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Friday, August 26, 2005

Journalistic Ethics In Action

The good news is that Kodee Kennings' father did not die in Iraq. The bad news is that Kodee Kennings never existed, despite a student newspaper loyally publishing her heart-rending letters to her father for several years. I wish the college kids would stick to goldfish-swallowing. It has more dignity.

This is a wild story and Florida Cracker has the complete run down. Impressive, since she has also been hurricane blogging, but hey, you just can't keep a good woman down. Seattle Post-Intelligencer writes about how the child was duped into playing the part:
A woman who pretended to be the child's guardian is a 2004 SIU graduate who says she concocted the story with a former Daily Egyptian editor who denies that allegation and claims he, too, was duped. A man who posed as the serviceman father also says he was an unwitting participant....

Reynolds said she and student journalist Michael Brenner, who wrote the original article, invented the story because "he's had a hard time with his career. He asked me if I would help him out. ... It just got a little bigger than he told me it would."

Brenner vehemently denied concocting the story and said he was taken in by Reynolds, whom he had befriended.
This is what relativism brings. Everyone is duped; no one is guilty:
The woman involved used an acquaintance to play Kennings, going so far as to take him and the little girl to a church in Detroit this spring, where they spoke to a group of children inspired by their story.

The acquaintance--Patrick Trovillion, a registered nurse from Marion--said he was led to believe he was playing a cocky soldier in a legitimate movie. He was shocked to learn Thursday night that it was a farce and that his character had died.
Yeah, all the documentaries use actors who go and speak to church groups pretending to be the real people, right? False but accurate, baby. The little Orphan Annie wrote a pretty rough letter to that evil President Bush too. Now what the heck was her family doing let her go all around like that? Didn't they talk to the kid? Would you let something like this go on for several years without checking it out yourself? Supposedly the woman who cooked up the scam was a family friend, but I don't think I'd be so dumb.

Also, see the Florida Cracker's post about the Sullivans. It is heartrending and it is true.


Comments:
Makes me wonder if the MSM would pretty much ignore the story if supporters of the other side perpetrated the hoax.
 
Oh, I don't think they will be able to avoid the story.

This went on for years!
 
I'm still thinking about the fat woman talking on the phone for hours in a little girl's voice.
Too funny.
 
Snicker. "It ain't over until the fat woman sings."
 
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