Ed Helms, ‘The Office’ star, blasts Rolling Stone in U.Va. commencement speech

20 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

4 Commencement Speeches to Get You Through the Work Week.

Actor and comedian Ed Helms blasted Rolling Stone magazine in a commencement speech Friday at the University of Virginia, following a now-retracted article about a gang rape on campus that has landed the magazine in a defamation lawsuit. “It has been said that a rolling stone gathers no moss,” Mr. A 2009 study of 5,442 college women found that 1 in 5 was sexually assaulted during her time on campus; 82% of those who experienced assault were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other lawsuits are expected (indeed, the fraternity implicated in the story, Phi Kappa Psi, announced it was planning to sue magazine more than a month ago), and it must be said they are richly deserved. It’s going to be like The Hunger Games out there for you guys!”), he criticized the Rolling Stone story for not only failing to follow basic journalistic practices but for also hampering conversations about campus sexual assault. In “A Rape on Campus,” author Sabrina Rubin Erdely reported the story of a student named Jackie who claimed she was gang-raped by members of a fraternity on UVA’s campus.

During his speech, Helms also delved into the strikingly negative news coverage of the Baltimore riots, chastising many major networks for their portrayal of the protestors as “thugs,” noting “Rolling Stone’s rush to define is just the tip of the iceberg.” “The reductive labels aren’t helping and we better stop applying them, because there are a lot of Americans in a lot of pain,” Helms said. “We try to define others with simple labels because it makes the world easier to understand.” “This community didn’t fall for the fallacy that just because Rolling Stone was wrong everything here must be perfectly peachy,” he continued. “You all had the courage to understand you can be outraged at Rolling Stone and still ask yourselves hard questions: When sexual violence does occur in our community, do we have the best possible protocols and resources available to our students? But after the bombshell report, it came to light that Jackie lied about the attack and that Erdely and Rolling Stone editors failed to properly vet the story.

Bush is well known for having a less than exemplary academic record during his college years, but he’s always liked to note that it didn’t keep him from making it to this country’s highest office. The tattooed motorcycle guy who turns out to be a teddy bear, the buttoned-up co-worker who actually knows how to party, or the mousy librarian who takes off her glasses to reveal she’s a bloodthirsty alien from a distant galaxy.”

And when she sought help from her friends, she said, two of them told her she should keep her mouth shut lest her reputation (and theirs) suffer on campus. He reiterated that point to much applause at Southern Methodist University this commencement season. “Those of you who are graduating this afternoon with high honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done,” he said. “And, as I like to tell the C-students, you too can be president.” The former Saturday Night Live star ended her speech to graduates of Tulane University with a rendition of the National Anthem that quickly transformed into Beyonce’s hits “Single Ladies” and “Drunk in Love.” She also impersonated Oprah. “And today, class of 2015, look under your seats because you are all leaving here with a college diploma!” Rudolph said. “You get a diploma, and you get a diploma, and you get a diploma!

We’re all getting diplomas!” Speaking on the National Mall, Apple CEO Tim Cook told graduates of George Washington University that they should determine their values and follow them in their careers. “We believe that a company that has values and acts on them can really change the world. She essentially accepted the unnamed victim’s story at face value without regard for the consequences for the named parties — the fraternity, which was vandalized and shut down; and university employees, who were accused of turning a blind eye to a savage assault. But this story was perfect — not only was it monstrously violent, but it featured every stock villain in the rape culture universe. “She’s gonna be the girl who cried ‘rape,’ and we’ll never be allowed into any frat party again,” one of Jackie’s friends supposedly fretted, thus helpfully confirming rape culture’s ubiquity. Whatever happened to her on the night in question, if anything, and whatever motivated her to spin this tale, she cannot possibly be thankful that events unfolded as they did. In the midst of the moral panic over sexual assault, and especially in a land of elected prosecutors, it is not impossible to imagine innocent people could have gone to prison because of Rolling Stone’s negligence.

Jackie’s debunked tale shouldn’t diminish the credibility of any other victim, and it shouldn’t discourage any victims from coming forward (though it’s easy to see how it might).

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