And yes, we really all are most surprised, aren’t we?

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. We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.

Will Dana
Managing Editor

Never did pass the sniff test, did it?

And yet there is still joy in heaven. A writer at Jezebel went off on one at those who were questioning the story. And now she says:

It means, of course, that when I dismissed Richard Bradley and Robby Soave’s doubts about the story and called them “idiots” for picking apart Jackie’s account, I was dead fucking wrong, and for that I sincerely apologize.

Yup, and that’s how you do apologise. Well done that lady.

40 thoughts on “And yes, we really all are most surprised, aren’t we?”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced

    Yeah, their mistake was that they were too kind, too sensitive. Not that they were cruising for the deadwood media equivalent of click bait.

    Scum.

  2. I was reading around some of the reactions to this, especially those who’d attacked the guys who first stuck their heads out to say that it smelt iffy.

    They are concerned, of course, that this will mean that the next story is easier to doubt. And that’s true, because those who’s default position is to dispute rape accounts have just been given a big bag of ammo.

    What they don’t seem to get is that it’s the people who default to believing claims.. and write about them.. that created the situation. If people are less inclined to believe the next story about campus rape, then it’s not because women who make accusations can’t be trusted, it’s because people who ‘tell their stories’, and defend those stories with religious vigour, can’t be trusted.

  3. So Much for Subtlety

    There is a photo of Jessica Valenti somewhere on the internet where she is wearing a t-shirt that says “I bathe in the tears of men” or the like.

    I suggest a quick dip in the tears from the usual Harpies of Hate:

    I can’t state this more emphatically: If Jackie’s story is partially or wholly untrue, it doesn’t validate the reasons for disbelieving her.
    — Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) December 5, 2014

    Stupid f*cking slimy victim-blaming Rolling Stone….
    — Sally Kohn (@sallykohn) December 5, 2014

    Even if it turns out that the UVA truthers were right, their epistemology is warped by ideology. Lack of justification offset by brute luck.
    — Jesse Spafford (@jessespafford) December 5, 2014

    Brute luck? Indeed. Odd how the left is always so unlucky.

  4. You can see why the police didn’t go very far with this one:

    1. Absence of DNA evidence on (or in) Jackie. Too much DNA evidence in the frat house, which probably contains enough sperm on the walls and carpets to float a plastic duck.
    2. Obstructive campus security
    3. Getting the right 7 rapists out of a possible 30 or 40 suspects is probably harder than picking the 5 winning numbers plus the bonus ball at the lottery.
    4. Putting 30 or 40 suspects in the prisoners’ dilemma grind would reduce the odds of correct identification even further, as those who didn’t know anything would, under duress, finger the least popular members of the frat house, not the rapists.

    So I think we can absolve the cops too.

  5. An exact university contemporary of mine, about 22 years ago, had his name and face splashed all over the papers consequent on the same thing: a false allegation. I didnt know him, but still remember his name. i did, however, know people who knew the girl. Girls themselves, in some cases. They were all much quicker than the press and the authorities to sniff out the falseness of the allegation, and yet uniformly remained tight-lipped as to her identity.

  6. Once met a serving police officer who told me she dealt with at least one false accusation of rape a week in a certain Essex town.

  7. TTG,

    It’s also a problem that governments like to exaggerate things like rape and sexual abuse. The US government claimed that 19% of women in college had been raped, but of course, they extended the definition to include things like women who hadn’t expressly given verbal permission and women who were drunk (whether they initiated things or not). There’s also been exaggeration of gang rape by some groups.

    Once you effectively plant the seed that there’s a problem not being dealt with, you’ve got a moral panic going. You then have journalists echoing this, many people believing it, and things like students being expelled from college without due process.

    Gang rape in college is actually very rare. It’s estimated that rape happens to 2% of women in college and that 6.8% of all rapes are gang rapes.

  8. “We were trying to be sensitive”

    At the apparent cost of trying to tell the full story.

    One often hears the litany of “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”. When the latter two are ignored, the first is destroyed.

  9. >So I think we can absolve the cops too.

    As far as I can see the police were never called in. Even recently the girl was refusing to go to them. As I said earlier, that was obviously because she didn’t want her story looked at too closely.

  10. @Cal
    Right, the woman never called the cops & neither did UVa when they heard her allegations about 9 months later.
    @JuliaM
    Has to be Romford.

  11. What an encouraging turn of events.

    Will Dana says sorry, with only the merest hint of corporate wank-speak (“We are taking this seriously”), and then we get “I was dead fucking wrong”.

