ’95 win over FSU and the ’96 beatdown of Ricky Williams and Texas.

                1. There are a ton of Virginia assholes here.

                  1. I say! Pistols at dawn, sir!

                  2. More like pubic ivies, am I right?

                2. We beat FSU in 2000 too, if i remember correctly. We rushed the field and tried to tear the goalposts down for reasons that don’t make any sense in hindsight.

                  1. We beat USC in 2003. Triple overtime.

                    1. As a devout Gump, I am appalled at the very idea that a CFB program would only have a few games to warm their pigskin hearts. Heck, we have more NC’s than you all have memorable games.

                    2. Yeah? Well we still won the AP National Championship that year and you haven’t beaten us since. This year we only won by 21 points…so there!

                    3. This is directed at Playa

  3. Rolling Stone and its publisher tried to argue that they made an innocent mistake: they trusted Jackie, a woman wholly committed to deceiving them.

    “You fucked up. You trusted us.”

    1. +1 Niedermeyer

      1. Boy is this great!

    2. Rolling Stone was fully commited to forwarding the most sensationalist story they could find. It was a match made in hell.

  4. Robby’s biggest fan reacts.

    It already has a post that has been disappeared:

    Supercallipygianfragilisticexpialidocious
    11/04/16 2:25pm
    Really? Not even a mention here of how wrong you got it? Or an apology? Eramo should have sued you as well.

    1. +1 Masters in Journalism from Columbia University

      1. I’ll confess a certain glee about the fact that Reason’s commentariat will never, ever let her live that down.

        1. Do you think the vindicated Dean will use part of her $7.5 million to pay for the vandalism damage rioters inflicted on the falsely accused fraternity’s house? My guess is “no.”

          1. The frat is also suing Rolling Stone. And nothing Eramo did instigated that damage in the first place.

            1. Oh good. Two whacks on Stoning Roll…… hang em high. Time politically/socially driven liars get their wings clipped.

              Now if we could only get similar action on the lies of “climate change/global warming/global cooling/golbal smarming” we’d collectively save at least a trillion bucks a year, and a bunch of EPA trough-sloppers might have to find REAL jobs.

          2. A separate lawsuit against UVA is still underway: a $25 million suit brought by the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, whose members Erderly reported were involved in the gang rape. A judge denied the magazine’s efforts to get the case thrown out in September.

            They should be ok.

          3. Nothing is stopping the frat from suing RS, Erdley, etc for damages.

          4. It would be awesome if she used it to start a PAC for Trump.

            If I had been fucked over by the SJW’s so badly, I would use a huge chunk of that money to troll them.

      2. Do you know who else has a degree from Columbia and is grossly unqualified for their job?

        1. …Hitler?

        2. Mattress Girl??

        3. Is he a community organizer?

        4. Everybody who went to Columbia?

    2. You go to Jezebel? I thought your psychopathy was all an act?

      1. the comments are somewhat surprisingly sane.

      2. This is the kind of juice that gets proggies’ panties so twisted that they could be chained together and we’d finally have that space elevator we’ve all been tantalized with. How could you turn away?

    3. GunterGrassafrass
      Anna Merlan
      11/04/16 2:14pm
      It really chaps my hide when professionals fuck up their responsibilities and cast doubt on a real problem. That story is “true” in that it’s happening everywhere, so I have to conclude that the reporter was being plain lazy and felt married to her narrative and reporting investment instead of just starting over and finding an actual case elsewhere. Or she could have waited one week and I’m sure there’d be a fresh crop of assaults and organizational negligence to report.

      1. Hey fuck your swift fingers and your willingness to dive into the Jezebel comments.

        1. hey you get some credit for crafting an opinion on this comment.

      2. She’s as mad about it as anyone else!

      3. true” in that it’s happening everywhere

        It’s like that Bigfoot that keeps stealing my lunch from the workroom fridge everyday. Sure, the one Bigfoot I caught turned out to be a guy in a suit, but I stand by my claim that Bigfoot related lunch thefts happen all the time.

