Transcript: Full panel discussion taped for the CNN program "Sexual Assault on Campus"

The following is the transcript for the full panel discussion taped for the CNN program "Sexual Assault on Campus," which aired after "The Hunting Ground" on Sunday, November 22.

(CNN)Alisyn Camerota: We want to bring in our panel now. We want to welcome Stuart Taylor. He's a critic of the film and the author of "Until Proven Innocent, Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustice of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case." Melinda Henneberger is the editor of "Roll Call" and has written extensively on sexual violence. And Jon Krakauer is the author of "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town."

Welcome to all of you. Stuart, I want to start with you. You are a critic of "The Hunting Ground." What's your biggest issue with it?
Stuart Taylor: Well, let me first start with what's OK about it. It's rape is a huge national problem. None of us disagree with that. This films make that clear. There are heartbreaking stories told by rape victims that's a public service to show those stories. And they're infuriating episodes of male -- disgusting male behavior. The film shows that. All that would be to the good, but for the fact that on the whole, I submit, that this film is not an honest, truth seeking, fair documentary. It's slick, skillful propaganda.
In the most general sense, it vastly exaggerates the amount of rape that goes on on campuses, as have a lot of other people, including the polls that are shown on the film, which are basically rigged polls with phony questions. It also vastly understates how vigilant colleges are about pursuing allegations. In fact, the disciplinary process in the colleges all across the country, in part, because of the Obama administration's dictates is pervasively slanted against male -- accused males. And there are accused males all over the country, who have been expelled and branded as rapists for life, who are innocent.
    Alisyn Camerota: OK, let's begin to some of the points that you raised, because they're all compelling and interesting. First, on -- in terms of the studies, the numbers have been not all over the place, but they vary somewhat, the studies that have been done over the past 30 years in terms of what's going on college campuses, but they all show that something is going on. They may identify forcible rape differently than they do sexual assault, but it always come back to something significant is happening on college campuses.
    Let me get Melinda to respond to that first.
    Melinda Henneberger: Well, four out of the five major national surveys that have been done have shown pretty consistently that between one and four and one in five women have been sexually assaulted during college. So the outlier study is the one that critics mostly latch onto, that doesn't count things like sex during when you're incapacitated, that interviewed people in their homes. So, you know, there were family members within earshot. The outlier study that critics like Stuart, I think, have looked at a lot and put a lot of value in really have been -- has itself been discredited.
    Alisyn Camerota: Yes, this methodology is challenging as well. Jon, you've been studying this for your book, Missoula. What have you found is going on college campuses?
    Jon Krakauer: I disagree completely with Stuart that men are now the victims. The pendulum has swung a little bit, but it's got a lot farther to swing. I mean, I -- what I saw in Missoula and other cities is that campuses are not and have not been vigilant about erasing sexual assault, of punishing perpetrators. And, you know, "The Hunting Ground" very clearly shows why colleges are so reluctant to take courageous action in a sexual assault. They don't want to hurt their brands. They don't want to alienate donors. I think there's a long way to go before -- sure, I mean, Stuart has done a good thing with his book until proven guilty -- "Until Proven Innocent", I'm sorry. You know, the Duke Lacrosse scandal was a terrible scandal, and he pointed out that, you know, there was this -- that you had a corrupt dishonest prosecutor, you had faculty and media who without checking the facts were, you know, trying these athletes and finding them guilty.
    Well, you know, Stuart has done the same thing in his criticism-- what he accused others of, you are now doing yourself. You're ignoring, you know, scientific studies. You're ignoring, you know, facts. You seem to have a really strong agenda to, you know, you see this cabal that liberal media cabal. And I have a real issue with it.
    Stuart Taylor: Can I respond?
    Alisyn Camerota: OK, go ahead. Yes.
    Stuart Taylor: I'm not ignoring the studies. And I've read the critiques of two of the studies, including the biggest one by the Association of American Universities and a big one by The Washington Post. All of them are slanted and more or less the same way to get high numbers. They don't ask women have you been raped. They don't ask have you been sexually assaulted. They questions like have you ever been drunk and had sex. Check. That's sexual assault.
