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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Virginian Pilot Reinforces Hate

The Virginian Pilot reacted with hate and bigotry to the evidence that the fable about coed “Jackie” gang raped by the fraternity brothers at UVA was a lie from beginning to end.

They ran a cartoon showing a “right wing” couch potato ranting about rape to his TV set while his daughter enters the room, apparently the victim of rape.

It’s the kind of thing you expect from the “cool kids gang” in junior high taunting their classmates after they are exposed as fakes. It’s what the little bastard do to reclaim their superior status.

There is a great takedown of this kind of crap from the people who hold the megaphone but lack either moral stature or a sense of shame.

The problem with the editors of the Virginian Pilot is not so much that they failed to see through the bullshit of the Rolling Stone story. Lots of people thought that accusing men at UVA of gang rape without a shred of hard evidence would not actually reach print in a national publication. But you would be wrong, and the editors of the Virginian Pilot went into paroxysm of rage over the fable. They assumed without evidence that other members of the MSM had a shred of decency left.

Wrong again.

But here’s the real crime. After admitting that the rape didn't happen, after grudgingly admitting that none of it’s true, the MSM and the editors of the Virginia Pilot believe the rest of the fable printed in Rolling Stone IS true.

For example, the part about UVA sweeping rape accusations under the rug. Here’s the first person to actually question the rolling Stone story (no, it’s not a writer for the Washington Post but a blogger) Shots in the Dark. The MSM just piggy backed on his questions, just as Dan Rather’s lies about George Bush’s National Guard record were first uncovered by a blogger.

The one true thing about Jackie’s story…is that it disproves Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s story. Erdely used Jackie to argue that UVa is indifferent to allegations of sexual assault. But as we know now, the university took Jackie’s story very seriously. Jackie spoke with a dean who subsequently checked up on her multiple times; was offered counseling; was offered the opportunity of pursuing the matter through university channels or through the police; and was recommended to a rape survivor group. Then, she was taken seriously when she claimed that she’d been hit in the head with a bottle, although there was ample reason to suggest that this incident was fabricated. Does this sound like official indifference to you?

But here’s the reason why the cartoon in the Virginian Pilot defaming conservatives is such a heaping pile of crap. It’s because they took the rest of the Rolling Stone story, the one that went beyond the lies about a gang rape and reinforced every bit of it. They believed it and ridicule anyone who thinks it too is a lie.

Remember how I said that I thought Columbia made one big, fundamental mistake?

Here it is.

The only part of Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s article closely examined by Columbia was the lede, which detailed Jackie’s incredible story of gang rape.

Columbia should, in fact, have closely examined the entirety of Erdely’s article.

Because ultimately, this article was not really about Jackie. Take a pencil, lop the Jackie story off the top, and the article could have run pretty much as it was.

The article was about the existence of rape culture and university indifference to said culture.

Jackie’s story was supposed to be proof of that, and Jackie’s story was a lie. But no one at Rolling Stone—not Erdely, not Dana, not Woods, not Wenner—seems to have considered just the possibility that maybe, just maybe, they were wrong about this.

Jackie’s lies do not in and of themselves disprove Rubin Erdely’s rape-culture thesis.

But if you examined the rest of the article with the same critical eye that you examine Jackie’s story, you’ll find that it, too, is deeply deceptive. “A Rape on Campus” is fashioned on selective presentation of material, the use of bogus or discredited statistics, quotes that are either fabricated or taken out of context, unconfirmed allegations, anonymous sources, the deliberate exclusion of evidence contrary to the author’s thesis, and material that is either fabricated or presented in a way that is so profoundly misleading it can only be evidence of incompetence or dishonesty. (The multiple verses of a UVa fight song, for example, that nobody at UVa has actually heard.)

Sabrina Rubin Erdely was not first and foremost trying to obtain justice for Jackie; that was incidental. Her intention was to prove the existence of rape culture and to shame and ostracize those whom she fervently believed participated in it.

When you know how Rubin Erdely went about her work, you are forced to conclude that she failed, that the rest of her story is as unbelievable as Jackie’s story—it’s just concocted in a slicker way. In the ongoing debate about sexual assault on campus, we must remember this.

The Virginian Pilot is – reluctantly I’m sure; they wanted the gang rape to be true – to back away from the details, but for them gang rape on UVA campus it “the Truth” even if there is zero evidence of this. It’s a belief system that comes from the air they breathe.

The really, really bad thing about this is that a female student at UVA was raped, and killed. It should have gotten more attention especially because the accused, Jesse Matthews is also accused of raping and killing students at Virginia Tech, Liberty University and Christopher Newport University. It should have been a warning about lone female students getting drunk and running around Charlottesville in the early hours of the morning and going somewhere with a stranger in the street.   But the rapist and killer was not a frat rat,  He was a young black man.  He was not (in Tom Wolfe’s term “the great white defendant”) that advances the narrative that fit the Virginia Pilot’s list of top ten people to hate.   

In fact, Sabrina Erdely admitted she spent months looking for the "perfect" victim and the "perfect" criminal and found it at UVA.  The press loved it.  it reinforced their stereotype.   Having been cheated out of their victims when the Duke lacrosse hoax blew up, the UVA frat rape was perfect.

Having been humiliated by having their perfect narrative exposed as a lie the sophomores at the Virginian Pilot take out their bile on the people that had nothing to do with spreading their lies.

It's been a bad week for the press.  With the kind of support that the family who owned Memories Pizza received, it sucks to be one of the editors of the Virginia Pilot.

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