        1. STEVE SMITH NOT NEED TO STEAL LUNCH. WOULD RAPE LUNCH INSTEAD.

          1. Whut? I thought some prankster was putting mayo on my sandwich because they knew I didn’t like it.

            Now that I think about it, maybe I would like real mayo and not the STEVE SMITH knockoff version.

            1. Hand cranked artisinal?

              1. It wasn’t the taste that made it so bad as much as the way it made my cheap ass bologna so slimy…

            2. MAN MUSTARD!

              1. STEVE SMITH NOT TECHNICALLY “MAN.” MORE LIKE GIGANTOPITHECUS MUSTARD.

          2. I still laugh at this shit.

          3. Have we caught the pita predator?

        2. You should get a Bigfoot rock. They are a bit more expensive than a tiger rock, but it pays off when you consider the amount of money you don’t have to spend eating out after your lunch is stolen by a Bigfoot.

          1. STEVE SMITH LIKE MAKING VICTIMS EAT OUT.

            1. How about a rape whistle. Powerful enough to deter STEVE SMITH?

              1. all the gorgeous dames I know do carry Rape Whistles. They come in an assortment of sizes, depending on just how loud a noise yuo want to make. The size nine is pretty quiet, the size forty is much louder, the forty five louder yet….. but the REAL noisemaker comes in size 357.

        3. I remember an old Coast to Coast AM episode where a woman called in and talked about how Bigfoot dragged her to a cave in the woods and raped her for several days. Maybe Erdely should have followed up on that, we may have finally got justice for the victims of STEVE SMITH.

          1. STEVE SMITH YOUNG AND IN LOVE THEN. WHAT GONNA DO.

    4. twbb mark 2
      Anna Merlan
      11/04/16 2:37pm
      I do not mean to aim this at Anna (or just at Anna) because I honestly think she very gracefully apologized over it and has been doing great work on the story since then, but I don’t know if Jezebel in terms of the writers or commenters are the best people to tsk over the failure to rigorously fact check Jackie’s story:is-the-uva-rape-story- a-gigantic-hoax-asks-idiot Judging by the comments to that story I am pretty sure a lot of the same commenters would be just as vociferously complaining if: (a) Erdely had written the story but cast doubt about Jackie’s account in it; or even (b) not written the story because she found too many red flags as to its truthfulness.I understand why this is a hot button issue and the frustration women feel over something that has been ignored for decades in higher education, but it does put journalists in a no-win situation sometimes.

      1. This person deserves a gold star.

        1. That’s why they are buried down in the pending comments, a decidedly unsafe space indeed.

    5. Oh boy choice derp from the comments:

      GunterGrassafrassAnna Merlan
      11/04/16 2:14pm
      It really chaps my hide when professionals fuck up their responsibilities and cast doubt on a real problem. That story is “true” in that it’s happening everywhere, so I have to conclude that the reporter was being plain lazy and felt married to her narrative and reporting investment instead of just starting over and finding an actual case elsewhere. Or she could have waited one week and I’m sure there’d be a fresh crop of assaults and organizational negligence to report.

      Every fffffucking time this happens, where someone gets caught in a blatant rape hoax, there’s a chorus of these retards to claim that the problem is, in fact, waaaaaaay worse, even, than it seems! Why, had she waited just one week she would’ve been able to take her pick of sordid frat-rape stories!

      1. If they were capable of logical thought or reason they wouldn’t be regulars on Jezebel. You’re setting the bar way too high these people.

        1. You’re setting the bar way too high these people.

          Force of habit, can’t help myself. You’re right, though.

      2. “Isolated incident.” Amirite?

      3. To be fair, Erdely would have been fine if she was exposing the Baylor football team and the associated cover-ups. That in no way means this person was correct that it is actually “waaaaay worse”, but there are real and credible stories out there if the person is a true journalist and does their job properly.

