The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Caught in a Web of Lies at UVA

Posted on | March 24, 2015 | 233 Comments

Oh! What a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive.

— Sir Walter Scott

Police in Charlottesville, Virginia, spent months investigating the claims made in a Rolling Stone story and found no truth:

A four-month police investigation into an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia that Rolling Stone magazine described in graphic detail produced no evidence of the attack and was stymied by the accuser’s unwillingness to cooperate, authorities said Monday.
The article, titled “A rape on campus,” focused on a student identified only as “Jackie” who said she was raped at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity more than two years earlier. . . .
There were numerous discrepancies between the article, published in November 2014, and what investigators found, said Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo, who took care not to accuse Jackie of lying.
The case is suspended, not closed, and the fact that investigators could not find evidence years later “doesn’t mean that something terrible didn’t happen to Jackie,” Longo said. . . .
Asked if Jackie would be charged with making a false report, he said: “Absolutely not.”

Feminists immediately seized on that — Chief Longo’s unwillingness to rule out the possibility that “something terrible” happened — to insist that Jackie’s rape story could be true, except it’s really not.  Jackie’s story was a snipe hunt, a wild goose chase. Here’s the telltale clue:

Longo said Jackie’s first mention of an alleged assault came without key details, during a meeting she had with a dean about an academic issue in May 2013. The dean brought in police, but the case was dropped because Jackie didn’t want them to investigate, Longo said.
In any case, the “sexual act” she described that year was “not consistent with what was described” in the Rolling Stone article.

This is it, you see? Jackie is a serial liar.

She was a freshman having trouble in school, and so she lies. She tells the dean a vague story about being a rape victim. The dean asks police to investigate, but the liar won’t cooperate with the police because she knows her story is a lie. Jackie’s rape tale in May 2013, however, didn’t match the rape tale she told Rolling Stone in fall 2014. Why is this? The vague story she told the UVA dean was utilitarian, a deception meant to explain her problems in school, to depict herself as deserving of sympathy. The story Jackie told Rolling Stone, however . . .

Think about this: By fall 2014, Jackie had been living with her lies for two years. It started when she was a freshman in fall 2012 and tried to “catfish” her friend Ryan Duffin:

A University of Virginia student named Jackie appears to have used internet phone services to fabricate the identity of a man she says she was going on a date with on the night she claims she was gang-raped by seven fraternity members.
The fabrication of the man, who Jackie told her friends was named Haven Monahan, adds another layer of intrigue to a bizarre saga which has unfolded after the publication of a Rolling Stone article written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely . . .
Monahan appears to have come into existence soon after Jackie was romantically rejected by one of her friends, Ryan Duffin. . . .
“She did not take it well,” Duffin told The Daily Caller last week of Jackie’s response to the rejection. “There was a lot of crying involved.”
Soon after that, Jackie began talking about Monahan, a third-year student she claimed had a crush on her. Intrigued, the friends asked for Monahan’s phone number, and Jackie complied by giving it to them.
The friends began corresponding with Monahan, who often steered conversations back to Duffin, the friends told The Washington Times.
Despite claiming she was not interested in the man, Jackie told the friends she was going on a date with him on the night she later said she was gang-raped at a Phi Kappa Psi house party.

Read the whole thing in case you’ve forgotten how the story Jackie told Rolling Stone hinges on the identity of her “date” the night in September 2012 she claims she was gang-raped. There is every reason to believe that this story was invented by Jackie in a misguided attempt to solicit sympathy from her friends, especially Ryan Duffin.

However, we must keep in mind an alternative hypothesis: Just because Jackie lied about where she was and who she was with that night in September 2012 “doesn’t mean that something terrible didn’t happen to Jackie,” as Chief Longo said. In other words, having invented a boyfriend for a make-believe date that night, Jackie could have been assaulted by a person or persons unknown. Because of her own previous deceptions, however, she couldn’t tell her friends the truth. Furthermore, if indeed “something terrible” did happen to her that night, Jackie didn’t want anyone to find out what it actually was. Whether or not Jackie was assaulted that night, the underlying falsehood — the Haven Monahan catfishing deception — destroys her credibility.

