In the wake of a scathing report on the journalistic failures of Rolling Stone's story about an alleged rape at the University of Virginia, Fox News' Megyn Kelly interviewed two students featured in the now-discredited article on her program Monday night.
In her story "A Rape on Campus," Rolling Stone contributing editor Sabrina Rubin Erdely detailed the horrific gang rape of a young woman, identified as "Jackie," at a fraternity party during her freshman year.
Some of the controversy surrounding the article has hinged on Erdely's failure to contact three of Jackie's friends -- identified under the pseudonyms "Randall," "Andrew" and "Cindy" -- who she confided in after the alleged attack. The piece portrayed the friends as callous and insensitive, more concerned with their social standing on campus than the well-being of their friend.
Though the friends already rebuked Rolling Stone's account in interviews with The Washington Post, two of them appeared on "The Kelly File" under their real names, Ryan Duffin and Alex Stock, to further criticize the embattled magazine.
To conclude the segment, Kelly asked Duffin and Stock a question many have been pondering since the release of the report Sunday night: Should Erdely be fired for her journalistic malpractice?
"I think the Rolling Stone puts its reputation seriously at stake for not doing that. That's their decision," Stock said, adding that he didn't "see any point in further shaming [Jackie]."
"I think the next article she comes out with is going to be hard for people to take seriously," he said.
Dufflin hoped the episode would make other news organizations think twice about their own practices.
"I think much more than anybody losing jobs or not losing jobs, I really think that it's important that Rolling Stone and other media outlets really look at this more as a story of what not to do in reporting, so in future reports they can be more confident that the reports themselves are accurate," he said.
"You're cute," Kelly responded. "Because let me tell you, we learned this lesson already on the Duke fake rape case and people didn't pay attention."
"These cases are not an opportunity to bend over backwards to stand up for perceived victims," she continued. "They're an opportunity for reporters to determine who is and is not a victim according to the facts as they stand."
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