Te’o, Te’o, Daylight Come an’ … (Open Thread)

© Miri WTPOTUS January 26, 2013

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Daylight’s shining on Manti Te’o, and he might wish that he were at home, out of the public eye.  By now, almost everyone knows about the purported hoax pulled on Notre Dame’s star linebacker Manti Te’o.

Te’o was allegedly taken in by a woman with whom he had an Internet romance.  She faked her death, but he apparently believe it happened.  As a result, he received much publicity and sympathy from fans and the media, until the truth came out. A refresher, with emphasis added:

[Notre Dame athletic director Jack] Swarbrick outlined a bizarre story in which Te’o learned his girlfriend never existed more than three months after her supposed death. …

The scam does more than just shatter a college football fairytale. It also leaves a black mark on sports journalism, as many news outlets — including the Chicago Tribune — produced stories about Kekua’s passing without verifying her death.

[T]he sports website Deadspin broke it. …

The site says that Kekua’s purported Twitter account was created by a California man with ties to the linebacker and his family. An unnamed source suggested the death was a publicity stunt hatched by Te’o and his West Coast counterpart.

At the very least, Te’o and his family have made the truth difficult to decipher because they all made references to Te’o meeting Kekua during their courtship. …

The Deadspin story chronicles the type of basic journalistic research that caused them to break this story wide open:

Manti Te’o did lose his grandmother this past fall. Annette Santiago died on Sept. 11, 2012, at the age of 72, according to Social Security Administration records in Nexis. But there is no SSA record there of the death of Lennay Marie Kekua, that day or any other. Her passing, recounted so many times in the national media, produces no obituary or funeral announcement in Nexis, and no mention in the Stanford student newspaper.

Nor is there any report of a severe auto accident involving a Lennay Kekua. Background checks turn up nothing. The Stanford registrar’s office has no record that a Lennay Kekua ever enrolled. There is no record of her birth in the news. Outside of a few Twitter and Instagram accounts, there’s no online evidence that Lennay Kekua ever existed.

The photographs identified as Kekua—in online tributes and on TV news reports—are pictures from the social-media accounts of a 22-year-old California woman who is not named Lennay Kekua. She is not a Stanford graduate; she has not been in a severe car accident; and she does not have leukemia. And she has never met Manti Te’o.

There’s a sports writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch by the name of Bryan Burwell. In my opinion, he too often views stories through a racial and/or political lens. For example, when Rush Limbaugh considered buying an ownership stake in the St. Louis Rams football team, Burwell weighed in:

… You will look the other way because to some of you, he is your politically incorrect hero, and the rest might be willing to ignore all of that just as long as he can put enough money on the table to help keep your football team in St. Louis.

I don’t have that luxury. …

“Look, let me put it to you this way: The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”

Those are Limbaugh’s words. So are these:

“I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: Slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back. I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”

I know how those words play out in Idiot America. They are embraced as gospel. But inside the locker rooms of the NFL, where the overwhelming majority of the players are descendants of slaves, Limbaugh’s ignorant ramblings resonate with entirely different emotions. His money might be green, but his words are colored with hate and intolerance. Bringing Limbaugh back into the NFL family will ultimately be met with the same disastrous effects from the last time it was tried.

from: Burwell, Bryan. St. Louis Post – Dispatch [St. Louis, Mo] 07 Oct 2009: C.1.

The only problem here is that the second quote was not uttered by Rush Limbaugh, and the first quote had context that was omitted from the article. Readers had their chance to weigh in, and they did. Here’s an excerpt from a story written by one critic:

Bryan Burwell Redefines Prejudice in Columns about Rush Limbaugh

… Burwell’s columns from Oct. 7 and Oct. 14 [2009] declared that Limbaugh was too racist to have a minority ownership stake in the Rams. …

The most offensive aspect of Burwell’s columns was that even though he was accusing someone of bigotry … , and hatefully insulted Limbaugh’s millions of listeners, at no time did he actually take the time to research Limbaugh on his own.  Instead, Burwell blindly parroted the same talking points used by DeMaurice Smith and Al Sharpton and every other conservative-hating pundit covering the story.

