Rolling Stone Rape Story Reversal

So wow, you try to blog about stuff you learn from reliable, respected news sources, and look what happens. This week, Rolling Stone totally backpedaled on their blockbuster gang rape story from last week. Apparently, whatever they figured out in the last seven days, they were unable to determine in the prior many months of researching this story, and here’s what they have to say about it:
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. 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.
I get their whole thing about wanting to respect the victim’s privacy, but they’re a news and commentary source, and a darn good one—usually. They had one job, dammit, and that was to write a well-researched, fair and balanced story. They didn’t even ensure that the date of the event was valid, or that there was a guy from the fraternity who worked at the place the victim worked. How can you call a source credible if you don’t check any facts?
Bottom line is they blew it, and that makes my original remarks about the story even more important. A college campus is no place to render justice, and neither is the court of public opinion. I have no doubt that something happened to this young woman, and it probably was awful, and my heart goes out to her, but unless she wanted to press charges with the police, the details should have stayed between her and those she chose to support her. I don’t blame her; it sounds like she was pushed to do this—the magazine sought her out to tell this story publicly, not the other way around. Spreading unverified rumors about something so heinous is as wrong as the act itself, and Rolling Stone should know better.
via: Rolling Stone Says It No Longer Trusts Woman in Gang Rape Account | TIME
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