Monday, December 26, 2005

Library Liar Loses Libido

By now you've heard the story.

College students requests a book by Mao. College student reports being visited by agents of the Department of Homeland Security, who tell him that the book is on a watchlist of some sort. Newspapers pick up the story and report it mucho pronto without bothering to check any facts. College student's story has so many holes in it that it falls apart.

When confronted with the evidence, college student admits he made the whole thing up--and cries.

Here are some great articles on the topic:

http://www.ala.org/aaslkcTemplate.cfm?Section=storytellingfest&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=111834
http://instapundit.com/archives/027668.php
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2005/12/24/students_tall_tale_revealed/
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=18667_Reality-Based_Community_Falls_for_Hoax (comments 5 and 9 especially)

First there was fake hate crimes on campuses (done in order to draw attention to hate crimes on campuses), and now this. It must really tick off the left that reality doesn't live up to their paranoia.

6 comments:

Old Math said...

Don't confuse me with the facts, I've got my mind made up already.

Mike T said...

He forgot the first rule of the criminal testimony…find one lie and stick to it. When you start thinking “I can just change to story slightly and that will get me out of this…” is when he gets tripped up. I hold the college at fault. They didn’t prepare him for being a criminal like they should have. I mean, do we really expect them to teach students how to think knowledge that can help them get a job or handle life? :)

Cameron said...

As usual with all of these stories that you're so quick to talk about once it gets on your side, it depends on what source you want to believe. Personally, I don't trust any news source unless there is Real Evidence (like, a video). People can be pressured into saying things other than what occurred.
I'm sure you'll say "conspiracist wacko", but it's the truth.
And why do people make such a fuss over stuff like this:
"UMD Library Dean Ann Montgomery Smith told AL that the student had requested the book by phone from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, not through the UMD interlibrary services as originally reported."
Oh my! Scandalous! I remember when it was found that Michael Moore had altered a newspaper article headline (by making it bigger), to make it look more important than it actually was. The fact was, it was in the newspaper, which meaned that the article was deemed important enough to be included in the paper at all. They sued him all right, for $1. Lucky it wasn't me! But, who am I to criticize? According to all the conservative geniuses, "everything Michael Moore says is a lie." When asked to prove it, they can't. But Ann Coulter! She's the thirteenth apostle! And Bill O'Reilly, who recently invited Al Qaeda to bomb San Francisco because of that law that you wanted to debate Blenner over.
That being said, I believe that the kid faked this. Why? Because I've bought plenty of "bad" books (and checked out even more from the library) and have never received any sort of warning, even post-Patriot Act. Homeland Security has got better things to do, like spending over $50,000 on fire equipment in a town of under 600, or spending nearly $38 per resident in Wyoming (the terrorists could blow up Yellowstone!) versus under $5 per California resident. I know, we're more populous, but that means we should get more money.
Why am I arguing about states' rights? That's a conservative issue. :P

However, throwing out all these criticizing facts at each other will never do any good. The one maxim of politics is that nothing good can come out of it. Politicians make mistakes, just like everyone else. They just make a lot more than we do.

Darren said...

Cameron, I'm not following you.

You believe the guy did what all these reports say he did, but you don't want to believe it because there's no video, and somehow this is the fault of politicians?

You're obviously upset here. What upsets you about my linking to this story? And why is the school protecting this adult liar's identity? If he were a conservative you *bet* you'd know his name.

Cameron said...

I meant that when two articles come up, with two contradictory viewpoints, political "activists" are always quick to jump on whatever side they support, completely ignoring whatever the other side has to say. In this case, it seems like the articles you posted are more valid, but how are we to know? It could be the fault of whoever wants to cover it up.
I was just upset because it seems that a lot of political arguments are made to either totally support one side and ignore the other, or totally bash the other side and provide little backup for their side.

Darren said...

Unlike the mainstream media, I don't *pretend* to be neutral in what I address.