There are times when I feel like the ultra-conservative Senator Keeley played by Gene Hackman in “The Bird Cage,” when he’s just learned that his daughter’s future in-laws are a gay couple, that his future son-in-law has two mothers, and the middle-aged woman he had been flirting with all evening is a gay man. Literally nothing makes sense to him any more, and he says, plaintively, “I feel like I’m insane.”
The New York Times report on the police investigation into Rolling Stone’s false story about a horrific gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity made me feel like this. It made no sense to me whatsoever.
“After a review of records and roughly 70 interviews,” the story said, “Police Chief Timothy J. Longo Sr. said at a crowded news conference here, his investigators found “no evidence” that a party even took place at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity on Sept. 28, 2012, when the rape was said to have occurred. Instead, he said, there was a formal that night at the house’s sister sorority, making it highly unlikely that the fraternity would have had a party on the same night.Despite “numerous attempts,” he said, his officers were unable to track down the man Jackie had identified as her date that night. And several interviews contradicted her version of events.”
But wait, there’s more:
During the course of the ensuing police investigation, the chief said, investigators interviewed nine of the 14 members who were living at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house in September 2012; none said they knew Jackie. The authorities also sent questionnaires to other fraternity members; 19 were returned, and none of the respondents said they knew Jackie or had any knowledge of an assault having occurred at the fraternity house. A review of bank records for the fraternity revealed no expenditures for a party. The police also found a photograph time-stamped Sept. 28, 2012. It showed two men in an otherwise empty entrance hall, the chief said.Investigators also interviewed two of Jackie’s friends, both men, whom Jackie had said met with her after the assault occurred. But both contradicted her version of events, the chief said, adding, “They don’t recall any physical injuries.” And while both said they were told by Jackie that she had gone out on the night of Sept. 28, 2012, with a person named Haven Monahan — identified in the Rolling Stone article as “Drew” — the police were unable to track Mr. Monahan down.
Meanwhile, we are told, “Jackie” refuses to cooperate with the investigation in any way.
Wait, what? Where did I miss the part where everyone on campus seems to know who “Jackie” is? I thought her identity was unknown except to the virulent-feminist-fraternity-hating-war-on-women activist reporter (Sabrina Rubin Erdely) who eagerly published “Jackie’s” lies without doing the requisite fact- checking and confirmation! But no, we learn. The police know who she is, students know who she is, and the UVA administrators know who she is:
“During his news conference on Monday, and in a separate written statement issued by his department, Chief Longo said the Charlottesville police first learned of Jackie in April 2014, after an officer met with her in the company of an associate dean of students, Nicole P. Eramo, who handles sexual assault matters. One day earlier, Jackie told Dean Eramo of the rape allegation and at that time reported a separate, unrelated physical assault. But she did not want to pursue a police complaint, the chief said. After the Rolling Stone article appeared, a detective reached out to Jackie, suspecting that she was the woman he had previously interviewed. “Since that time, despite numerous attempts to gain her cooperation, ‘Jackie’ has provided no information whatsoever to investigators,” the department’s statement said.”
I feel like I’m insane.
…slandered Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and the entire fraternity system at UVA
…caused the UVA president Teresa A. Sullivan, to suspend all fraternity activities, and later to impose tough restrictions on all of the frats.
…undermined trust and comity on the campus
…added to the Obama administration’s manufactured hysteria over the alleged epidemic of sexual assault on campuses
…destroyed Rolling Stone’s credibility, such as it was, and
…may have subjected the magazine to a ruinous lawsuit.
And she refuses to cooperate.
She refuses to cooperate? How dare she? Why is she still in school? Why hasn’t she been named, expelled, and charged?
I don’t want to hear how forcing “Jackie” to take full responsibility for her lies will “discourage rape victims from coming forward.” This is the same bone-headed logic that allows monsters like Wanetta Gibson to run free, looking for her next victim. “Jackie” is no better than Wanetta, and is a modern day, real life equivalent of Abigail Williams, the teen who launches the deadly Salem witch panic in Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible.” Not holding “Jackie” accountable will guarantee more false accusations and more ruined institutions and lives.
Meanwhile, oh-so compassionate, utterly ethically-inert people on campus are making statements like this one, from Janie Nelson, a first-year student: “Even if the article wasn’t completely true, it still brought a good point in the community and has still been important to making it a better place.”
