Ed Driscoll

Time-Warner-CNN-HBO's Ticking Time-bomb

“Rolling Stone magazine revises apology on UVA rape story,” CNN writes:

One of the major criticisms of Rolling Stone is that the reporter did not seek comment from the men Jackie says raped her.

The updated apology says Rolling Stone honored a request from Jackie, a pseudonym, not to interview the men because she feared retaliation.

“We should have not made this agreement with Jackie, and we should have worked harder to convince her that the truth would have been better served by getting the other side of the story,” said the updated apology written by Dana. “These mistakes are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie.”

The updated apology mentions discrepancies in Jackie’s account that have already been reported by The Washington Post and other news outlets.

Notice the first sentence in that quote. “One of the major criticisms of Rolling Stone is that the reporter did not seek comment from the men Jackie says raped her.” CNN may well be using a variant of it at some point in the future regarding a fellow employee at the Time-Warner-CNN-HBO mega-conglomerate. In the meantime, as J. Christian Adams writes, there’s “Media Silence on Lena Dunham Rape Questions:”

In Manhattan’s publishing industry, where magazines like Glamour, Vogue, and Marie Claire treat Dunham as some sickening combination of Madonna and Rosa Parks, there is probably hardly a soul aware that [John Nolte of Big Hollywood] has wrecked Dunham’s story.

Even if a few are aware, truth and falsehood in those quarters comes by the identity of the speaker.  If conservative new media wrecks Dunham’s veracity, it will take weeks for the New York publishing world to acknowledge it, if then.

Here’s Barry’s challenge. If Dunham is lying about Barry, then she has made a false and defamatory publication. A significant legal issue is whether her publication was indeed about the potential plaintiff, Barry. She doesn’t provide Barry’s full name. Instead she provides outlandish details, such as Barry having a Rollie Fingers-style mustache and cowboy boots on a campus where most people look like David Van Driessen, the teacher in Beavis and Butthead:

Barry will have to demonstrate that Dunham’s allegations could reasonably only mean him. Since Dunham provided just enough information to out Barry while at the same time including just enough puffery to make Barry look clownish on a liberal campus, Dunham may have opened herself up to liability.

If she were smart, she might consider offering an apology of Rolling Stone proportions before Barry hounds her for the next few years in a federal courtroom.

In the meantime, conservative L.A. street artist “Sabo” is on the case:

I wonder if CNN will run an article or TV feature on Sabo’s poster this week — and if so, what if any of Nolte’s reporting will be referenced, likely without mentioning — or interviewing — him?

Update: “Entertainment Sites Ignore Lena Dunham’s Rape Story Investigation,” Christian Toto writes at Hollywood in Toto. Their coverage — if any — of the Sabo poster will certainly be…interesting.

More: Random House works to defuse their own time-bomb: “Random House Goes for Quick Payoff, Clears ‘Barry One.'”

“Will Dunham herself apologize to Barry One? Random House might have published the memoir, but it was Dunham who, for whatever reason, pointed her powerful finger at an innocent man,” Nolte asks.