Update: Fox Fem's dubious claim on Duke rape trial

In today's column on the 3 Duke students who had been accused of rape, Wendy McElroy, Fox's resident libertarian feminist, wrote that: "Even the popular gender feminist site Feministing had conceded 'it probably isn't appropriate to continue calling this the 'Duke rape case'."

Honest people can argue about the points made in McElroy's article, but the quote supplied is from comments, not from Feministing itself.

Jessica Valenti, Feministing's editor had an exchange with McElroy who initially refused to correct the article, offering instead to add a note at the end of next week's column noting Feministing's objection to being characterized that way.

Which is a bit like having a fight with your spouse and offering to acknowledge their indignation next week, over breakfast.

McElroy then asked for Feministing's editorial view, to which Valenti replied:
Wendy, the retraction is about you attributing a quote to Feministing that we did not write. That's all. You didn't contact us for a quote, and we didn't give one. The onus is on you to correct your error, not us to clarify our position.

The quote has since been retracted, though without a correction.

But this isn't the first time this has happened to those courageous enough to offer space for comments.

Back in October, conservatives attempted to smear MoveOn with antisemitic comments from their open forum (which were removed in any case) and just prior to that, Lanny Davis sought to bolster Joe Lieberman's troubled campaign by smearing his opponent, Ned Lamont, in the Wall St. Journal with comments from Lamont's site.

We either have to conclude that these people can't distinguish comments from editorial expression or that they just don't care.

Update: According to Jessica, an explicit retraction is forthcoming.
Evan Derkacz is an AlterNet editor. He writes and edits PEEK, the blog of blogs.
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