    Jon Krakauer: Just because we ask people have you been raped, people don't --
    Stuart Taylor: Could I finish? So they don't ask that. The sample size is ridiculously small. They're volunteers. You can tell that by comparing the statistics collected by under the Clery Act, where all the campuses in the country are obliged to report all the sexual assaults that are reported to them.
    The numbers there are about one-fifth or one-tenth of the numbers --
    Melinda Henneberger: Right, but under the Clery --
    Stuart Taylor: -- that these surveys find and they defined --
    Melinda Henneberger: -- (inaudible) the problem.
    Stuart Taylor: And they define -- is the definition of sexual assault is ridiculously broad. It includes all sorts of things that aren't crimes.
    Melinda Henneberger: Yeah. OK.
    Stuart Taylor: You know, I see your criticism, but if you read what I wrote --
    Jon Krakauer: I have read what you wrote.
    Stuart Taylor: -- I think it's --
    Jon Krakauer: I have read what you wrote. I don't --
    Alisyn Camerota: And Melinda, I want to ask you. Do you think the definitions are overly broad and it's skewing the results of what's going on on college campuses?
    Melinda Henneberger: I wish that the definition were a little narrower, because it would be good if we could see without -- I think the criticism is misguided. I think that, you know, the unwanted touching that critics always say is mixed in with the rape and attempted rape stats, if you only look at rape, you still see 11 percent, 12 percent, 16 percent, 13 percent in these major national studies. That's really high. That's an epidemic.
    Stuart Taylor: Let me add a factoid. Most women don't report whatever happened. And then --
    Melinda Henneberger: That's right.
    Stuart Taylor: -- when they have a survey, they talk to them. Of those who didn't report, the American Association of American Universities survey asked them why didn't you report it? Well, because this, because that, because the other thing. 61 percent, if I remember correctly, said because I didn't think it was serious enough. These are women who are supposedly raped.
    Alisyn Camerota: That's --
    Stuart. Do you really think they thought they were raped?
    Alisyn Camerota: Well, that's a really interesting point, because that may have something more to do with culture than crime. Jon, why don't' some people report if they have been raped?
    Jon Krakauer: Because there's a whole bunch of reasons. And statistics show that many, many rape victims did not even want to admit to themselves that they were raped. It's so upsetting, especially when it's an acquaintance rape, as most of these -- 85 percent of these cases on universities are. It's so upsetting, you've lost so much trust, it's easier to deny yourself your rape.
    Listen, I'm not making this up. There's plenty of science that shows this. So there's all kinds of renewal --reasons why women -- the most typical response when a woman was -- is raped is to say -- call up her friend and say, oh, my God, was I just raped? I think I might have been raped. They don't say, I was raped, I was raped. People don't -- it's just too much for them to process.
    Melinda Henneberger: And part of the healing process, part of the psychological trauma when you're in a situation like that, and that's really one of the things I appreciate so much about your book, that "Missoula" really goes into how normal it is for a woman who's been raped to try to deal with that by telling herself this can't have happened. This can't have been that bad. You know, you're really in this state of suspended animation and freezing in a lot of cases.
    Stuart Taylor: Two points, I give women more credit for being adults than some people do. I think that if a woman says no, I wasn't raped, the likeliest explanation is no, she wasn't raped. The people who do these surveys that we're hearing about, they don't buy that. So they don't ask her were you raped? They ask her a whole bunch of other questions that they interpret as meaning she was raped, even when no ordinary person --
    Alisyn Camerota: But Stuart, just on a larger issue, are you saying that sexual assaults on campus is not a problem?
    Stuart Taylor: No, I'm saying it's a huge problem, but by the way, the best studies done, the best study done and I'll come back to it, suggests that it's a smaller problem on campus than off campus, and it's a smaller problem now than it was in 1990. Now that study is the gold standard of all crime statistic studies. And the Justice Department, Bureau of Justice Statistics National Crime Victimization survey. And I think that's what you referred to earlier --
    Jon Krakauer: But --
    Stuart Taylor: -- that says about 3 percent at most of women are raped while -- are sexually assaulted while in college.