Once you catch a liar lying, you cannot believe a word they say.

Someone who would engage in an elaborate deception like inventing a fake boyfriend, using fake phone numbers to write fake text messages from “Haven Monahan,” is not trustworthy.

Maybe Jackie did go out with a guy that night. Maybe the guy did treat her badly, perhaps even sexually assaulted her.

Maybe — although we cannot accept anything as true merely because Jackie says it, because we know that Jackie is a a liar.

Whatever actually happened to Jackie that night, we don’t know and cannot know, because the only source for the story has proven herself untrustworthy. And so when she told a UVA dean in May 2013 that she had been sexually assaulted, Jackie was uncooperative when the dean called the police. Yet the assault Jackie vaguely described to the UVA dean in May 2013 was “not consistent” with the story Jackie told Rolling Stone‘s Sabrina Rubin Erdely in fall 2014. If we have two versions of the story from the same source, and these stories differ significantly as to the time, place and nature of the events described, we cannot necessarily conclude that nothing happened, but we can conclude that the source is unreliable, i.e., Jackie is a liar.

So now we come to the real question: Why couldn’t Sabrina Rubin Erdely and her editors at Rolling Stone figure this out?

Why did they decide to rush to print with this wild story about a fraternity gang rape based on the word of a source who, as we now know, clearly had a habit of deliberate deception?

Rolling Stone editors must answer that question and, meanwhile, officials at the University of Virginia must answer another question: Why hasn’t Jackie been expelled for lying?

Jackie’s malicious lie about Phi Kappa Psi was a clear violation of the UVA honor code. Whatever the truth may be, Jackie lied to a national publication, defaming her fellow students, wrongly damaging the reputation of the university.

Jackie must be held accountable for her lies. The university’s institutional prestige is on the line, and only cowardice can prevent UVA officials from expelling her for her dishonesty.





 

Comments

  • Quartermaster

    I remember coming across “Exile” which Taibbi wrote for at the time. I read a couple of issues they had posted and remember thinking Taibbi was a preening fool. He hasn’t changed a whit either.

  • Quartermaster

    McCain is already crazy. As the regulars here know, Instapundit has already attested that fact, so it is beyond question at this point. Being a lawyer and all, Insty’s attestation is dispositive.

    Give McCain is already crazy, he’s beyond any further damage.

  • Quartermaster

    You’ll still be able to caucus with conservatives, just not the GOP.

    The GOP will eventually admit the congruency and merge with the DimoKKKraps eventually anywayz.

  • Quartermaster

    Jeannie was a Genie, so she didn’t have a navel to show.

  • Quartermaster

    He does seem to be a decent person. That’s why he will be punished as there is not such thing as a decent man in rape culture.

  • Quartermaster

    We’ll see what happens. I doubt there will be a suit, however, but not for the reason you give. A school I once attended accused a frat of having a kegger, which was against school policy. It never took place, but the school punished the Frat anyway. An Attorney for the frat paid a visit to the school, and shortly thereafter things were quickly done by the school to mend the fence the adminstration stupidly tore down.

    The indemnification of which you speak does not extend to slander, libel, or several other offenses. The school is protected only if they follow their own published procedures when it comes to discipline. The frat referenced above was not so treated, and the school had laid themselves wide open legally, and the school’s attorney so informed them.

  • Quartermaster

    The proceedings should be confidential, but the result would be known if she had been expelled as a result.

  • Quartermaster

    The latter is accurate. The former is simply the “scientific” way of calling someone an asshole.

  • Quartermaster

    Given the “professional” dependence on propagating the “scientific” term for assholery, I have no doubt you think it’s real. You’ll have to forgive me that 60 years of life tells me you’re full of it.

  • Quartermaster

    Don’t swallow the feminist lie about MGTOW. It’s a sensible alternative to what we see in so much of US womanhood. The likelihood of a man being raped in the family courts is quite high, and returns now so low, that a sane man will think twice, at least, about marrying sweet Susie Buttercup.

