Friday, October 24, 2008

Update on the woman in Pennsylvania claiming she was attacked by an Obama supporter

The police now believe Ashley Todd made up the story.

I don't begin to understand these hoaxes. West Bend just went through this with a young girl who made up a story about racism in the schools. I can't even begin to understand the motivation except to wonder at the attention-seeking hunger of these would-be martyrs. Is it because we celebrate fame and hype so much that everyone clamors, and will do almost anything, to be a part of the media noise? Is celebrity, even notoriety, that important?

Or is it because they feel their cause is so important, and they just want to do something, anything, that would be the spark for some terrific event?

Is it some combination?

But what really saddens me is how quickly, despite all of the examples now, many of us are ready to leap at a story because it fits whatever template we have. And despite a few voices saying wait until the facts are known, these fake martyrs are quickly made into banners for news organizations and partisans to wave at "the enemy" because the false report fits what we (all of us) want to believe.