Tuesday, May 12, 2015

UVa Dean Nicole Eramo Sues Rolling Stone For Libel

Via Ashe Schow in the Washington Examiner comes a Washington Post story indicating University of Virginia Associate Dean of Students Nicole Eramo is suing Rolling Stone for $7.5 million.
“Rolling Stone and [Sabrina Rubin] Erdely’s highly defamatory and false statements about Dean Eramo were not the result of an innocent mistake,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Charlottesville Circuit Court. “They were the result of a wanton journalist who was more concerned with writing an article that fulfilled her preconceived narrative about the victimization of women on American college campuses, and a malicious publisher who was more concerned about selling magazines to boost the economic bottom line for its faltering magazine, than they were about discovering the truth or actual facts.”
In addition to Erdeley's failure-to-journalize, it's significant that she never actually apologized to one individual prominently named in the story, i.e. Dean Eramo, or to any of the fraternity members she libeled (who are also suing, separately). Further, Eramo charges Rolling Stone Photoshopped her into a villain, as well:
The magazine also printed a photo illustration of Eramo that she argues is inflammatory; the lawsuit says the magazine turned a mundane Cavalier Daily photo of her addressing a classroom and turned it into a wild-eyed image of her sitting in an office giving a “thumbs-up” in front of distraught sexual assault victim as protesters hold signs outside. The lawsuit claims the doctored image “demonstrates the lengths Erdely and Rolling Stone were willing to go to portray Dean Eramo as a villain.”
Erdely also manufactured quotes from Eramo:
The lawsuit further claims that Eramo is misquoted in Rolling Stone and that she also never told Jackie that the administration does not publicize sexual assault statistics “because nobody wants to send their daughter to the rape school,” as the Rolling Stone account reported.
There is no small irony that the person most affected by this reckless attack is the one whose job is to deal with sexual assault, as defined under Title IX. Which is to say, if we owe the existence of Title IX sexual assault bureaucracies in large part to the wholesale manufacture of rape statistics, it should surprise no one to see the same disregard for objective truth consume one of its beneficiaries.

Update: Schow points out in a subsequent tweet that one of the parties not being sued is "Jackie". One wonders how that would even work, but one of the named parties is Erdely herself. I do hope she has another career lined up, because she'll need it.

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