‘Rolling Stone’ founder Jann Wenner accused of offering work for sex; Wenner denies pay offer

 SAN FRANCISCO — Jann Wenner, the founder of once high-flying rock world magazine Rolling Stone, has been accused of offering freelance work for sex to a male writer in 2005.Ben Ryan, now 39, told BuzzFeed News Friday that he was sexually harassed during an encounter with Wenner at his Manhattan home. After fixing Ryan a drink, the publisher kissed him and promised a 25-article contract in exchange for sex.Ryan says he left after 90 minutes, eventually doing one article for Wenner-owned Men's Journal. “I’m not saying he killed my dreams, but it was a discouraging part of the process," Ryan said.Wenner issued a statement to the outlet in which he acknowledged that the encounter took place."He turned me down, which I respected," Wenner said, adding that no such writing-for-sex contract was extended. "I have never and would never make an offer of this kind."Wenner is the latest in a growing list of high-profile figures to have been singled out for inappropriate behavior in the wake of women accusing Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of a range of lewd acts and harassment over decades, including rape.In recent days, female comedians told The New York Times that comedian Louis CK had a persistent habit of masturbating in front of women without their consent, while Kevin Spacey has faced a savage hit to his career since a number of men have come forward with stories of being sexually harassed by the actor. More: Exclusive: New Kevin Spacey accuser tells of 1981 'wordless' assault, then 'scary anger' Wenner, who has been out as gay for decades, cultivated a raucous, bisexual culture within the walls of his magazine empire, according to a new book by Joe Hagan called Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine. A passage in the book quotes a former employee who said Wenner "fancied himself as a sort of polymorphous-perverse William Randolph Hearst." "'He Continue Reading

Rolling Stone magazine to be sold, longtime owner says

The iconic music magazine Rolling Stone, which has chronicled the pop culture scene for 50 years, will be put up for sale, according to a report. The magazine, whose covers have featured every top band from The Beatles to the Rolling Stones, is looking for a buyer to pull the publication out of its financial hole, according to The New York Times. Since 1967, founder Jann Wenner, 71, has run the magazine as an independent. But a decline in print advertising is forcing him to sell his majority stake, although he is hoping that the new owners keep him on. “I’ve enjoyed it for a long time,” Wenner told The Times, but selling is “just the smart thing to do.” Last year, Wenner’s company sold a 49% stake in the magazine to Singapore-based BandLab Technologies, a music-tech company. Writers who penned articles for the publication include Hunter S. Thompson, P.J. O'Rourke and Cameron Crowe. Thompson’s classic “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” was published in the magazine in two parts. Among the magazine’s most enduring covers was an Annie Leibovitz picture of Yoko Ono and a naked John Lennon. Continue Reading

Sinead O’Connor blasts Rolling Stone’s Kim Kardashian cover

It's the day Music Died: Part 2. Sinead O'Connor claims venerable rock magazine Rolling Stone has murdered the art form it was created to cover - and used Kim Kardashian to do it. The Irish singer-songwriter unleashed a furious epithet-filled rant Tuesday after the scantily clad "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" star landed on the cover of the music mag. Controversial singer Sinead O'Connor’s latest target is Rolling Stone magazine and reality star Kim Kardashian. “What is this c--t doing on the cover of Rolling Stone?” the controversial performer asked on Facebook. “Music has officially died. Who knew it would be Rolling Stone that murdered it? Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh can no longer be expected to take all the blame. Bob Dylan must be f--king horrified.” MILEY CYRUS ON 'TODAY': SINGER TALKS ABOUT HER 'SEXUAL SIDE," REMAINS 'BIG FAN' OF SINEAD O'CONNOR DESPITE TWITTER FEUD O'Connor, 48, singer finished the tirade with a call to boycott the magazine. Rolling Stone did not issue a response. The latest issue, which hit stands on July 3, features Kardashian in a sailor’s cap and a cleavage-revealing top. “I’m so much smarter than I’m portrayed,” Kardashian told the magazine in a wide-ranging, though substance-free, interview that touched on her rise from sex-tape punch line to a multimillionaire businesswoman and wife of Kanye West. O’Connor, who scored a No. 1 in 1990 with "Nothing Compares 2 U", was furious when she saw the buxom model getting the famed cover - long a prize doled out to musicians such as John Lennon, Bono, Dylan and Neil Young. She posted her screed on Tuesday along with a photo of the Kardashian cover - and fans quickly shared it more than 4,500 times in six hours. KIM KARDASHIAN STUNS ON ROLLING STONE COVER, OPENS UP ABOUT CAITLYN JENNER, ROB KARDASHIAN It's not the first Continue Reading

7-Eleven joins growing list of retailers refusing to stock controversial ‘Rolling Stone’ Boston Bomber issue