Even after learning that he had falsely attributed a particularly ugly quote to Limbaugh, Burwell hatefully remarked that he didn’t check the source because it sounded like something Limbaugh would have said.

Apropos of the theme of this post, I have one more excerpt from Burwell, just to set the stage for what’s to follow. Burwell, although a sports columnist, has taken opportunities whereever found to bash “birthers”. Well, of course. It’s a meme in the media these days. After proclaiming that athletes, like all of us, have a constitutional right to speak, Burwell takes to task an athlete named Luke Scott:

… It’s called freedom of speech, and sometimes part of that freedom is the uncomfortable sound of dissent, foolish or well thought out. So, if that means in order to hear the well-reasoned thoughts of a right-leaning ex-jock like Largent or the left-leaning Bradley, we must occasionally put up with the “birther” ramblings of Luke Scott or the misfired tweets of Rashard Mendenhall, then so be it. …

In case you missed it, Oriole player Luke Scott told the Kansas City Star this week that he still isn’t convinced that President Barack Obama was born in this country and questioned the validity of his birth certificate. “If they can counterfeit $100 bills, I think it’s a million times easier to counterfeit a birth certificate, if you ask me,” Scott said. “So, all it is, let’s just see if it’s real. Anybody can produce a document, so let’s check it out.” …

Even a tree-hugging, no good, left-leaning, East Coast know-it-all like me can vigorously disagree with Scott’s “birther” ramblings but defend his right to express them. If he wants to walk that way and let everyone know that’s the side of the political road he’s chosen, that’s his business. …

What both Scott and Mendenhall [who criticized those who celebrated the death of Osama bin Laden] may have learned from all of this is another wonderful civics lesson. If you’re willing to express your opinions, be prepared to defend them, too.

So now we come to Burwell’s take on the Manti Te’o saga. Here’s some of what he wrote:

I want to believe that Manti Te’o was duped. …

But I have to tell you, this just doesn’t feel right. …

You might have heard about the dead girlfriend named Lennay Kekua, whom he supposedly met in Palo Alto, Calif., as he was walking off the field after a Stanford football game in 2009.

They supposedly exchanged glances, phone numbers and launched a storybook romance. And when she apparently died of cancer just a day or so after Te’o’s grandmother died, it became the most heart-wrenching tale of the college football season … when we saw a tearful Te’o sobbing before the cameras …

[T]here are more holes in this story than in the stuttering ramblings of a lying child. …

Notre Dame director of athletics Jack Swarbrick … [says that] the school hired an unnamed private investigation firm and received a detailed report but that the school won’t tell us the name of the firm, won’t release the results of the investigation and asks us to believe them and not our lyin’ eyes and rumbling guts, which are screaming at us that this entire episode smells just as bad as the apparent hoax.

Swarbrick could not answer even the most simple questions adequately …

What’s the story here anyway, that a famous and talented athlete may have made up a story about a dead girlfriend who never existed, or the possibility that someone felt the need to make up a story about a dead girlfriend who never existed? …

Just tell the truth. No more spin. No more nonsense. No more carefully measured media strategies, no perfectly scripted prepared statements.

The only thing that will fix the nonsense is the truth. And so far, in the case of this most twisted and peculiar tale, it feels like the truth has been in painfully short supply.

I don’t have to spell it out for discerning readers who are regulars at our blog, but I will, anyway.

First, consider how the first news article rightly criticizes “sports journalists” for not vetting the Manti Te’o story.  The deceased girlfriend had no printed obituary, nor was she found in the Social Security Death Index.  Something caused the people at Deadspin to ask questions, and when questions were raised, somebody finally did some fact checking.  Nobody knows why the rest of the media didn’t vet the facts before running their stories; perhaps they were enamored of the “storybook romance” told by this Punahou high school graduate, a Samoan-American.

Let’s compare that situation to how the so-called “journalists” in our media reacted when citizens rightly began to question the MANY discrepancies in stories told by another Punahou graduate: Barack Hussein Obama II.

What about the many questions concerning Barack Obama’s unvetted, undocumented, often-debunked, but self-proclaimed life history, including his lack of concrete proof that he’s eligible under the Constitution to hold the office of the presidency?