    Alisyn Camerota: Okay, Jon?
    Jon Krakauer: That study -- any -- it's not the gold standard at all. I've never heard anyone, even people who worked on that study, I've talked to people who were part of that study, including the woman who came up with a true fact that more women are -- who aren't on campus are raped than who are on more than are not on campus are raped than on.
    Stuart Taylor: Wait, that -- I didn't catch that.
    Jon Krakauer: The woman who says if you're not a student, you have a higher chance of getting raped than if you are a student. That women, it makes it very clear, those numbers in that DOJ study are -- widely unrepresented the problem. I've never heard anyone say otherwise.
    Stuart Taylor: Perhaps bring a little side point. If more women off campus are being raped young women, than on, why this obsession with rapes on campus? Why doesn't anybody care about all the blue collar women who are being raped?
    Melinda Henneberger: That's not true.
    Jon Krakauer: It's not one or the other. People care about both. That's --
    Stuart Taylor: Well, I haven't heard much about the ones who aren't on campus.
    Jon Krakauer: Because the criminal justice system is so messed up that we haven't figured out what to do for this poor man off campus. The campus adjudication system is also messed up, but there's steps that can be taken to fix that.
    Alisyn Camerota: Okay.
    Jon Krakauer: And there's a bill in the Senate by Kirsten Gillibrand and Claire McCaskill trying to do that. There's steps that can be taken.
    Alisyn Camerota: OK, panel stick around. We have much more to talk about. We want Stuart and Melinda to stay with us, because up next, NFL quarterback Jameis Winston and his accuser, how their lives have changed since the release of the film. And we have much more from our guests.
    *break*
    Alisyn Camerota: Rachel, thanks so much for spelling all that out for us. We now want to get reaction again from Stuart Taylor, Melinda Henneberger and Jon Krakauer. Stuart, let me start with you, because I know that you've written about how you believe that "The Hunting Ground" basically set out to railroad Jameis Winston and ruin his career, but as we've learned, he is now a starting quarterback in the NFL.
    Of course, meanwhile, his accuser, Erica Kinsman, was as we saw in the film, mocked. She was marginalized. She felt that she had to leave FSU as a result. So in other words, it leaves the impression that Erica Kinsman's life was much more negatively affected than his was?
    Stuart Taylor: It probably was for the reasons you give, but the real question is did he rape her or not? Now I don't doubt that there have been a lot of athletes that have done a lot of raping in colleges in this country and that some of them get coddled by the colleges. My co-author KC Johnson and I in a book talk about some of those cases. We talk about some other cases where the athlete was railroaded, even though he was clearly innocent.
    The Jameis Winston case, which I've written about at length, is in between. I wouldn't bet money that he's innocent. I think he's probably innocent. Why do I think that? Because the very good retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Major Harding who heard his case for FSU and did a very good job, found, not by a lot, but by a little that it was as least as clear. His innocence was at least as likely as his guilt. So --
    Alisyn Camerota: Let me -- it was Major Harding --
    Stuart Taylor: Yeah.
    Alisyn Camerota: -- said "I do not find the credibility of one story substantially stronger than the other." In other words, he couldn't determine who was telling the truth here. And neither one had a substantial sort of hold on truth and accuracy.
    Stuart Taylor: Right. No, that's a fair statement and if I suggest otherwise, earlier, I accept that. So did Willie Meggs, a pretty good prosecutor who more or less said the same thing. But both of them emphasized something that this is film, we are talking about this film, hides or hid until I exposed it, and then, they put a little bit in.
    Alisyn Camerota: Go ahead.
    Stuart Taylor: One, there are devastating hits on Erica Kinsman's capability when she -- when it was first called in, she said I was hit on the head and I blacked out and I woke up being raped in this guy's bed. Oops, no head injury shown by the hospital. She dropped that right away.
    Then the story became, and it's -- and in "The Hunting Ground," especially the first time around, remained "I was drugged and woke up and so forth," who's being raped. Oh, two toxicology tests looked for 130 or some drug. No evidence of drug. And guess what? When he testified in her FSU story at great length last December, no mention of being drugged.
