USUALLY, IN A JOURNALISTIC FRAUD OR PLAGIARISM SCANDAL, THE FIRST CASE YOU FIND OUT ABOUT IS JUST THE FIRST CASE YOU FIND OUT ABOUT: Ashe Schow: Has the Rolling Stone gang-rape author EVER corroborated a story?
In the wake of Rolling Stone’s refusal to fire the author behind its now-retracted and now infamous University of Virginia gang-rape story, one has to wonder if this is a rare mistake or a pattern of behavior.
There are some big hints that it is the latter.
Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the author in question, actually has a history of writing articles based solely on one person’s account, with no indication that she even tried to corroborate the story or hear any other potential side. . . .
Every story Erdely writes begins the same way — with a story about her main source’s experience written as if Erdely witnessed it herself. From there the article only seeks to bolster the source’s account — all with a credulity that lends itself more to fiction writing than journalism.
The question is whether Rolling Stone will do what the New Republic did in the wake of the Stephen Glass controversy — that is, to review Erdely’s past work and decide whether she should continue to be trusted as an author.
Well, I know the answer to that question already, but yeah.