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A Nasty Hoax in the Heartland

Read this whole thing.

A little girl named Kodee writes a series of emotional letters, published in a college newspaper in Illinois over a two-year period. She writes about her Dad in Iraq, her feelings about George Bush, and even her dad's death. Too bad Kodee, her dad, his death, his memorial service, the letters, and the phone interviews were all fakes.

Update: Also read the Tribune's in-depth piece, which mesablue pointed out in comments. It's even weirder than the first story.

H/t Michelle Malkin


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A Nasty Hoax in the Heartland:

» Roscoe's Blog linked with The Strangest Story of the Week

» Angry in the Great White North linked with I won't blame these students for falling for this sick hoax

» Sanna Central linked with "Reality" Journalism?

Comments (13)

This is disgusting. The Ch... (Below threshold)

This is disgusting. The Chicago Tribune ran a special report on this here.

The strangest part is the woman behind it all seems to have no real reason (demented or otherwise) for staging the hoax.

The N Y Times has re... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

The N Y Times has requested resumes asap.

I fear the day when these s... (Below threshold)

I fear the day when these stories of fraudulent left-wing undermining becomes passe'.

DOH! too late...

But she did - she was "in l... (Below threshold)

But she did - she was "in love" with Michael Brenner, the author of the articles.

Reynolds alleged that the scheme was all Brenner's idea. She also said she fell in love with Brenner, making that much harder for her to stop the lie.

"Mike is my best friend", she said. "In the last couple of years 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. I went with it because supposedly he was my best friend. This needs to be over with. I don't want to lie anymore. He just wouldn't let it go."

Brenner denies Reynolds' accusation and says her claims are outrageous.

Alan Greenspan's remarks to... (Below threshold)

Alan Greenspan's remarks too funny


The woman involved used ... (Below threshold)
Mikey Mike:

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.

Patrick: "Where are the cameras?"

Woman: "They are hidden Patrick, it makes it more realistic."

Patrick: "Don't we have a script or something?"

Woman: "It's all improvisation, just act natural and you will do fine."

Patrick: "Can I at least talk to the director?"

Woman: "God D*mn it Patrick! Quit asking so many dumb questions and ACT!"

Mikey Mike, did you steal t... (Below threshold)

Mikey Mike, did you steal that from the Showtime Series "Dead Like Me" I swear they had a scene exactly like that but the roles were reversed. It was the woman asking where are the cameras, script, etc!

lol, no, I can't afford pr... (Below threshold)

lol, no, I can't afford premium channels...but how else could this be played?

So whose brilliant idea was... (Below threshold)

So whose brilliant idea was it to kill off the fictional soldier? Did they not see the episode where Bobby Brady wrote to Joe Namath and told him that he was sick? How could this not end badly?

Maybe he could have had his... (Below threshold)

Maybe he could have had his leg blown off but returned to battle because Bush didn't have enough Military there...or maybe the little girl could have enlisted to help...there are a number of good scenarios that were missed here

The student newspaper wasn'... (Below threshold)

The student newspaper wasn't the victim of a hoax, it was an active accomplice in the hoax. The fraud went on for two years and no one on the paper's staff thought to do any fact checking during all that time? That's journalism 101---or at least it used to be. This is what happens when you have an ideological agenda and you want a story to be true,
remember Dan Rather?

The student newspaper's rep... (Below threshold)

The student newspaper's reporting on the hoax can be read here:


and here:


I won't excuse what the student staff did, but they took full responsibility for the screwup as soon as they discovered their error.

Smitty, given the examples ... (Below threshold)

Smitty, given the examples set by most of the main stream press (CBS, Times et al) I think Journalism 101 is now taught to NOT check the facts....you know, in case those facts don't match your pre-conceived political leanings...






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