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January 23 2015

Did NPR Start the Campus "Rape Culture" Phenomenon?

Charlotte Hays

Christina Hoff Sommers charts over at The Daily Beast how the media and government have exaggerated instances of sexual assault on campus, doing no favors to real sexual assault victims and creating a frenzy that is unjustified by the facts on the ground.

Hoff Sommers doesn’t minimize the horrendous effects of rape on individuals, but she does call out the media and government for using phony "facts" when dealing with campus sexual assault. Hoff Sommers singles out one badly-reported "inestigative series" as responsible for getting the ball rolling.

The must-read article begins:

The frenzy over college sexual assault now sweeping the nation was triggered by a specific event.

In 2010, a small team of investigative journalists published a report revealing, so they claimed, an epidemic of college rape. The report was a jumble of highly selective reporting and dubious statistics, as we shall see. But the reporters spread the news far and wide and no one thought to question their accuracy.

But Hoff Sommers does check the accuracy of the report. It was a joint project of National Public Radio and the left-leaning Center for Public Integrity, and, according to Hoff Sommers, it was riddled with astonishing errors.

Nevertheless it was this report, which pictured “serial predators are roaming free on college campuses,” that “electrified” federal officials and began both an overreach by the government into campus affairs and the sense of hysteria that so pervades the land.

I think it is fair to say that, without the fact-challenged NPR-CPI investigative report, we might never have seen draconian federal “guidelines” for handling campus accusations or the bogus U Va rape story that seemed so true to so many who are conditioned to believe that a multitude of predators stalk every campus in the nation.

I urge you to read the entire story.

 

 



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