Isn’t Obama’s constitutional eligibility to hold the highest office in the land a fundamentally more important question than whether or not a football player made up a dying girlfriend?

Apparently not to our media.

When citizens first questioned Obama’s eligibility, did “journalists” do some retrospective fact-checking?

Did “journalists” look for any documentary evidence to support what Obama claimed about his birth or his parentage?

Did they look for a printed obituary for either of his parents?

Did they analyze any of the many questionable family photographs that allegedly document Obama’s early life?

Did they look for news stories to document the car accident that killed Obama’s father or the motorcycle accident that killed his “brother” David?

Did they look for evidence anywhere that David even existed?

Did they try to reconcile the contradictory timelines of events?

Did they ask to see and examine and put on display to the public the ACTUAL certified long-form birth certificate that Obama claimed he obtained from Hawaii (but only years after the issue first arose)? 

Did they look for his college records?

Did they try to run a background check on anybody in Obama’s “family”, including Obama?

Did they look for announcements of Obama’s birth in ANY newspaper at any time between when he published his memoir and when he declared a run for the presidency? Keep in mind that the supposed birth announcements that appear online have no provenance and were first published on a blog in July, 2008.  To date, nobody has seen an actual printed copy of these announcements; but many have questioned the authenticity of the images on the Web.  Did anyone in the media at least try to get a contemporaneous newspaper from the Honolulu Advertiser or any archive or library in Hawaii or elsewhere?

Did they submit FOIA requests to Selective Service, the National Archives, or the Social Security Administration, in order to obtain the types of contemporaneous documentation that MIGHT put to rest the concerns of millions of citizens?  Newspapers across the country routinely submit such requests in support of “progressive” causes; and if they’re stonewalled, you can believe that they report it.

Did they submit a request to the Hawaiian Dept. of Health, asking for a certified letter of verification or a certified copy of Obama’s birth certificate, in the public interest?

Did they fully investigate the mystery of the incredible disappearing passport records, both Obama’s and his mother’s

Did they look for an explanation for the incredible disappearing port of entry records (for the first week of August, 1961) that went missing when citizens asked to see them?

Did they bother to look for an explanation for why Hawaiian officials have changed policies and procedures, even laws, while trying to evade answering questions about Obama’s life story?

For the most part, the answer to all of the above is a resounding NO.  Now let’s consider the difference in the way the media reacted to the outing of Te’o.

Did they attack the researchers at Deadspin? No.

Did they make up names for them (like “birthers“)?  No, they applauded them.  Curious.

Certainly there’s a difference there, versus how the media reacts to those who question Obama’s eligibility. It’s simple to us:

If Obama has proof that he’s eligible, then why won’t he enter the proof into evidence in any of the many court cases challenging his eligibility?

Why won’t the media ask Obama THAT question?

I’m not picking on Bryan Burwell in particular; there’s nothing unique to him that we don’t see throughout the media.  Burwell’s writing is typical of the way that the media treat Obama with kid gloves, while not giving the same courtesy to other similarly situated people.  Burwell ridicules those who simply ask the same sorts of questions about Obama that are now being asked about Te’o.

Burwell came away with egg on his face when he failed to research (as sports journalists should) the alleged quote falsely attributed to Rush Limbaugh.  He didn’t, because it sounded to him like something Limbaugh would say. Perhaps his excuse for not looking into allegations that Obama lied about his past or fabricated proof of eligibility might be that these don’t sound like anything Obama would do.  As if.

Burwell characterizes questions about the authenticity of Obama’s birth records as “birther ramblings,” while at the same time he makes statements about the Te’o controversy that exactly fit the Obama controversy as well.  He writes about Te’o’s situation:

  • this just doesn’t feel right
  • even though there are more holes in this story than in the stuttering ramblings of a lying child
  • asks us to believe them and not our lyin’ eyes and rumbling guts, which are screaming at us that this entire episode smells
  • could not answer even the most simple questions
  • the possibility that someone felt the need to make up a story

Who might make up a story to make himself appear eligible for a post that he has dearly wanted all of his life (if we are to believe the fable)?  That would a be a person who cannot prove eligibility, because he is not eligible.

