Manti Te’o story proves journalism today is dead

The news of Manti Te’o’s girlfriend fabrication has reached epic proportions, with jokes flying off the shelf faster than David Letterman’s best days in the days of Dan Quayle.

Some of my favorites so far:

“Two people that will never know the touch of Manti Te’o: His fake girlfriend, and Eddie Lacy.”

“Te’o faked her death to protect her from Brent Musburger.”

“Dear Manti, Thank you. Sincerely, Lance Armstrong.”

“Manti’s girlfriend has the best looking body Stevie Wonder ever saw.”

“Manti Te’o wasn’t missing tackles in the National Championship game. He was hugging his girlfriend.”

“Dear Manti, only 5% of my girlfriend was fake. I win again. Sincerely, AJ McCarron.”

“Millions of people now know where to put the apostrophe in TE’O who will never figure out when to use it in IT’S.”

The story of Te’o’s made up girlfriend is so bizarre, it’s hard to know where to begin. But the bigger story is, in this day and age…the INFORMATION AGE for Pete’s sake…how did the story ever make it past Te’o’s imagination?

This isn’t 1977. Back then a rotary dial phone, anchored to a phone booth or wall was your only shot to speak to someone across the country, and it’d cost you. Now I know more people who shed their home phone for their cell than those who still have a home number. And those cells phones, find one that doesn’t have a camera on it and it’ll take most of your day.

You have Skype. You have Facebook. You have Instagram. You have Twitter. You have instant messaging. And you have just under a billion other methods of talking and interacting with human beings all over this planet.

And we’re to believe a college student at one of America’s pristine universities couldn’t employ one of these communication vehicles to connect the dots a little and see past this fake girlfriend “prank”?

Most believe Te’o was in on it. Common sense would say so. But apparently today’s journalist lacks that basic quality. Two sources and you have yourself a story. But heck, that’s hard. Just find a narcissist and take his word for it, then run with his claims for an eternity as the player uses your pub and the public’s sympathy to bolster himself into the #2 spot in the Heisman running.

Incredible. Simply amazing.

Maybe in this day and age of eleventy billion news outlets elbowing each other to have the story first, someone ought to place a premium on getting a story right. If they had, maybe AJ McCarron would’ve gotten a plane ticket to New York for the Heisman ceremony. A player with real stats, real accomplishment, a real girlfriend and a real future, instead of a fake.

Where is journalism today? Where is fact checking? As the nation’s college golden child (Notre Dame) rose from the ashes to contend for all the marbles, countless stories were done on Te’o, tugging at our heartstrings and demanding our sympathy.

But instead of a girlfriend, it looks like the only thing Te’o has seen off to the other side is journalism. May it RIP.

(Follow ITK on Twitter for Bama news, commentary and smack.)


Add Yours
  1. 1
    # 1 al. fan

    I agree ITK!! and don’t let that last post by Crimsonite bother you, I for one think you do great job with this column…… RTR

  2. 2

    Well, he was right. There’s a few things going on, but we’re going to do better. It’s funny our success can make you complacent, but look for more in the near future. Thanks for your feedback as well!

  3. 4
    Ricky B

    Mani is gay. I can tell these things – I had a gay teammate once.

    Much as it might embarass me to admit this, our own quarterback is a little light in the loafers. You ever noticed his awkwardly effeminate touchdown dances, the uncontrollable emotions, and he kissed his own family like 5 times before he got around to giving the hottest girl in the stadium what amounted to a quick peck. Most men would have been more like Brent Musburger – you could almost see Kirk Herbstreet getting ready to say ‘all right – I’ll hold her hair…’

    Even some Notre Dame fans are fessing up about Mani. Overheard a Notre Dame homer saying the reason Mani couldn’t sack AJ was because the refs were concerned about how to separate them.

    The whole Orange Bowl was spinning because of gayness.

    • 5

      Ricky B is living proof that penis envy is true and its haunting reality can be too much to bear (no pun intended)

    • 6
      Dr. Vern Smith

      How dare you type some suggestions, actually, shameful allegations without one ounce of proof–and, by setting yourself up as an “expert” on who or who is not gay. In fact, being gay does mean that one cannot be a great football players; and, many well known athletics have been gay but chose not to share their private life with the public. Your reference to AJ make me especially angry as he is one of the finest of human beings/the greatest of all Alabama quarterbacks of our time–and, for you now to trash by ugly suggestions about his sexuality. I, for one, if he were my son if he was gay or not, t would love him just the same, being so proud of all that he has helped Bama/the state of Alabama, the SEC, to achieve. Again, I believe your comments to be shameful–not worthy of a true Bama fan.

  4. 7
    Ricky B

    I don’t know what the hell your problem is but I’ll have you know I get up in the morning and I piss excellence!!!

    You remind me of my ex-wife father’s dad chip. Only you probably never even made a hot daughter!!!

    I’m not gonna put up with ur bull man. I’m a winner – and winner’s get to do whatever the hell they want!

