When a sensational rape story is found to be fraudulent, there are few ramifications for those who perpetrated the hoax in the first place.
To take the most recent example, no one is getting fired at Rolling Stone for its fraudulent article about a brutal gang rape at the University of Virginia. The fact-checkers who failed to raise sufficient concerns about the lack of corroborating evidence, the editors who removed crucial details that would have made the article’s weaknesses clear, and the author who sought a sensational story to fit an agenda will all keep their jobs. . . .
And beyond those at RS who allowed the hoax to go forward, those who helped spread the story once it was published faced no consequences either. U.Va. president Teresa Sullivan offered no apology for her role in treating Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity accused in the RS article, as guilty from the start. Similarly, there appears to be no investigation to discover the vandals who smashed windows and spray-painted hateful messages at the fraternity house.
Jackie, the source of the false article, still has her privileged status as a victim, despite there being no evidence that she is the victim of anything.
The same was true of the Duke lacrosse hoax nearly a decade ago. Richard Brodhead is still the president of the university. Wendy Murphy, who spread lie after lie about the case on television throughout the ordeal, is still being asked for her opinion (in fact she was quoted in the now-retracted Rolling Stone article — go figure). The activists and professors who smeared the lacrosse players were never held accountable.
At least with Duke, the prosecutor who targeted the lacrosse players to advance his own personal ambitions was disbarred. The police officer who helped railroad the students was merely reassigned. (He retired in 2008 and committed suicide in 2014, although it is unclear whether his role in the hoax had anything to do with his death.) The accuser, Crystal Mangum, faced no repercussions for filing a false report, and in fact went on to write a book. But in an unrelated twist, she is now serving a prison sentence for second-degree murder.
In the case of Tawana Brawley — arguably the most famous rape hoax in modern U.S. history — she eluded paying defamation damages for 25 years. Al Sharpton, who embraced and lied about that case, has his own show on MSNBC today. Although he was ordered to pay damages as well, he refused for years before his friends finally paid his debt for him.
Meanwhile, in each of these cases, those accused in the initial hoax suffered far greater punishments than the liars who created the hoax. Phi Kappa Psi had their house vandalized and reputation greatly tarnished by the media without receiving an apology from anyone. (They’re now suing.) . . .
Even when rape hoaxes are exposed, political correctness and a demand to adhere to the ultimate “rape culture” narrative keeps false accusers insulated while the wrongly accused suffer.
Yeah, that needs to stop now.