You may recall the big scandal over, first, allegations of a gang rape at UVA fraternity party, and, second, the fact that the story was fantasy, written by someone with “an agenda.”
“Jury: Rolling Stone Defamed UVA Official,” The Wall Street Journal, November 5, 2016 A2. A jury held that the article defamed a University administrator, who was portrayed as indifferent to a complaint that was never made. This is bad news for a recent Singaporean investor in the paper. Jury yet to determine damages.
What are today’s lessons?
- One is that even something you make up is information.
- Another is that delaying a retraction can be expensive.
- A third is that an employer is liable for failing to take reasonable steps to make sure that its news “stories” are fact, not “stories.”
- A fourth is that when you invest in a company, you invest in warts and all, even if they pre-date your investment.