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December 02, 2014

So This Is Pretty Worrisome

The Rolling Stone reporter who brought the alleged UVA gang rape story to national prominence explains that it's poor form to get hung up on tiny little details.

When asked about various details of her account, and why she hadn't secured comment from the alleged rapists, the reporter responded:

"I could address many of [the questions] individually . . . but by dwelling on this, you're getting sidetracked," she wrote in an e-mail response to The Post's inquiry. "As I've already told you, the gang-rape scene that leads the story is the alarming account that Jackie -- a person whom I found to be credible -- told to me, told her friends, and importantly, what she told the UVA administration, which chose not to act on her allegations in any way -- i.e., the overarching point of the article. THAT is the story: the culture that greeted her and so many other UVA women I interviewed, who came forward with allegations, only to be met with indifference."

When someone is asking questions to determine if you're reporting the truth or regurgitating a hoax, it is not a confidence-builder to reply: "You're getting side-tracked as regards whether or not this even happened; the important thing is the narrative about the greater culture."

Shifting one's own victory conditions-- that is, the conditions under which one claims the victory of truth -- from the actual truthfulness of the account to a kludgier, fudgier inquiry into a "narrative" about a greater "culture" is, to me, a major Warning Sign that the reporter does not have confidence the story would withstand scrutiny on the former grounds, and is thus attempting to shift scrutiny only as to the latter, the grounds of "narrative" and "greater culture."

It is worth noting that after the Duke Lacrosse Rape Hoax was exposed as a colossally malicious lie, the vicious "activists" who pushed it resorted to the claim that the liar Crystal Mangnum's account was "true" in a "larger sense," about white privilege generally, even if not technically true in the narrow, dogmatic sense of "did a rape actually occur."

It is strange that the reporter is already shifting to that sort of a Victory model, even as the very first questions are asked about her reportage.


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posted by Ace at 03:21 PM

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