        1. Oh, absolutely. It’s not to say that rape doesn’t happen, but to think that something as egregious as what was in Erdley’s story happens everywhere, all the time, is just preposterous. If she was doing her job, she probably wouldn’t have found something quite as salacious, but it would’ve served her (and the victim, and the university, etc.) much better in the end.

          1. Absolutely. Ol’ Gunter is just pissed because The Narrative took a hit with Erdley’s carelessness. Not about the actual lies and/or malice involved.

    6. My favorite comment from the article you linked so far:

      I found this really interesting take on the matter when it ws unfolding, so to speak. Here, let me share it with you:

      http://jezebel.com/is-the-uva-…..1665233387

      I can’t stop laughing.

      1. Interestingly enough, her name anagram is “Anal Manner”.

        I’ve even heard* that it’s a name from the Old World meaning “Daft Cunt”.

        *Not really…

      2. So, where the hell is the retraction and apology to Robby?

    7. I love that there’s none of the famous Jizzebel editorializing, just a straight-up reporting of what happened. Wonder how many tears she cried typing that up.

  5. It is our deep hope that our failings do not deflect from the pervasive issues discussed in the piece

    People in Hell are deeply hoping for icewater, too. Every time somebody pulls this kind of bullshit, real victims have to pay the price. And you pricks are only sorry about one thing: you got caught.

  6. [Curses H&R for it’s lack of emoji support]

    1. c===8 isn’t good enough for you?

    2. 😀 —c==8

  7. Will someone please investigate RS over whether they received $ from the Obama admin to pursue this story? It seemed more than coincidental that it was published right around the time they amped up their Title IX investigations of universities for sexual assaults.

    1. Yep, when this story first hit I was thinking “damn this shows the problem to be everything the progressives says it is, its a very provocative piece”.

      I was also thinking the story was a little too perfect….

    2. Please take your conspiracy theory fever dreams to Breitbart.

      1. Homey please. This sort of opinion driving by direction has been part of politics since about forever.

        He’s only wrong about which way the money flows.

      2. I doubt they got paid, but there are links between Merlin and the administration. Too drunk to Google.

        1. My guess is it was more nudging than outright hiring anyone to do this. Officials talk to ‘journalists’ and let them know a policy is in the pipeline and they should publish pieces to hype it up; the ‘journalist’ gets more clicks from a well timed and relevant story; the gov gets public support for the policy.

    3. I would suspect they had more than a hand in this matter, much the same as many people are claiming Clinton Camp wrote the letter to Comey from Weiner’s “victim”.

    4. I suspect RS is plenty cooperative without any payola. And likely decided on their own to help spin the right narrative.

  8. Oh man, do I hope this shitty, tired old magazine finally dies. It’s the fucking Saturday Night Live of magazines. Please break the bank, jury.

    1. You said it, man. Down with Bowling Phone!

      1. Is that like the football phone you used to get with a Sports Illustrated subscription?

        1. I’m trying to get inside Mikey’s pointy little head and you’re asking me to wax logical?

    2. I dont’ think the jury can go above the Ad Damnum, which was something like $7.5M. So that’s the ceiling.
      At least that’s the rule in Va state court

      1. Fed Ct may be diff, I can’t remember.

        1. Isn’t it a state cause of action, diversity jurisdiction? Erie says you apply state rule, yes?

          1. Substantive state law gets applied, but state procedural law doesn’t. I thought the Ad Damnum rule was considered procedural so would not not apply in fed ct. in a diversity situation. I could be wrong.

          2. Which now that I ‘talk’ it through would mean the jury CAN go above the AD.
            Its Friday I guess.

            1. Let’s see…ah, the amount you ask for is what you get if the defendant doesn’t show up. But the defendant *did* show up, and maybe they’ll wish they hadn’t?

      2. Attorney for Eramo says they want more, and the Fraternity is going after $25 million.

        Sadly RS generates over $100 million in revenue per year so they aren’t gonna die that easy.

        I’ll be happy if they make Matt Taibbi go cover the revolution in Venezuela so they can capture him as an American agent and he can finally eat his stupid anti-capitalism words for his dinner.

