Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Daily Cavalier's Reporting on the UVA Rape Hoax

The now-discredited University of Virginia rape story is not only an embarrassment for Rolling Stone magazine, but an embarrassment for the university itself. As in the Duke lacrosse saga, innocent lives have been damaged by the accusations of gang rape. The fraternity concerned at UVA was the object of violent demonstrations. The university administration was negligent in reporting the allegation to the police and generally made a mess of the whole issue.

In addition, the campus paper, The Daily Cavalier, is wiping mud off its face.

I tend to be gentle with student journalists, who are young people learning their craft. Yet, campus papers have tremendous influence on campuses in shaping public opinion as regards to campus issues.

In the current, below-linked issue, I picked out one of the reader comments:

"Rolling Stone absolutely messed up in every way possible, but it's not like the CavDaily was blameless. Its managing board bought the story hook, line, and sinker. If it weren't for the WashPo doing the CavDaily's job, who knows if the truth would have come out. The CavDaily needs to apologize for failing to perform even the most basic journalistic investigation."

Here is an article from November 2014, in which it is reported that President Teresa Sullivan requests an investigation by the Charlottesville police.

In December, the Daily Cavalier ran this piece below using a claim that 1 in 5 females in college will be sexually assaulted in college-a very questionable statistic, which Fox's Brett Hume debunked this week. That number came from an online survey based on two colleges as shown in the Cavalier's own Washington Post link. I have also heard the numbers 1 in 3 and 1 and 4 thrown about. I don't buy it. In my view, the biggest problem is binge drinking parties. You don't need a lot of imagination to see the connection to sex.

"The University of Virginia — like most American universities — has a problem with rape. Current estimates, cited earlier this year by Vice President Joe Biden, hold that one in five women will be sexually assaulted while in college. That means that in my 200-person politics lecture, roughly a full row will be filled with survivors. In my 20-person major seminar, there are at least two. That is not a calculus I should have to work out in the margins of my Marx-Engels reader."

In the below article in February, even as the story was in their own words, "falling apart", look how the paper singles out "far-right conservatives":

"The Daily published one particularly important piece once the Rolling Stone story was falling apart and far-right conservatives used the revelations as an excuse to accuse Jackie of fabricating her entire experience. Emily Clark, Jackie’s suitemate freshman year, wrote an editorial stating that “Jackie’s story is not a hoax,” and she detailed the dark depression Jackie fell into after whatever happened to her that night in 2012. It was shared thousands of times on social media and cited by dozens of national news outlets."

There is a very dangerous trend going on in academia-not just UVA. Campus sexual assault is the hot-button issue. At the same time, the binge drinking factor is not being adequately addressed. Why? Because that would place some of the responsibility on women who drank to the point of being incapacitated or simply made a bad choice while intoxicated which they later regretted. That in no way excuses men from taking  advantage of the situation. What it underlines is that a much smaller percentage of rapes involve a guy jumping out of the bushes or breaking down a dorm room door to forcibly attack a woman.

Any man who sexually assaults a woman or takes advantage of a woman who is less than sober is a despicable man. Rape is one of the most heinous crimes in our society. However, we must face the college issue honestly and not allow political correctness to force a rush to judgment or take the position that somehow it makes no difference as to the truth of the matter because  the accusation (in this case, Jackie's) "raised awareness". The Duke and UVA cases prove that universities are not equipped to investigate rape allegations. rape is a crime and that should be left to the police. UVA sat on the allegations for over a year until the police were brought in. Yet, this same university and their clueless president, Teresa Sullivan, are patting themselves on the back and talking about how they are "leading".

This is the result of how UVA "leads".

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