FSU President Thrasher Blasts CNN Decision To Air 'The Hunting Ground'

Nov 16, 2015

FSU President John Thrasher

Florida State University President John Thrasher is condemning cable network CNN’s decision to air “The Hunting Ground” a film about campus rape, later this week.

Thrasher and several other university presidents were invited to speak on a panel about the film, but declined.

In an open letter posted on Florida State University’s website, President John Thrasher says CNN invited him to join other presidents of schools in the film to sit for a panel months after they raised objections to what they viewed as misleading information. He and several other schools declined, with Thrasher calling the invite, “window dressing”.

Among the concerns Thrasher says he raised with CNN is that no one from Florida State was allowed to respond in the film, and he likens the picture to the problematic Rolling Stone story about campus rape that ended with a retraction. The Hunting Ground features the first on-record interview with the woman who accuses former FSU quarterback Jameis Winston of raping her.

Winston was never charged with a crime nor any student code of conduct violations. The university’s inquiry was handled by a former Florida Supreme Court Justice.