All anyone could talk about yesterday afternoon was the scandal surrounding Notre Dame’s Mani Te’o and his fake girlfriend.
Deadspin.com broke the story — and it was all over the Internet with every major news outlet — including Sports Illustrated, which had previously put Te’o on its cover — reporting what they should have reported the first time around.
That Te’o, the Notre Dame standout and Heisman finalist, said he had a girlfriend named Lennay Kekua who, about the time his grandmother had passed away, died from leukemia, except there was no record of Kekua — as a student at Stanford, about her death, anything.
Which means she didn’t exist.
And that all came out yesterday.
Too bad the news of this hoax overshadowed the real news of the day. And I’m not talking about Lance Armstrong admitting to Oprah that he lied about doping. (Old news.)
I’m talking about President Obama proposing a package of measures intended to reduce gun violence a month after the massacre at Sandy Hook. The proposal, which will take Congressional backing, includes strengthening criminal background checks for all gun sales, restoring the 10-round limit on ammunition magazines, banning armor-piercing bulletins, allocating money to hire more police officers and — wait for it — reinstating the ban on assault weapons.
He then followed this proposal with 23 executive actions that will be take immediately such as providing better training to first responders and school officials and directing the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence.
This is the news, people.
Sure, the hoax is awful. But what Te’o went through — or what he was part of — isn’t as impactful as, say, a ban on assault weapons. And yet, there’s more chatter, particularly on social media, about whether or not Te’o met Kekua in person, whether his family was in on it, whether it was even a scam and Te’o was the victim.
I guess it’s better than watching “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” But where’s our focus?
You tell me: Te’o a bigger story than Obama’s proposal? Or will you be watching Oprah’s interview with Armstrong, too?