Journalists who contemplate such matters are now wondering whether the incredible Rolling Stone story about the gang rape of a University of Virginia student is just that: not credible.I can tell you right now that it is a hoax, it never happened, and no one is going to end up being charged with a crime over this unless it is the woman who falsely cried rape. One of the advantages of being an fiction editor is that you see a wide range of fiction, from the very good to the very bad. And most people write very bad fiction, the chief hallmark of which is that it is heavily reliant upon things they have seen on television or in the movies.
Last week, I wrote that the breathtaking story was an indictment of the university's feeble attempts to address the so-called campus sexual assault crisis. For me, the lesson is clear: Rape is a serious crime, not an academic infraction. The police—and only the police—are equipped to deal with it. "The best way to confront campus rape is to treat the issue with the seriousness it deserves and make violent crime the business of the normal criminal justice system," I wrote.
I didn't question the incident itself, because my point stands regardless. Making universities investigate and adjudicate rape—something that both federal and state governments are pushing—is the wrong approach, and what happened at UVA is just one example of why that's the case.
Unless, of course, it didn't happen. Then it would be an example of something else, entirely.
It's something you can usually recognize too, when they write people saying things in precisely the same way you see the dialogue on a TV show. It rings false, because no one actually talks like that. Even in the brief description provided in the excerpt from the Rolling Stone article, it is readily apparent that the dialogue being reported is fake, and not only fake, but incompetently faked.