UVA Rape Story Retracted; and Three Other Fake News Stories

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By: Renee Nal
New Zeal

We deserve a rape free campus Christine Baker /The Patriot-News /Landov

We deserve a rape free campus Christine Baker /The Patriot-News /Landov

After pro-truth journalists and others began to raise legitimate questions surrounding a highly irresponsible Rolling Stones article that described an alleged university gang-rape in jarring detail, the story began to unravel. The fake assault, which was said to have taken place at a fraternity party at the University of Virginia, was portrayed a part of an initiation. While the student’s account, originally reported by Sabrina Rubin Erdely of Rolling Stone, was truly horrifying; as reported previously by this author, it “fall[s] a bit too comfortably in line with the current narrative of a ‘rape culture’ on college campuses.”

T. Rees Shapiro of the Washington Post reported that the accused fraternity,

…has been vilified, had its house vandalized and ultimately suspended all of its activities on campus after the Rolling Stone article…

Those who dared to question the story were attacked in some instances, and even deemed “Gang Rape Truthers” by the highly partisan Tara Culp-Ressler of ThinkProgress.

If one reads the work of Hans Bader at Liberty Unyielding, see here, here, here, here, here, and here, the narrative crystallizes.As some worked to get to the bottom of this gigantic hoax, it finally fell apart and Rolling Stone magazine was forced to retract the story.

Will Dana, Rolling Stone’s managing editor, wrote in part,

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.

There are plenty of other stories reported as fact, however, that are not facing such scrutiny. The obvious disclaimer is that these stories could be true, but this author has suspicions. The media bias is simply too prevalent to ignore.

Here are just three that do not pass the smell test:

1.) Anti-gay white obese man attacks newlywed lesbian after recognizing her from the news

An unnamed woman was allegedly attacked by three anti-gay white men as she was walking through an apartment complex parking lot in Michigan in April. The men, the victim claimed, recognized her after she was featured on a TV news segment about same-sex marriages. The victim described the aggressor as “a heavy or obese white male…wearing a dark gray or black hooded sweatshirt and high-top shoes.” She could not describe his accomplices. According to the Daily Tribune, “The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office says it believes the assault was a hate crime.”

Why it doesn’t pass the smell test: At the time of the alleged attack, the author wrote at Liberty Unyielding,

It is a stretch that three anti-gay men would be hanging out in a parking lot waiting to pounce on a woman that they recognized as a lesbian from the news.

Since April, the author contacted the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office on several occasions to determine if the victim would be willing to talk and to see if anyone was in custody for this crime. The answer has always been no on both counts.

This story was reported as fact at the Detroit Free Press, the Daily Mail, the New York Daily News, USA Today the Huffington Post and numerous local sources.

2.) Robocall tells people to “Do what you did in 2010, stay at home”

Last month, Jesse J. Holland of the Associated Press quoted Barbara Arnwine, the Executive Director of the progressive non-profit Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law as saying that a robocall in Georgia and Florida urged voters to “do what you did in 2010, stay at home.” The heavily cited article did not elaborate, and went on to cite other examples of “voter suppression.”

Why it doesn’t pass the smell test: The claim about the robocall is unsourced, and numerous requests for more information about this claim to Jesse J. Holland, Barbara Arnwine, and to her far-left organization have gone unanswered.

As reported at Liberty Unyielding,

Unless perhaps Arnwine’s assertion was paraphrased, this author can find no evidence of such a robocall.

This story was reported as fact by ABC News, the Huffington Post, and many others (see here, here, here, here and here).

3.) White Supremacists target a church in Ferguson after Pastor receives 71 death threats

The Flood Christian Church’s Pastor Carlton Lee, who also serves as the Ferguson chapter president of Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, suspects that “white supremacists” torched his church in Ferguson, Missouri in the hours following an announcement that Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for murdering Michael Brown. As reported at BroadsideNews.com, Lee claims to have received 71 death threats after he called for the arrest of Officer Darren Wilson.

The Washington Post reported Lee received “hateful messages and death threats…from Wilson supporters, from white supremacist groups and from Internet bigots.” It is unclear if the 71 death threats include “hateful messages” from “internet bigots.”

This author gets quite a few of those herself.

The author of the WaPo story, highly partisan Wesley Lowery, reported:

Pastor Carlton Lee said threats are mailed to the church or left on the door. Lee said people have threatened to kill him or burn his church with everyone inside. Lee believes he is a target because he has been protesting against police brutality.

Lowery added,

Buying the church property — which once housed an auto repair shop — took everything Lee had. It cost all of his savings, and all of the money he had put away for his children, to front the $160,000.

An online funding request for $500k. has raised over $64k at the time of this writing.

Why it doesn’t pass the smell test: Pastor Lee, who has loudly called for Officer Darren Wilson’s arrest, is a political activist. Not only is his claim that an angry white mob targeted his church questionable on a night where massive and widespread destruction occurred by supporters of Michael Brown, his claim that he received numerous death threats is also highly suspect.

Yet, his accusation surrounding death threats was reported as fact by KVOA, who assured readers that the FBI has even gotten involved and are “not surprised by the dozens of threats against him because they are investigating similar cases in the St. Louis area.”

Watch a local report here:

Other questionable “news” stories, most likely examples of an over-eager progressive establishment trying to prove a point have been proven as hoaxes. Those stories, not surprisingly, initially receive national attention but when proven false, quietly go away, again reflecting the media bias. Three particularly troubling examples of this ongoing trend can be found here, here and here.

After updating to include new information on the UVA story, this article was cross-posted from Broadside News.

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