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ROLLING STONE: Sabrina Rubin Erdely Punished Enough by Embarrassment, Will Keep Her Job
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April 05, 2015, 07:34 PM
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From the New York Times article on the Rolling Stone / Columbia School of Journalism account of the series of unfortunate events at the University of Virginia:

Mr. Wenner said that Ms. Erdely would continue to write for Rolling Stone, and that Will Dana, the magazine’s managing editor, and the editor of the article, Sean Woods, would keep their jobs. …
As Voltaire might say, for the non-discouragement of the others …

Unlike really horrible people who lose their jobs for telling the truth like Jason Richwine and James D. Watson …

Ms. Erdely, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone who has also written for GQ and The New Yorker, declined to be interviewed for this article. She said in her apology that reading the report was “a brutal and humbling experience.” She also acknowledged that she did not do enough to verify Jackie’s account.

Rolling Stone’s fundamental mistake, Mr. Dana said, was in suspending any skepticism about Jackie’s account because of the sensitivity of the issue. “We didn’t think through all the implications of the decisions that we made while reporting the story, and we never sort of allowed for the fact that maybe the story we were being told was not true,” he said. That was compounded by the fact that any reporting on any alleged crime that has not been reported to the authorities is difficult, he said.

“Ultimately, we were too deferential to our rape victim,” Mr. Woods, the article’s editor, said in the report.

There’s zero evidence Jackie was a rape victim.
“We honored too many of her requests in our reporting. We should have been much tougher, and in not doing that, we maybe did her a disservice.”

Ms. Erdely, Mr. Wenner said, “was willing to go too far in her effort to try and protect a victim of apparently a horrible crime. She dropped her journalistic training, scruples and rules and convinced Sean to do the same. There is this series of falling dominoes.”

Mr. Dana said that the report was punishment enough for those involved, and that they did not deserve to lose their jobs because the story “was not the result of patterns in the work of these people.”

There’s a long pattern of Ms. Rubin Erdely’s work, going back to her early friendship with Stephen Glass, of Rubin Erdely being driven by political correct animus to publish extremely doubtful and tendentious versions of events, like the transgender hooker whose knife was attacked by the neo-Nazi’s chest (according to her Rolling Stone article).

By the way, a quick CTRL-F check shows this NYT article does not include the terms “Haven Monahan” or “catfish.”

The 13,000 word Columbia/RS article mentions “Haven Monahan” twice and doesn’t mention “catfish.”

But, the important thing is that Emily Renda’s career in campus rape crisis awareness will only be boosted by this. Here’s the conclusion of the NYT article:

The story, and the ensuing scandal, may have discouraged some women from coming forward with their accounts of sexual assault, said John D. Foubert, a former dean at the University of Virginia and the current president of One In Four, a rape prevention charity. Ms. Renda, the expert at the university on sexual assault issues, said she hoped that one effect of the Columbia report would be that such a chilling effect would dissipate.

“In the long term I don’t think people are going to look back at this story and say, This is why women are not coming forward,” Mr. Dana said. “At the same time it’s certainly not helping things immediately.”

Ms. Renda, who was interviewed for the Columbia report, offered another reason that she felt the Rolling Stone article was flawed: The magazine was drawn toward the most extreme story of a campus rape it could find. The more nuanced accounts, she suggested, seemed somehow “not real enough to stand for rape culture. And that is part of the problem.”