    Alisyn Camerota: Let me stop you there, because --
    Stuart Taylor: Yeah.
    Alisyn Camerota: -- I see you both and nodding vigorously. Melinda?
    Melinda Henneberger: She actually never said that she had a head injury. Her friend, because she said her head hurt, reported that, and made that leap, made that assumption. She herself never reported having a head injury. And the Tallahassee police had a very -- such a flawed investigation that it was not much of an investigation at all. The D.A. concluded was -- that he was very hobbled by this botched initial investigation. And FSU essentially did no investigation. So that they couldn't tell what happened in the end is not that surprising.
    Alisyn Camerota: Jon, isn't this an illustration of what we see so often in these cases, he said, she said. Somehow investigators have to try to parse who's saying the right thing, who's most believable after the fact. I know you believe Erica Kinsman, but just explain the challenges of when you have to figure out who's telling the truth in these cases?
    Jon Krakauer: When the police did zero investigation for -- you know, 11 months, and then, they never really did any investigation. The university did nothing. The prosecutor who you praised so much, he never interviewed Winston, he never requested cell phone records or video records. There was no investigation period.
    So, yeah, this case is -- but through with all of that, if you look at who's credible and who isn't, you look at the reaction of Erica Kinsman after the event the tweets the interviews, she was traumatized. She has never lied. You know, she has a -- her reputation is pretty sterling. She's not promiscuous. She had the same boyfriend that she has now.
    If you look at Jameis Winston's record of lying, repeatedly stole crab legs, gave two different stories, he and his buddy, the buddies who were with him that night, have this saying where, yeah, we'll leave the door open, because we like to run a train on these girls.
    After the -- Erica said one of the -- his friends, Ronald Darby, came into the room and said, hey, what are you doing? She said no, afterwards, he was so upset, two days later on his Facebook page, he said, you know, he made it clear I really regret this. I'm so stupid, you know, what was I thinking.
    So he -- that shows that he had remorse. And so to say there's no evidence, there's plenty of evidence. You need a university to do something about it. Melinda?
    Melinda Henneberger: And that's the thing is that when you talk about the pendulum swinging to the other extreme, which I do not believe, you know, where that might happen, it's another instance of the same problem. It's not the other extreme. And the problem is not taking a serious problem seriously enough. All you have to do is investigate fully. It doesn't, you know --
    Alisyn Camerota: Meaning that --
    Melinda Henneberger: -- I don't want to go --
    Alisyn Camerota: -- you could solve the problem of false accusations if the campus took it seriously from the beginning.
    Melinda Henneberger: There is such a small percentage of false allegations ever, but you know, let's not assume it happened. Let's not assume it didn't happen. Let's fully investigate each case in its own right, all the way through. And if that happened, we wouldn't have the problem that you're alluding to.
    Stuart Taylor: Let me concede a couple points and then add a couple points. I'm not here as a character witness for Jameis Winston. He did steal crab legs. He's behaved horribly. He behaved pretty badly with Erica Kinsman, even if you believe his version.
    The question is whether it's rape. And the reason I wrote about it is not so much I want to vindicate this kid. He's got lawyers. It's the way the media covered it. "The New York Times" first, and then "The Hunting Ground." There is very serious evidence casting grave doubt on her credibility, especially on the drug testing that the original version of "The Hunting Ground" as well as "The New York Times" systematically concealed that evidence because it didn't fit their narrative.
    Alisyn Camerota: So you think the investigation --
    Melinda Henneberger: Whose story had not --
    Jon Krakauer: That is not true, that is not true.
    Her story has not changed at all. If you -- the media, you know, Winston's lawyer got out and made false statements after false statements, the same thing the corrupt prosecutor, you wrote about, and you correctly criticized him.
    The difference is that it's a defense attorney and he can't be sanctioned. He can't be fired. There's been so much misinformation. And you have repeated it in your article about the railroaded Jameis Winston without checking it. Do you --
    Stuart Tay