NOT STANDING BY HER: It’s rare that in the aftermath of a public scandal — especially a media scandal — that no one is fired. But that was the case for Rolling Stone’s editors and Sabrina Rubin Erdely, who penned the controversial investigative piece “A Rape on Campus” for the magazine.
Erdely — who admitted to cutting corners in her reporting, which focused on what turned out to be a fabricated account of a gang rape of a student on the campus of The University of Virginia — will be permitted to continue writing for Rolling Stone.
This story first appeared in the April 7, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Her reputation elsewhere in the media isn’t quite so solid. WWD reached out to GQ, The New Yorker and Men’s Health, three magazines where the freelance writer has contributed in the past, and her prognosis for future work didn’t look good.
GQ declined to comment as to whether Erdely’s byline would appear in its pages again, while the New Yorker and Men’s Health did not respond to requests seeking comment.
But sources at both of the latter two titles were doing all their best to distance themselves from her, pointing out that Erdely hadn’t written for either publication in a decade. At The New Yorker, where Erdely is cited as a contributor on its Web site, it was noted that the writer penned just one “Talk of the Town” as a freelancer over 10 years ago. Her status on the magazine’s site is merely linked to that one contribution, and by the sound of things, her return to pages of The New Yorker is very unlikely.