        I do not like that person very much.

        1. I’m sure Rolling Stone has insurance. Their rates will skyrocket, but I’m sure they’ll be around a good while longer. It’ll take until the younger Boomers are room temperature, then you can pull the curtain down.

    3. Hey, without RS, we may never have gotten Cameron Crowe and the movies “Almost Famous” and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”. Just sayin’.

      1. No one is saying RS didn’t have it’s moments. I loved PJ O’Rourke’s writing, for example. It’s just that it has devolved into mostly 500 best lists and sloppy Left-wing cheerleading.

    4. They should cancelled the magazine and wrapped Hunter S. Thompson’s corpse in every remaining last copy before they cremated him. When he died they lost their last claim to the counter-culture.

      1. Dr Thompson RIP

  9. If I were on the jury, I’d pile the damages to the sky…

  10. Instead of cracking open bottles of champaign for being among the first to question this story and advance the cause of ethics in journalism, it is reported that Reason’s staff cracked open bottles of Suave and Robby’s hair is currently luxuriating in celebration.

    1. That’s just another day that ends in -y.

    2. “Ethics in journalism” is reminds me of cold fusion: they’ll figure it out in just 20 years.

  11. For almost 50 years, Rolling Stone has aimed to produce journalism with the highest reporting and ethical standards

    …but we got tired of that, so we went in a different direction.

    1. I can’t comment on the first 20 years, but that doesn’t seem to have been the case for the last 30.

  12. Found this on Reddit in response to a comment that was talking about how Clinton will be remembered if she loses to Trump, and stated that she’d be remembered for losing to Trump due to her scandals. This was a response:

    “What scandals?

    I guarantee you that if she somehow loses, she’ll be remembered more or less the way like Dred Scott is today: evidence of the absolute and utter evil of a majority of the US public during this point of time in history. In even a decade, people will be laughing about “emails”, as if there was some scandal to them, especially in light of the GOP and Trump.”

    Yes, Hillary Clinton is literally the modern-day Dred Scott. Not getting elected POTUS is literally the same thing as being a slave with no rights.

    1. Peak Derp is unattainable.

      1. But one can approach the Derp Horizon, yes?

        1. Seems plausible. Derp could be potentially so dense that sense and reason may be forced to orbit it, never quite escaping, but never falling in to become derp.

        2. Only before it blows up and spills derp oil into the Gulf of Derpxico

        3. The closer you think you are to it , the faster it moves away from you.

          It is whole new set of equations…

    2. It will be 100 times worse than the whining about Gore losing.

      All about how Comey invented a big email scandal out of thin air just because he hates wimmen.

      And don’t think you will be able to counter their story by pointing out the FBI’s treatment of Ted Stevens just before the election.

      If he hadn’t lost (or if Minnesoda hadn’t let felons vote for Franken) the senate wouldn’t have been able to jam Obamacare through.

    3. That is just one possible future which we could live in.

    4. I got a meme on my Derpbook yesterday that basically said you are misogynist if you believe she is guilty for e-mails…wait for it…”she did not even write”. Cleaning the brains from my computer screen after my head exploded was a chore.

      1. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your simple friends.

    5. What’s sad is, he’s likely right.

  13. I was reading the Daily Mail article on the subject, and encountered another horrific story:

    Realtor’s house of horror begins to gives up its grim secrets: One body is found on sprawling 100-acre property where missing girl was discovered chained in a container and her boyfriend is feared dead

    Woman missing since August found chained up in a large metal container
    Kala Brown, 30, was discovered by police on a South Carolina property
    Woodruff Police said she was ‘chained inside the container like a dog’
    Brown told police four bodies could have been buried on the property
    The man who owns the land, Todd Kohlhepp, is a registered sex offender
    Brown’s friends revealed the 30-year-old was working for Kohlhepp
    30-year-old was last seen with her boyfriend, Charlie Carver, in August
    Dogs searching the property found a second body about 1pm on Friday

    1. Good thing he was in compliance with those no go zones for sex offenders

    2. True Detective?

  14. What will Robbo do to celebrate? Why, eat some fruit sushi and get his hair did of course.

    1. That’s just another day that ends in -y.

    2. Will that sushi be enjoyed off the bellies of various supermodels?

      1. naked supermodels?