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s sultry “Rolling Stone” cover photo won’t be appearing in 7-Eleven stores this August. A spokeswoman confirmed the company’s decision to join at least six other retailers in banning the controversial issue, which teases a profile on the accused Boston bomber with a cover shot that some say makes the alleged terrorist look like a rock star. “7-Eleven, Inc.’s position is to NOT sell the Aug. 1 issue of ‘Rolling Stone.’ We are communicating to all our US stores that our company-operated outlets will not sell this issue and we are strongly recommending that our franchised stores consider doing likewise,” a spokeswoman wrote in an email to The Daily News on Thursday. Many customers applauded the decision online. “Thank you for making the moral & patriotic corporate decision to not stock or sell the upcoming vulgar issue of the entertainment magazine ‘Rolling Stone,’” one user wrote on the company’s Facebook page. “You have earned the respect and loyalty of all consumers across the nation.” 7-Eleven is one of the country’s largest convenience store retailers, operating and franchising approximately 7,600 stores in the United States. Other retailers with strong ties to New England — CVS, Tedeschi Food Stores, and the grocery chain the Roche Bros. — said they would not sell the issue. Stop & Shop, Walgreens, and Hy-Vee have also joined the boycott. This particular shot of the curly-haired Tsarnaev, dressed in a loose T-shirt and bathed in a soft, yellow light, was widely circulated and used by magazines and newspapers before it was chosen by “Rolling Stone” editors. But outraged readers argued that placing the alleged bomber on the front cover of the well-known music magazine puts him on the same playing field as Jim Morrison or Bob Dylan. The young suspect already has a fan Continue Reading

Columbia issues scathing report on ‘Rolling Stone’ rape story

The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism issued a scathing report Sunday on the editorial breakdown at Rolling Stone magazine that allowed publication of a searing, now thoroughly discredited story about a woman who said she had been gang raped at the University of Virginia, ending a three-month review meant to shed a light on and calm the storm surrounding a saga that had triggered a police probe and institutional soul searching at the university.Rolling Stone, which had backed off from its original story in December, also officially retracted the article, titled "A Rape on Campus," and said it will implement recommendations about journalistic practices that are listed in the report.The 13,000-word report, authored by Sheila Coronel, Steve Coll and Derek Kravitz of the Columbia J-school, concluded that the magazine's editorial policies clearly have failed in catching the reportorial shortcomings by the story's author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely."The failure encompassed reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking," the authors wrote. "The magazine set aside or rationalized as unnecessary essential practices of reporting that, if pursued, would likely have led the magazine's editors to reconsider publishing Jackie's narrative so prominently, if at all. The published story glossed over the gaps in the magazine's reporting by using pseudonyms and by failing to state where important information had come from."The magazine's owner, Wenner Media, asked the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in December to carry out an objective third-party review of its editorial process that contributed to the deeply flawed 9,000-word story. The report's authors noted that the magazine cooperated fully and allowed interviews with all the relevant parties involved, including Erdely, and the magazine's managing editor, Will Dana. Jackie didn't respond to the authors' request for an interview."The report was painful reading, to me personally and to all Continue Reading

Ozzy Osbourne to pen health column for Rolling Stone

He's got a new album, a new tour, and now, Ozzy Osbourne has a new moonlighting gig as a health columnist for Rolling Stone magazine.Rolling Stone has a page up on its Web site where readers can submit a health query to the Prince of Darkness; selected answers will be published in the magazine's July 23rd, August 6th and August 20th issues.There may be reason for readers to board the crazy train, considering the rocker's history of admitted drug use and hard partying.U2 frontman Bono has a column for the New York Times, and rapper Lil Wayne blogged for ESPN.com.And it isn't the first time Rolling Stone has ushered a star onto its writing staff: Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump reviewed the CD/DVD release "The Ultimate Peter Tosh Experience" in 2009.The Huffington Post reports that Osbourne had a similar health-column job for the UK's "Sunday Times" earlier this year. But it'll be the first taste the States get of the legendary rocker's medical advice. It's also the latest in a big resurgence for Ozzy, who released his hit autobiography, "I Am Ozzy" this past winter. The rocker's latest album, "Scream," just debuted at No. 4 on the charts. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Rolling Stone retracts UVA rape story after Columbia investigation calls it ‘journalistic failure’

Rolling Stone magazine officially retracted and apologized Sunday for a discredited article on a fraternity gang rape at University of Virginia after an investigation slammed the story as a “journalistic failure.” The magazine’s mea culpa came as the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism released a scathing postmortem of the article by Sabrina Rubin Erdely headlined “A Rape on Campus.” The investigation found flaws at all levels of the reporting and editing process. “This report was painful reading, to me personally and to all of us at Rolling Stone,” Will Dana, the magazine’s managing editor, said in a statement. “We would like to apologize to our readers and to all of those who were damaged by our story and the ensuing fallout, including members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and UVA administrators and students,” Dana said. Erdely, a reporter for Rolling Stone since 2008, apologized, vowing to not repeat the blunders she made. “Reading the Columbia account of the mistakes and misjudgments in my reporting was a brutal and humbling experience,” Erdely said in a statement. The magazine asked the Columbia graduate school of journalism to independently investigate the problem-plagued article. The investigation, headed by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Steve Coll, summed up the mistakes as a “journalistic failure that was avoidable.” “The failure encompassed reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking,” the report found. The story, published on Nov. 19, 2014, focused on an 18-year-old student referred to by the pseudonym “Jackie” who claimed she was raped by seven men at UVA’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house in 2012. The failure encompassed reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking. Continue Reading

