As noted in Part 1, one of the authors of a late-2014 study which made the nonsensical claim that “a single conversation (can) change minds on divisive social issues, such as same-sex marriage,” causing “a cascade of opinion change,” issued a retraction last week, because the data supporting it was faked. Since it was published in Science Magazine — and because it conveniently fit a leftism-advancing agenda — numerous press outlets ran stories on the study’s results.
Now they’re all having to run retractions and corrections. Besides the obvious problem that the lies have gotten a long head start, let’s look at how the seven original publishers identified by Retraction Watch, as well as the Associated Press, have handled the matter. All too often the answer has been: “Not very well.”
Examples of scientific fakery in matters relating to sexuality and especially homosexuality go back decades, all the way to Alfred Kinsey.
One of the more recent such underhanded episodes, involving a paper originally published in December 2014, was called “When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality.” It claimed that “a single conversation (can) change minds on divisive social issues, such as same-sex marriage.” That assertion made by a “layman” wouldn’t pass the smell test with most people. But because the paper was published in Science Magazine (“The World’s Leading Journal of Scientific Research, Global News and Commentary”), it gained a now-obviously clearly undeserved veneer of credibility.
One of the more simultaneously annoying and alarming developments on college campuses these days is how the idea of “microagressions” has regained visibility after four decades of previously well-deserved obscurity, largely under the establishment press’s radar. Almost no one in “the real world” would know what microaggressions are if it weren’t for stories and critiques at center-right media outlets and campus watchdog groups.
Cut through the clutter, and it’s quite easy to see that “microaggression” is really a tool used by so-called “victim classes” to allege unconscious discrimination or “marginalization” in virtually anything people they don’t like might say. The idea has taken particular hold at Oberlin College, where iconoclastic feminist Christina Hoff Sommers appeared last month. Fortunately, there are still sane people with a sense of humor about all of this. That cadre includes the “Oberlin College choir.”
Well, this is awkward — or rather, it would be if the press cared about the federally-driven tyranny which is in the process of capturing the nation’s public and private K-12 schools.
Common Core’s proponents have insisted and still insist that“it was and will remain a state-led effort” (italics is theirs). Yet when faced with the “problem” of too many parents opting out of its intrusive testing regime — something they are supposedly free to do without penalty or reprisal — guess who steps in with threats and smears? You guessed it: Federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
At Mason High School in Ohio this past week, the school’s administration originally supported but has now cancelled a “Covered Girl Challenge.” The goal, according to a school email captured in full at Jihad Watch and almost nowhere else, was to “celebrate … diversity and promote open mindedness” by promoting the Muslim Student Association’s invitation to “all female students to … wear a headscarf for the whole school day.”
Jihad Watch, unlike every other Ohio-based establishment press outlet report I have seen, including one found in the Cincinnati Enquirer, also linked readers to a reminder that collegiate chapters of the Muslim Student Association, which also encourages the creation of high school chapters under its aegis, have served as breeding grounds for terrorism (bolds are mine throughout this post):
New Republic staff writer Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig has clearly run out of defenses for the conduct of those involved in the disgraceful, scandalous journalistic malpractice which gave rise to the now-retracted and thoroughly discredited “A Rape on Campus: The Struggle for Justice at UVA” at Rolling Stone.
So here’s her last refuge: Conservatism deserves some of the blame, because Sabrina Rubin Erdely and others associated with the story supposedly “Used Rightwing Tactics to Make a Leftist Point” (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Earlier this evening, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism issued its report on Rolling Stone Magazine’s November “A Rape on Campus” story. The report follows up on the magazine’s request of Columbia to conduct an independent review of how the disastrously false 9,000-word story made it through to publication.
USA Today is reporting that for all the harsh criticism the piece’s author and the others at the magazine received, and despite the fact that RS has now formally and fully retracted the story, no one is losing their job or suffering any other visible consequences. In fact, the magazine considers the whole affair “an isolated and unusual episode” (bolds are mine):
On CNN yesterday, after the network cut away from the press conference where Charlottesville, Virginia Police Department announced that it“found no evidence to support claims in a Rolling Stone article that a University of Virginia student was gang raped at a campus fraternity in September 2012,” network panelist and CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin bizarrely resorted to “statistics” to defend “Jackie,” the student-fabulist involved.
The panel discussion which followed the press conference seemed to be all about telling viewers that “Despite what everyone says, it’s really not over.” Hostin’s major contribution to that meme was to essentially contend that because “only about 2 percent of rapes that are reported are false,” any allegation that “Jackie” was making things up is unfair and likely incorrect because it “flies in the face of statistics” — even though, in a new development, we learned that “Jackie” claimed that she was the victim of a second gang-rape incident in April 2014. Police also could find no evidence supporting that incident’s occurrence. Video and a transcript follow the jump:
The press’s reluctance to let go of a popular but debunked meme — in this case, the nonexistent “epidemic” of college campus sexual assaults — is sometimes inadvertently humorous, though still intensely annoying.
Take how John Bacon and Marisol Bello at USA Today characterized the news that “Police in Charlottesville were unable to verify that an alleged sexual assault detailed in a controversial Rolling Stone magazine article ever took place at the University of Virginia”:
As noted this morning (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Jezebel’s Natasha Vargas-Cooper wrote a Friday morning hit piece directed at Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s Republican Governor, calling him a “conservative werewolf” for including a provision in the Badger State’s latest proposed budget to elminate the requirement that universities report campus sexual assault statistics to the state.
Vargas-Cooper took this to mean that all such sexual assault reporting would end. Hardly. Hours later, an unbylined Associated Press story carried at USA Today (but still not carried at its national site) made it clear that a) the University of Wisconsin system had requested the provision, and b) such statistics would continue to be reported to the federal government. Jezebel’s “correction” and Vargas-Cooper’s spiteful tweeted reaction follow the jump.
On Friday morning at Jezebel, a Gawker-affiliated web site, Natasha Vargas-Cooper thought she had Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker by the — well, you know.
In a post tellingly tagged “Conservative Werewolves,” Vargas-Cooper was absolutely sure — so certain that she apparently felt no need to check any further — that Walker’s proposed budget would allow its colleges to “to stop reporting sexual assaults.” Vicious vitriol ensued (bolds are mine throughout this post):
In a discussion with plenty of other objectionable elements on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Friday, Juan Williams asserted that “There’s no question that if you look at our Constitution, there are elements of racism right in it.” Note his use of the present tense.
The version of this country’s founding document Williams was referencing must be 147 or more years old, because the only element of the original Constitution which was arguably racist — the inclusion of non-free persons as three-fifths of a person for the purpose of allocating House seats in Article I — went away when the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868. Even that argument ignores the existence of white slaves at the time of its adoption.
The harsh truth was delivered in an open letter to Fox News’s Bret Baier, who consdiers Kasich a center-right Republican politician, by Mike Snead, Dayton TEA Party President. It reflects his personal views.
It took well over 24 hours, but the New York Times finally corrected (HT Instapundit) op-ed columnist Gail Collins’s ignorant Saturday contention about how Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker caused teacher layoff in 2010: “As well as the fact that those layoffs happened because Walker cut state aid to education.” Collins was so sure of herself that she emphasized how Walker’s 2010 state aid-caused layoffs were a “fact.” Trouble is, Walker didn’t become Badger State Governor until January 2011.
Instapundit’s reaction: “So basically, it’s now an Emily Litella column. Never mind!“ The Old Gray Lady’s excision from Collins’s cranky column hardly solves all of its problems.
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