Monday, June 26, 2017

Rolling Stone

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Over the past few years, the apparent epidemic of rapes on college campuses (backed by shady statistics) has been the Left’s favorite talking point.

But, as rules and laws get continually more stacked against male students–who often face the challenging task of proving their innocence, rather than having their accusor prove guilt–there’s the beginnings of backlash.

Male students at the United Kingdom’s University of Warwick are up in arms about a class, called “I Heart Consent,” that teaches them how to not accidentally rape their partner. No, really.

In an article called, “Why I don’t need consent lessons,” published by the student newspaper, The Tab, student George Lawlor struck at the very heart of the liberal narrative:

Like any self-respecting individual would, I found this [invitation to the “I Heart Consent” class] to be a massive, painful, bitchy slap in the face… It implies I have an insufficient understanding of what does and does not constitute consent and that’s incredibly hurtful. I can’t stress that enough.

I feel as if I’m taking the “wrong” side here, but someone has to say it – I don’t have to be taught to not be a rapist. That much comes naturally to me, as I am sure it does to the overwhelming majority of people you and I know. Brand me a bigot, a misogynist, a rape apologist, I don’t care. I stand by that.

I already know what is and what isn’t consent. I also know about those more nuanced situations where consent isn’t immediately obvious as any decent, empathetic human being does. Yes means yes, no means no. It’s really that simple.

Lawlor’s editorial has already started to go viral–and other male students at the University of Warwick have joined the protest against blaming all men of being potential rapists-waiting-to-happen.

The kind of opinion Lawlor expressed would make him a person non grata on the liberal Left–who prefers to stick to their narrative that all women are in danger, and all men are just waiting for an opportunity to abuse them.

That single-minded dedication to the narrative has already led to scandals in America: namely, the Rolling Stone article, “A Rape on Campus,” that accused an entire fraternity at University of Virginia of gang raping a female student. Only to, upon further investigation after its publication, realize that the female victim has a long history of lying, and that virtually everry single fact about her story was a blatant fabrication designed to get a boy’s attention.

But the federal government in Washington has jumped on the bandwagon, too–Obama has often cited the statistic that 1-in-4 female students have been sexually assaulted, even though this massive number has been widely discredited by just about every source.

But there’s another element at play here: the rigid liberal dogma, that demands every action (especially by oppressors, like men) be scrutinized and dictated by the enlightened Left.

To which Lawlor said: “Self-appointed teachers of consent: get off your f**king high horse. I don’t need your help to understand basic human interaction.”

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This past November, Rolling Stone had a huge hit with their article detailing a disturbing gang-rape perpetrated by members of a University of Virginia fraternity. There was a major problem with the article, though – the whole thing was false. Rolling Stone was forced to retract it in its entirety in April.

Now, three members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity are suing the magazine for defamation, saying the story “had a devastating effect” on their reputations, according to the Associated Press.

George Elias IV, Stephen Hadford, and Ross Fowler graduated from the University of Virginia in 2013. The three men say that the story included identifying characteristics that led to damaging social consequences. According to the lawsuit filing: “Upon release of the article, family friends, acquaintances, co-workers and reporters easily matched (Elias) as one of the alleged attackers and, among other things, interrogated him, humiliated him, and scolded him.” The suit also noted that the other two men “suffered similar attacks.”

The lawsuit names Rolling Stone, story author Sabrina Rubin Erdely, and the magazine’s publisher Wenner Media. The men are seeking at least $75,000 in damages per count for three separate counts against the defendants. In May, a UVa Associate Dean sued for $7.5 million due to the story casting her as the “chief villain.”

For its part, Rolling Stone displayed a catastrophic failure of journalistic integrity and ethics at every level of the process of publishing the story. A damning report from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism indicted the magazine at every level, from Erdely’s shoddy reporting to senior editors’ non-existent fact-checking. According to the report, Rolling Stone failed at “basic, even routine journalistic practice.” The magazine’s managing editor, Will Dana, and Erdely both apologized for their roles in the debacle, but no Rolling Stone staff were disciplined in any fashion over the story.

Reports of the new lawsuit hit on the same day that the Senate held hearings regarding sexual assault on college campuses.

The senate hearings are based around faulty statistics, like the frequently debunked “one in five women on campus are sexually assaulted” myth, and overhyped false accusations like the fabricated UVa rape case. In the Caleb Warner case at the University of North Dakota, the Duke Lacrosse case, and more all over the nation, false accusations bring life-altering consequences to the accused. In the Warner case, the University even upheld his expulsion after police brought charges of filing a false report against the accuser.

In this environment of fraudulent anecdotes and phony statistics, the senate on Wednesday opened discussion on a bill ostensibly designed to curb campus sexual assault, but which is notably devoid of due process rights for the accused. In fact, the bill refers to accusers as “victims,” despite ample evidence that they are often victimizers.

Those testifying before the senate are a veritable who’s who of anti-male, radical feminist social justice warriors, including Janet Napolitano. As president of the University of California, Napolitano –formerly U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security – commissioned a task force to institute a new policy regarding sexual assault on UC campuses. Napolitano’s task force also ignored rights of due process, and exhibited a proclivity toward presumption of guilt with discussions of “affirmative consent” confidentiality for accusers.

Of course, in a criminal proceeding the Constitution guarantees a right for a defendant to face the accuser, but universities are not criminal courts. A California court earlier this month made a point of reiterating the right to face the accuser to the University in awarding another falsely accused man a judgement against UC-San Diego. “The Court determines that it is unfair to Petitioner that his questions were reviewed by the Panel Chair for her alone to determine whether or not the question would be asked and then answered by the witness,” the court’s ruling stated. “While the Court understands the need to prevent additional trauma to potential victims of sexual abuse, this can be achieved in a less restrictive manner. The limiting of the questions in this case curtailed the right of confrontration [sic] crucial to any definition of a fair hearing.”

The Senate would do well to consider the actual facts of campus sexual assault in their deliberations. If recent history is any guide, though, that once great body will fall in line with the wishes of President Obama, who launched his “it’s on us” campaign last year to facilitate colleges in marginalizing the accused, whether the accusations are just or not.



Guarding Republicans

Over the weekend, the New York Times was slammed for running a piece where the news outlet apparently tried to cover up the motives...