Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Bigger Lie to Cover For the Original Lie: Dunham and Random House Change the Narrative

Random House changes Dunham's book (the original will become a collector's item) in order to cover for Dunham's lies and avoid a huge lawsuit for slander.
Lena Dunham’s publisher says her alleged rapist “Barry” wasn’t actually named Barry

"TheWrap now reports that Random House has put out a statement exonerating this Identifiable Conservative Barry, and saying that the alleged rapist wasn’t really named Barry at all:
As indicated on the copyright page of Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham, some names and identifying details in the book have been changed. The name ‘Barry’ referenced in the book is a pseudonym. Random House, on our own behalf and on behalf of our author, regrets the confusion that has led attorney Aaron Minc to post on GoFundMe on behalf of his client, whose first name is Barry.

We are offering to pay the fees Mr. Minc has billed his client to date. Our offer will allow Mr. Minc and his client to donate all of the crowd-funding raised to not-for-profit organizations assisting survivors of rape and sexual assault.
Appalling. The book wasn’t a novel; it was a memoir, offered to readers as such. The copyright page, which I suspect few people read, does say that “Some names and identifying details have been changed,” but it certainly doesn’t tell people which ones.

Indeed, early in the book, when she mentions a boyfriend of hers and labels him Jonah, she adds a footnote: “Name changed to protect the truly innocent.” Reasonable readers, it seems to me, reading the rest of the memoir, would assume that “Barry” — whose name wasn’t accompanied with any such footnote — was actually named Barry. Even if not all readers would so conclude, many would, and quite understandably so.

How could Dunham and Random House do this? How could an author and a publisher — again, of a self-described memoir, not a work of fiction — describe a supposed rape by a person, give a (relatively rare) first name and enough identifying details that readers could easily track the person down, and not even mention that “Barry” wasn’t this person’s real name?

Say even that Dunham had forgotten that there really was a prominent Oberlin conservative named Barry back then. Surely it was obviously possible that, if one makes up a first name, someone real, who matches the other easily Google-findable characteristics, might have that name. Given the gravity of the charge, how can one possibly rely on a statement on the copyright page as the only hint that this particular item in the memoir is inaccurate?

Nor does Random House’s statement now help Identifiable Conservative Barry much. The memoir is still out there; many people have read it but haven’t seen the Random House statement; many more people will read it and not see the Random House statement. This is going to dog Identifiable Conservative Barry for years to come — for the simple reason that Dunham and Random House published a factual item (the statement that the alleged rapist was named Barry) that

1 they knew
2 was false
3 without stating, clearly and immediately (again, as they had done with regard to another man), that the name was made up.

For more on the libel implications of all this, see my earlier post, though of course now that Random House has admitted that Identifiable Conservative Barry actually didn’t do these things, the case becomes much easier. John Nolte, who wrote the Breitbart story, also has a more on the Random House statement."
This reminds me of the Islamic hudna: declare a truce in order to rearm and regroup. The lawsuit against Dunham and publishing house should continue. The back pressure against feminist lies must be made felt throughout the feminist world.

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