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Check it out? Rolling Stone didn’t

If your mother says she loves you, check it out.

That’s what we were told; that’s what we were taught. City News Bureau of Chicago, my first job. Gritty stuff. Police, courts, fires, “floaters” found in the Chicago River, stuff you went to. You talked to people; you got the facts.

They used to call it reporting.


There is a story now raging about a University of Virginia student who says she was gang raped by seven men in a fraternity there Sept. 28, 2012.

The woman, identified only as “Jackie,” says she was taken to a room at the fraternity and thrown on the floor, breaking a glass table in the process, which cut her arm. The men then pinned her down on the broken glass, raped her in succession and left her bleeding between the legs.

She knew two of the attackers, including the guy who had lured her to the fraternity. She got out of the place, her dress now blood-spattered. She did not go to a hospital or call the police.

She called friends, who met her and, she says, talked her out of contacting authorities because of “the social price” they might all pay. In other words, they might be shunned and not get invited to any more fraternity parties.

Rolling Stone broke this story last month in an article by Sabrina Rubin Erdely. It got huge attention.

But how much of it is true?