    It’s quite cheered me up

  12. Right, now sue the fuck out of them. This would be a tremendous incentive to be more sceptical of the next story.

  13. >3. Getting the right 7 rapists out of a possible 30 or 40 suspects is probably harder than picking the 5 winning numbers plus the bonus ball at the lottery.

    You wouldn’t make a very good detective, would you?

  14. A while ago here in sunny Northampton, the town was festooned with warnings about a rape gang operating. It made the national news, with many lurid elements; the rapists were touring the town in a motor car, kidnapping girls off the streets, using a method popular in South Africa, so they were evil foreign black rapists to boot. No woman was safe, a new plague had come to Britain.

    Then it turned out that of the three rapes the Rape Gang had committed, two were false claims to which the one genuine rape was not connected at all, which the Plod had made a “pattern” of. There was one genuine victim, who had been artificially connected to two liars, and no roving gang. And the posters were quietly taken down. The two false claims were not connected to each other, but despite false claims being “extremely rare indeed” had come in at virtually the same time. Nonetheless, the “believe the victims” dogma continues.

    I felt most sorry for the real victim who had had her suffering tied to a media circus. It was one instance where the anonymity thing probably did significantly protect her- not from the general public, but from the fabricated hullabaloo.

  15. I doubt either Erdely or Dana are actually sorry for what they did… if they are sorry at all, it’s because they were busted. The bottom line is that Erdely had a narrative she wanted to advance via an article. Rolling Stone wanted to advance that narrative for reasons of their own. The only facts that mattered to them was that the rape victim was white and helpless, the rapists were white, rich and priviledged, and the setting was a campus that was either Ivy League or pseudo-Ivy League. Whether an actual rape occurred was of secondary importance, at best. Both Dana and Erdely have, for all intents and purposes, admitted as much.

    It’s worth noting that Erdely has admitted she wasn’t looking for just any college rape story… she was looking for a particular type of college rape story. Same goes with Rolling Stone. Victims who weren’t white, middle-class and helpless need not apply. Same goes with the rapists: Non-white young men, or working class young men going to a community college, for example, did not interest Erdely. They had to be white and privileged or the narrative could not be advanced.

    It’s also worth noting that Rolling Stone has genuinely enraged a lot of feminists – Valenti, Marcotte, McEwan and Kohn among them – but not for failing to properly verify Erdely’s work, rather for issuing a retraction that derailed the narrative Erdely was attempting to advance.

  16. Of course, the next question is whether our sorry apologists will change their behaviour. Will they learn to apply some scepticism the next time they come across a lurid tale of this kind? Such people never usually do. My guess is next time they will act just the same, including denouncing any sceptics with the same fervour.

  17. It also comes back to what I said in another thread, which is that the left in general- but let us be fair here, the media in general- have a storytelling approach. It’s not about truth, it’s about what sounds good as testimonial in the tabernacle tent. And with the same justification, which is that even if this particular instance is entirely untrue, that doesn’t matter because it’s testifying to a greater general truth. Supposedly.

  18. So Much for Subtlety

    Dennis The Peasant – “Non-white young men, or working class young men going to a community college, for example, did not interest Erdely. They had to be white and privileged or the narrative could not be advanced.”

    Indeed. In stories the media is ignoring today:

    justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2014/12/ongoing-rape-crisis-or-all-the-news-thats-fit-to-ignore.html

    Crime in the US is so overwhelmingly non-White it is hardly worth talking about crimes committed by White people. But the Left needs a White person or two to lynch. They keep trying but they keep striking out. Duke. Zimmerman. Fergusson. And now UVA.

    “It’s also worth noting that Rolling Stone has genuinely enraged a lot of feminists – Valenti, Marcotte, McEwan and Kohn among them – but not for failing to properly verify Erdely’s work, rather for issuing a retraction that derailed the narrative Erdely was attempting to advance.”

    Indeed. Innocent White men suffering is not a problem for these women. It is a solution.

  19. I don’t know if it’s so much about white per se. Well, it kind of is, but white is a proxy for the kind of environment they’re trying to attack; universities are middle class, white spaces, at least notionally. It’s a matter of stoking up fear of the everyday environment who their target recruitment demographic- white, middle class young women- inhabit. The idea that in these enormously safe, enormously “politically correct” environments, there is danger everywhere. It’s no use saying, “you might get raped if you go to [insert stereotypically dangerous district here]”, because a girl can be safe just by not going there. The danger has to be presented as stalking the environment they actually exist in on an everyday basis- which for the feminists and other proggies seeking to recruit new followers, means their university campus.

    If that makes any sense.

  20. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “I don’t know if it’s so much about white per se. Well, it kind of is, but white is a proxy for the kind of environment they’re trying to attack”

    I disagree. They don’t want to point out the obvious – rape is a largely non-White non-Asian problem – because that would alienate their constituency. Basically America is fighting a Cold Civil War between what is left of the English origin descendants and everyone else. If the feminists start speaking the truth about other members of that coalition, it may break up.

