University of Virginia
Almost a year after Rolling Stone magazine published an article entitled “A Rape on Campus” that claimed several members of a fraternity at the University of Virginia gang raped an anonymous woman, the fallout over the “flawed story that purported to expose a culture of rape” at the school continued on Monday, when the publication was hit by a third lawsuit over the supposed incident.
The new claim, which was filed in the nearby Charlottesville Circuit Court by the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity chapter at the university, seeks $25 million from the “magazine of pop culture and current events” for “presumed damages, compensatory damages and actual damages for harm and injury to its reputation,” as well as becoming “the object of an avalanche of condemnation worldwide.”
On CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday, University of Virginia student Alex Pinkleton revealed how Rolling Stone's Sabrina Rubin Erdely, who wrote the disputed Rolling Stone story on alleged rape at the college, acted more like an "advocate" than a reporter as she interviewed people for the article. Pinkleton, a friend of the woman who made the rape accusation, asserted that Erdely "did have an agenda, and part of that agenda was showing how monstrous fraternities themselves as an institution are, and blaming the administration for a lot of the sexual assaults."
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."
Two years ago, Katie Couric delivered the commencement address at her alma mater, the University of Virginia. NewsBusters senior editor Rich Noyes noted at the time that Couric used the occasion to complain about her many critics from her five-year stint as the anchor for the CBS Evening News.
Last Saturday, Couric gave an encore performance of her airing of grievances at a commencement address at American University’s School of Communications. Couric recycled some of her favorite lines about her time at CBS informing students that “critics complained about my clothes, my hair, my make up, my delivery, even the way I held my hands on the anchor desk.” She followed up with a lament of sexism in the broadcast news business. "Some claimed I lacked gravitas. I decided, that’s Latin for testicles," she quipped.