Rolling Stone magazine ran a story recently in which it reported that a female student was gang-raped at a University of Virginia fraternity. Then it apologized to its readers this past Friday, when it said of ‘Jackie’, the woman who claimed to have been gang-raped at a Phi Kappa Psi fraternity on campus, “Our trust in her was misplaced.”
Remarkably, and in near ‘ Monty Pythonesque’ fashion, Rolling Stone apologized again yesterday for the way it worded its Friday apology. Apparently the “Our trust in her was misplaced” line struck certain critics as blaming the victim. Therefore the updated apology removes that line. In an attempted act of magnanimity, the magazine is now blaming itself for any mistakes made. And well it should. To wit, the magazine said it should not have agreed to Jackie’s request not to contact the alleged assailants to get their side of the story.
The magazine’s managing editor, who, judging by previous quotes, thinks that Rolling Stone should be afforded the same journalistic credibility as the Wall Street Journal wrote, “These mistakes are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie.” He continued, “We apologize to anyone who was affected by the story and we will continue to investigate the events of that evening.” Continue?
Perhaps you should have investigated the events of that evening before publishing the story? Remember the Duke men's LaCrosse team ‘scandal’ of a few years back? Apparently, any female can go to a ‘news source’ and claim the vilest of assaults and be taken with complete credibility. Face value.
We have had Presidents in recent years who have lied- under oath- about certain unfortunate ‘events’.
When the sensational story broke, it rocked the campus, elevated the issue of sexual assault and led to protests, suspension of fraternity activities, and an emergency ‘Board of Visitors’ meeting.
If Jackie’s allegations are true, the assailants should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. If they are not, perhaps Rolling Stone will apologize for apologizing for their apology. If the allegations prove false, the victims will be the accused and their broken reputations and lives.
Would that potential miscarriage of justice cause similar protests or even an emergency Board of Visitors meeting?
Maybe Rolling Stone magazine would apologize to them?
Monty Python announcement #1: “The BBC wishes to apologize for the last sketch. Everyone involved has been sacked.”
Monty Python announcement #2: “The BBC wishes to apologize for the previous apology. Everyone responsible for sacking those who have been sacked…have been sacked.”