Based on recent RollingStone and NYTimes articles, I had planned to write a diary. Perhaps drawing from other sources and including other related news stories. Part of the NYTimes article give me enough pause that I set it aside for the moment, but continued to collect additional information. The Rolling Stone article, however, was so well written and had that plausible sounding ring of truth that I didn’t question the veracity of it. Rape is always a horrific story and for the subject of the Rolling Stone, it was exceedingly so. A story that demanded more eyes because it points to a large cultural issue that requires attention.
Somehow, despite my conscious intentions, my diary didn’t get written. It’s not pleasant to admit that I had not employed fully critical thinking when reading the story. Had not even noticed a glaring problem with it. Today Rolling Stone retracted the story: A Note to Our Readers
Last month, Rolling Stone published a story titled “A Rape on Campus” by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, which described a brutal gang rape of a woman named Jackie at a University of Virginia fraternity house; the university’s failure to respond to this alleged assault – and the school’s troubling history of indifference to many other instances of alleged sexual assaults. …
In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced. …
A more honest admission of error or journalistic failure than we see from other major publications.
What I overlooked was that the rape as described was too brutal for a woman not to have sought immediate medical attention. Doesn’t mean that “Jackie” wasn’t raped nor that it wasn’t a gang rape. Only that if it had happened, it wasn’t like what she described or what Erdely wrote.
It may be a lot to ask rape victims and any woman that alleges rape to be scrupulously honest and not embellish nor modify their stories in any way. Untruthfulness increases the chances that other victims won’t be believed. Won’t seek immediate medical attention. Won’t report the rape. That rapists will continue to walk among us and are highly likely to rape again.
The truth is always best. Don’t risk having your story swept away.
After consideration, have concluded that I would be remiss if I didn’t included WaPo’s latest addition to this story. They have interviewed the three UVA students that “Jackie” came to her aid after her alleged rape. Given “Jackie’s” report of the seeming callousness of two of those friend’s, they would have a reason not to confirm that part of her story; so, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to discount what they now say.
However, the bizarre part is what they claim happened before that night and one of them retained tweets with the man “Jackie” claimed had invited her to dinner. This “man” seems not to exist. Was it a hoax? If so, by whom? Unfortunately, at this point the veracity of “Jackie’s” story isn’t looking good.