Good Morning America's 'One Big Fear' About UVA: 'Other Victims' Discouraged

December 6th, 2014 9:32 AM

The University of Virginia rape story may be unraveling, but that's not stopping ABC News, or campus forces with a vested interest in the issue, from forging ahead.

On today's Good Morning America, host Dan Harris said that the "one big fear . . . is that this will scare other victims" from coming forward. But just who are the "victims" here: "Jackie" the pseudononymous accuser, or the UVA fraternity and the seven men she accused?  Harris spoke at the end of a segment in which UVA President Teresa Sullivan said that despite doubts about the story, the university is "first and foremost" concerned with sexual assault survivors, and a campus advocate claimed "Jackie still has a truth in many ways."

Note: ABC News reporter Linsey Davis quotes Jackie's friends saying they believe that something traumatic happened to her, "perhaps just not the account" she gave to Rolling Stone. "Just?"  Rather dismissive of the possible harm to people who may have been falsely accused of a horrific crime, no? That's similar to the sentiment expressed by the campus sexual assault activist who said that "Jackie still has a truth."  Something Orwellian there. And as Free Republic reader bigbob observed, echoes of Dan Rather's "fake but accurate."

Note Segundo:  If indeed the accuser here fabricated her story, why should that discourage victims with true stories of sexual assault from coming forward?

Note Trois: The only people in the segment who appeared to have a fair perspective were the Charlottesville police, quoted as saying "our purpose is to find the truth in any matter." 

LINSEY DAVIS: In a statement to ABC News, university president Teresa Sullivan responding to the Rolling Stone apology saying that "the university remains first and foremost with the care and support of our students and especially any survivor of sexual assault." The allegations sparked protests at the university weeks ago and fueled a closer look into campus culture. A movement campus sexual assault advocates plan to still support. 

EMILY RENDA [student sexual assault activist]: I hope we continue to pursue the changes that people were upset about. Because there were a lot of men and women who came forward. Jackie still has a truth in many ways. 

DAVIS: Charlottesville police say our purpose is to find the truth in any matter. These articles don't change our purpose moving forward. Some of Jackie's close friends say they believe something traumatic may have happened to Jackie, but perhaps just not the account as she gave it to Rolling Stone. 

DAN HARRIS: The one big fear this morning is that all of this will scare other victims -- 

DAVIS: -- from coming forward, exactly. There's the potential for that.