  5. 8

    Good story. Kudos to Te’o for keeping things going between Jan 8th and National Signing Day. Bwaa Haww Haww! The real bullshit in his story that he was a victim is that his daddy said he met her in oerson at a Stanford game and that she visited him several times in Hawaii. What the fuk? Don’t try to tell me Te’o wasn’t part of his own scam. The publicity since early in the season got him a ticket to New York and the biggest load of awards in history. All that was gonna translate into millions of dollars before the dhit hit the fan. And he isn’t near ad good an LB as Mosley is. And what the hell was Notre Dame a.d ESPN thinking by continuing to purpetrate a known hoax on the viewing public a full two weeks after it was revealed to them. There needs to be some heads rolling over this. Onsider this – Notre Dame promoting this and allowing ESPN to promote it is FRAUD. Do you remember what piss poor excuse the NCAA used to bust Penn St’s chops? FRAUD. can’t wait to see this one through. Bwaa Hawe Haww! RTR!

    • 9

      A good in depth look at the culture of shoddy journalism at The South Bend Tribune should not be forgotten. They were the ones at the forefront disseminating this tale. They never once, even out of common curiosity, sought to interview this, uh, woman, this stanford grad, this te’o motivator… no. nothing. The South Bend Tribune is equally complicit in the myth making. Today? That garbage paper is not reporting on themselves, but spinning the story as far away from themselves and their involvement as possible. Try posting on a story at their site. They are cleaning out even mild posts that question their ability, their journalistic integrity. The South Bend Tribune should be at the forefront of that which is ridiculed.

  6. 10

    official analysis> te’o got punked to the max….a publicity stunt does not go hit by a drunk driver then cancer then dies….a group of people egging each other on to the next bizarre event to see how far te’o would go…then te’o being a future millionaire was patient just hoping to get in her pants one day

  7. 11

    I can’t tell you how happy I am that you wrote this article! You are 100% spot on! I thought the same thing when all of this happened.

    The news/press/media has a purpose and because of various reasons, that purpose has gone unfulfilled for quite some time. In recent years, the news/press has gradually stopped doing their job. They’re afraid to step on people’s toes. They’re afraid to lose ratings. They don’t care about what they should care about anymore and that’s a shame.

    The good thing though is that the job is still being done. But it’s being done by regular people. Bloggers and small time writers are doing what the almighty press should be doing. The only bad thing about this is that there are many issues that, even when truly discovered, will never make it to the masses because they’ll have no way of hearing about it. This thing was huge, but for every huge thing like this, there are tons of smaller and even more important issues that aren’t being covered by the media. Or if they are being covered by the media, the media is being cynical about it.


  8. 12
    Hate Smurf Coach

    ITK nice article about nothing. You have proven media is dead especially your blog site.

    Anyways Blow tide!

    • 13

      HSC is getting jealous that it isn’t an article making fun of Auburn. Don’t worry, Auburn will do something really stupid pretty soon., and you can come here and bitch about that too. We are here for you!

      • 14

        See, Auburn sucks so bad now, they aren’t even worth making fun of. It’s like kicking a homeless man. Why would you do such a thing? You have no other choice but to feel sorry for them, and laugh when they can’t hear you.

        Auburn is that freaking pathetic right now. But I didn’t say I wasn’t enjoying it.

        • 15

          Not only did they fall from the summit at such a break neck speed that it set ncaa records but then they let Jay Jacobs once again botch the new hire that will cost a minimum 5 years to even get turned around. Mark my words, they will have a decent year next year maybe 7-5 (+1-1) but it will be universally considered a “rebuilding year” and as the power struggle that plagues the AD dept. continues its course, discontent will once again rear its head and in 3 seasons the program will be back to its current condition. But hey I’m not (ahem ahem) enjoying this either but 3 out of the last 4 helps. Just saying. RTR!!!!!

  9. 16

    Take a hike smurf. I will say this Te’o reminded of that so called Honey Badger. What NFL team will draft either of these guys? ‘Nuff said. And keep on rollin’ Tide.

  10. 18
    The Conduit

    The crazy thing is I wanted him to win the Heisman, albeit mostly because of him being an all-defense nominee.

    If he had won the trophy, I think we all would have been ok with it, maybe even happy with the choice, including over Manziel.

    But then we would have changed our minds this week.

    Same thing if the story had broken before the BCS title game.

    The media was busted. Someone showed them they did their jobs wrong. But now they’re out for blood, and since college football is over until August they have plenty of extra time on their hands. They are going to uncover everything they can. They will get phone records (you need a court order, people say, but the media will find a way, just watch). They will find out who is responsible. And someone will get in trouble.

    But will it be Te’o? I don’t know. I actually kinda don’t think so, but it’s incidental; his performance in the BCS game alone probably cost him more money in the NFL than this will. After all, it’s not like he shot himself in the leg at a night club, or drove his motorcyle on ice without a helmet and later crashed and broke several bones, or hosted a dog-fighting club, or killing a teammate while driving drunk, etc. All of those things have been done in the NFL, some by title winners. He’ll get drafted, no question.

    But for now, this story is just plain fun. I feel bad for the guy, a little bit at least. But it’s impossible not to have fun with it right now, especially since college football is completely gone again for another eight months.

  11. 19

    Helps you understand how Paul Hornung, running back off the 2-9 notre dame squad, WON the heisman in 1956.

    You can halfway excuse the S B Tribune.

    Sports Illustrated?


    They didn’t want to check. They wanted to believe. It’s old notre dame.

    Cheer cheer.

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