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Kurtz: Rolling Stone UVA Story ‘One of the Worst Journalistic Catastrophes’ in Half-Century

Fox News Media Analyst and “MediaBuzz” host Howard Kurtz declared Rolling Stone’s UVA rape story “one of the worst journalistic catastrophes of the last half-century” in an interview on Monday’s “Kelly File” on the Fox News Channel.

“This is one of the worst journalistic catastrophes of the last half-century” he declared. And “it’s unimaginable that this thing got published. It’s not just that the magazine didn’t talk to the alleged attackers and there was no deal with the accuser named ‘Jackie’ to do that, the magazine didn’t talk to ‘Jackie’s’ friends, who would have shot down this fraudulent scheme had they been contacted. The editors didn’t even know the name of the alleged date that took her to the alleged frat party where the alleged assault took place. Not surprising, in retrospect, since no such person exists.

Kurtz added that the doubt that future rape victims would face is “the really corrosive damage that this alleged act of journalism has caused. And not only is nobody being punished at Rolling Stone, despite this Columbia report, none of the editors are being disciplined, Sabrina Erdely, the reporter, will continue to be a contributing editor, but this is a classic case of an activist reporter and a magazine that wanted to launch a crusade. And so it couldn’t just be a rape, it had to be a gang rape, and it couldn’t just be a gang rape, it had to be her was face was injured by shattered glass. And so, all the spectacular elements here, the very thing that made it, I guess, an irresistible tale for Rolling Stone, makes it all the more imperative that you check and double check. And it turns out there was no corroboration here, because it didn’t happen.”

He concluded, “I don’t think Rolling Stone understands what a message that sends, that the damage done by this trip down fantasy lane, the damage done to all the reputations, including specific people at UVA who were misquoted, and were portrayed as insensitive, uncaring toward ‘Jackie,’ to have nobody suffer any penalty at all says to me they still don’t get it.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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