Rolling Stone's editors then printed the crapola Erdely wrote without doing any sort of checking of their own.
The story was celebrated among the social justice warrior crowd as proof (proof, mind you) of the 'rape culture' that they claim exists of American college campuses (contrary to massive amounts of evidence to the contrary).
The story didn't pass the most elementary of smell tests, of course, but it fitted the narrative that radical feminists and others on the left are selling, and also fitted the biases of the editors, so they all ignored the stink and printed it.
Once grown-ups began looking at it and checking out some of the more outrageous inconsistencies (she was raped on a floor covered with broken glass for several hours without any cuts -- really?) the whole thing began to fall apart, and once the falling-apart process began, it quickly became clear that there was pretty much not a word of truth to it (with, perhaps, the exception of an occasional 'the').
So now, four or five months late, come the retractions and 'apologies' (I'm putting a lot of words in quotes today, but that's what happens when you're discussing heavy-duty BS).
But now, according to CNN’s Brian Stelter, Erdely plans to make a public apology nearly four months after Rolling Stone’s retraction. Her apology appears to be timed to coincide with the release of a Columbia School of Journalism report on Rolling Stone’s journalistic failings.
“Once the story began to unravel… Erdely disappeared. She has been invisible ever since,” Stetler said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” “But my sources say that she will break her silence tonight, and she will be issuing a statement and will be formally apologizing for her errors.”So now my prediction: Erdely and Rolling Stone will say that, while the story itself was 'inaccurate' and that they should have checked details better, none of that in any way invalidates the underlying truth that a rape culture pervades American campuses, etc, etc.
This is called 'fake but accurate' in honor of Dan Rather's lies about George Bush's Air National Guard service during the 2004 election campaign.
They will also continue to refer to 'Jackie' as a 'victim', though they will not specify what she might have been a victim of.