The cartoonist behind Doonesbury defended the recent publication of a comic strip which criticized the University of Virginia for its alleged role in the now-debunked story of a gang rape detailed last month in Rolling Stone.
Garry Trudeau, a liberal cartoonist, blamed a “long lead time” for the cartoon’s publication on Sunday — which came more than three weeks after Rolling Stone issued a lengthy editor’s note essentially retracting the article, which featured the story of a student named Jackie who claimed she was gang-raped by seven members of a fraternity in 2012.
The cartoon begins with one of the Doonesbury characters telling her daughter, “You’re not going to UVA!”
“Who is this frat boy monster? Who tells his victim that he ‘had a great time?'” the character continued, referencing a scene in the Rolling Stone article in which Jackie tells of the conversation she had with her alleged rapist days after her attack.
“And why do our most trusted institutions — universities, the church, the military — continue to cover up sexual violence crimes that in any other context would result in long prison terms!”
Jackie’s story fell apart after it came to light that her story had changed over time. Three of Jackie’s friends who came to her aid on the night she says she was raped also came forward and confirmed that Jackie’s story had changed drastically. (RELATED: Here Is What The UVA Student Behind The Rolling Stone Article Wrote About A Friend She Had A Crush On)
Trudeau defended his latest comic strip on two fronts.
“We’d hoped it would be obvious that the strip was written before Rolling Stone admitted problems in its reporting,” Trudeau told Slate. “It’s not the first time I’ve been overtaken by events, and it won’t be the last—the occupational hazard of a long lead time.”
But Trudeau went further, also defending the substance of the comic strip.
“Jackie’s story was not the focus, only the setup for commentary on institutional conflict of interest in adjudicating sexual assault, an issue that did not disappear with the credibility of the article,” Trudeau said. “Not even UVA has claimed otherwise.”
John Glynn, the president of Uclick, which publishes Doonesbury, also defended Trudeau, but in doing so called his own company’s judgement into question.
He told Slate that Trudeau submitted the comic strip before the Rolling Stone article fell apart.
Glynn did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller’s question about whether the company knew that the article was error-filled before it decided to run the strip on Sunday.