Rolling Stone re­trac­tion

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “Rolling Stone re­tracts rape story,” April 6

Back in Mem­phis in 1968, fol­low­ing the as­sas­si­na­tion of Martin Luther King Jr. and my brother’s ar­rest for hav­ing hair be­low his ears, I wrote to Rolling Stone. I ex­plained how the pub­li­ca­tion felt like a life­line to those of us out in the hin­ter­lands of con­ser­vatism.

The staff ’s re­sponse was thought­ful and col­le­gial; I was told that even the pub­lisher had read my let­ter.

Sadly in con­trast, as I en­coun­tered the mag­a­zine’s re­trac­tion of the Uni­ver­sity of Vir­ginia rape story, my re­ac­tion pos­si­bly mir­rored that of many oth­ers who long ago saw the pub­li­ca­tion be­come just an­other glitzy main­stream mag­a­zine: Peo­ple still read Rolling Stone?

In ret­ro­spect, life just seemed a lit­tle more scin­til­lat­ing back when we had to “fight the man” just to re­frain from get­ting a hair­cut. Rolling Stone’s rel­e­vance re­cedes, but we still owe it for its early pi­o­neer­ing jour­nal­ism.

Power to the peo­ple (in the fact-check­ing depart­ment)!

Cay Sehn­ert South Pasadena

In his last book, “Life It­self,” Roger Ebert de­scribes a sign posted above the desk of an edi­tor at the Chicago Sun-Times stat­ing, “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”

How sad that jour­nal­ism, like seem­ingly the rest of so­ci­ety, has moved from healthy skep­ti­cism to “truthi­ness” for both lib­er­als and con­ser­va­tives. The motto now would be, “If it feels right, it’s true.”

Larry Cahill Irvine

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