Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Morning Links

Rolling Stone rape story doubts, Joe Morrissey in court, and decriminalized pot.

Posted on Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 8:39 AM

After a full two weeks of uncritically reporting on the presence of and reaction to a grim Rolling Stone report on rape at the University of Virginia, local and national outlets are beginning to question the veracity of the story.

The top of today’s Times-Dispatch opinion page wonders “Is the Rolling Stone story a fable?” The column is filled with scare quotes.

Other outlets took a more tactful approach to doubts surrounding certain aspects of the article. At the Washington Post, Eric Wimple put it this way: “For the sake of Rolling Stone’s reputation, Sabrina Rubin Erdely (the story’s author) had better be the country’s greatest judge of character.”

The New York Times interviewed two journalism professors, who defended the piece.

Helen Benedict, a Columbia University journalism professor who has reported on sexual assault in the military, also defended the story. “If a reporter were doing a story about a university accused of failing to address the mugging or robbery of a student, that reporter would not be expected to interview the alleged mugger or robber,” she said. “The piece might have been stronger with more than one source, but exposés of wrongdoing often start with one whistle-blower.”

Outlets now raising doubts include: The LA Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times. Oh, and WRIC.

In other news:

Del. Joe Morrissey, accused of felony charges related to an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old, is due in court today for a pre-trial hearing. [WWBT]

Only three of nine City Council members took an online survey about how often they should meet. [Times-Dispatch]

A random blog says Richmond is the most dangerous city in the state. [WWBT]

Jeff Schapiro says current talk of decriminalizing marijuana in Virginia echoes legislative recommendations for the 1970s. Spoiler: It went nowhere. [Times-Dispatch]

The city clerk says the city IT department isn’t very helpful. [Times-Dispatch]



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