Talk about the failure of fundamental journalism! In any other profession—medical, legal, financial—the guilty party would be struck off. In journalism, the guilty party—as in Rolling Stone—continues on its merry way of disinformation and downright fabrication. Some Duke University lacrosse players must be nodding their heads, as in we’ve seen it all before. Let’s start with Duke back in 2006. Three lacrosse players, all white and top students, were accused and convicted by the media—TV, internet, newspapers like the New York Times, race hustlers, academics, and other such busybodies—long before they had an opportunity to defend themselves. The charge was rape of an exotic dancer, hired to perform at a party off campus following a lacrosse game.
Actually, the exotic dancer was a stripper and worked as an escort, a euphemism for a prostitute. She already had a conviction for stealing a taxi and leading the police on a high-speed chase. Nevertheless, the accused were white, and she was a black woman, and those who believe every man to be a rapist went to town. Well, after they had their say and the boys’ character had been assassinated, justice was served, and the boys went free after it was proved her charges were totally bogus. The media, however, never apologized, nor was there an investigation as to how they got it so wrong to begin with. The men were white; the woman was black; it was normal to believe her. The woman, Crystal Mangum, is at present doing 14 to 18 years for second-degree murder. End of story—but not quite.
Enter an agenda-driven “journalist” by the name of Sabrina Rubin Erdely (sounds like a made-up name covering all the bases) whose opus toward fame and fortune for Rolling Stone was called “A Rape On Campus.” And this is where I come in. Young Taki went to the University of Virginia in 1955 and pledged St. Elmo, the top fraternity on campus, having also received a bid from Phi Kappa Psi, the house where the alleged gang rape of one “Jackie” took place. When I read the story, and while the usual suspects I named above were having the usual field day excoriating frats, white males, and privileged students, I immediately smelled a rat. No, I am not smarter than the rest, but I had gone to UVA, had joined a fraternity, and knew the prevalent honor system. A frat brother does not lie or cheat, and if he’s aware of someone lying or cheating he’s obliged to report it. Rape is far worse than lying or cheating, so the claim that seven frat brothers participated and no one cried foul was impossible for me to swallow. The Jeffersonian honor system works and has always worked at UVA, something that riles lowlifes like those who work at and contribute to Rolling Stone. Like the New York Times, the magazine will run any story that denigrates old American Christian ethics and customs, and to hell with the truth. Personally, the honor system worked to perfection. I was never tempted to break it and made lifelong friends because of it. But, like the Duke case, this is by now an old story. What is not is the fact that Jann Wenner, owner and editor-in-chief of Rolling Stone, has refused to fire the people responsible, thus making the kind of dishonesty shown by Rubin Erdely almost incidental in reporting, and ditto for inventing facts, lying to colleagues, and plagiarism. Rolling Stone has a long history of making it up. It ruined the career of General McChrystal, the senior commander in Afghanistan, by having its reporter pose as a friend and pick up after-hours chatter, some of it unkind about President Obama’s understanding of the war. Although many of the quotes attributed were questionable at best, white military officers poking fun at a black president was a story everyone would take at face value. In its desperate quest to be relevant, Rolling Stone then put Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover, calling him an all-American boy and other such horrid drivel. It did not for a moment think that some of the victims might not agree. To hell with the late Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, and three-year-old Martin Richard, as well as some 250 others who lost limbs. Profits and publicity come first.
Now Rolling Stone is facing a lawsuit by those fraternity boys who had their lives almost ruined by an unscrupulous reporter fabricating a story that she knew an unscrupulous magazine would run, no matter the horrors it would inflict on innocent students. Their crime was to be male, white, and members of a fraternity. And, worse, even after the story had begun to fall apart, still the magazine insisted. It could have killed it but refused. If Sabrina Rubin Erdely was desperate for a rape story, all she had to do was track a few NFL and NBA stars. But they’re mostly black millionaires with good defense lawyers, and black-on-black rapes do not rake in big bucks. Stephen Glass, Janet Cooke, Jayson Blair—rejoice! Your group of liars and cheaters has now been joined by Sabrina Rubin Erdely and the whole filthy group at Rolling Stone.