Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the author of Rolling Stone's much-maligned story about a gang rape at the University of Virginia, plans to formally apologize for her mistakes, according to CNN's Brian Stetler.No one at Rolling Stone or UVA has yet been fired for this blood libel.
Erdely stopped responding to questions and interview requests at the beginning of December, as reporters began to call into question the details of the story. (Richard Bradley and I were the first to do so.) Since then, the story has completely collapsed and was essentially confirmed as false by The Washington Post and the Charlottesville police department...
As The Daily Caller notes, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism will also release its report on what went wrong tonight at 8 p.m. EDT. A press conference will be held tomorrow.
Update: The apology is better than I expected, but still no heads have rolled:
Rolling Stone magazine on Sunday night apologized and officially retracted its discredited article about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, and an independent review said the article may cast doubt on future rape accusations.Here's a slightly more "liberal" view of the findings:
The review, undertaken at Rolling Stone's request, presented a broad indictment of the magazine's handling of a story that had horrified readers, unleashed widespread protests and sparked a national discussion about sexual assaults on college campuses.
The report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism on the editorial process called the article a "story of journalistic failure that was avoidable."
An institutional failure at Rolling Stone resulted in a deeply flawed article about a purported gang rape at the University of Virginia, according to an outside review by Columbia Journalism School professors.CNN could have been a little more succinct in its narrative had it replaced the entire article with "nothing to see here, move right along." There was a horrific crime committed, and it wasn't by fraternity brothers at UVA. That might explain the following sentences:
The review, published Sunday night, says the failures were sweeping and "may have spread the idea that many women invent rape allegations."
At the same time the review came out, Rolling Stone officially retracted the story and said sorry. But the publisher, Jann Wenner, has decided not to fire anyone on staff. He believes the missteps were unintentional, not purposefully deceitful.
One thing is clear: All of this could have been avoided if the writer, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, had made more phone calls.
The fraternity is considering suing Rolling Stone; a spokesman said the frat may have more to say on Monday.I'd love to see the fraternity own Rolling Stone--in the literal sense, not the colloquial one--after a lawsuit.
The specter of legal action may explain why Columbia says "Erdely and the editors involved declined to answer questions about the specifics of the legal review" of the story, "citing instructions from the magazine's outside counsel."