Robby Soave writes: Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the author of Rolling Stone‘s much-maligned story about a gang rape at the University of Virginia, plans to formally apologize for her mistakes, according to CNN‘s Brian Stetler.
Erdely stopped responding to questions and interview requests at the beginning of December, as reporters began to call into question the details of the story. (Richard Bradley and I were the first to do so.) Since then, the story has completely collapsed and was essentially confirmed as false by The Washington Post and the Charlottesville police department.
Erdely plans to break her silence tonight, according to The Daily Caller:
But now, according to CNN’s Brian Stelter, Erdely plans to make a public apology nearly four months after Rolling Stone’s retraction. Her apology appears to be timed to coincide with the release of a Columbia School of Journalism report on Rolling Stone’s journalistic failings….(read more) Read the rest of this entry »
The Washington Post has an update on Rolling Stone‘s UVA story that strongly implies, without outright saying so, that the gang rape at the center of Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s article might be fabricated. Post reporter T. Rees Shapiro spoke at length with the three friends who met up with Jackie, the student who says she was raped, on the night in question. In the Rolling Stone story this scene was crucial. Erdely described Jackie as standing mute in her bloody dress, the Phi Kappa Psi house where the alleged rape happened looming in the background, as her friends callously debated whether they should take her to the hospital and risk ruining their social reputations. This set up the larger theme of a university culture and social scene indifferent even to the most brutalized victims of rape.
“Jackie’s friends could never find this junior in the UVA database nor on social media. She provided her friends with a picture of him, but the Post has since learned that the guy in the picture is a high school classmate of Jackie’s who does not go to the University of Virginia and was in another state…”
Earlier, those friends told the Post that Jackie told them she’d been forced to have oral sex—a much different story than what Jackie told Rolling Stone. This new Post article adds some details that make the entire account seem more suspicious. Jackie had told her friends—referred to by the pseudonyms “Cindy,” “Andy,” and “Randall” in the original story and in the Post’s follow-ups—that she had a date on Sept. 28, 2012, with a handsome junior in her chemistry class. (In the version she told to Rolling Stone, that date was with someone she’d met at her lifeguarding job.) But in the Post story, the friends imply that this junior might not exist and may have been invented by Jackie to make Randall jealous.
“Jackie has now given her friends two different names for the man she was with that night. Neither of them was in fact with her, ever dated her, or even knew her all that well. She appears to have invented a suitor, complete with fake text messages and a fake photo, which suggests a capacity for somewhat elaborate deception.”
When the friends first heard about this junior, they were intrigued and asked Jackie for his number. They started exchanging text messages with him, and he described Jackie as a “super smart hot” freshman. He complained, though, that she liked a “nerd 1st yr”— meaning Randall—who is “smart and funny and worth it.” Jackie’s friends could never find this junior in the UVA database nor on social media. She provided her friends with a picture of him, but the Post has since learned that the guy in the picture is a high school classmate of Jackie’s who does not go to the University of Virginia and was in another state participating in an athletic tournament on the night of the alleged rape. (More recently, Jackie gave her friends the name of a different guy. The Post also contacted him, and he said he’d never met Jackie.)
The Post story doesn’t connect all the dots, but it’s not hard to do. Read the rest of this entry »
Not long after I posted this, NRO‘s Tim Cavanaugh posted this excellent analysis. In fact, the post-disaster analysis that’s been accumulating is even better than the initial disaster, its richness and flavor improving as it marinates, some of it is even injection-basted. I’m starting a list of links. Watch this space for updates.
- Zerlina Maxwell Will Believe Anything.
- Key player in UVA rape story: Rolling Stone never talked to me
- WaPo media critic: Fire everyone associated with Rolling Stone’s UVa rape story
- Rolling Stone Has Not Retracted Its UVA Rape Story
Meghan Keneally reports: A stunning report about how rape is handled at UVA that sparked national outcry and prompted the university to suspend all fraternity activities for the year is now being called into question.
“In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced.”
Rolling Stone magazine today began distancing themselves from the shocking story published last month about a student that the publication identified as “Jackie,” who said that she was the victim of a gang rape by seven men at a fraternity party.
“In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced,” the magazine’s managing editor, Will Dana, wrote in a letter published on the magazine’s website.
whoa. Key elements of Rolling Stone’s article on U of Virginia’s gang rape story now in doubt http://t.co/6iaqNHNM4z
— aleefbaypay (@aleefbaypay) December 5, 2014
Dana said the author of the lengthy feature, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, did not talk to any of the students involved in the alleged rape before publishing the story out of respect for Jackie.
“We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.”
The fraternity where the rape allegedly occurred has released a statement today denying the article’s allegations. Read the rest of this entry »