Long Reads: Bill Cosby, Julian Assange and assaults of various kinds

Rich Jackson’s Longreads this week bring us multiple rape cases in Bill Cosby and the University of Virginia, John Pilger on Julian Assange, and from Narrative.ly, how to befriend a mugger(!)


The siege of Julian Assange is a farce – A special investigation – John Pilger (JohnPilger.com)

John Pilger takes a look at the case of Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy since August 2012 under allegations of the rape of two Swedish women amid fears that returning to Sweden to fight these charges would lead to extradition to America to face charges of terrorism. Pilger examines the technicalities of the law, the Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, refusing to come to London to question Assange and ultimately the underlying influence of America and their motivations in this case. Also, I think it is worthwhile bringing in comedian Sean Locke’s point, that Assange is a funny name.


A rape on campus: A brutal assault and struggle for justice at UVA – Sabrina Rubin Erdely (Rolling Stone)

Four week’s into the start of 2012’s academic year, an 18-year-old at the Univerisity of Virgina was gang raped by seven guys at a fraternity party. The rape was like an initiation process into the Phi Kappa Psi house. Pretty messed up to say the least. Some sterling reporting from Erdely and Rolling Stone though. It is atmospheric, and the rape at the start really hooks you into the larger narrative – that this school had a rape culture which was common knowledge, yet had a system that wasn’t merely ineffectual at dealing with the issue, but actually encouraged the victims to maintain their silence. I would like to say more on the topic, but for brevity’s sake can’t, however, a theme within the article is that students were encouraged by their peers to not report a sexual assault/rape because it would affect their popularity and ability to climb the social ladder. Just FUBAR. Some of the statements that other students said leave you feeling bewildered and baffled at the stupidity, naivety and ignorance of some of America’s brightest students – students who are attending one of the country’s elite universities, founded by the brain of America, Thomas Jefferson, who was also a thoughtful advocate of the ideals of The Enlightenment.

(PS: read this piece by Slate’s law and courts correspondent, Dahlia Lithwick.)


Bill Cosby’s legacy, recast: Accusers speak in detail about sexual-assault allegations – Manuel Roig-Franzia, Scott Higham, Paul Farhi, Mary Pat Flaherty (Washington Post)

Well might as well go for two out of three and discuss the other big story of sexual assault and rape, the Bill Cosby affair. This is a stoic and thorough bit of reporting that documents the numerous allegations against comic legend Bill Cosby, in a strange sort of way, the narrative making it seem like a biography of sexual assault, which in itself speaks of the extent of the allegations against him. I also think that it is important to point out that the reason these allegations have gained such momentum in the media is because it was another stand up comedian, Hannibal Buress (hilarious btw), who cracked a joke on stage about the situation – which I think, like Adam Sternbergh says, is an argument that nothing should be off limits.


EDITOR’S PICK from narrative.ly

How to befriend a mugger- Kenneth Rosen

So the next time you get hit up by a mugger (well, we don’t use that term in Oz really do we – let’s say “a thief,” though it doesn’t sound as good), consult this piece for how to deal with it #ThatsAllImSaying


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