I feel like I’m insane.
Yes, Janie thinks it’s acceptable to make up a gang rape, slime a whole fraternity by name and the school itself, as long as it promotes dialogue! This is a good thing, to Jamie, on balance. The tactic is validated, the ends justify the means. Maybe UVA deserves to have its reputation trashed, not because it’s a den of rapists, but because it is graduating a mob of principle-free Machiavellians.
I know who I’m going to look for the next time an “anonymous” sexual assault story surfaces.
Meanwhile, the police don’t want to be insensitive or overly judgmental to poor, something-victim “Jackie,” explains the Times:
“Despite the findings, the chief dismissed suggestions that Jackie had completely fabricated her account. “There’s a difference between a false allegation and something that happened that may be different than something that is reported in the article,” the chief said. “All I can tell you is there is no substantive basis to conclude what is described in the article happened that night.”
I feel like I’m insane.
What? If a woman accuses a fraternity of gang-raping her, and there’s no evidence of a gang rape, then that’s a false allegation! What is the chief blathering on about, and why? “Something” happened? So what? How is that a mitigating factor to accusing a fraternity of a gang rape? Maybe she had a bad day. Maybe a boy was mean to her. Maybe she broke a nail. Or maybe she’s a vicious, dishonest, reckless rumor-mongering hysteric who is a danger to everyone around her.
I don’t want to hire “Jackie.” I don’t want my son dating or marrying “Jackie.” I don’t want her involved in any aspect of my professional or personal life, and neither do you, and for that to happen with 100% certainty, we have to know who she is.
She may have an explanation for what she did, you say? I’m willing to hear it; in fact, she owes everyone—Rolling Stone, UVA, Phi Kappa Psi, men—an explanation. Until or unless she comes up with a satisfactory one, she needs to suffer the consequences of her destructive and wrongful conduct.
A society that doesn’t punish this is insane.
14 thoughts on “Accountability, “Jackie,” and the University Of Virginia Fraternity Libel”
“Even if the article wasn’t completely true, it still brought a good point in the community and has still been important to making it a better place.”
How about “honesty is the best policy?” Not Nietzschean enough for University?
“Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!”
Arg! I was just about to make be equivalency. So much for the copy paste.
What is to stop the fraternity from releasing her full identity?
The fraternity wants this to go away. There isn’t a win scenario for them in this situation. They’re as vindicated as they’re going to get. And whoever releases that name will face an absolute shitstorm for a month.
Did you notice that, in the midst of an article in which we STILL don’t know the accusers actual name, they let slip the name of the person she supposedly went out with that night?
“A society that doesn’t punish this is insane.
You’re wasting your time, Jack. All that will happen is you’ll be accused of “mansplaining” and promoted to battalion or maybe even brigade commander in the War on Women. I just count myself lucky to have completed my degrees before this Wonderland culture fully took hold. I think a return to single sex higher education would be good, but, since that’s not going to happen, if I were looking into college now, I’d either look for a nearby school where I could commute and live at home, or I’d be looking into online courses.
If the current standard of proof used against males who are accused of sexual assault were applied to this girl she would be out on her ass. Luckily for her she has a vagina so we know she is not accountable for her actions. Are feminist the most unethical social justice warriors or do the race advocates still hold the title? I know it is wrong to stereotypes but at what point is it fair to just target anyone who self identifies with a group? I am sure years ago there were folks in the klan that due to social and economic reason had little choice but to join, we could still condemn them as a group, can we just go ahead and condemn feminism as evil and unethical?
The race-baiters still top the list, but the feminists and the militant gays are catching up.
Saw a lawyer on the news the other day who made the ridiculous claim that the fraternity in question had no legal standing to sue. My feeling is that they certainly do, and should. No way ANY of the purveyors of untruth should get away with this. Such a suit would, I think, make the original despicable liar’s name public rather quickly.
What really boggles the mind is Rolling Stone’s collective shrug, sheepish grin and “oops, our bad, sorry” response to the Columbia report. The culture at that magazine must make MSNBC look like a bunch of misogynists.
This also highlights the oft expressed viewpoint that campus cops, as professional law enforcement officers, rate slightly below Paul Blart on the proficiency scale.
Looks like this all really hit the fan finally this week with the lawsuits by the frat and school and the editor leaving the magazine… even Huffpo’s covering it.