Friday, August 26, 2005

Duped in Southern Illinois

My my.

Thanks to metafilter, I've learned that all those "heartwarming columns" in the Daily Egyptian, the student newspaper at my former institution, written by a little girl whose father was in Iraq, were fakes. I used to see them while perusing the newspaper during my workouts at the Rec Center on campus, and I always found them a little too saccharine for my taste. I also found it kinda weird that they were so popular (as attested by letters to the editor). I remember that the first (or one of the first ones) was about how confused the little girl was by anti-war messages that she found on campus. Hmm. Think there might have been a bit o' ideological work being done there?

Anyway, it was all a big hoax. A very strange, convoluted hoax that involved deceiving a little girl into believing that she was going to be a moviestar. Weird, weird stuff going down in the Mississippi Valley.

Update: A report from Duluth, of all places.
Update 2: The original Chicago Tribune story (free registration required)
And a sample of "Kodee's" writing.
A search at Technorati reveals conservative bloggers suggesting that this is the fault of the extremist left-wing media. Um. No. It's the fault of some very troubled and very naive journalism students. I mean, folks: they even had a memorial service for the little girl's "daddy" who reportedly died in Iraq. It was this "death" that got the Chicago Tribune involved. And the Chicago Tribune, unlike the DE, checks their facts.

I always thought there were too many misspellings and cutesy phrasings for it to be real. But I had never imagined this multi-layered, um, performance.

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