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December 08, 2014

Rolling Stone Editor, 2006: "I Want to Do Stuff That's Biased;" "We'll Write What We Believe"

He was speaking about the hard left's idea -- now standard in the leftwing Democrat-partisan media -- that to offer "objective" journalism is a betrayal of the truth, as only one side (the leftist side) has any truth in it.

His intent was to make Rolling Stone as "biased" as he could.

Mission accomplished.

Editors should never let go of their first-impression skepticism -- it's often dead-on. But [Rolling Stone editor in chief Will] Dana and others decided to move forward with the story and its allegation that a University of Virginia freshman named Jackie was gang-raped in September 2012 at the prestigious Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house. The piece has collapsed under a debunking from the Washington Post' local staff and Rolling Stone has apologized for the many unsupported claims that it peddles.

How did this happen?


Whatever Rolling Stone finds, "A Rape on Campus" clearly aligns with Dana's vision for high-impact magazine journalism. In a 2006 appearance at Middlebury College, Dana gave a speech titled, "The Myth of Fair and Balanced: A Defense of Biased Reporting." According to a writeup in the Middlebury Campus, Dana put forth a common and compelling critique of contemporary standards under which journalists "worship the grail of objectivity" and "play twister to hide their bias," said Dana, a 1985 graduate of Middlebury.

"I want to do stuff that's biased." He merely meant journalism driven by a worldview, as with Eric Schlosser's 1998 Rolling Stone expose, "Fast-Food Nation" -- a series that upended thinking on the worl'’s McDonald’s and the like. "We can become the seed pod for great things,"said Dana of such work.

Though the editor said his publication would endeavor to give both sides of a story, he said, "we'll write what we believe," according to the Middlebury Campus.

Maybe Will Dana is waking up to the possibility that "twisting oneself to hide one's bias" isn't something that's done to be gentle to Republicans, but rather something done in order to find the truth.

Their piece dripped with "worldview," as Wemple terms it.

And how did that turn out?

Perhaps a little bit of that old-fogey skepticism and balance might have served them, and their readers, and the truth, a little better that partisan sloganeering, eh?

Meanwhile, Dana is now apologizing for his original apology, which had been criticized for putting almost all blame on "Jackie." The new apology only puts 90% of the blame on "Jackie."

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posted by Ace at 02:44 PM

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