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Jann Wenner Defends Rolling Stone’s Debunked UVA Rape Story

Jann Wenner—founding father of the music and popular culture journal Rolling Stone—continues to be defending an infamously inaccurate article that appeared in his publication practically a decade in the past.

“The College of Virginia story was not a failure of intent, or an try to be free with the information,” Wenner informed The New York Occasions final week. “You get past the factual errors that sank that story, and it was actually concerning the problem of rape and the way it impacts girls on campus, their lack of rights. Apart from this one key indisputable fact that the rape described truly was a fabrication of this lady, the remainder of the story was bulletproof.” (Emphasis mine.)

“A Rape on Campus” was revealed on November 19, 2014. Its writer, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, claimed {that a} College of Virginia scholar named “Jackie” had been viciously raped by a gaggle of male college students at a fraternity social gathering as some form of initiation ritual. Jackie’s account was supposed as a consultant story—an instance of the form of routine sexual violence confronted by younger girls on school campuses.

However the underlying crime by no means happened. Days after the story’s preliminary publication, it got here below assault from journalists who have been skeptical of the small print. I got here to suspect the entire thing may be an elaborate hoax, principally as a result of I had a tough time believing the perpetrators may have probably anticipated to get away with it. Most campus sexual assaults contain incapacitation with medicine and alcohol; the concept that not one, however a number of assailants—together with a person whose id was identified the sufferer—would assault a completely aware lady with none concern she would go to the police appeared fanciful.

It will definitely emerged that Jackie had made the entire thing up. The particular person she accused didn’t exist, although she had impersonated him in texts to her buddies. Had Rolling Stone adopted customary journalistic protocols, Jackie’s fraud would have been uncovered previous to publication, however fact-checkers on the journal by no means pressed Erdely to contact both Jackie’s buddies or the alleged perpetrator. Rolling Stone finally settled three defamation lawsuits, introduced by the fraternity in query, a number of of its members, and a dean wrongly portrayed as unsympathetic.

So when Wenner says that “the remainder of the story was bulletproof,” he is primarily saying, Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

This was not the one eyebrow-raising line within the Occasions interview. Wenner additionally admitted to permitting the well-known topics of his personal interviews—together with John Lennon, Bono, and others—to edit articles about them earlier than publication:

[Lennon] went by means of, and he made modifications right here and there. Mainly, it is interview topics clarifying what they need to say, making it extra exact. As a result of it is a lengthy stream of yap and verbiage and also you typically do not suppose by means of each phrase. I need them to have the chance to say exactly what they meant.

With journalistic requirements like these, it is simpler to see how Rolling Stone‘s rape story got here into being within the first place.

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