In November, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, a leftist scribe for Rolling Stone, fired a nuclear missile at the University of Virginia and a fraternity, spinning a lurid yarn of gang rape headlined “A Rape On Campus.” In December, after The Washington Post and other media exposed that missile as a dud, the magazine kind of retracted the story.
“Re-reporting” is not a common or even known term in journalism, and here’s why: You can’t “re-report” a thing, because as soon as you write about it the first time, you change it; the word suggests that a situation is static, but it is the opposite.
That’s true, but here’s the real problem with Erdely’s pathetic charade. She couldn’t have “re-reported” the story because it was fiction. She had nothing to “re-report.”
In April, Columbia University published a report dissecting Erdely’s and Rolling Stone‘s foul-ups, causing the magazine to admit the story was nonsense. Erdely mumbled an apology that did not admit Jackie, the “victim,” conned her, and did not mention that fraternity. Since then, a university official has sued Rolling Stone, and fraternity has said it will.
But let’s take Erdely’s word. By now, the “re-reporting” should be done. What has it revealed? Has Erdely, silent on Twitter since November, determined why Jackie invented the story? And how did Jackie fool Erdely, whose “tendency … to believe people” never overrides her “finely-tuned bullshit detector”.
Where is the “re-reported” story?