The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

#LennayKekuaFacts: What You Don’t Know About Manti Te’o’s Fake Girlfriend

Posted on | January 18, 2013 | 18 Comments

From the “Too Good to Check” file:

The Times was not among the most prominent offenders in taking at face value what turned out to be a hoax, as revealed by the Web site on Wednesday.
But Times reporters still wrote about the Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o’s girlfriend at least five times in recent months.
A Nov. 25 article said that  Te’o was “dealt a full deck of adversity when his grandmother and his girlfriend died within hours of each other.”
Another, on Oct. 14, noted, “His girlfriend, who lost a long fight with leukemia, was a Stanford alumnus.”

Five mentions! The non-existent girlfriend of Manti Te’o has actually gotten more New York Times coverage than the “Fast and Furious” scandal. Think what it means that did more thorough fact-checking than the nation’s most prestigious newspaper:

Deadspin Editor-in-Chief Tommy Craggs says Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey were faced with a tough question when reporting their now famous Manti Te’o story: “What lengths do we go to to try and prove a negative?”
When asked about his reaction to The Boston Globe calling Deadspin “a website that has broken some high-profile stories but not an outlet regarded for journalistic standards,” Craggs says: “Whatever. Why should I care what a craven, slipshod outfit like the Boston Globe thinks of my ‘journalistic standards’?”
In an email Q&A, Craggs elaborates on Burke’s explanation of how Deadspin got the story that all other journalists missed . . .
From the start, Tim Burke and Jack Dickey kept a running notes file in Google Docs that acted as a skeleton for both their reporting and for the story itself. They asked themselves the obvious questions, Socratically: Who is the person in the photos? Where was Lennay Kekua born? When was Lennay Kekua born? Where did Lennay Kekua live? Did Lennay Kekua attend Stanford? When was Lennay Kekua’s car accident? When did Lennay Kekua die? . . .
We began reporting on Friday. By Monday, Burke had found and contacted the woman in the Lennay photos. Once we had her on the record, we knew we had enough for a story. . . .

She was a cyber-fiction, and yet she was mentioned five times in the New York Times and got quoted on the CBS Morning News.




  • rmnixondeceased

    No one named Lennay Kekua has checked-in over here nor can I see anyone so named on any “expected to arrive soon” list …

  • Shawny Lee

    OMG!! Way off topic but likely the ultimate SWATting in my neck of the woods. Not enough free drinks for passengers who looked out their windows and saw those escort jets.

    Military jets escort plane to Seattle after security scare

  • Bob Belvedere

    Did you check your Enemies List???

  • Shawny Lee

    So, are you the one who got the copy of Obama’s “expected to arrive soon”…..uhh kill list? Inquiring minds wanna know and Congress isn’t having any luck getting it. With all the identity theft these days it would be hard to know exactly who you’re getting…….kinda like the southern border and the White House.

  • McGehee

    Lennay Kekua has seen the actual, original Obama birth certificate, his application for a Social Security card, and his college transcripts. And lived.

  • Garym


  • rmnixondeceased

    Like I said “expected to arrive soon”.

  • rmnixondeceased

    We dead get much better intel than Barry does.

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  • Dan Collins

    Has Obama’s fake girlfriend chimed in?

  • M. Thompson

    If she’s ever lived in Chicagoland, she can keep on voting for Obama and Co.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Yeah, only because you attend your briefings [do you all do it in briefs…or boxers?].

  • rmnixondeceased

    Bare bones.

  • malclave

    Voted for Obama twice?
    Oh… I guess she was too young in 2008.

  • Shawny Lee

    Kinky…….and he knows where all the skeletons are.

  • Charles

    A college kid has an imaginary girlfriend. Aren’t 60% to 670% of college girlfriends imaginary?

    It’s not like he did something truly horrible, like faking testicular cancer after an unfortunate encounter with a bicycle seat post.

  • RichFader

    Lennay Kekua. Hawaiian for “Fawn Leibowitz”.

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