Morning Briefing: January 17th, 2012


By Steve Deace

The Curious Case of Manti Te’o

Unless you’re a sports fan like me, you probably hadn’t heard the name Manti Te’o until yesterday, but in the world of sports Te’o is the iconic All-American linebacker for Notre Dame — one of the most cherished brands in all of sports. Te’o led his team to the national championship game this year, and was poised to be a top 10 pick in April’s NFL draft (and thus an instant multimillionaire). He comes from a devout Mormon family that wears his faith on his sleeve (literally, in tattoos), and throughout his career was the sort of story America loved to rally around. But now America is wondering if he’s the biggest fraud since Lance Armstrong. A sports blog named Deadspin broke the story yesterday the tale we were all told about Te’o overcoming the adversity of losing his beloved grandmother and girlfriend on the same day is quite a tall one, because the girl friend never actually existed. Which means for three years either Te’o lied to national media about his girlfriend, or he was — as he claims — the victim of quite an elaborate hoax. The Notre Dame athletic director held a press conference yesterday saying the school backs Te’o and thinks he’s the victim here, but he also said the school learned of the matter on December 26th. If that’s the case, then why was there a pregame feature on the TV broadcast of the championship game about Te’o’s dead girlfriend on January 7th? This is an ongoing story, but while Deadspin deserves credit for the work they put in breaking the story, we are not comfortable sending you there given the vulgar and crass content on that website. However, another widely read (and more professional) sports blog is doing a good job covering the story, so if you want to stay updated we recommend you go there.

Obama Goes for the Guns

Until Te’o’s imaginary girlfriend emerged, the dominant story of the news cycle was slated to be President Obama’s attempt to find something else in the Constitution he’d like to do away with. In this case that’s the Second Amendment. There was lots of reaction to the president’s announcement, when he was flanked by children that ironically he wouldn’t want to protect if their mothers chose to kill them before they were born. Senator Marco Rubio (likely 2016 GOP presidential candidate) says the president is “abusing his power by imposing his policies via executive fiat.” Fellow Senator and likely 2016 GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul will file legislation to nullify Obama’s executive orders. A second Republican Congressman is talking impeachment (remember, impeachment proceedings begin in the House). What exactly is an assault weapon? Many Americans think assault weapons are sub-machine guns, but that’s not really the case. Obama wants doctors to ask patients if they have guns in their homes. Given what his administration did to a pastor this week, maybe they’ll want to find out who has Bibles next? Instead of talking about guns, maybe Obama should be talking about a fatherless society instead?

Prison for Christians

Obama’s new Muslim Brotherhood buddies now running Egypt just sentenced a widow and her seven children to 15 years in prison for converting to Christianity. Good times.

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