CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A fraternity at the University of Virginia announced Monday that it will “pursue all available legal action” against Rolling Stone, saying a Columbia Journalism School review shows the magazine acted recklessly and defamed its members by publishing an article that falsely accused them of gang rape. “The Rolling Stone article viewed by millions fueled a court of public opinion that ostracized Phi Kappa Psi members and led to vandalism of the fraternity house,” the fraternity’s statement said. –Associated Press
And they shouldn’t stop there. Phi Kappa Psi should be attempting to get Jackie Coakley sent to jail; somewhere where she’s about 200 times more likely to be raped than at Mr. Jefferson’s University. It may, after all, not be the first time Jackie Coakley has tried this.
After they take down Rolling Stoned and Jessica the Jezebel, they can then take down UVA President Teresa Sullivan. Never mind that Rolling Stone Magazine certainly didn’t mind if it sold a few thousand copies. Their retraction and utterly laughable apology came out along with The Easter Bunny.
Glenn Reynolds points out the lynch mob mentality that Teresa Sullivan coddled and played into.
One person who shouldn’t get off the hook here is UVA President Teresa Sullivan. She essentially found the fraternity guilty based on a story in a music tabloid. She could have told the University community that “we don’t convict people based on stories in the media,” that she was going to independently investigate the accusations, and that people named in tabloid stories should be regarded as innocent until proven guilty in the American tradition. She did no such thing. She hastily imposed a group punishment on the entire Greek system, and pretty much stood by while angry crowds mobbed and vandalized the fraternity house.
Then, lo and flippin’ behold, Teresa Sullivan executed a volte face that Mary Lou Retton could not have replicated catapulted off a beam. Her statement on the Rolling Stone article appears below.
“Rolling Stone’s story, ‘A Rape on Campus,’ did nothing to combat sexual violence, and it damaged serious efforts to address the issue. Irresponsible journalism unjustly damaged the reputations of many innocent individuals and the University of Virginia. Rolling Stone falsely accused some University of Virginia students of heinous, criminal acts, and falsely depicted others as indifferent to the suffering of their classmate. The story portrayed University staff members as manipulative and callous toward victims of sexual assault. Such false depictions reinforce the reluctance sexual assault victims already feel about reporting their experience, lest they be doubted or ignored. –UVA Today
So I’m going totally out of character here and rooting for the Frat Boys. They should pillage Rolling Stone Magazine. They should have a lien on The Rotunda by the time they get done sacking Mr. Jefferson’s Endowment Fund. They should have Jackie Coakley cast out into the outer darkness with the appropriate wailing and gnashing of teeth. If they can do that; and I’ll stop calling them Wahoos because they’re too drunk to spell Cavalier. Let the Roundheads be put to flight. Let the Glorious Restoration of basic decency occur in historical Charlottesville, Virginia.
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