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Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:02 AM

Manti Te'o's girlfriend spotted at Republican Convention a few months ago.

She's real, she was the one sitting next to Clint Eastwood when he gave his speech.

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Reply Manti Te'o's girlfriend spotted at Republican Convention a few months ago. (Original post)
Johnny2X2X Jan 2013 OP
Larkspur Jan 2013 #1
Larkspur Jan 2013 #2

Response to Johnny2X2X (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:15 AM

1. South Bend Tribune: Te'o's Mormon Bishop adds his perspective to Te'o's saga



Among the details the 60-year-old bishop of the Notre Dame Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints shared on Monday was that Carrier, himself, talked to the person purporting to be Te'o's girlfriend many times on the phone, that he was the first person Te'o confided in once the alleged con was revived in December and that he is confident Te'o will one day put this chapter behind him, but that the rest of the world probably won't be able to.

"I talked to Lennay many times," Carrier said. "Many times. On the phone. I would go over to (Te'o's) house, and he'd say 'Hey Lennay, Bishop's here. Do you want to talk to him?'

"And I'd get on the phone and say, 'Hey Lennay, how are you doing?' How's your leukemia going? How's your treatment?' Many times. As his roommates did. As others did. If anybody was over there, (Te'o) would kind of say, 'Hey, you want to talk to Lennay?'

"She was real, and that's what's so crazy about this. And so he talked to her every night. Every night. And he developed clearly a very emotional, a very tender relationship with that. I don't talk to my wife as much as he talked to her."

Throughout all but a few days in which Carrier talked to Kekua, she was allegedly in the hospital, first because of a car accident, then leukemia. She also purportedly had a brain tumor.

And what was Kekua like personally?

"Very nice," Carrier said. "Kind. You know, 'Hi Bishop.' Knew who I was after the first couple of times. 'I'm doing OK. I'm doing fine.' Very much into the scene of whatever it was.

"So this wasn't some fictitious thing that was going on. I think some people are saying, 'Well, how could he not know this was a hoax or whatever?' He had no idea. He really didn't."

According to Carrier, what made Te'o the perfect mark for the hoax wasn't that he was gullible, but where his head was spiritually.

He was recommitted to LDS principles.

"We teach our kids to be honest, to be trusting, to be caring," Carrier said. "Manti was having his heartstrings pulled. He's a great kid and he was just trying to do what was right.

"Prior to when I started talking to him in May, I don't know how they were -- if it was a casual thing -- but clearly this tragic accident, being in a coma, this really brought him into a closer relationship. And then he started to talk to her every night. That really started an emotional bond.

"It would not have surprised me if they would have gotten married."

Eventually Carrier said he did stop by Te'o's apartment on Dec. 19, with some homemade bread his wife had made.

"He just didn't seem good," Carrier said. "He didn't seem right. He didn't seem normal. And so I texted him (later) and said. 'What's going on Manti? Something doesn't seem right.' And he said, 'I need to talk to you, Bishop. Can you come tomorrow night at 10 o'clock?'

"So I went over the next night, which would have been the 20th, that Thursday night, and I said, 'What's going on Manti?'

"He said, 'I messed up, Bishop.'

"As a bishop, I'm thinking, 'Oh My Gosh, he's got some girl pregnant.'

"He said 'She's alive.'

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Response to Johnny2X2X (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:23 AM

2. South Bend Tribune: Lessons we've learned from Te'o's tale




For people talking to strangers on the phone, or looking for online relationships: Beware.

For people who are in the public eye: Be even warier, and if you choose to talk about your personal life, make sure you tell the unembellished truth.

For journalists, the rules have changed, too. Trusted sources are fallible sources. Soft-news feature stories deserve hard-news fact-checking. To the degree possible, challenge all assumptions in all stories. Point at every fact and ask, how do I know this is true? Make notes, keep recordings and hold sources accountable for their words.

Hardboiled, old-school journalism teachers used to tell us: If your mother says she loves you, check it out. It was intended to bring a chuckle, back then, but to me, it doesn’t sound funny any more. They were right.

The Tribune is willing to hold others accountable for their words and actions. We hold ourselves accountable, as well. The Tribune unwittingly played a part in spreading this gigantic delusion.

The Tribune was probably the first news organization to learn about Te’o’s supposed double tragedy last September. We were the first to ask Coach Brian Kelly about it, at a routine press conference.

The context of our question was whether Te’o would be playing that Saturday against Michigan State, but the effect of that inquiry was to alert reporters from other media organizations to the story.

We had comments and confirmation from sources we had dealt with for years and believed to be trustworthy, including the linebacker’s father, Brian Te’o; Coach Kelly; and Brian Hardin, another veteran sports department official. Our reporter was told the story had come from Manti himself. Then we posted the story online.

To our knowledge, that was the first news report on the supposed tragedy.

We did not ask for Lennay Kekua’s death certificate. We did not ask for her school records from Stanford. We did not fly a team of reporters to California and Hawaii to investigate her background.

And, of course, after Te’o played the game of his life at Michigan State and giant news organizations began to focus on his story and Te’o’s heroic triumph began to be the biggest feel-good tale in the sports world, neither did anyone else.

If we had had any reason to believe the story was false, if we had not been dealing with multiple trusted sources, or if anyone inside or outside our organization had suggested that the existence of Lennay and her family was questionable, our actions on this story would almost certainly have been different.

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