    “The danger has to be presented as stalking the environment they actually exist in on an everyday basis- which for the feminists and other proggies seeking to recruit new followers, means their university campus.”

    And because university campuses fold faster than six dozen bedouin tents once the Israeli bulldozers arrive. They know they will be rewarded for protesting. No point complaining to Black communities about rape. That does not get them cash and prizes.

    I agree it is about cash and prizes as well as new members. But WASPs have a lot of those prizes those women want to take.

  21. I’ve been around Universities my whole adult life, and the story was obvious BS to me right from the start. I have known plenty of frat-boy-type assholes. But even the most arrogant woman-hating jerks (and I have known a few like that) would never, ever do anything like what was alleged.

    Thing is, these guys all think they have glittering lives and careers ahead of them. There’s no way they’d ever engage in such carelessly, insanely risky behaviour.

    What is possible is something bad happening when a few people are extremely drunk, and the girl is too. But an official frat initiation involving lots of newbies who can’t necessarily be trusted to keep their mouths shut? That wouldn’t happen even in the 80s, let alone these days.

    No-one is that dumb. No-one is going to place their life and career in the hands of a semi-random bunch of undergraduates. And the idea that so many pledges would agree to rape a girl who knows some of them, at their own frat house, is crazy.

    And a stone-cold sober girl at that. You’d at least get her shit-faced first. I know she says her drink was supposed to be spiked, but there’s no evidence of that. Anyway, there are loads of girls willing to get drunk at frat houses, so why bother spiking drinks?

    And even if you thought her drink had been spiked, you wouldn’t rape her unless she was acting like she was off her head. You wouldn’t (I presume, trying to think like a gang-rapist) rape a stone-cold sober girl you know at your own place with a bunch of people you don’t know you can trust, just because you’d been told to.

    Nor would you order that to happen. Why would you? What do you get out of it that is worth the huge risk?

    So the chances of even the worst frat guys acting like this are tiny. Whereas on the other side of things, there is no end to the number of loopy, neurotic women on campus these days, who blame everyone else for their condition. I have to deal with quite a few of them these days. There were always a lot, and recently the numbers of them have gone through the roof. There are also men on campus with mental health problems, but they usually don’t cause trouble to others the way some of the unbalanced women do.

    Crying rape is one way that the most bitter of these women can get attention and approval. Thirty years ago they would have been saying they were abducted by aliens. But rape’s a much better story than aliens, because more people believe you, and you get to cause trouble for men, and you’re acclaimed as a feminist hero.

    Campuses have this whole radfem sub-culture where such fantasies are indulged, and people get paid money for keeping it going. Everyone is afraid to ever question such stories, and everyone wants to stay as far away from these groups as they can, so their little fantasy world is left to grow unchecked.

    And for the students involved in this subculture, claiming that you’re all screwed-up is a good way to keep your student status intact without having to do any study and hand essays in and do exams. That means you get to keep your funding for another year or two without having to do anything.

    It’s not like you could get a job, you’re not in any shape to do that, and you’d rather not work, so keeping your funding without having to study or work, while being a celebrity in the sub-culture you feel comfortable in, is a good solution for the time being.

    So the probability that there are female mental cases on a campus somewhere telling false rape stories is very high. The probability of a frat house behaving as alleged is very low. Add in the incredibility of the story, and the lack of fact-checking, and it’s obvious where the truth lies.

  22. In case this discussion looks to be winding down I’ll inject some more controversy by stating that another victim of the “narrative” effect discussed here was Amanda Knox. The true story is terrifying: Meredith was randomly raped and murdered by a burglar (of the “victim” race), which could happen to anyone. The made-up story is much more comforting: she let an American snake crawl into her life, until she was eventually killed in a sex game, making her death both titillating and avoidable. I don’t think there’s a clearer example of our baser instincts coming out to play than the media circus surrounding that case.

  23. SMFS,

    “Basically America is fighting a Cold Civil War between what is left of the English origin descendants and everyone else”

    Whose side do you think you help with your pig-ignorant twattery? By English, do you mean European?

  24. Spare a thought for the feminists on this one. They so desperately wanted the story of one of their sisters being gang raped to be true as it suited their narrative so well, but alas it turned out to be false. Maybe they’ll have better luck next time.

  25. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – ““Spiking” appears to now be a standard trope of the mythos.”

