Sunday, January 20, 2013

From Deadspin Comment Joke to Cold Hard Fact: Lennay Marie Wochinski

On the original Deadspin post, Jimmyxx77 made the following obscure Seinfeld joke that people couldn't find Lennay Kekua (of Manti Te'o scandal fame) because it was her professional name, not her real name:

Wouldn't you know it, believed Jimmyxx77.

Shut it down, Lennay Marie Wochinski truthers, this is why you can't find her on your Google searches. Jimmyxx77, you are a credit to the oft-maligned Kinja burner race on Deadspin, and may you get a regular commenter name and comment often.

What did MSMK mean in Lennay Kekua's Twitter Handle?

Just for fun, I have a theory on the meaning of MSMK in the twitter handle @LoveMSMK. At first I thought it referred to Lennay Marie Kekua (Manti used the tag #LMK, and the MK would come from there). But the MS part never quite made sense: perhaps Manti something, but where did the S come from? So for what it's worth, here's an alternate theory:

It's a religious acronym meaning My Savior, My King. The phrase is used in several gospel songs and hymns by Hillsong United, Issac Watts, and other well-known gospel song writers. Recall that Ronaiah, the alleged faker who created Lennay, was religious and sang gospel music.

I looked at Ronaiah's Youtube channel, and he liked several songs by Kirk Franklin on there. Kirk Franklin is a very popular gospel artist. Kirk Franklin has a song titled "The Moment #2." The opening line is "My Savior, My King." If you read the rest of the lyrics, it unfortunately would have worked very well for Lennay to use that song as an inspiration during her illness. I don't have proof that Ronaiah liked the video to Kirk Franklin's "The Moment #2" on Youtube, which would have been nice. But otherwise, it seems to fit. An excerpt:

"My Savior, my King
My stronghold, my keeper
My body grows weak but
I find strength in You"

An underappreciated part of the scam is how Ronaiah could use religion to make it harder for Manti to ask questions or question Lennay. Take a look at some sample Lennay tweets, courtesy of Deadspin:

"RT @LennayKay: You won't find any pictures of me in some booty shorts, half naked on here. #MyBodyIsATemple fit for one king and one king only. #SooWoop"

"I am a daughter of the King. Raised to be a noble wife someday. Raised to nurture and train up my children in the Lord. Amen."

So if you're Manti, and you're asking Lennay to get on Skype, you can see how she might play a religious "Sorry I don't Skype" card to avoid detection. Just a thought.

Three Questions People Should Stop Asking about The Manti Te'o Deadspin Story

Deadspin's Manti Te'o story by Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey is closing in on 4 million hits as of today. It inspired plenty of questions, and few answers. But a few of the questions being asked have obvious answers. Here's three that I think we can stop asking:

1) Good story, Deadspin, but didn't they just get lucky?
Honestly, I was a little disappointed that no sports blogs seemed to play significant roles in breaking the Jerry Sandusky story or the Steubenville football rape cover-up story. Sports blogs like Deadspin are perfectly positioned to uncover stories of college-town corruption and cover-up. College and high school students feel more comfortable going to blogs with such stories. And local media in such towns is often too closely tied to the team to break the story. In fact, and apologies for sounding like a jerk, I think sports blogs should be able to write stories like this a lot more often. Given a properly honed tip-generating process and visibility/rewards for tippers, why not?

2) Why didn't Notre Dame investigate whether Te'o was in on the hoax?
The investigation sounds rather laughable now. Notre Dame did not put much effort into the investigation, right? But I'm sure the original purpose of the investigation was merely to find out if Lennay Kekua was real or not. Once they figured out she was fake, they thought the story was over. Also, remember, Manti Te'o smartly went to them first. Any factual slip-ups he made could be covered over by him saying "I was just embarrassed and made things up." There are a lot of problems with Notre Dame's reaction to this, but I'm not so sure this question addresses the biggest problem.

3) How could Ronaiah find a woman to help deceive Manti Te'o on the phone for so many hours?
No appeal to talking to a high-status, beautiful person for hours on the phone each night? If Ronaiah could con Manti in the first place, I'm sure he could talk one impressionable woman into chatting with Manti.