Rolling Stone, You Screwed Up

Heads should have rolled, Jann Wenner
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2015 1:59 PM CDT
Rolling Stone, You Screwed Up
Jann Wenner speaks at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Monday, March 14, 2011, in New York.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

The scathing critique of Rolling Stone's campus rape story is out, the story retracted, legal action pending, and ... no heads are rolling? A look around the landscape shows near-universal shock at Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner's decision to not fire reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely and various editors and fact-checkers associated with the story, the magazine's refusal to acknowledge any sort of institutional breakdown in need of correction, and Wenner's shot at alleged rape victim "Jackie." Without further ado:

  • "Um, WHAT?" writes Chris Cillizza for the Washington Post. "The stunning lack of accountability from Rolling Stone" has given the Fourth Estate a serious black eye. "Failing to hold Erdely—or ANYONE—accountable for doing their jobs very poorly is even worse. It suggests that not only did journalism swing and miss but we are acting like we are still at the plate and nothing has happened."

  • "They don’t get it; they just don’t get it," writes Lloyd Grove at the Daily Beast. Out of the entire 13,000-word takedown, "the most incriminating detail is that nobody at the magazine seems to believe that its reporting, editorial, and fact-checking practices are in need of serious reform."
  • "It makes all journalists look bad when there’s a terrible journalistic sin like this one," says CNN's Brian Stelter, per Mediaite. "It hurts the whole profession. And it’s kind of baffling we’re not seeing any disciplinary actions taken." He adds: "I do wonder how Brian Williams feels."
  • "Whatever culture that bred this story is poisonous," writes Leah Finnegan at Gawker. "And for Wenner, a rich, powerful 69-year-old man, to place culpability for his magazine's lapse on a twentysomething pseudonymous woman, well, that tells you everything you need to know, doesn't it?" The fault isn't Jackie's, it's "the empire's leader, Wenner, who should take full responsibility for the article, fire everyone involved, and then fire himself for being a dumb, sexist idiot."
(More Rolling Stone stories.)

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