        *hopes

        1. Naked male supermodels.

  15. When we published ‘A Rape on Campus’ in 2014, we were attempting to tackle the very serious and complex topic of sexual assault on college campuses, a subject that is more relevant today than ever.

    The story was written. The type was set. We just needed a victim heroine.

  16. Phi kappa psi is going to eat them alive

    1. As a prank?

      1. Pledge task

        1. +1 soggy biscuit

    2. Were they mentioned in the RS article? Three guys who were active members at the time of the alleged incident tried to sue in federal court, but their suit was dismissed because they (as individuals) were not named in the story.

      1. The frat as an organization has been cleared to continue their suit, but the individuals weren’t named, just described in a way that might identify them.

      2. The national Phi Psi organization has a pending suit, and most of the law-talkin’ guys I know thought they had a stronger case than Eramo did.

  17. The best part of this story is the Stephen Glass connection:

    Sabrina Rubin, who says she and the rest of the editorial board “adored” [Stephen Glass], puts it another way: “There are reporters who get ahead because they’re great schmoozers, and I think Steve was definitely one of them.” When he became the paper’s executive editor, the editorial board hailed him as a “man of principle,” and in her Philadelphia Magazine piece, Rubin describes how Glass threw a righteous fit when she and a colleague concocted a funny and obviously made-up travel story for 34th Street?going so far as to call an emergency session of the [Daily Pennsylvanian’s] Alumni Association board to apprise them of the transgression.

  18. The best part of this story is the Stephen Glass connection:

    Sabrina Rubin, who says she and the rest of the editorial board “adored” [Stephen Glass], puts it another way: “There are reporters who get ahead because they’re great schmoozers, and I think Steve was definitely one of them.” When he became the paper’s executive editor, the editorial board hailed him as a “man of principle,” and in her Philadelphia Magazine piece, Rubin describes how Glass threw a righteous fit when she and a colleague concocted a funny and obviously made-up travel story for 34th Street?going so far as to call an emergency session of the [Daily Pennsylvanian’s] Alumni Association board to apprise them of the transgression.

  19. Good on ya Robby this was excellent research & reporting on your part from the start

    1. In order to praise Rico, you will need to do a back handed compliment. He will not accept open praise as truthful around here.

      1. Rico’s only addiction has to do with the female species, he eats ’em raw like fruit sushi

        1. ^Tulpa

          1. I don’t comment much just lurk but now I feel like I truly belong 😀

            1. Congrats. I’m glad your initiation was positive.

              I think my first acknowledgement from the commentariat was from Palin’s Buttplug. A very bad way to break your cherry.

              1. Yeesh. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Not even being sarcastic.

            2. Your membership packet is in the mail. And, yes, it’s supposed to be damp like that.

              1. Warning: Membership packet is not a toy. Do not drop, bend, crinkle, fold, or fondle membership packet. Do not allow women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant to handle membership packet. Keep membership packet away from electrical outlets, open flames, and domestic animals. Do not expose membership packet to direct sunlight. Keep membership packet between 64 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. If membership packet begins to emit smoke, locusts, or horrifying imprecations in deservedly dead languages, immediately evacuate the premises and alert the Vatican. Do not taunt membership packet.

                1. If your membership packet does not go away after 4 hours, you should contact a physician immediately.

        2. God damn you. Now I have goddamn ‘Rico Suave’ running through my head.

        3. God damn you. Now I have goddamn ‘Rico Suave’ running through my head.

          1. It’s the price you pay for being a gigolo.

      2. If they truly wanted to honor Rico, they would have turned in the verdict late and then when they did give the judge the verdict, it would have only said “not” and made him work.

