Rolling Stone Managing Editor Will Dana offered up a rather pathetic apology to its readers today. I say pathetic because if you actually read the story in last month’s issue regarding “Jackie’s” account of her rape on the campus of University of Virginia (UVA) you will have had the same response I did. How on earth could reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely rely on a single source for the basis of this story? Where was/is the corroborating evidence? Will mentions that no effort was made to contact Jackie’s supposed “orchestrator” of the rape attack nor any of the supposed individuals who participated in order to honor her request for fear of retaliation. How could a journalist NOT seek to find corroborating evidence for this type of action? Erdely should be ashamed of herself and the grand disservice she did to women all over the world who’ve endured any kind of sexual assault. Gang rape is no laughing matter and Erdely herself should issue a formal apology for the story she crafted. It seems Erdely was more interested in publishing a “good story” instead of actually checking and verifying her facts before standing by it.
Will Dana should bow his head in shame for approving the story. What is the current readership of Rolling Stone? How lousy are the numbers? Was it the drama behind the story that Dana sought to take advantage of knowing that the subject matter was going to generate a tsunami of publicity?
I’ve never paid for a Rolling Stone subscription. Although there are writers like Matt Taibbi whom I like reading, overall, I never felt the content was worthy of a subscription. This was a major F-up by Rolling Stone. I hope this experience serves only to improve on the publication’s quality of its journalism.