During its interview with the three ex-friends of purported U. of Virginia fraternity gang rape victim Jackie, CNN briefly flashed onscreen at the 5:06 mark the “glitch in The Matrix” email. This is the one that friendzone friend Ryan (a.k.a., “Randall”) received from Jackie’s mysterious dream date / gang rape organizer Haven Monahan five days after the alleged outrage.
“The email was called “About you” and it was from Haven Monahan –Haven.Monahan@Yahoo.com. And it looked like Haven had written, ‘You should read this. I’ve really never read anything nicer in my life,’ with a page worth of, you know, just an essay that Jackie had written about me. Which seemed really weird to me at the time, because here’s somebody who just allegedly, you know, led this brutal sexual assault on a friend of mine, and now he’s just going to email me this thing about me.”
Well yeah… Ryan is fine. Ryan’s great, actually. I mean he’s smart. He’s sensitive. He’s funny. He’s a scaredy cat. If you creep up behind him, he’ll jump right out of his skin. It’s pretty amusing. He’s honest. He always calls them just like he sees them. You can [???] count[?] on getting the truth from Ryan, even if the truth hurts. He has the most incredible taste in music. He’s like this walking, talking music library. And he understands how truly important music is. He’s stubborn. He has this [???] way about him that can be so frustrating sometimes. And sometimes the things he says hurt. But he’s a really, really good friend. And loyal to a fault. He’s realistic[?] about everything. And I’m a dreamer so I mean, it’s good to have somebody like that in my life. He’s one of my best friends here, you know? He’s more than that… he’s everything.
Now, then there’s Ryan. And Ryan… Ryan’s incredible. I didn‘t fall for Ryan Duffin the first day I met him. Nor did I fall for him on the second day or the third day for that matter. But once I did fall for Ryan, you see, my world flipped upside down. Kathryn doesn’t understand what I see in Ryan. I guess I don‘t understand what she doesn’t see in him. He’s gorgeous, but gorgeous is an understatement. More like you’re startled every time you see him because you notice something new in a Where‘s Waldo sort of way. More like you can‘t stop writing third grade run on sentences becuase you can‘t even remotely begin to describe something, someone, so inherently amazing. More like you’re afraid that if you stare at him too long, you’ll prove your grandparents right that, yes, your face will get stuck that way… but you do‘t mind. You, like everyone else, may think I’m exaggerating, but then again, you probably don’t know Ryan Duffin. Ryan has no idea what he does to me… he can make me feel more emotions in one second than I would normally feel in one year. He makes my head spin. And the truth is, I‘m crazy about him, I mean, if I had the chance of hanging out with anyone in the entire world or just sitting in my dorm with him talking about music and watching a crappy TV show… I‘d choose him everytime… without a single false step. I know he doesn‘t like me. If someone really wanted you, they’d actually put some time and effort into trying to get your attention. Ryan doesn’t even like to be around me sometimes. And that really sucks. When you like someone more than he likes you, you‘ll do anything to switch the scales. The thing is, you can’t. You want to tell him how you feel but you know it will end with “It‘s just not going to work out.” How can I explain to him that I fell for him because of a million tiny things he never knew he was doing? I know I should just stop trying because he and I are never going to happen. He doesn’t like me, I’m not his type. I‘m not the type of person he could ever be with so I should just get over it. The problem is I can’t shake these feelings I have for him, I try so damn hard, but they won’t go away. I can’t move on becuase the only thing I can find wrong with him, is that he can find so much wrong with me. Gabrielle[?] said I shouldn’t give up, she said she read this quote once that said, “There’s nothing more beautiful than the way ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away.” She claimed that’s how Ryan and I are. I think she’s wrong. I think he was right from the get go. He’ll never see me as anything other than some girl and It’ll never amount to anything. He told Alex I‘m not his type and I’m a waste of his time. The things he says hurt more than you know but still… there’s something about him that makes me come back for more. All I know is, the girl who gets to be with Ryan [ten-or-so obscured words] that, then she doesn’t deserve him.
As Gerald Ford used to claim Henry Kissinger said, “Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes: there’s too much fraternizing with the enemy.”
A whole lot of people, however, are going to remember this story not as an utter hoax, but as a complicated situation in which the Rolling Stone reporter maybe messed up by violating some boring journalist protocol by not calling people to get their pro forma denials so that the whole thing could have been more of a He Said, She Said. The only thing that millions of people are going to remember is that Sabrina Rubin Erdely should have been a little more nuanced.
For example, it’s now more than a week after the Washington Post bombshell, and the Newspaper of Record still hasn’t admitted anything. The NYT is trying to Bury the Story in Boredom. Here’s the latest eye-glazing thing published by the New York Times on the case (December 16th):
In all the hand-wringing about what Rolling Stone did or didn’t do right in the saga of the University of Virginia story, one unexamined question sticks out for me. Does the enforced anonymity around rape victims make journalism about rape inherently fraught? This is the subject of a smart piece by Geneva Overholser, former editor of The Des Moines Register who has gone on to many prestigious jobs in journalism and academia. She asks, trenchantly, “How do you size up a problem that’s largely hidden?” — Lydia Polgreen
It is a complete hoax, one that gulled almost the entire media establishment for a dozen days. Why? Because they want to believe in Haven Monahan.