Apparently, this Rolling Stone gathers no facts

By December 7, 2014January 5th, 2015Pop Culture

Rolling Stone magazine has blown it again.

First it outraged New Englanders by putting a photo of the accused Boston Marathon bomber on its July 2013 cover — after the horrific terror attack that killed three people and injured more than 260 — that made him appear like a sultry, tousled-hair rock star.

If that wasn’t reason enough to cancel one’s subscription, now Rolling Stone has backpedaled on its story about a woman allegedly gang-raped at a Phi Kappa Psi frat party at the University of Virginia in 2012.

In a 9,000 word expose, one of Rolling Stone’s freelance writers told a story based on interviews with a female UVA student by the name of “Jackie” who claimed that seven frat boys gang-raped her. Instead of fact-checking the serious allegations by doing common sense things such as interviewing the accused — or verifying if the frat party even took place — Rolling Stone ran the damning story without doing its homework. And now Rolling Stone has issued an apology.

“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,” Will Dana, the magazine’s managing editor, wrote on its website.

Memo to Rolling Stone: A fifth-grader would’ve done some basic fact-checking before potentially ruining men’s lives.

Hello lawsuits. This is media sloppiness at its worst.

In America, one is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty by a jury of one’s peers, in a court of law where both sides are adequately represented.

Rolling Stone effectively found the fraternity brothers “guilty” without due diligence or due process. This is dead wrong and warrants — at minimum — public condemnation.

In response to the serious allegations, Phi Kappa Psi issued a statement saying, “The organization did not host a party on Sept. 28, 2012, the night the attack allegedly occurred.”

Fraternity officials also said that no members of the fraternity worked at the university’s Aquatic Fitness Center at the time, as “Jackie” claimed, and that no room in the fraternity house matches Jackie’s description.

Rolling Stone has hurt not only the young men who were accused and the university, but also campus rape victims all over America whose stories may not be believed.

The owner of Rolling Stone magazine should fire both the writer and its editor today. Then lawyer up.

Adriana Cohen is a columnist and talk show host for the Boston Herald. Go to, and follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16.

Adriana Cohen

About Adriana Cohen

Adriana Cohen is a nationally syndicated columnist and tv commenator. Adriana’s weekly column appears in newspapers and media outlets nationwide including Fox News, the New York Post, and many others via the Creators Syndicate. To learn more, visit the About page.