  • ericjg623

    Very true. And this is hardly unique to Rolling Stoned, pretty much the entire left wing media functions this way. After all, Dan Rather’s attempted smear on George W Bush would have probably succeeded were it not for a few sharp eyed bloggers.

  • Art Deco

    “Borderline personality disorder” is a descriptive category, not a disease.

  • Art Deco

    What he said.
    And if you’re not working an asylum taking care of lunatics, no soup (or 3d party payments) for you, Dr. Morgan.

  • Art Deco

    She didn’t file any false report. Not with the police, or the U.
    No, she told cock-and-bull stories to officials of the student affairs apparat. It was those people who introduced Sabrina Erdely to her.

  • Robert Riversong

    Only to the rational and decent.

  • get2djnow

    Jackie should be in prison!

  • get2djnow

    Snort! I like the idea of blaming the victim of a rape that did occur at a party that never happened by a guy who wasn’t the victims boyfriend. Maybe Rolling Turd was trying to blame the not victim.

  • submandave

    There is a world of difference between a false claim that a specific (real) person raped her and a false claim that someone (possibly fictitious) raped her. The first demands charges and can be proven based upon evidence related to the accused, while the second may be charged depending upon an assessment of the costs (real and PR) of pursuing the charge relative to the sunk costs of having investigated the report.

  • NRPax

    My annoyance with the whole thing is that her lying had consequences for other people.

  • get2djnow

    There may be a code, but there is no honor.

  • brianrw

    Protection that she doesn’t deserve.

  • NRPax

    Agreed 100%. Like Lena Dunham, she’s made it just a bit more difficult for real rape victims to come forward.

  • Tom Servo

    I swear, your honor, that’s what she said!!!

  • theoldsargesays

    So then, for example, I would not be inaccurate if I said that most MSNBC on air “talent” have “personality disorders”?
    Check.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.sweeney.108 Jon Sweeney

    I believe she is black so of course the scum bag is a protected species..

  • richard40

    Libel and Slander are not really crimes, since you cant be jailed for them, unless you are lying under oath. They are civil torts, which you can be sued for. That is why Jackie refused to tell anything to the police, since if she lied to them, instead of to rolling stone, she could have been criminally prosecuted for it.

  • richard40

    Its clearly proven that the story she told rolling stone did not happen, and in fact that pretty much every statement that Jackie has made to anybody about anything has been a lie. But the feminist “something must have happened” meme goes well beyond that. It not only requires we shoot down any story Jackie actually told somebody, which we have, she has told nothing but lies. It requires that we also refute any conceivable story that could be made up by anybody, regardless of whether Jackie claims it happened or not. Its impossible to disprove that “something happened”, unless you specify in detail what that “something” is, but you can address every claim that Jackie ever made about what did happen, and so far every one of her claims is a proven lie. Given that every claim Jackie has made so far about what did happen is a proven lie, the most reasonable assumption to make at this point is that nothing happened at all, and she made the whole thing up.

  • richard40

    If they intended to, wouldn’t they already have done it by now, at least starting an official investigation. They definitely wasted no time cracking down on all the frats for something they did not do, and were completely inncoent.

  • submandave

    Indirectly. I believe the UVA president has much greater culpability for the negative effects upon the frat and its members and as a supposedly mature, responsible person in a position of leadership and power is far more deserving of attention and condemnation than the girl who cried wolf.

  • NRPax

    UVA would have done nothing if it hadn’t been for her telling Rolling Stone about her rape fantasies.

  • submandave

    That’s why I said “indirectly.” I’ll agree 100% that she shouldn’t have told the lie and that the reporter should have been more diligent and that the RS editors should have demanded more rigor in fact-checking before printing, but anyone can say whatever they want (barring libel, threats, or incitement). Taking the story as gospel truth to vilify the entire fraternity system and using it as cause for collective punishment and to incite others to exact vigilante justice (e.g. vandalism of property) was the deliberate choice and conscious act of the UVA president alone.

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