Being A Victim Apparently Has More Status Now Than Being A Gold Medal Winner -- Ryan Lochte Channels "Jackie"
There appears to be no rational way to explain Ryan Lochte's bizarre need to make up a story about being the victim of an armed robbery. The media seems to be pushing the notion that he made up the story to cover up his own vandalism at a gas station, but that makes zero sense. He had already defused the vandalism incident with a payment of cash to the station owner. The rational response would be to just shut up about the whole thing and let it be forgotten.
But instead, he purposely made a big deal about the incident, switching around the facts until he was a victim of an armed assault by men posing as police officers, up to and including harrowing details of a cocked gun being jammed into his forehead. The incident, likely ignored otherwise, suddenly became a BIG DEAL and subsequent investigation (including multiple video sources) showed Lochte to be a bald-faced liar.
The only way I can explain Lochte's motivation is to equate it with the lies by "Jackie" at the University of Virginia, whose claims of being gang-raped as published in the Rolling Stone turned out to be total fabrications. Like Lochte, she dressed up the story with horrifying details, such as being thrown down and raped on a floor covered in broken glass. The only real difference I can see, in fact, between Lochte and Jackie is that the media still protects Jackie (via anonymity) from well-deserved humiliation for her lies while it is piling on Lochte.
I can sort of understand Jackie's motivation -- she was by all accounts a frustrated, perhaps disturbed, certainly lonely young woman who was likely looking for some way to dramatically change her life. But Lochte? Ryan Lochte has won multiple Olympic medals, historically in the sports world a marker of the highest possible status. But in today's world, Lochte viewed victimhood as even higher status.