10:29 AM, Dec 6, 2014 • By WHITNEY BLAKE
Two weeks ago, Rolling Stone published a bombshell piece that rocked the academic world. In the story, author Sabrina Erdely detailed a horrific crime — a gang rape at one of the fraternities at the University of Virginia that allegedly took place two years ago.
It turns out the story has more holes than Swiss cheese, and just yesterday, 16 days after publication, Rolling Stone issued an apology.
Erdely and Rolling Stone didn't just make a few spelling errors here and there. According to CNN:
The University of Virginia's Phi Kappa Psi chapter did not have a party the night of September 28, 2012, the date when the reported attack occurred, the fraternity chapter's lawyer, Ben Warthen, told CNN. He said email records and Inter-fraternity Council records prove there was no party.
Warthen said there were other discrepancies in the account from the woman, whom Rolling Stone identified as Jackie, who then had just started her freshman year. For example, the orchestrator of the alleged rape did not belong to the fraternity, the fraternity house has no side staircase and there were no pledges at that time of year.
Fact-checking (or lack thereof) wasn't even Erdely's most atrocious journalistic crime. She didn't speak with any of the fraternity members involved in the alleged attack. She explained later that she didn't feel the need to — she found the subject of her story, Jackie, a University of Virginia student, to be extremely credible. Oh, and she claims: Jackie asked her not to.
Even the Washington Post took Erdely to task:
This lapse is inexcusable: Even if the accused aren’t named in the story, Erdely herself acknowledges that “people seem to know who these people are.” If they were being cited in the story for mere drunkenness, boorish frat-boy behavior or similar collegiate misdemeanors, then there’d be no harm in failing to secure their input. The charge in this piece, however, is gang rape, and so requires every possible step to reach out and interview them, including e-mails, phone calls, certified letters, FedEx letters, UPS letters and, if all of that fails, a knock on the door. No effort short of all that qualifies as journalism.
But for the first 10 days or so after publication, the story sent shock waves throughout the country. Hardly any one publicly doubted the veracity of not only Jackie's account, but also the unambiguous conclusion from the piece that elite universities are breeding grounds for a culture of rape.
One of the more memorable lines from the piece:
Some UVA women, so sickened by the university's culture of hidden sexual violence, have taken to calling it "UVrApe."
Dec 8, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 13 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
The Obama administration’s recently announced Clean Air Act power-plant rules, advertised as helping to control the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, have almost nothing to recommend them. Complex, clunky, and burdensome, they’re likely to spike energy bills while doing almost nothing to control pollution or stop global warming.
9:06 PM, Nov 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Barbara Comstock of Virginia has won her race for the U.S. House, beating Democrat John Foust.
Comstock wins the seat currently held by her former boss, longtime Republican congressman Frank Wolf. A state delegate in the Virginia legislature, Comstock was criticized by her opponent and his allies for never having a "real job."
12:18 PM, Nov 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Virginia Republican party says there are problems with some touchscreen voting machines in Virginia Beach and other communities. The party sent out a video of one voter attempting to vote for Republican House member Scott Rigell. As the voter's finger touches Rigell's box, the vote is registered for Suzanne Patrick. Watch the video below:
12:49 PM, Nov 1, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Ed Gillespie continues to close the gap on Mark Warner in the Virginia Senate race, causing Real Clear Politics to move the race from “Likely Dem” to “Leans Dem.” Virginia is currently the only Senate race in that category, which suggests it’s the GOP’s best chance to stage a substantial upset on election night.
1:51 PM, Oct 31, 2014 • By MARIA SANTOS
Barbara Comstock, the Republican House candidate for Virginia’s diverse Tenth congressional district in the suburbs and exurbs of Washington, lost the first thing she ever ran for: a spot on her high school cheerleading team. “After that, I was like ‘I’m never doing anything again,’” she jokes.
7:17 AM, Oct 31, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Two new polls show Republican Ed Gillespie closing in on Democratic incumbent Mark Warner in the Virginia Senate race. Christopher Newport University, which had Warner up 12 points earlier in the month in its survey, now has Warner's lead down to 7.
4:19 PM, Oct 29, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
A candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, after a debate with his opponent, said that:
9:01 AM, Oct 22, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Entering the final fortnight of the Senate races, something of a pattern has started to develop. Republicans are leading in the Real Clear Politics average of recent polling in all states that were to the right of the national average in the 2012 election (which President Obama won by 4 points), with two exceptions: Kansas, which is tied; and North Carolina, where Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan is clinging to a 2-point lead but has less than 46 percent support. These right-of-center states in which the GOP is leading include six where seats are currently held by Democrats: Arkansas, Alaska, Louisiana, South Dakota, Montana, and West Virginia.
6:30 AM, Oct 19, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
In the wake of their passage of Obamacare, the Democrats have repeatedly claimed two things: Republicans don’t have an alternative, and in any case the health care debate is over. But a Washington Post editorial published Saturday makes it clear that neither of these claims is true.
10:45 AM, Oct 14, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Virginia senator Mark Warner claimed he did not offer a federal judgeship to the daughter of a Democratic state senator who was about to resign, but he did admit that they "brainstormed" about the idea.
10:52 AM, Oct 11, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
There are signs that the U.S. Senate race in Virginia, previously considered a long-shot for Republicans and a safe seat for Democrats, could get interesting in the final weeks of the campaign. The incumbent, Democrat Mark Warner, has had a large lead in the polls over his Republican opponent Ed Gillespie since the beginning of the race.
Ed Gillespie plans to come from behind.Oct 13, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 05 • By FRED BARNES
Some winning campaigns are late-breaking. The most famous is Ronald Reagan’s surge in the last two weeks of the 1980 presidential campaign. And some candidates are elected after being far behind. Mitch McConnell trailed Democratic senator Dee Huddleston by as much as 30 percentage points in 1984, then won narrowly. To capture the Virginia governorship in 1993, George Allen had to erase a gap of 29 percentage points.