Burwell sums up exactly how we feel about this long battle with Obama to get to the truth of who he is:

Just tell the truth. No more spin. No more nonsense. No more carefully measured media strategies, no perfectly scripted prepared statements.

The only thing that will fix the nonsense is the truth. And so far, in the case of this most twisted and peculiar tale, it feels like the truth has been in painfully short supply.


Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons: Photo of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o taken in 2010. (27 November 2010); Author: Shotgun Spratling/Neon Tommy

Open thread.

Do read the entire Deadspin story.  It makes one wonder if Punahou teaches a class in creative fabricated-biography writing.  The parallels between the stories told by Te’o (and his family) and those told by Obama (and his “family”) are amazing.  The same holds true for the gushing way that the media repeated these stories, without fact checking any of it.  This is a perfect example of how easily the media are duped, especially when the tales are heartwarming to the leftist liberals in the media, more especially when told by and about “minorities”.  This fiasco is also an example of how the media selectively vet or don’t vet, depending upon the subject of their stories.  At least this hoax was exposed, yet it pales in comparison to the other one.  A parting snark:  Did Deadspin question Te’o’s story and double-check his tale only because he’s a Samoan-American?  Is it racism?

147 responses to “Te’o, Te’o, Daylight Come an’ … (Open Thread)

  1. One of those things that wasn’t advertised in Obamacare…but you’d have to read it to know about it. 1 in 5 people in the US smoke and they are in for a HUGE surprise. But it won’t hurt BHO or John Boehner because Congress isn’t affected by Obamacare…they opted out. Isn’t Socialized Medicine great so far? Then there are those death panels just waiting for the boomers. Isn’t it great to have little tidbits come out after the election.

    Obamacare to Hit Smokers with Huge Penalties
    Saturday, 26 Jan 2013 Snips

    Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance because of tobacco penalties in President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, according to experts who are just now teasing out the potential impact of a little-noted provision in the massive legislation.

    The Affordable Care Act — “Obamacare” to its detractors — allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums starting next Jan. 1. For a 55-year-old smoker, the penalty could reach nearly $4,250 a year. A 60-year-old could wind up paying nearly $5,100 on top of premiums.
    First, the law allows insurers to charge older adults up to three times as much as their youngest customers. Second, the law allows insurers to levy the full 50 percent penalty on older smokers while charging less to younger ones. And finally, government tax credits that will be available to help pay premiums cannot be used to offset the cost of penalties for smokers.


    • A story I read about this mentioned, as if in passing, that there wasn’t any provision YET to allow them to charge higher premiums for OBESE people (“obese” to be defined by Mooch, with herself exempted, of course).

  2. More B.S. from the B.S.er in Chief.

    Obama Pledges to Continue Crackdown on ‘Irresponsible Behavior’
    Jan 26, 2013

    President Barack Obama pledged this morning in his weekly radio address to continue to crackdown on “irresponsible behavior.” “Here in America, we know the free market is the greatest force for economic progress the world has ever known. But we also know the free market works best for everyone when we have smart, commonsense rules in place to prevent irresponsible behavior,” Obama began.
    “But it’s not enough to change the law – we also need cops on the beat to enforce the law. And that’s why, on Thursday, I nominated Mary Jo White to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Richard Cordray to continue leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “Mary Jo White has decades of experience cracking down on white-collar criminals and bringing mobsters and terrorists to justice. …


  3. is it David ?…or..O? ….. looking so “bitter” … does he sleep with &
    “cling to his guns at night ?” I wonder.


    • Whoever it is, there mask is sliding down. Man, that face looks like something right of a Universal Studio Make-up studio!

    • He IS “bitter, arrogant, and partisan.” Not to mention dictatorial, pathological, and communist. Where’ve they been?

    • “There is nothing in this interview that suggests the president is in any way serious about reining in federal spending, introducing entitlement reform, or rolling back the frontiers of the government. For a country with more than $16 trillion of debt, this is a catastrophic approach. It is very clear from this interview that President Obama sees his re-election as a mandate to continue the very policies that will eventually bankrupt the country unless they are reversed, regardless of huge opposition on Capitol Hill. It chimes closely with the president’s second inaugural address last week, which offered absolutely no olive branches to the nearly 61 million Americans who voted for his opponent in November.

