DC Trawler

Rolling Stone, Sabrina Erdely, Jann Wenner Found Liable With Malice In UVA Rape Hoax Lawsuit

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Trust but verify. That’s good advice for all of us, but it’s particularly applicable to Rolling Stone and their once-star reporter Sabrina Erdely. They really wanted to believe that a woman named Jackie Coakley was gang-raped on broken glass at a Phi Kappa Psi party at the University of Virginia. She wasn’t. And now it’s going to cost them.

WVIR in Charlottesville, VA:

Sabrina Erdely found liable with malice on six claims, Rolling Stone and Wenner Media liable on three claims.

Rape is a very serious crime. All the more reason to make sure there’s any basis whatsoever for a rape accusation. Most women are telling the truth, but that doesn’t mean they all are. The existence of rape doesn’t make “rape deniers” out of people who want some sort of evidence beyond the accusation itself, and who refuse to ignore any evidence to the contrary.

Kudos to the people who looked at this story with a skeptical eye and spoke up about it, even when everybody was yelling at them to shut up. Today they were vindicated.

P.S. I learned about this story from Robby Soave at Reason. The story didn’t add up to him, and he said so. He has a follow-up today:

Rolling Stone and its publisher tried to argue that they made an innocent mistake: they trusted Jackie, a woman wholly committed to deceiving them. During the trial, Wenner went as far as to suggest that the article was accurate, aside from Jackie’s account—as if the two were capable of being separated.

That’s right: Jann Wenner said the gang-rape story was accurate, except for the part about the gang-rape. I’m glad I lived long enough to watch that guy destroy whatever was left of his credibility.

A lot of people owe Robby an apology. Starting with…