Notre Dame hoax has more than its share of baloney

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Notre Dame Vice President/Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick makes statement on Manti Te'o Girlfriend Hoax Allegations

"Every once in a while, she would travel to Hawaii, and that happened to be the time Manti was home, so he would meet with her there," Te'o's father, Brian, told the South Bend Tribune in October. "But within the last year, they became a couple.

"And we came to the realization that she could be our daughter-in-law. Sadly, it won't happen now."

No, I guess not.

"This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about," Manti Te'o said in a statement probably approved by lawyers and his sports agent, "To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating."

Still, Manti said he's really looking forward to the NFL draft.

This isn't about an error. We all make mistakes. I've made my share. This isn't about a kid linebacker and a phantom girlfriend as much as it is about a university letting it hang out there, and about a media culture actively buying into myth because it's warm and gooey and much nicer than asking those mean questions. It doesn't only happen in a sports press box. It happens in Washington. It happens at City Hall and Springfield.

When reporters get persnickety about checking those stubborn things called facts, and peeling back the layers, we're often accused of being negative and agenda-driven. We become inhuman monsters devouring the flesh of the virtuous.

But it might be better to devour flesh than to peddle it.

I'm still hoping that Notre Dame and Te'o were the victims here, but with so much baloney on the bread, it's almost impossible to smell all that golden cheese.

jskass@tribune.com Twitter @John_Kass

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