Kurtz Reacts After Rolling Stone Backs Off UVA Gang Rape Story
"Media Buzz" host Howard Kurtz reacted this afternoon after Rolling Stone magazine backed away from a story about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity.
In the story by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, a woman only identified as "Jackie" alleged that she was lured into a room at a fraternity house during a party, then sexually assaulted by seven men.
The story prompted the university to suspend fraternity activities on campus.
In recent days, however, the story has been called into question by The Washington Post, which highlighted the fact that Erdely had not spoken to any of the alleged perpetrators.
Rolling Stone has now backed away from the report, writing that there are discrepancies with the original account.
"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. We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story," managing editor Will Dana wrote.
Kurtz said this isn't technically a retraction, but that might be coming if more holes continue to be poked in the story. He said it's hard for other reporters to verify the story because the name of the accuser and the names of the accused are not known.
"For those who have been trying to carry out some good journalism here, it does some like at least the way that Rolling Stone presented this story is not exactly the way it went down," said Kurtz.
Watch the interview above and hear more from Howard on Sunday at 11a/5p ET on Media Buzz.