This whole episode happened at The University of Virginia, which is in Charlottesville, which is my home.
When the story broke there was much concern and furrowed brows everywhere. How could this have happened? See, college must be made “safe” for women. And so on.
Then I read the article. It felt hollow. It didn’t feel right. It felt made up.
If I hadn’t lived in Charlottesville I don’t know that it would have felt as false as it did.
And the story was indeed a fiction. Rolling Stone wanted a story about “campus rape” to further a narrative which had been bubbling up from various media outlets for much of the preceding year. That the story focused on UVA, a southern, prestigious university was all the better. Implicating a fraternity, a bastion of male “domination”? Jackpot!
I remember the author of the article even making the case that the reason this (fictional) “rape” happened was because UVA lacked a radical feminist presence on Grounds.
Like I said the story didn’t feel right. And so what if many people were hurt by the allegations? So what? There was a narrative to promote. One must break a few fraternity eggs on the way to the new paradigm.
Now however Rolling Stone may be forced to pay for its wanton pursuit of the perfect story. A story which should have struck editors as just a little too “perfect.” But political correctness is a disease which blinds.
And it should be noted that even though we often take The Washington Post to task for any number of things, it was their staff which peeled away at this story (as I remember) and eventually exposed Rolling Stone. I’m guessing there are some Virginia grads at The Post.
(From The Hollywood Reporter)
Rolling Stone was hit Monday with a defamation lawsuit for over $25 million from the University of Virginia fraternity where the magazine reported a young woman was raped in a story later discredited.
In the lawsuit complaint, as obtained by The Washington Post, the Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi alleges reputational damage (and death threats and harassment against members) due to the Nov. 2014 Rolling Stone story “A Rape on Campus” by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, who is named a defendant with Rolling Stone and publishers Wenner Media and Straight Arrow.