Sunday, January 20, 2013

Where Are You, Lennay Kakua?

You've probably, if not regrettably, heard about Notre Dame's star linebacker Manti Te'o's recent girlfriend troubles.  To recap:  Last year, Te'o told reporters the tragic story of how his girlfriend, Lennay Kakua, had died of leukemia.   However, now we've learned that she didn't exactly die, but never actually existed.

As if to excuse, or perhaps obscure, their participation through their lack of investigative reporting, sportswriters seem eager to paint Te'o as a victim of a hoax.  Te'o, whether duped initially or not, clearly perpetuated the hoax by continuing to repeat the story long after confessing the lie to Notre Dame officials. Te'o shares responsibility--to what degree remains unknown--for the hoax.  That said, if lying to the press isn't a crime--& if it is, we'll need more jails--then the only damage is that to public perception of his character, which is already suffering as a result of his own nonexistent play against Alabama in the National Championship game.  A more important aspect of this story is that it serves as yet another example of journalism's decline.

ESPN keeps tossing around the term "catfishing," an allusion to the documentary Catfish. If people watch this movie as a result of ESPN's many (or should I say "Manti") references to it, then they, sadly, have become hoax victims as well, a hoax that ESPN has once again helped to perpetuate because Catfish is a horrible, terrible film--so mind-boggling dull that I refuse to give a link to it here since your online search for information will prove far more interesting than such dreck itself.

Apparently, we're supposed to believe that Te'o, an Academic All-American, doesn't know that people often "misrepresent" themselves online. Am I the only one who remembers lonelygirl15? Or ever signed up for Meet Me? As Dennis Kucinich said during the 2008 Democratic primaries of his fellow candidates, "I don't know which is worse, saying you voted for the war or saying that George Bush outsmarted you." Or something like that.  Honestly, I don't know if I wouldn't rather pwn, whether truthfully or not, that I pulled the wool over on the gullible sheeple--hell, flip 'em the bird--than admit I got hoodwinked into having an online relationship, including sexting, intimate confessions & mutual masturbation--lots of masturbation--with a dude pretending to be a hot chick.

Of course, I have no proof of Te'o engaging in any of the kinds of behavior suggested above, but given that my nonexistent girlfriend told me she used to date Te'o before she found out he already had a nonexistent girlfriend, I suspect there's a cell phone somewhere inundated with Te'o cock shots. C'mon, Deadspin. We're counting on you.

Oh, I shouldn't mock Te'o. I sort of feel sorry for the guy. I mean, shit, I'd hate it if my nonexistent girlfriend died. But the story here isn't what Te'o knew & when he knew it, or even whether the Fourth Estate is but a crumbling remnant of a ravaged ruin; the most important bit of information to emerge from this bizarre & sordid tale is that Lennay Kakua didn't die after all. Holy fuck! It's a miracle!

So take heart, Manti Te'o. Lennay's not dead--she's just offline.

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