Saturday, January 19, 2013

Big Journalism is as Dead as Te'o's...Reputation.

I read this today...and learned A LOT!

I learned that some people are so willing to save face, that they'll hire silly-expensive lawyers and PR firms instead of simply coming clean.

According to quotes from last night's interview, Manti Te'o "tailored" and "catered" his story in order to deceive his parents and friends...Ummmmmmkay.

Good enough for me-

Now he's confirmed that he compounded lies for three years in order to get those he cared about most on board with the original scam hoax victimization...But we're supposed to believe that now he is telling the truth because Schaap says he seemed honest...and Swarbrick vouched for him.

At this point, he's either completely fooled himself into believing his own saccharin-sweet story OR his years of practice at lying has trained him to lie all the time in a convincing manner.

The fact that EsPN passes this interview as journalism is funny.  We don't know all of the stipulations that Schaap had to agree to to get this exclusive...we do know that Te'o refused to let the interview happen on video.  It could be because he's too embarrassed to go in front of the camera...Well, that's not true, he allowed photographers and tape recordings.  He also had a team of handlers with him and his lawyer at the table during this "some holds barred" interview.

So just to review some of the finer points-
-UND finds out that Kekua isn't dead in early December...tells no one but their crack private investigation team.
-Te'o continues to perpetuate the lie with the media during awards shows and bowl prep after finding out the real truth...(for Mr. Schaap- he was pretty convincing at that point too!)
-The story blew up earlier this week, thanks to's real investigation. UND's Swarbrick defended Te'o and cried...Te'o stayed silent.
-TMZ reports that Tuiasosopo has given a tear-filled confession that Te'o had nothing to do with it.
-A paper in Hawaii reports they've been contacted by Kekua who said she faked her death in order to evade drug dealers threats (she also told Te'o the same story in early December).  Now that's where the story gets ridiculous- Te'o said she was a beautiful, bilingual Stanford grad who was a great person...but she had drug dealers after her?

No matter...all of this is an exercise is misinformation and blind trust.

Te'o's interview took place at a training facility for pro-athletes-to-be called IMG Academy.  Ironic, no? This whole thing is about image.

Te'o repeatedly via taped interviews and released statements calls himself the victim of a cruel hoax...But, I'm pretty sure he could press charges or at least sue the crap out of Tuiasosopo and company if he really felt wronged. When the courts get involved, we'll see Te'o's phone records that showed him amassing thousands of hours on the phone with the "love of his life"...we'll find out about the four or five people that he knew, by the way, who perpetuated this elaborate all-consuming hoax for YEARS.

Seriously, if I see the phone records and find out that Te'o has sued or press charges on Tuiasosopo, my perspective will change- Te'o will be downgraded from an perpetrator of a hoax to a small time delusional liar.

The good news for me, like most of you, is that I didn't care about his sappy human interest story until I read about it via Deadspin.

As my brother said, the initial reports of Te'o's fall sounded like the life of Job...and no person should have to go through losing two of their loved ones in mere days.  But, with the exception of Te'o's Grandmother's death, we now know Kekua and her made-up death is a myth like the Gipper or Weis' schematic advantage (that got Te'o to commit to UND, by the way).

In spite of Schaap's awesome and revealing interview, there are still too many holes in the story to believe anything...other than we've all been lied to, A LOT.

Am I the only one who loves the irony of this sub-title??


Purdue Matt said...

Its infuriating how badly SI has botched and continues to botch this story. I used to respect guys like Stewart Mandel, but he's only interested in protecting his buddy Pete Thamel at this point. If he used that every to ask tough questions about the holes in Te'o's story, he would come to a much different conclusion.

Also, ESPN has zero motivation for true investigative journalism. This off camera interview was a joke. Their vested interest in CFB and Notre Dame is too much to overcome.

And lastly, these confessions from Touisopo are far too conveneient. Even though the method of the apology has gone through several different iterations at this point.

And Te'o is an asshole if it "never crossed his mind" to visit the dying love of his life in the hospital.

Brad said...

Sure, I'd love to see charges pressed, but...

...for what?

I'm not sure anything that anyone did here was illegal. Unless there was an effort to use this to extort money/etc, it's not illegal to lie.

After all, I'd hate to be sued by all those chicks from the bar when they learn that I'm neither a pilot, a race car driver, a fireman nor a neurosurgeon!

WinamacBoiler said...

Brad- lift your sights, bro. Be all of them at once!

And I couldn't agree more about him being an A hole. You never thought to go see her?!?! Congrats; you went from being a huge liar with a big heart to being just a big liar with an empty chest. It's an uncomfortable choice, but I think I would've stuck with the former.

Unknown said...

Here's what I keep coming back to: Assume for a minute that Teo really was the victim of a hoax. Put yourself in the position of the mastermind behind the hoax; what is the motive for attempting to gain the unconditional trust of an elite NFL prospect who is less than a year away from being paid millions of dollars?!?

Sarcasm aside, clearly the biggest and most believable motive would be separating said victim from some of his newly acquired wealth. Given that, why on earth would you, the mastermind of this scam, break off your association with the victim by faking your death BEFORE HE HAS MADE ANY MONEY??????

At the end of the day I find it very hard to believe that a group of people invested almost three years of their lives to achieve a 'relationship' with a public figure, for no reason other than their own entertainment.