Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Chap's Spidey Sense Was Right

Fellow sub-blogger Chapomatic had posted earlier this week about a claim from a Dartmouth student that federal agents had visited him because he had ordered Mao Tse Tung's "The Little Red Book" from his college library. Marquette Warrior had done a good job dissecting the claims, and decided that something didn't make sense.

Turns out the student in question made it all up.

"The 22-year-old student tearfully admitted he made the story up to his history professor, Dr. Brian Glyn Williams, and his parents, after being confronted with the inconsistencies in his account. Had the student stuck to his original story, it might never have been proved false.
"But on Thursday, when the student told his tale in the office of UMass Dartmouth professor Dr. Robert Pontbriand to Dr. Williams, Dr. Pontbriand, university spokesman John Hoey and The Standard-Times, the student added new details.
"The agents had returned, the student said, just last night. The two agents, the student, his parents and the student's uncle all signed confidentiality agreements, he claimed, to put an end to the matter.
"But when Dr. Williams went to the student's home yesterday and relayed that part of the story to his parents, it was the first time they had heard it. The story began to unravel, and the student, faced with the truth, broke down and cried."

If you'd like to do some interesting research on the evolution of stories like this in the blogosphere, check out these Technorati listings for "Dartmouth Student". The most recent entries, as expected, are from conservative blogs about the debunking of the story. As you go back through the listings, though, check out some of the apocalyptic rantings from some of the more "progressive" blogs... it'll be interesting to see which of them posts an update. I've posted before about the dangers of reconfirming your political belief system from stories that turn out not to be true... Everyone's guilty of that, including me, but stories like this should keep everyone on their toes.

Me, I'm waiting for word from Lawrence that the KU Religious Studies professor who was "attacked" for daring to confront fundamentalist Christians made the whole story up...

Update 0705 24 Dec: This post at Daily Kos is educational (as well as showing that some "progressive" blogs are admitting their mistake). In addition to providing the links to their earlier posts about the subject, the comments provide a microcosm of reflexive anti-Bush thought -- some people admitting their prejudices, some blaming Bush because (paraphrasing) 'I know he's probably done things like this, so it's his fault I believe anything bad about him', and a couple others who think that either the student was forced to untruthfully recant or that the professor who broke the story is a Bushitler plant.

Fascinating stuff...


Anonymous Cricket said...

Confession is catharsis and follows that hatefilled Christian teaching:
"You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."

You would think that the left would have seen the light by now and instead of blaming Bush like we do over at Liberal Larry's, would take some of these 'stories' with the customary grain or tonne of salt.

12/25/2005 4:57 PM

Blogger Chap said...

I guess it's just easier to jump on a story that matches what one believes.

The whole episode is a worthwhile lesson for me--to be more skeptical of things I agree with than things I don't before jumping all over the story.

Many thanks for the link...

12/26/2005 7:59 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home