Disgraced Rolling Stone Reporter’s Tweets Come Back To Haunt Her

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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Before Rolling Stone apologized for publishing her blockbuster article about a gruesome gang rape at the University of Virginia, Sabrina Rubin Erdely used to pretend on Twitter that she was an ethical journalist.

In some of her best Twitter takes, she showed a penchant for frowning upon the acts of other journalists’ faux pas while acting as if she was a staunch adherent to journalistic Gospel.

In a Rolling Stone article published last month, Erdely reported the story of a woman named Jackie who said she was brutally raped by seven UVA fraternity members in 2012. But as The Washington Post reported Friday, major holes have appeared in Jackie’s story. And Erdely’s reporting methods have been called into question. (RELATED: UVA Gang Rape Story Falls To Pieces)

One criticism that has been leveled against Erdely is that she has gone to great lengths to hide exactly how she investigated Jackie’s claims. She’s been accused of playing her investigative methods too close to her vest by avoiding direct questions about how she vetted Jackie’s claims.

But back in September, in the same time period she was reporting on the UVA story, Erdely complained about a source cancelling an interview which she claimed was an act of secrecy.

Also in September, Erdely indicated that her story idea file was possibly frightening. No telling how many fraudulent leads it contained.

Earlier this year, during a kerfuffle involving a story published at Grantland, a sports website, Erdely bristled at editor Bill Simmons’ handling of the blowback to the piece — which exposed a transsexual woman named Dr. V who committed suicide, allegedly after being exposed by the reporter for perpetuating a scheme involving golf club technology. While Erdely has been stone silent since Jackie’s story has been called into question, Rolling Stone has issued an apology that some have claimed unfairly blamed Jackie for the magazine’s failures. 

Erdely also touched on an issue that came to light in her UVA story. In its expose on Friday, The Washington Post reported that Erdely agreed to allow Jackie to fact-check her article before publication. She also agreed to now name the men she claimed raped her. Erdely also appears not to have even tried to contact the men, at Jackie’s request.


Erdely also previously claimed to be concerned about the well-being of her sources. That contradicts claims now being made by Jackie that Erdely pressured her to tell her tale of gang rape. Jackie told The Post that when she said that she didn’t want her story to be told in Rolling Stone, that Erdely responded that the story was going to run no matter what.

Erdely also indicted that she was a thorough reporter, one who fully vets her sources. That claim seems mere posturing now that it has been documented that Erdely failed to do even the most basic research on Jackie or on the men that she accused of raping her. 

Erdely also appeared to take pleasure in disgraced reporter Stephen Glass’ sorry attempt to get his California law license. In the 1990s, Glass was found to have fabricated numerous stories he wrote for The New Republic. He is a former colleague of Erdely’s. He has also reported for Rolling Stone.

And showing that she knows how to pick ’em, Erdely expressed adoration for Russell Brand, the wacky British comedian whose leftist ramblings are generally incoherent.


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