National Review Editor Rich Lowry on Sunday was schooled by a group of ABC News panelists after he claimed that “attempted forced kissing” should not be considered assault.
During a discussion about recent revelations that Rolling Stone‘s report about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia was flawed, Lowry asserted that the magazine accepted the young woman’s story because “they had an agenda to portray UVA as the bastion of white male privilege, where basically rapists rule the social life.”
“And the damage will never be undone,” he argued. “And if there’s any justice in the world, I think Rolling Stone would have to give up covering music and become the alumni magazine of the University of Virginia.”
Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) pointed out that the “bigger issue” was that universities should not be handling rape investigations in the first place.
“I mean, if it was a murder, would the university handle it?” she asked. “It’s like we’re saying sexual assault is not a crime. I mean, this is the biggest issue we’ve had in the military where we’ve hammered home sexual assault is a crime.”
Pointing to a 2007 Campus Sexual Assault Study, CNN commentator Van Jones noted that one in five women had experienced attempted or completed sexual assault before graduating from college.
“This mistake on the part of the Rolling Stone actually emboldens people who want to attack young women’s credibility when they come forward,” Jones said.
Lowry, however, argued that the study was not credible because it “includes attempted forced kissing as sexual assault.”
“That is not a real number,” he insisted. “That is an advocacy number.”
“Can I kiss you here? Against your will?” Jones interrupted.
“Let’s talk about this later, Van,” Lowry replied. “It’s not a crime that the police are going to be involved in and prosecute.”
“That is an assault!” Jones shot back.
“That is a sexual assault!” Sanchez agreed, and then showed Lowry several hand gestures, including a backhand and pounding her fist into her hand.
“That’s a sexual assault!” she said.
“Van wants to kiss me, she wants to hit me,” Lowry complained.
Watch the video below from ABC’s This Week, broadcast Dec. 7, 2014.