Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 1/19/13
This story of a woman who doesn’t even exist creates the downfall of media’s credibility. The Original Story: Many places including ESPN network included main page stories about Manti Te’o and his girlfriend. He started talking to the girl online in 2009. There only things that showed up were stories about Te’O dealing wither her death. There were no obituaries and nobody became suspicious. The downfall of the media however started during the last couple of months. The Time Line: provided from http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2013/01/17/manti-teo-girlfriend-hoax-timeline/1842389/ -Sept. 11-15: Lennay Kekua dies. As Deadspin.com notes, her death was reported by various outlets as either occurring before Te’o's grandmother passed away on Sept. 11, after his grandmother’s death on Sept. 12, three days later or four days later. -Sept. 15: Michigan State game. In his first game after learning of Kekua’s death, Te’o makes 12 tackles in Notre Dame’s 20-3 win over the Spartans. After the game, Te’o tells ESPN’s Heather Cox that Kekua and his grandmother “were with me.” Sept. 22: Michigan game, Kekua’s funeral. Kekua is buried at noon Eastern Time on Sept. 22, Te’o says at a press conference on Oct. 4. Te’o says that Kekua did not want him to attend, but she wanted white roses sent to her funeral. Nov. 4: Te’o tweets with Kekua’s “sister.” As detailed in the Deadspin article, in early November someone posing as Kekua’s sister “popped up on Twitter under the name @uilanirae. “On Nov. 4, Te’o tweeted, “Shout out to Ms. @uilanirae she’s new to twitter and really needs some new followers! Dec. 6: Te’o discovers the hoax. While in Orlando for ESPN’s end-of-year awards show, Te’o receives a phone call from a number he connected with Kekua. While the voice on the line was Kekua, the person speaking with Te’o told him that she was not dead. “Manti was very unnerved by that, as you can imagine,” Dec. 8: Heisman Trophy ceremony. Just two days after receiving the phone call, Te’o attends the Heisman Trophy ceremony in Manhattan. Dec. 26: Te’o informs coaching staff. Just shy of three weeks after the initial call, Te’o briefs Brian Kelly and defensive coordinator Bob Diaco on the developing situation. Kelly and Diaco then tell Swarbrick. Dec. 27: Meeting with Swarbrick. Te’o and the athletic director meet for nearly two hours. Swarbrick “asked him to reveal every detail of the relationship as he knew it with that woman,” he said Wednesday. Jan. 3: Te’o's quotes. During a press conference leading up to the BCS championship game Jan. 4: Notre Dame receives report. Jan. 7: BCS championship game Jan. 16: Deadspin report, Notre Dame Conference Jan. 19- Te’o has interview but only allows certain parts to be used on ESPN. So where did the Media go wrong: The media sources never checked sources or with the schools where the woman supposedly went. That is rule number one in being a journalist: always check sources. Then the sources never really came out and said that they were wrong or had made a mistake. Except a guy from Sports Illustrated did come out and say he did find it strange when the school had no record of Kekua ever being a student there. ESPN has lost some credibility because this is not the first time they have messed up on a story. Considering a false identity already has plagued ESPN. See : http://deadspin.com/5906658/is-an-espn-columnist-scamming-people-on-the-internet   All Jokes The story is now a giant joke to people. There is now Te’o ing, which is taking a picture of yourself with your arm up in the air saying it is around your girlfriend. A minor league baseball team doing a promotional event for Te’O.  They will have a bobble head of his girlfriend, which will be an empty box. In the end hopefully, the media will learn from this and check their sources and make other changes. They need to do this before they become a laughing stock.
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