As you can see, it has been another beautiful day in Lafayette. It’s been chilly, but sunny. Sunny trumps chilly every time.
I was amazed this morning that the first hour of Morning Joe was dedicated to the story about the Notre Dame player, Manti Te’o, and his fake girlfriend. I am using the term story very loosely. My first reaction was, “In what world is this worth television time, or column inches in a newspaper?” Does anyone older than thirty think this would have been considered newsworthy while they were growing up? Like I said, I’m amazed.
Then I started giving it a little more thought, and started having more questions. I haven’t given the questions enough thought to form any concrete answers, but here is where I am so far.
1) I will admit to not knowing the story in detail because I’m not a football fan and have never heard of Manti Te’o before last night. But as I understand it, the young man claimed that his girlfriend died on the same day that his grandmother did. Yet, it seems that he had never met his girlfriend. How does he define girlfriend? My granddaughter Maely, who is seven, may claim a boy as her boyfriend and be wrong, but at least she knows the boy.
2) ND’s athletic director bemoaned the fact that Manti would never be able to be as trusting again in his life. Assuming that the young man really was duped, it is probably a good thing that he won’t be as trusting. Perhaps he won’t send money to Nigeria, or try to get his free Uggs, or post a privacy notice on Facebook. The question I have is, “Should the athletic director be sorry that an adult man has lost such naivety?”
More important questions surround the use and misuse of social media; the reporting skills of print, radio, and television reporters; and, the reaction to this story in the general population. For that matter, why have I used a daily blog post to even discuss it? That may be the most disturbing reaction to the whole situation.