The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

More UVA Rape Hoax Fallout

Posted on | July 30, 2015 | 33 Comments

Ashe Schow reports:

Three members of the fraternity accused in a now-retracted Rolling Stone article of facilitating a brutal gang rape are suing the magazine, its publisher and the author.
George Elias IV, Ross Fowler and Stephen Hadford allege in their lawsuit that they were easily identified as members of Phi Kappa Psi who could have participated in the gang-rape, which was proved false shortly after the article was published. The three men have since graduated but allege in their lawsuit that they were subjected to harassment following the article’s publication.
Elias’ bedroom was at the top of the first flight of stairs in the fraternity house, and was “the mostly likely scene of the alleged crime,” the former students say. Elias says in the lawsuit that after “family friends, acquaintances, co-workers and reporters” identified him as one of the potential attackers, they “interrogated him, humiliated him, and scolded him.” Fowler and Hadford say they “suffered similar attacks.”
The lawsuit alleges that the students’ names and hometowns were listed online by anonymous Internet commenters, ensuring their “names will forever be associated with the alleged gang rape.” . . .
Once Elias was identified, he was “solicited daily for three consecutive days at his own home” by T. Rees Shapiro of the Washington Post, whose own investigation into the Rolling Stone claims brought about the article’s demise. Elias claims in the lawsuit that he “became nervous and distraught that reporters were easily able to find him and solicit him at his home.” . . .
The men are suing for two counts of defamation and “negligent infliction of emotional distress,” requesting $75,000 for each of the three counts.
The Rolling Stone story at the center of the lawsuit, “A Rape on Campus,” claimed that a University of Virginia college freshman named “Jackie” was gang-raped by seven fraternity members at a Phi Psi party. One of her alleged attackers was her date for the evening, “Drew,” who allegedly worked as a lifeguard at the school aquatics facility. . . .
As the story fell apart, different names were given for “Drew,” including “Haven Monahan.”
The fraternity members note in their lawsuit that no such party or gathering took place the night Jackie claimed — there was no pledging in the fall semester, no one named “Drew” or “Haven Monahan” was a member at the time, no member worked as a lifeguard at the time and no member matched the physical description given in the article.
In fact, neither “Drew” nor “Haven Monahan” ever existed.
Further, Charlottesville police investigated the claims made in the article and acknowledged in a press conference that the department was “not able to conclude to any substantive degree” that such claims were accurate.
The false article led to Phi Psi’s fraternity house being vandalized, and the fraternity was suspended by U.Va. President Teresa Sullivan, who, even after admitting the story was false, imposed numerous restrictions on Phi Psi and other fraternities.
The fraternity members’ lawsuit is the second filed against Rolling Stone due to the retracted story. U.Va. Dean Nicole Eramo, who was the only named villain in the article, filed a lawsuit in May against the magazine for its portrayal of her.
Amid the lawsuits, Rolling Stone announced that Managing Editor Will Dana is set to leave the magazine on Aug. 7. Dana issued an apology for the discredited article on Dec. 5, 2014, and received a backlash for suggesting that the problem with the story was the magazine’s “misplaced” trust in Jackie. . . .
Dana told the Columbia Journalism Review, which did a deep dive into the journalistic failures of the article, that he didn’t know Erdely hadn’t found the rapist named by Jackie, and when the source stopped responding to messages, Dana allowed Erdely to stop looking for the accused rapist and use a pseudonym in the article.
Rolling Stone’s publisher, Jann S. Wenner, whose media company is also being sued by the fraternity members, didn’t answer questions about whether Dana was leaving due to the gang-rape article. Instead, through a spokesman, he told the New York Times that “many factors go into a decision like this.”
Dana does not have another job lined up, and no successor has been named.

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Comments

  • concern00

    Hold them to account and use the system against them…while it still works.

  • BSR

    Let there be consequences.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    I wish the plaintiffs success.