    2. Thank the hair, it does all the work. Robby is just along for the ride.

      1. ^This guy gets it.

  20. I was unable to determine from the WaPo story, the Charlottesville TV reporters tweets, etc. whether the jury findings were actually THE SAME for both Erdely and Rolling Stone/Wenner

    meaning = Erdely was found guilty of (6counts) of defamation w/ malice.

    But if the “w/malice” component is missing from the findings againsts RS & Wenner, then they aren’t necessarily going to be liable for damages.

    This writer here helps clarify some of that. ‘Proving “defamation by implication” is irrelevant.’

    The judge decided at the beginning of the trial that the standard here was going to require a finding of malice. Sans that, Rolling Stone may not actually owe anyone a nickel.

    (*and if that’s the case – despite the findings against Erdely, i doubt that she *has* a nickel, so the decision may yield little in the way of damages)

    I know Robby’s self-back-patting is crucial stuff that bears repeating, but maybe some attempt to clarify those details should made eventually?

    1. (*and if that’s the case – despite the findings against Erdely, i doubt that she *has* a nickel, so the decision may yield little in the way of damages)

      Maybe Eramo can win her college loan debt… you know, like in a divorce?

      1. *win Erdely’s college loan debt* to be more clear.

    2. The ruling that she was a public person required proving malice. Rolling Stone was found guilty, therefore it was with malice.

      I know your number one priority is whining about Robby, but a little reading comprehension will go a long way.

      1. The ruling that she was a public person required proving malice. Rolling Stone was found guilty, therefore it was with malice.

        its weird that all the reporting (every source I’ve checked so far) has specified it in the mention of Erdely, but not in the case of RS or Wenner.

        Save the ad hom, dude. I get it.

        1. RS and Wenner were both liable for three claims, Erdley for six

          1. No mention of malice in the case of the latter may mean they’re not liable for damages.

          2. ABC news here is now claiming that they are all the same =

            he jury concluded that the journalist, the magazine and its publisher, Wenner Media, were responsible for libel, with actual malice, against UVA administrator Nicole Eramo, who oversaw cases of sexual assault at the school when the Rolling Stone article, titled “A Rape on Campus,” was published.

            Who knows. I suppose it will be clarified eventually.

      2. e.g. WaPo

        Sabrina Rubin Erdely, was responsible for defamation, with actual malice, in the case brought by Nicole Eramo, a U-Va. administrator who oversaw sexual violence cases at the time of the article’s publication. The jury also found the magazine and its publisher responsible for defaming Eramo.

        No mention of malice.

        The TV reporter, Graff

        Henry Graff ?@HenryGraff 2h2 hours ago Charlottesville, VA

        BREAKING: @HenryGraff reports: Sabrina Erdely found liable (w/malice) on 6 claims. Rolling Stone found liable on 3 claims. Waiting on Wenner

        i asked a nearby lawyer what he thought that omission meant, and he suggested it sounded like a compromise verdict, where the jury found reckless disregard on the part of RS, but actual malice only in the case of Erdely. The net of it is that it provides a symbolic win for the plaintiffs but not one of substance. It helps the jury feel like they’ve slapped wrists of publishers without putting them at risk of gutting them financially.

        I know this may go over your head, since you probably think i only want to bash robby or something, but i’m actually interested in the substance of the issue here.

        1. Since the standard for liability was malice and they were found liable then they were found liable with malice.

          I know you need to muddy the waters so you can whine, but the simple application of logic shouldn’t be beyond your grasp.

            1. Would wouldn’t would would would would would would would.

              1. You got something against bow-ties?

            2. The 10-member jury found journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely was responsible for libel, with actual malice. Jurors also said Rolling Stone and its publisher were responsible for defaming University of Virginia administrator Nicole Eram

              Yeah, that’s exactly the distinction which i pointed out above implies that they are in fact different findings. One is for libel w/ malice, the other for defamation. which are 2 different things, apparently. but the defamation includes the malice requirement.

