December 10, 2014

DAVE WEIGEL: Rolling Stone, Lena Dunham, and the ‘Rape Culture’ Backlash: Why sensitivity to rape victims might have led to flawed reporting. “Breitbart News was pilloried for investigating this. The attacks were of the sort Cooke was arguing against; they seemed to imply that anyone questioning a rape story was endorsing the culprit over the victim. That wasn’t what Nolte was doing. As Eugene Volokh explained in the Washington Post, Dunham might have opened herself to a libel suit from ‘identifiable conservative Barry.’ To many people, not just conservatives, the media’s sensitivity to ‘rape culture’ seemed to lead to lower standards that damaged peoples’ reputations. Hence the backlash.”

There are a lot of women in media who will shriek at anyone, male or female, who departs from the preferred narrative. Fear of them produces lousy journalism and, sometimes, expensively libelous mistakes.

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