Rolling Stone retracted and apologized. Will other publications do the same?
Let us begin with the Roanoke Times, which on November 21, 2014, began an editorial:
Governor McAuliffe, stop whatever you’re doing right now.
Pick up the phone and call the State Police.
Tell them to read the now-famous Rolling Stone article that describes in wretched detail how a University of Virginia student was gang-raped by at a fraternity party – apparently as part of an initiation rite — and then discouraged by classmates from reporting the assault because it would hurt their social standing on campus.I am sorry but no one should take serious a newspaper that bases editorials on a music magazine's reporting. Goodness, its best reporter wrote on peyote, right?
Then there is this from Nicholas Kristof on November 26, 2014:
The revelation of an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity by Rolling Stone underscores how thin our veneer of civilization sometimes is. The article, whose account is unconfirmed, describes an 18-year-old freshman at the university who goes to her first frat party and is led upstairs by her date, pinned down, beaten and punched, and raped by seven men.
Administration policy makes matters even worse. A dean acknowledged in an interview with student-run media that even students at the university who admit to sexual assault invariably avoid expulsion, and that no student had been expelled for rape in years. The student’s report pointed out that the University of Virginia treats cheating more seriously than rape.Really? You can get 20 years in prison for cheating on an exam? Because that is the penalty for rape in Virginia. Real rape. Not false lying reports like this one. Of course, real rapes are prosecuted in criminal courts.
The Chicago Tribune swallowed this storyline in whole, editorializing on November 28, 2014:
There's nothing ambiguous about the UVA narrative in Rolling Stone: "Jackie" did not consent to be gang-raped when she accepted her date's invitation to go "upstairs, where it's quieter." Yet the university didn't begin an investigation of Phi Kappa Psi until it learned a magazine piece was in the works — even though "Jackie" had reported the incident more than a year earlier.
That's why campus authorities, even if they are sworn police officers, have no business trying to adjudicate rape cases. The potential conflicts of interest are too great. In fairness to the accused and the accuser — and for the safety of the entire student population — those cases should be turned over to the local criminal justice system.
That doesn't mean there's no place on campus for "yes means yes." Colleges can and should foster an environment in which affirmative consent is stressed and expected. It's a concept that should be instilled and reinforced years before those young adults leave home.
It should be a staple of the often-awkward parental chats about sexual responsibility and part of the curriculum in the "reproductive health" classes required of giggling and blushing middle schoolers.
"Yes means yes" is a message that should be ingrained long before freshman orientation.Apology?
Anyone in there?
But no one has apologized for Hands Up! I Can't Breathe! One In Five! either.