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Rolling Stone Gathered No Facts

Last month, Rolling Stone published a story entitled A Rape on Campus, which described a brutal gang rape of a woman named Jackie during a party at a University of Virginia fraternity house, the University’s failure to respond to this alleged assault—and the school’s troubling history of indifference to many other instances of alleged sexual assaults. . . . In the face of new information reported by the Washington Post and other news outlets, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account.

        —Will Dana
Managing Editor

When a blockbuster story that took “months” to research and write must be prefaced, postpublication, with a note that suggests the story isn’t true, an editor knows he has a problem.  But that’s what Rolling Stone faced when its December 4 cover story, by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, blew up.  With a few days of shoe-leather reporting, the Washington Post and other media outlets forced Rolling Stone to retract—without using the word, of course—the 9,000-word article about a vicious gang rape at the University of Virginia, which had ended all Greek activities on campus during the fall semester.  The “victim” wasn’t such a reliable source.  Of course, Erdely and Rolling Stone would...

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