The libertarian-leaning Reason magazine published a blog post on Monday asking whether Rolling Stone’s recent story about rape culture at the University of Virginia, which depicted a horrific gang rape at a fraternity there, was actually “a gigantic hoax.”
The post comes a few weeks after Rolling Stone published a vivid story about a UVA student referred to in the article as “Jackie” who described attending a party but was assaulted by her date and other members of the frat. Since the article was published, there has been widespread attention on the culture at UVA and the university has suspended fraternity and sorority activity until 2015.
First, the Reason post says that “Rape is a serious crime, not an academic infraction.” Then it lays out suspicion that some parts of the story portrayed by Rolling Stone are not completely true, citing a Washington Post profile of the article’s author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely. Specifically, the Reason blog post highlights that Erdely refused to say whether she spoke to the students who allegedly attacked Jackie or if she approached the student who lured Jackie to the fraternity house where the incident occurred.
The Reason writer goes on to highlight a blog post by journalist Richard Bradley, a former editor at George magazine, that also expressed skepticism about parts of the Rolling Stone story.
“However, some of the details do strike me as perplexing on subsequent re-reads,” the Reason post’s author, Robby Soave, wrote. “One issue now being raised by skeptics is the nature of her injuries, which sound as if they would have required immediate medical attention. (According to the story, everybody involved was basically rolling around in broken glass for hours.) If the frat brothers were absolute sociopaths to do this to Jackie, her friends were almost cartoonishly evil—casually dismissing her battered and bloodied state and urging her not to go to the hospital.”