Beast Is Slain, Publication Admits Walker Was ‘Unfairly Attacked On College Rape’ In Hit Piece

Matt Vespa
|
Posted: Mar 01, 2015 12:05 PM
Beast Is Slain, Publication Admits Walker Was ‘Unfairly Attacked On College Rape’ In Hit Piece

Yesterday, Daily Beast, acting off of the piece in Jezebel, reported that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had removed a provision in his proposed budget that required universities to report rapes on their campuses. I bet you can guess what the reaction from some (I know I’m being generous with some) on the left. Well, it turns out the University of Wisconsin asked the governor to remove the provision since it was redundant since the Clery Act and Title IX cover reporting and responding of rapes on college campuses.

It took the Beast and Jezebel hours to get their act together andoffer retractions. Beast retitled their discredited story saying Walker was “unfairly attacked.” Jezebel did not change the headline, but their reporter, Natasha Vargas-Cooper, eventually apologized on Twitter for screwing up.

The Beast’s retraction and correction:

A Daily Beast college columnist at the University of Wisconsin based this article off a Jezebel posting which was incorrectly reported. Jezebel updated their post on Saturday with the following after USA Today published a story debunking Jezebel's account and clarifying Gov. Scott Walker's position. "UPDATE: After Jezebel ran this item yesterday, a spokesman for the University of Wisconsin came forward—over two weeks after the budget was released—to clarify: the University requested that Gov. Walker delete the requirements because efforts were redundant with their compliance of the Cleary Act. Scott Walker's camp assures that he's committed to protecting victims.”

The Daily Beast is committed to covering the news fairly and accurately, and we should have checked this story more thoroughly. We deeply regret the error and apologize to Gov. Walker and our readers. This story should be considered retracted.

Jezebel:

[Editor's Note: After Jezebel ran this item yesterday, a spokesman for the University of Wisconsin came forward—over two weeks after the budget was released—to clarify: the University requested that Gov. Walker delete the requirements because efforts were redundant with their compliance of the Clery Act. Scott Walker's camp assures that he's committed to protecting victims. We reported this piece without full context, and while this piece conveys factual information, omission of that context for that information presents an unfair and misleading picture. We regret the error and apologize.]

Vargas-Cooper got a little huffy on Twitter regarding her debunked piece. On Twitter, she at first refused to apologize since it was in the budget, instead saying that we should blame Walker for bad optics. She eventually relented later that day.

Oh, and the $300 million cut to the public university system, which is amongst his other reforms that Walker proposes, still equals a meager 2.5 percent of their operating budget. Brian Weidy, the Daily Beast reporter who wrote about this, has gone silent on Twitter since the story was published on February 27. Oh, and let’s not forget the New York Times foul-up, blaming teacher layoffs on Walker … before he was governor.