It’s funny what happens when you actually do some real reporting. The Washington Post is to be commended for their work on this story. I smell a Pulitzer Prize here. I suggest that you read the link above, before you read my comments below because my comments will essentially be spoilers. The story seems to come together as you read it, and I want to know if people are thinking the same thing I’m thinking before I put thoughts in your head.
At this point, I don’t think anything happened to Jackie, but neither did she initially make it up to be malicious. She made it up to win the sympathy and hopefully affection of a guy. So, Jackie liked “Randall,” but “Randall” did not return her affection. So she made up a story about a dashingly handsome Jr. in her chemistry class who was interested in her to make “Randall” jealous. She gave her friends “his” number, and her friends started texting “him.” “He” gushes about Jackie but says she won’t go out with him because she really likes another Freshman, obviously “Randall.” “He” sends a picture of himself. It turns out this picture is a high school classmate of Jackie’s who she obviously thinks is attractive and thus jealous making worthy, but apparently barely knew. (Perhaps he was a handsome guy she had pined away for in high school.) There obviously is no other guy, and Jackie is the one sending the texts. You could consider this a sort of reverse catfishing, I suppose. She then says she is going on a date with this guy. On that night she calls her friends hysterically alleging the rape, but initially it was five guys and oral sex (please pardon the explicit language). In this context it is easiest to believe that there was never a real date and never an assault. The alleged assault was a ploy to either win the sympathy and affection of “Randall” or make “Randall” feel bad for rejecting her. But as I said in one of the posts below, once you tell a story, you’re stuck with it. Jackie was stuck with her story, but she could have just let it die. Instead she road it to a position of victims advocate and victims spokesperson.
My thoughts: Jackie is clearly a troubled and emotionally very immature girl. (I have a hunch about part of what may be going on here, but I won’t speculate publicly.) She’s smart. One article said she wanted to go to Brown (which she presumably got in) but went to UVA instead because her parents said they couldn’t afford to send her to an Ivy League school. But you can be book smart and still be an emotional basket case. You can be book smart and still have no good sense. Jackie and her family have now retained a lawyer, and she is no longer talking. Finally!. Up until now she was sticking by her story, which indicates some serious cluelessness on her part, but she likely assumed this was her only option short of coming clean and recanting.
I really want to dislike Jackie for promoting a false story about “rape culture” and the rest of the PC narrative that is inherently anti-male and anti-traditional values, but I can’t. Like I said before, I feel sorry for her. Making up a fake suitor and impersonating him in texts is silly and childish, but also pretty pathetic. Faking a rape is drama queeny and wrong, but not malicious other than attempting to manipulate Randall under false pretenses. (Did she honestly believe that telling a guy she was forced to perform oral sex on 5 guys was likely to make him like her more?) Once she named the fraternity, that was over the line bad. When she reluctantly named her supposed date recently, obviously under intense pressure, that was really over the line bad, but it also indicates where she is at emotionally and mentally. How could she possibly have thought that was going to go well, but she did it anyway as her world is obviously crashing down around her.
Sabrina Rubin Erdely, on the other hand, I have no sympathy for at all. She has yet to come out of hiding to comment, at last report, and her career is obviously over. The three students whose allegedly callous actions she described in detail in her article, say they were never contacted by Rolling Stone before the article came out and said they would have been willing to be interviewed if they had been. So here is the big question. Did Jackie embellish her account and Erdely reported it substantially as Jackie re-told it, or did Erdely sex up the narrative on her own? Or did they work together? At any rate, she at minimum lied about the friend’s unwillingness to speak. If she took liberties with the story on her own, then that’s Stephen Glass, Janet Cooke territory. Rolling Stone is allegedly investigating. My guess is that Rolling Stone is going to throw her under the bus and retract some of her past articles as well. Other publications may follow. Erdely printed what she almost certainly knew were falsehoods in order to advance her Cultural Marxist narrative. She also exploited an emotional child that she also almost certainly knew was not credible. That’s evil. There should be consequences.