      Significantly, a major Gallup poll released on Inauguration Day showed that most Americans don’t feel positive about the direction their country is taking.”

      Again. Where have they been the past four years?

  4. Countless stories about Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend and Lance Armstrong’s lies about taking dope dominate the news. However, there is not one article about Obama’s fake birth certificate or the many allegations of his cocaine habits. Just sayin’.

    And wouldn’t you love to see one of those drug sniffing dogs in the room with Obama?

    • Jonah, I would, indeed, love to see a drug sniffing dog go through the WH. I wonder if Bo can be retrained? Before they got him, he probably had to be put through his paces first, to make sure that he can’t detect drugs!

      I meant to talk about Lance Armstrong, because of the parallels in his story and Barry’s, but the post was too long already.

      Let’s recall that Armstrong has always been famous first based upon overcoming cancer. Remember his book? The inspiring story of how, against ALL the odds, he somehow beat cancer that was throughout his entire body? X-rays included in the book, iirc.

      Next up, winning the most famous bike race an unprecedented 7 times. While Landis and Contador were stripped of their titles, inexplicably the French and other Europeans gave Armstrong a pass. On account of the DINERO (or should I say Euros or Francs?) that he brought in? Who knows? But given his loooooong history of lying about doping, Armstrong has now put EVERYTHING he’s ever said up for questioning? Is anything real about this guy? btw, some now even say that he LIED in his “confession” to Oprah.

  5. Even some Dems are getting alarmed about the STATIST propaganda-promoting media:

    Can you believe that in the interview with 60 Minutes, Barry and Hillary actually took credit for defeating al Qaeda, only days after Hillary testified to Congress that al Qaeda is a growing GLOBAL threat in an effort to chastise Republicans and make them look petty (“What difference at this point does it make?”) and myopic for focusing on Benghazi instead of the terrible threat that Muslim jihadists pose to the entire world?

  6. This is chilling and a wake-up call for doubters. Who said “NEVER FORGET?” How many are now willingly forgetting? A survivor of Hitler’s reign of terror wrote, in 2009, about his methods:

    Nazi Eyewitness Warns: The Final Step of Nazi Control – Gun Laws

    Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long after-wards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.

    No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

    Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria . Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.

    America Truly is the Greatest Country in the World. Don’t Let Freedom Slip Away.

    After America, There is No Place to Run.

    No place to run. That’s what Soros and the globalists are counting on. This is also why their first goal, in the nudge to confiscation, is that benign-sounding “universal background check,” which includes, no doubt, a permanent registry in a database identifying EVERY person EVER checked before a gun purchase. This is the Holy Grail for TYRANTS. (Meaning the DemoncRATS who are ALREADY lining up Barry’s successor who will probably just be a puppet for Barry! He will REMAIN on permanent campaign, even after he leaves, if he leaves.) btw, I think we quoted that article before, but it bears repeating.

  7. Can it happen here? WILL it happen here? Morsi’s peeps are shooting “counter revolutionaries” from rooftops. 45 dead already. How’s that Arab Spring working out for you, Barry and Hillary?


    See the video there.

    • Barry said this? ““Not the girls, but oftentimes guests of mine go up there. And I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations,” said the president. “And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake.””

      Girls? Are we now to believe that by that sexist comment he meant Malia and Sasha?


      “the SECURITY of a FREE STATE”. That’s the point of the Second Amendment: To ENSURE that states are forevermore FREE (from tyranny and especially tyranny from within, by an overweening federal government).

  8. A new fad sweeps the world! Men take photos of themselves with their imaginary girlfriends, in a viral meme called Te’oing:


    An example:


  9. NOW where would someone get such a NUTTY fun idea…. oh yea…
    ‘Lars & the Real Girl’ 2007 … (a thumbs up)…

    (site is GREAT for actors list of past films)

  10. http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2011/04/27/obama-dissimulation-or-outright-lying/

    Barry Te’oing above & Barry in 3rd grade.. (do check it out)….used the
    exact SAME face/shot from his 3rd grade photo.. any photo shop expert willing to TRY?

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