    3. Just let us have our little victory dance, Gilmore. Details can be sorted out later.

  21. It’s true that women are gang raped all the time.

    1. All women are always being gang raped by all the nonexistent people in the world. It’s horrifying.

  22. Has Jessica Valenti ever apologized to you, Robby?

    Got to figure Rolling Stone’s lawyers are rushing to settle with the fraternity now.

    1. I believe she did apologize, but it wouldn’t hurt to send him a de-luxe platter of fruit sushi.

      1. She did, but not for the personal attacks in comments of the original article nor for not stepping in to keep the commentariat from getting even nastier.

        1. That’s Anna Merlan, who’s bad but not nearly as bad as Valenti.

          1. I thought maybe you mixed the two up. Nvrmd, dude.

            1. Robby linked to a Valenti tweet in his article, that’s what brought her to mind

        2. Nasty commenters? Thank fuck we don’t have that here.

          1. Jezebel bans at the drop of a hat and has a huge pending comment system. This means any comment that is displayed it one they approve of.

            1. Somebody should tell Preet that all THOSE comments have official sanction.

            2. Kind of like every mainstream news outlet…ever.

  23. Why is there a picture of the little dude with wings from the Led Zeppelin albums on the story?

    1. That’s The Aviator, a sculpture between two of the libraries at U.Va. People rub its balls for luck at exam time, as a result of which its balls are much shinier than the rest of it.

      1. And there are always people around at exam time because Clemons is always open. I can remember many a time dozing off in those comfy chairs downstairs at like 4 AM in December and May.

        Also, kids, Citizen X ain’t kidding about those balls – see for yourself. Everyone’s given him a nice rubdown at least once.

        http://tinyurl.com/jhej7sj

        1. The balls on Washington’s Horse, Macarthur’s belt-buckle, Sedgewick’s spurs all get polished for various reasons at West Point.

      2. +1 Abraham Lincoln’s nose

      3. The interesting thing is, it’s a true-to-life statue of Amelia Earhart.

        Source: A warm, dark place

    2. Because Erdely came crashing down in flames, just like Icarus?

        1. Better to reign at Rolling Stone than serve at a reputable magazine??

          1. Yeah, and didn’t Milton say that some people just want to watch the world burn?

            1. I believe so. Milton said many things. In a long, drawn out, please make it stop kind of way.

  24. You might recall that I was among the first journalists to scrutinize the article, days after it first appeared online.

    And don’t forget that Robby also outted James O’Keefe as a faux Hilary supporter at rally. IT WAS FUCKING EPIC! REMEMBER?!?!?

  25. From the Jezzy lingk:

    “[Rolling Stone] apologizes to Eramo and anyone else hurt by the piece and adds, “It is our deep hope that our failings do not deflect from the pervasive issues discussed in the piece, and that reporting on sexual assault cases ultimately results in campus policies that better protect our students.”

    Except that’s just another lie; there is no evidence of such “pervasive issues”.
    Like the Clintons, Obo and lefties in general, RS lies like people breathe; 24/7.

    1. the pervasive issues discussed in the piece

      That rape investigations have been weaponized by non-judicial bureaucrats and mentally unstable co-eds?
      That drunken sex has been categorized as rape if the girl regrets it?
      That women aren’t taught how to protect themselves from potential rape because that would be “blaming the victim?”
      That feminists believe in a “rape culture” despite all statistical and common-sense evidence against such a thing?
      That journalists are quick to jump on the accused rapist, but sweep the story under the rug when the rape-accusing liar is exposed?
      That prison rape is the single biggest over representation of rape in American society?

      1. Pretty much every syllable you wrote is dripping with misogyny.* Every true progressive mind finds your existence repugnant.

        *mosogyny- nominally means “dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.” but in today’s context means “said something that a progressive woman might disagree with or dislike.”

        1. As I understand it, misogyny is what they call it when you treat women like men, instead of coddling them like spoiled infants.

