Rolling Stone, an increasingly irrelevant relic of the Baby Boomer generation that found itself in hot water in 2014 over fabricating a story about rape at the University of Virginia that wrongly implicated a fraternity house, is taking a second round of beating for refusing to fire anyone involved in the hoax. The coverage of this most recent development, which hit a fever pitch over the weekend, is verging on beating a dead horse, and I think it’s time to clear some possible misconceptions so that we can stop wasting our time with unproductive outrage.
1. There is no federal regulatory agency that oversees the accuracy of the media. There are non-profit watchdog organizations, and in the case of libel and slander, entities can take their grievances to civil court. Individuals can tell their friends not to read Rolling Stone, advertisers can pull out, and if enough people do this Rolling Stone could possibly go out of business. But it’s good that we don’t have such an agency; if so, I imagine much of right-wing media, such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, would be adversely affected.
2. Rolling Stone is a private company. The decision of management to fire or not fire anyone is their own choosing, and we should not be outraged when a private entity acts on its own whims, even if such decisions seem self-destructive. Businesses make bad decisions all the time, and that’s a major reason why so many businesses fail.
3. Proponents of the SJW narrative have been struggling to maintain credibility among the general public, especially since 2013. The UVA hoax is just one of many setbacks for the SJWs, and it won’t be the last. You see evidence of the SJW backlash all over the internet, especially on sites like Reddit, Dailyelite, Buzzfeed, and 4chan.
4. Rolling Stone is one level above a tabloid. It’s a pop culture magazine that occasionally has harder-hitting stories, but it’s mainly indented for entertainment, not informational value. We should not be surprised that journalistic integrity is not the highest priority at Rolling Stone, a magazine that has full-featured stories about Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. It’s not NPR or BBC (not to say those those without guilt of journalistic malfeasance).As a rule, the media should be taken with a grain of salt, and 99% of the news is just noise intended to fill the gaps between advertising, anyway,