December 29, 2007

Stolen Tickets, Hidden Talent

A mom from Texas reportedly fabricated a story for her daughter to submit to the Club Libby Lu “Hannah Montana Rock Your Holidays Essay Contest.” By weaving the lie that the girl’s father had been killed in Iraq, she won the contest, got the tickets and some sweet loot!

This woman crassly, but expertly, preyed on feelings of patriotism, and on the hopes and concerns of people in order that she and her family would profit.

The Republican National Committee issued a press release condemning this woman’s actions. They followed that with a separate communication recruiting her to work as a strategist on the campaign of whoever wins their nomination for president as a way to “make it up to her fellow Americans and work off any guilty feelings.”

When the child was asked about the essay that made her dream come true, her mother responded by saying: “We don’t really want to talk about that … OK?”

President Bush reportedly expressed disappointment, saying “That’s exactly what Turdblossom taught me to look for in a Press Secretary, and I was hoping to trade up! But the RNC got first dibs. Nobody returns my calls anymore. I guess this is the first time I thought we really could win in ‘08!”

Posted by James at December 29, 2007 1:17 PM
Create Social Bookmark Links
Comments

That's a nice lesson to teach your kids.

Posted by: Jim at December 29, 2007 8:44 PM

Classy.

Posted by: pippa at December 29, 2007 9:12 PM

People never cease to amaze me. Geesh. Someone suggested that the mother be charged with 'mail fraud' since the false claims of the essay were sent through the U.S. Postal system. I think I like that suggestion.

Posted by: Kitten Herder at December 30, 2007 8:36 AM

Wow, a non-politician using the war to get what they want...

I bet she gets to keep everything (and if she doesn't they'll sue).

She submitted a story, just not a true one and I bet the rules don't cover that or it would have been revoked as soon as they noticed it.

Too bad for the other kids though. Although this who Hannah Montana ticket thing is getting out of hand. A shooting will be next (I'm not kidding).

Posted by: Gary LaPointe at December 30, 2007 11:38 AM

It's interesting -- the articles I read today quoted the mother as saying that the rules didn't say the essay had to be true. (The people running the contest thought that was implied. I think Gary's right, I think that's why they haven't taken the award away yet.)

What did she teach her child? How to win.

And as James neatly points out, if politicians can use the war for their own gain, why not private citizens?

Don't get me wrong, I can't scrape the slimey off, just reading about it. I cannot imagine even writing down the words "my daddy died in Iraq" when it isn't true, and I'm not superstitious, I just think it's disgusting.

The electronic age was made for lies. We have very fast and very broad dissemination of digitally enhanced images masquerading as photographs and lies in text. This is a very interesting story. Is it going to stop? Can we trust anything we don't see with our eyes and hear with our ears? The untruthfulness and "marketing" of everything as product, including this contest entry, feels sinister, and the "news" is not inclined to help us sort it out.

Posted by: Maggie at December 30, 2007 2:15 PM

Okay, the rules didn't say it had to be true, but didn't they say the kid was supposed to write it? Not her mom!

Posted by: Julie at December 30, 2007 6:56 PM

It's funny that nobody's commenting on that -- I haven't seen anything about it in any of the articles I read. Most six-year-olds are just learning to write, so the parent is probably going to help some, at least with spelling... I don't know. I never saw the rules, but it's certainly a valid question -- why are we talking to the mother at all??

Posted by: Maggie at December 30, 2007 7:13 PM

Copyright © 1999-2007 James P. Burke. All Rights Reserved