How Sloppy Agenda ‘Journalism’ Hurts Those it Purports to Help

Rolling Stone, a magazine with a reliably leftist point of view, ran a long-form story last November about a woman (‘Jackie’) who said she was gang-raped at a University of Virginia fraternity house in 2012.

The story became a cause célèbre, with many in the journalism world hailing it as important and groundbreaking and many using it as justification for action against the so-called ‘epidemic of rape’ on college campuses.

Some journalists who asked questions and cast doubt on the Rolling Stone story were criticized and vilified, but it turns out those critics were right to ask the questions they did, because on closer examination several inconsistencies have been found that call into question the truth of the alleged rape victim’s story.

Now Rolling Stone has this statement at the beginning of their piece:

In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced.

This is too bad, because *actual* rape/sexual assault/domestic violence are serious matters that deserve to be accurately covered and the perpetrators of such horrible deeds deserve to be punished.

But the Left’s attempt to gin up an ‘issue’, whether it’s racism (see Ferguson), climate change, health care, etc. with false, sensational reporting too often leaves them with egg on their face and the public they purport to serve misinformed.

All journalists need to remember the old saying, ‘If your mother tells you she loves you, check it.’

However, the problem with agenda journalism goes far deeper than mere fact checking. It goes to those wanting so desperately to believe a story to be true because it fits their ideology, it fits the way they view the world as taught to them in college, etc., that their capacity to recognize, much less combat, Confirmation Bias is virtually non-existent.

Here again, if you’re getting your ‘facts’ exclusively from right-wing media or exclusively from left-wing media, the probability is high that you are misinformed to a significant degree.

As always, buyer beware and grains of salt come in handy.

UPDATE: Sunday 12-7-14 at 10:44 A.M. P.S.T.: Rolling Stone has now added to their apology, making it clear *they*, and not ‘Jackie’, are responsible for the story, here. Before Rolling Stone embellished/clarified their apology, even people on the uber left, like MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, were spittin’ mad at Rolling Stone:

Chris Hayes fuck you Rolling Stone 12-5-14

No mincing of words there.


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