Bill de Blasio critiques Obama, Bloomberg and Giuliani in Rolling Stone interview

Mayor de Blasio doesn’t have many nice things to say about anyone in a new magazine interview — except himself. De Blasio, in a seven-and-half-page spread in Rolling Stone, sniffs that Rudy Giuliani was really only good at “selling himself” and claims his predecessor Michael Bloomberg — who is frequently praised for being independent-minded — was actually in the pocket of his rich friends. The mayor even raps President Obama for not focusing enough on a “progressive” vision. “I very much appreciated the last State of the Union, which was a very powerful road map for addressing these issues,” said de Blasio, who like Obama is a Democrat. “But I certainly believe there should've been a focus on economics much earlier.” De Blasio praised Obamacare for having “tangibly addressed the income-inequality crisis” but added, “Where I would be critical is that the progressive economic vision that I adhere to was not front and center in President Obama's vision.” He added, “Though, by the way, let's be fair — he didn't promise it." As for his own record, the mayor apparently thinks non-New Yorkers have the best grasp of his achievements. "A lot of people outside New York City understand what happened in the first year of New York City better than people in New York City," he told Rolling Stone. "But I'm convinced something very special happened here." In his view, his style of governance is far superior to ex-Mayor Giuliani’s. Asked about Giuliani’s successes, de Blasio - whose old boss David Dinkins left City Hall after one term because he lost to the Republican — indicated he wasn’t impressed. “Do you give him credit for figuring out a way to get more credit than he deserves? Sure, if that's credit,” he sniffed. Continue Reading

No evidence of University of Virginia frat rape described by ‘Jackie’ in Rolling Stone article: police

Police in Charlottesville, Va., say they have uncovered no evidence of the sex assault at a University of Virginia frat house described in a November 2014 Rolling Stone article. The months-long investigation into the story told by “Jackie” about what she said was a September 2012 gang rape at the Phi Kappa Psi house could not be proven in any way, said police Chief Timothy Longo. The case has been “suspended,” not closed, because something could have happened, Longo said. “We certainly can’t say something didn’t happen … but there’s not evidence to support it,” Longo told reporters at a Monday afternoon press conference. Jackie last spoke to police through her lawyer on Dec. 10, days after the bombshell piece, penned by Rolling Stone magazine writer Sabrina Erdely, came out. Jackie wanted nothing to do with an investigation, refused to give a statement and did not want to press criminal charges, Longo said. Erdely was among some 70 different people interviewed during the investigation and gave police a detailed outlining of her reporting process. Rolling Stone admitted “discrepancies” in the published piece and apologized for the misreporting on Dec. 5, one day after the December issue, including the explosive rape story, hit newsstands. Phi Kappa Psi hit back hard at Rolling Stone in a statement Monday. "That Rolling Stone sought to turn fiction into fact is shameful," the fraternity's statement said. "The discredited article has done significant damage to the ability of the Chapter's members to succeed in their educational pursuits, and besmirched the character of undergraduate students at the University of Virginia who did not deserve the spotlight of the media. The due process rights of college students must be respected in any investigation that commences against a student or organization accused of such serious charges. The rush to judgment based upon the Continue Reading

UVA dean denounces Rolling Stone gang-rape story, reacting publicly for the first time

A University of Virginia dean at the center of a now-debunked Rolling Stone story about gang rape, has spoken publicly for the first time, damning the article in a letter to the magazine's publisher. Associate Dean of Students Nicole Eramo has written to Rolling Stone head Jann Wenner, decrying in the story's "false and grossly misleading" descriptions of how the university reacted to accusations of gang rape at a fraternity house, The Washington Post reported. Eramo also served as an investigator for gender crimes, was accused in the November story of having a "nonreaction" to the alleged victim's claims. Eramo, the erroneous the piece claimed, responded coldly to accusations of rape on campus at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house. "Using me as the personification of a heartless administration, the Rolling Stone article attacked my life's work," the administrator wrote. Despite the story being retracted and discredited, Eramo's reputation will "remain forever liked to an article that has damaged my reputation and falsely portrayed the work to which I have dedicated my life." The magazine's story, after initially creating an uproar, started to fall apart in December as various media accounts poked holes in the article's claims and reporting procedures. Many of the details in author Sabrina Rubin Erdely's account were found to be unsubstantiated and deeply flawed, according to a report released earlier this month by the Columbia University journalism school. A magazine spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment on Wednesday, the paper reported. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading