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.




18 Responses to “#LennayKekuaFacts: What You Don’t Know About Manti Te’o’s Fake Girlfriend”

  1. rmnixondeceased
    January 18th, 2013 @ 7:50 am

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

  2. Shawny Lee
    January 18th, 2013 @ 8:10 am

    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

  3. Bob Belvedere
    January 18th, 2013 @ 8:13 am

    Did you check your Enemies List???

  4. Shawny Lee
    January 18th, 2013 @ 8:16 am

    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.

  5. McGehee
    January 18th, 2013 @ 9:36 am

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

  6. Garym
    January 18th, 2013 @ 10:37 am


  7. rmnixondeceased
    January 18th, 2013 @ 11:16 am

    Like I said “expected to arrive soon”.

  8. rmnixondeceased
    January 18th, 2013 @ 11:17 am

    We dead get much better intel than Barry does.

  9. Manti Te’O Got More Coverage From NYT Than Operation Fast And Furious | The Lonely Conservative
    January 18th, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

    […] Got More Coverage From NYT Than Operation Fast And FuriousJanuary 18, 2013By Lonely ConservativeIf the following paragraph doesn’t tell you all you need to know about the sorry state of news reporting in America, I […]

  10. Dan Collins
    January 18th, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

    Has Obama’s fake girlfriend chimed in?

  11. M. Thompson
    January 18th, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

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

  12. Bob Belvedere
    January 18th, 2013 @ 7:56 pm

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

  13. rmnixondeceased
    January 18th, 2013 @ 10:41 pm

    Bare bones.

  14. malclave
    January 18th, 2013 @ 10:51 pm

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

  15. Shawny Lee
    January 18th, 2013 @ 11:05 pm

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

  16. Charles
    January 18th, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

    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.

  17. RichFader
    January 19th, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

    Lennay Kekua. Hawaiian for “Fawn Leibowitz”.

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