Saturday, December 6, 2014

Cathy Young on the Rolling Stone UVA Rape Article and Author: “Journalism is About Facts and Truth-Telling. To Defend a Possible Lie that May Have Social Utility is Not Journalism But Propaganda”

This isn’t the first Cathy Young editorial I’ve posted and I know…… it won’t be the last! 

Another must read! 
It’s Women Who Suffer When We Don’t Ask Questions, December 6, 2014
Perhaps the lessons of the UVA story will help us balance our support for victims with the presumption of innocence.
By Cathy Young

The shocking Rolling Stone story of a brutal fraternity gang rape and administrative inaction at the University of Virginia has now unraveled, with a Washington Post investigative report disputing key parts of the account and the magazine issuing a partial retraction. While we may never know the whole truth behind the story, the controversy around it has once again raised the thorny question of when it is proper to doubt claims of sexual assault. 

In the past week, several critics have questioned the story’s authenticity and faulted author Sabrina Rubin Erdely for failing to seek a response from the alleged rapists or to corroborate the account provided by Jackie, the UVA student identified as the victim. Meanwhile, some commentators have blasted the skeptics for perpetuating a culture of sexist mistrust toward women’s reports of sexual violence. For many, believing and supporting accusations of rape is an essential feminist principle. But that principle is not only at odds with journalism; it is also gravely detrimental to justice—for the accused and, in the end, for victims.