I guess we should have seen this coming:
A lawyer for the University of Virginia fraternity whose members were accused of a brutal gang rape said Friday that the organization will release a statement rebutting the claims printed in a Rolling Stone article about the incident. Several of the woman’s close friends and campus sex assault advocates said that they also doubt the published account.
Officials close to the fraternity said that the statement will indicate that Phi Kappa Psi did not host a party on Sept. 28, 2012, the night that a university student named Jackie alleges she was invited to a date party, lured into an upstairs room and was then ambushed and gang-raped by seven men who were rushing the fraternity.
The officials also said that no members of the fraternity were employed at the university’s Aquatic Fitness Center during that time frame — a detail Jackie provided in her account to Rolling Stone and in interviews with The Washington Post — and that no member of the house matches the description detailed in the Rolling Stone account. The attorney, Ben Warthen, who has represented Phi Kappa Psi, said the statement would come out Friday afternoon. He declined to comment further …
Will Dana, Rolling Stone’s managing editor, also released a statement with new doubt. “In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced,” he said in a statement.
We should see what today’s statement says, and what remains of Jackie’s story – which might still be true in some respects. But this is a huge black eye for Rolling Stone. How an editor ran this piece without even speaking to its author is beyond me; how fact-checkers did not discover some of these obvious discrepancies immediately is also astounding. I guess when you’re on a crusade, “fake but true” will do.