    Anything that helps people evade responsibility. But it is such a useful myth. Everyone has an interest in it. Girls, of course, can blame it for their poor decisions. But parents, schools, everyone else, can use it as a proxy. They don’t want to say that teenage boys are horny little sh!ts with poor decision making skills. So they talk about the drinks. They don’t want to even imagine their daughters like sex and alcohol and make poor decisions when they are all brought together, so they talk about the drinks. They don’t want to harp on about drinking too much, so they tell their daughters to pay more attention to what they are drinking.

    It works for everyone.

    Jack C – “Whose side do you think you help with your pig-ignorant twattery? By English, do you mean European?”

    No idea. Why would I care? It is true or it isn’t.

    dearieme – “is it a problem with Mexicans?”

    Not quite on the same scale as with Blacks.

    Tim Newman – “Spare a thought for the feminists on this one. They so desperately wanted the story of one of their sisters being gang raped to be true as it suited their narrative so well, but alas it turned out to be false. Maybe they’ll have better luck next time.”

    And they did not even get to have anyone locked up as with their last outing at Duke. They want this story to be true, but it never is. Odd that.

    If they wanted to talk about rape, even gang rape, they would not be talking about preppy sports teams or even frats. They would be talking about historically Black colleges. And that they cannot do.

    PATERSON — A Superior Court judge ruled that five men accused of raping a fellow student at a William Paterson University residence hall last week are not flight risks and should have their bail significantly lowered.

    Passaic County Superior Court Judge Marilyn C. Clark lowered bail for freshman students Noah Williams, Darius Singleton, Garrett Collick, Termaine Scott and Jahmel Latimer from $200,000 to $50,000 at a court hearing Tuesday morning.

    Criminal complaints filed against the men offer only a cloudy account of what allegedly took place.

    According to the complaints, the men used physical force or coercion to keep the victim in the room during the assault, turning the lights off and blocking the exit.

    One of the defendants, Garrett Collick, of Paterson, told the victim that if she wanted to have sex with him, she would have to “have sex with all of them,” the complaint said. At some point during the alleged assault, Jahmel Latimer entered the room, asked what was happening, and then proceeded to rape the victim, the complaints said.

    Darius? Jahmel? Termaine? Can’t think why Rolling Stone isn’t interested in this story.

  26. re: So Much for Subtlety

    These five men are member of the protected victim race, thus does not fit the Rich White Frat boys narrative, thus not worthy of being in the article.

  27. So Much for Subtlety

    BigFire – “These five men are member of the protected victim race, thus does not fit the Rich White Frat boys narrative, thus not worthy of being in the article.”

    Which is why no one is going to be charged over the Long Island case. No matter what choke hold was used. Because Officer Pantaleo took Eric Garner down under the immediate and direct supervision of two of his sergeants. They are called Kizzy Adoni and Dhanan Saminath. The last name appears South Asian but I don’t know for sure. Ms Adoni is African American.

    Stacey Koons went to jail for not preventing the assault on Rodney King. He did not land a single blow. But he did not prevent the other officers striking King – well, the last six blows were illegal. All the others before that were fine. Let us see if Ms Adoni is going to go to jail.

  28. SMFS,

    “If they wanted to talk about rape, even gang rape, they would not be talking about preppy sports teams or even frats. They would be talking about historically Black colleges. And that they cannot do.”

    But as Ian B points out – this is about recruitment. The feminists want more members of the sisterhood, and that’s generally white middle class women who are not going to mix with a mostly black college. They needed a story that fitted with what white women might encounter, which is mostly white men.

    The problem is, these stories keep failing because groups of white college men gang raping white women in high status universities almost never happens. The most common feature of gang rapes is that you have a gang. Not half a dozen men who share a dorm, but men who have formed a unit, who trust each other. Generally, groups of men who do plenty of other highly illegal things together that no-one is going to squeal. The second feature is that generally, men have to see the victim as different to them, generally of a different racial group. This is why wartime gang rape is so common, such as Russians gang raping women in Germany or Tutsi raping Hutu. In El Salvador, it’s gangs raping the girlfriends and daughters of members of rival gangs.

    Try and find a story involving a white man involved in a gang rape of a white woman. I can’t after checking Google and Google news with various search criteria. I can hardly find any cases involving a white man being sought, and in the two cases I could find, the victim was black.

  29. @Jack C

    If SMFS had said “Basically America is fighting a Cold Civil War between what is left of the European origin descendants and everyone else” would you have agreed with him?

  30. Rolling Stone have clarified their clarification now. They’ve removed the apparently contentious phrase

    we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced

    And made it clear that the errors were all their own, not the vcitim’s. Still calling her a victim, for some reason.

    Hey, you know who was definitely a gang rapist? Tupac Shakur. But he was apparently some sort of noble pacifist hero for some reason.

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