  • RS

    Yeah. Expect attempts to insulate colleges and universities from civil suits based on violations of Title IX.

  • John Thompson

    They ask too little. That’s chump change to Rolling Stone. They should be suing for ten times that amount–maybe that will make these people think a bit.

  • RS

    Sort of relevant, Camille Paglia at Slate:

    I wanted to ask you about that. If Emma Sulkowicz were a student of yours, in an art class you were teaching, how would you grade her work?

    [laughs] I’d give her a D! I call it “mattress feminism.” Perpetually lugging around your bad memories–never evolving or moving on! It’s like a parody of the worst aspects of that kind of grievance-oriented feminism. I called my feminism “Amazon feminism” or “street-smart feminism,” where you remain vigilant, learn how to defend yourself, and take responsibility for the choices you make. If something bad happens, you learn from it. You become stronger and move on. But hauling a mattress around on campus? Columbia, one of the great Ivy League schools with a tremendous history of scholarship, utterly disgraced itself in how it handled that case. It enabled this protracted masochistic exercise where a young woman trapped herself in her own bad memories and publicly labeled herself as a victim, which will now be her identity forever. This isn’t feminism–which should empower women, not cripple them.

    I may disagree with Paglia on many things, but I think I could sit down with her for a beer and have an engaging conversation.

  • Greg

    I’m not looking for link rt now but a successor has been named.

  • mole

    Until people lose jobs and careers over this it will continue.
    I think the single biggest failing of most “western” countries has been the loss of consequences for aberrant behavior.

    For example you have 1/2 the “weathermen” ensconced in academia, in a just nation they would be flipping burgers or emigrated to North Korea instead of influencing teaching.
    The IRS tea party targeting scandal, as far as I know not one person, at any level has been sanctioned, let alone sacked.
    There are dozens and dozens of other examples, the UVA hoax is a huge one, not one person involved at the university has lost their job over lies and intimidation of innocent people.

    The end result is to corrode the trust of people in the rule of law, once you lose that then why consent to be governed by the lawless?

  • mole

    Good article.
    What was it about repeating history, 2nd time as a farce?

  • Fail Burton

    Psychopaths and liars; a perfect reflection of the ideology which started this whole thing. I’m honestly not surprised India and some sub-Saharan African nations are only just now strengthening anti-homosexual laws. Why now – 50 years after a global cultural revolution and acceptance of such issues? The easy answer is there is a difference between wanting a seat at the table and announcing you will subvert the gender of children and destroy religion and the nuclear family. Liberalism has been infiltrated by a hate movement flying under a false flag.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Eugene Volokh did a couple of articles on the libel aspect of this case – here is the second and most specific: http://wapo.st/1ODASXc

    It’s unlikely the individuals have a case because they were part of a large group of which only a few were accused. Regardless of the reactions they list, the record on group defamation argues against them. Only if one of the men were in the small discussion group Jackie alleged one attacker was in, would he have grounds because that would narrow the suspicion to him (we already know none of the members was a lifeguard at the same pool as Jackie – the other way she ID’d the one – or has the two names given for him).

    There is a much better chance for the Dean who sued, and for the fraternity itself as an organization, both because of the reckless disregard for standard practices in writing and editing the story.

  • DeadMessenger

    Which is complete and total bs, IMO. When an authority figure does stoopid stuff, i.e., idiotic and irrational responses to idiotic and irrational Title IX complaints, their feet should be held to the fire. Jackasses. And this is a university, for pity’s sake.

    Academe, educate thyself.

  • DeadMessenger

    What, no snappy photoshop?? I feel ripped off. =)

  • DeadMessenger

    I thought it was meh. Taking responsibility for the choices you make is maturity, not feminism, and applies to everyone.

    Having said that though, she at least was coherent, and maybe even somewhat reasonable for a feminist.

