Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Why Nobody is Getting Fired over UVA Rape Hoax

Now that the official word from the Columbia Journalism School has been handed down on the UVA Rape Hoax, the Rolling Stone article on the rape of "Jackie" by seven frat boys at the University of Virginia, the world wonders: why is nobody getting fired?

Why is the writer, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, still writing for Rolling Stone? Why does UVA President Teresa Sullivan still have a job? Why is "Jackie" not in the coils of the law?

The New York Times takes a philosophical view of the whole matter. It quotes Rolling Stone  managing editor Will Dana:
Mr. Dana said that the report was punishment enough for those involved, and that they did not deserve to lose their jobs because the article “was not the result of patterns in the work of these people.”
So that's all right. Nothing to see here.

Jonah Goldberg ain't too happy either. This is not just about a rogue journalist and fabulist, he writes, like the good old days of Stephen Glass at The New Republic and Janet Cooke at the Washington Post. Everyone at Rolling Stone was in on it. But he knows why the liberals can't quite get it together and punish the wrongdoers. It's because they don't think anyone really did anything wrong.
Why? Because in their hearts they’re sure they were right, and that’s all that matters.
The narrative is right, and that's all that matters. There is a problem with sexual harassment on campus, and liberals need to teach America about it and cure the sick racist sexist homophobic culture that condones it.

But Ben Shapiro takes the notion of the all-important "narrative" to a new insight. He reckons that it's actually beneficial for the "narrative" when activists use a lie to advance it. The point is that a "narrative can only be forwarded if there is controversy over the facts." If "everyone agreed that Jackie had been gang raped" then no controversy. We send the guilty off to jail. End of Story.
But the leftist narrative requires an opposition, a group of evil haters who take rape less than seriously...

So the left specifically chooses to feature situations in which facts are under dispute. Then leftists claim that no one could reasonably dispute the facts; the only people who would dispute facts about the occurrence of an evil are those who sympathize with the evil.
On this view the tendentious claim, from a survey of two colleges that one in five women experience harassment during their time is college, is much better than the official Department of Justice numbers that the rate is more like 0.03 in five. Then you can claim that anyone opposing your narrative is a potential rapist, and not taking the issue seriously.

Hello climate change, where the skeptics of catastrophic global warming are associated with Holocaust "deniers."

You can see that this strategy goes all the way back to Marx and his argument about the bourgeoisie and the working class. Having waved his hands and declared that the working class was being grievously exploited by the capitalists, then any objector to his program could be dismissed as merely the bribed apologist of the bourgeoisie.

The truth is that after 170 years of this, we responsible individuals of the middle class still haven't come up with a way to neutralize it.

And that is the real scandal.

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