  26. Eramo should have to pay every cent to the frat.

    1. Eramo is the plaintaiff. She sued Rolling Stone for printing a false story that portrayed her as indifferent to Jackie’s ordeal — an ordeal that never happened.

  27. Congratulations on a good reporting, Robby!

    One interesting thing in this day of total information on the internet, is how Jackie Coakley has managed to remain relatively anonymous for so long. Is their an implicit agreement among journalists, not to use her last name? Do people want to protect her from what she did? Why do her attorneys still call her a victim of sexual assault?

    1. +1 good journalism!

  28. https://reason.com/archives/201…..e-been-exp

    Muh narrative!

  29. Congratulations on a good reporting,
    And there are always people around at exam time because Clemons is always open. I can remember many a time dozing off in those comfy chairs downstairs at like 4 AM in December and May.
    regards
    ??? ????

    1. What the fuck is this?

      1) Frankenstein two other comments quotes together.
      2) Add link to blog not in English.

      P.S. Didn’t originally intend to corpsefuck this thread.

  30. RE: Nicole Eramo Wins: Rolling Stone Committed Defamation in UVA Rape Article
    Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s actions meet ‘actual malice’ test.

    The jury should be either hanged or sent to their local gulag for their egregious decision.
    Rolling Stone is one of the best cheerleaders for socialism and more government intrusion in our meaningless lives.
    Didn’t jurors think about this when they rendered their decision?

  31. This is a personal vindication for Robby. I recall that a pro Jackie article in Gawker (or possibly Jezebel, yuck) that called him out was posted on the site MONTHS after the story debunked. Not a single sentence was revised, although they put up a sheepish “update” line at the bottom of the article.

    Some of you have read it, since it was linked at various Reason blog posts. The comment section is a reason why I cannot accept Clinton as an alternative to Trump or Johnson.

    1. That makes 637 faith-based Republicans who’ve wandered in here since the conventions with some story about a recent event that made them suddenly decide to vote for Trump. Adding Johnson with an “or” is something their handlers teach them to insert because they’ve heard libertarians study logic.

  32. When does that psycho cunt, “Jackie”, get sued and charged with providing false evidence?

  33. Robby, to the American Left, the story will always be more important than the truth. They’ll all go the polls on Tuesday and vote for HRC because — in their minds — the “story” is much more important than what and who she is. Or, in the case of “helping the poor,” they just “know” that paying a higher minimum wage is really good for poor people. How could it not be?

    Thanks for a marvelous job of reporting on this. Keep up the great work.

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  36. Ok, you baited me into it. From her Twitter Feed:

    Jessica Valenti ?@JessicaValenti Nov 2
    Treating people as moral adults mean holding them accountable: Voting for Trump is racist, sexist & xenophobic. Period.

    Jessica Valenti ?@JessicaValenti Nov 2
    I have family members who are voting for Trump. I know what their worries are and I love them, but that does not mean I can forgive them.

    And …. well….

    Jessica Valenti ?@JessicaValenti Nov 1
    It’s my birthday! If you want to get me a gift, please consider donating to your local abortion fund 🙂 https://fundabortionnow.org/explore

    Her Faves are Feministing and Amanda Marcotte. And no, I won’t be returning.

    BTW, if you or your cohort decides to check us out – I’m an avowed feminist. Have been since the 70’s. Whatever the heck you are, it isn’t a feminist. What a vile and hate-filled place you’ve built for yourself there.

  37. Sorry but…HA! HA! HA! I love it when the dumbfuck left crashes and burns, its so spectacular. Chalk one up for the good guys.

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  39. Thank god and good riddance.

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  42. She should ask for an extra $1M for that pathetic non-apology.

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  44. There was a time, before I discovered Reason in 1980, that The Rolling Stone was the only credible magazine out there. The National Lampoon wasn’t credible… but like these Commentariats, it was fun.

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  48. activist reporting coming from all sorts of ideological directions.

    No, it isn’t. No. It is coming from one direction, and we all know it, most of all you Robert….

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