    Maybe if she got a few beers in her…

  • DeadMessenger

    In a just nation, the Weathermen would still be serving their life sentences with no possibility of parole. Especially Bernadine Dornn. If it’s good enough for Manson, it oughta be good enough for her, “dig it”. (They’d have to make sure she couldn’t access any forks though.)

  • DeadMessenger

    Maybe, but if this were a jury trial, and I was in that jury, I’d find for the plaintiffs, regardless. And you know why? If judges can legislate from the bench, I can legislate from the jury deliberation room.

    Thank you, I’m here all week. Remember to tip your blog host. 😀

  • Art Deco

    The legal profession almost never holds the media accountable, even for egregious misconduct (see Zimmerman, George, and an NBC affiliate). I’m hoping for a future when the other institutions in society hit both hard and high.

  • texlovera

    I hope they sue them back to the Stone Age.

  • http://atlantarofters.blogspot.com/ The Sanity Inspector

    The “Too Good To Check” file just keeps on giving…

  • Joe Guelph

    It’s been noted that the heaviest sentences for Sixties terrorism came down on Blacks (the Black Panther Party) and far-Right working-class Whites (the KKK, the Minutemen), whereas the college-educated, upper-middle-class Weathermen and their ilk mostly escaped long-term punishment for their crimes. Bill Ayers, Obama’s buddy and a well-connected rich kid, is a particularly galling example of the latter.

  • Grandson Of TheGrumpus

    Sorry to have to ask this, but…
    I’m having reading comprehension problems ;~)? today.
    Is the amount $75k/count/person, or $75k/count, split three-ways?

    Either way, ($75k/count/person or $75k/count split-three), I think that they are going easy on Rolling Stone, et al.

    What’s a person’s “Good Name” worth, anyway? World-wide blackening of a person’s name is what I’d call “an irrevocable act” — utterly impossible to undo!

    It is, to my mind, a murder of their name, their “public person”— nothing less!

    I wouldn’t think raising the pay-out by a factor of 10 to be overmuch.

  • Quartermaster

    We’ll see what happens. I seriously doubt we’ve heard the entire story.

  • Quartermaster

    Nah. their bodies would be moldering in the grave after they were cut down from the lamp posts they decorated.

  • Quartermaster

    I don’t think you can call either the minutemen of KKK “far right.” The Klan was an admixture of people from all walks of life. The Minuteman stuff I saw was all leftist.

  • Quartermaster

    Beer may have been part of the original problem.

  • Quartermaster

    yeah. I think we should ban EBL when she doesn’t post a good photoshop.

  • Joe Guelph

    Okay — “non-New-Left radicals,” then.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    You have to specify nominal damages – I believe they ask $75K each, but the real money would be in the punitive damages anyway.

  • RS

    Seventy-thousand is a jurisdictional amount for federal courts. It’s not a maximum, but a minimum in order to have your case heard by a federal judge where the underlying action is predicated upon state law and the parties are residents/citizens of different states. The plaintiffs are averring that each of their damages exceed $75K.

  • Dystopia Max

    “Perpetually lugging around your bad memories–never evolving or moving on!”

    Yeah, that’s kind of not the tone you want to take for an opener regarding the girl who maliciously and continually lied about a fellow student commiting a felony offense for a whole year.

    Would have started with: “The only thing more evil than what that girl did was the culture that enabled her to get away with it!” and ended with “…and that is why, for the good of our national civilization and the security of our future, the 19th Amendment must be repealed immediately.”

    “I called my feminism “Amazon feminism” or “street-smart feminism,”
    where you remain vigilant, learn how to defend yourself, and take
    responsibility for the choices you make.”

    The only proper response to that is Jim’s “All women are immature until menopause.” This site’s history proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

  • Grandson Of TheGrumpus

    Than you for enlightening me! It’s really appreciated… I know little about the law.

  • Grandson Of TheGrumpus

    Thank you for the information!

    I guess that the huge settlements I read of are mostly punitive damages.

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