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BUSTED: College Student Sarah Katherine Campbell Charged with Falsely Reporting Sexual Assault 

Joshua Rhett Miller A Clemson University student who claims she was sexually assaulted at an off-campus fraternity party was arrested for lying about the attack, authorities in South Carolina said.

Sarah Katherine Campbell, 18, of Herndon, Virginia, was booked Wednesday on one charge of filing a false police report in connection with the alleged assault at the Delta Chi frat house in Seneca on Jan. 27, according to the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.

“I’m a victim of sexual assault. This story is being blown out of proportion, and that’s all I can say.”

— Sarah Katherine Campbell

Her arrest came after investigators found evidence suggesting that the sexual encounter between Campbell and a man at the fraternity house was consensual and that Campbell “had not been truthful in the information” she gave to police, according to Jimmy Watt, public information officer for the sheriff’s office.

Reached by the Anderson Independent Mail on Thursday, Campbell insisted she’s not at fault and reiterated her original claim that she was assaulted at the party. Read the rest of this entry »

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HOAX ALERT: Diver Claims Viral Porn Star Shark Bite Video was Staged

This porn star really was faking it.

Joshua Rhett Miller reports: A veteran shark diver claims the viral video featuring a porn star being attacked by a shark during a promo shoot last week was faked for publicity, RealClearLife.com reported.

Bryce Rohrer, owner and operator of Florida Shark Diving, said adult film actress Molly Cavalli wasn’t really attacked by a lemon shark off the coast of Florida during a promotional video for sex cam website CamSoda — and claimed they staged the stunt to get their name in the news.

“[Molly] said ‘we want to do a film shoot with a few scantily-clad women diving with sharks,’ and we were kin fog skeptical of even that,” Rohrer told the website. “Then once we started getting the facts of what they actually wanted to do … we declined.”

Rohrer claims Cavalli laid out her plans in a string of text messages, saying she wanted to stage the shark attack to make the clip go viral.

Rohrer claims Cavalli sent him this text message detailing her plan to stage an injury from a shark attack.

Rohrer claims Cavalli sent him this text message detailing her plan to stage an injury from a shark attack.

“She basically spelled out, ‘We want to do this fake bite, this is what we want it to look like,’” Rohrer said.

Darren Press, CamSoda’s vice president, later said in a statement that Cavalli was bitten as she swam near the surface. Read the rest of this entry »


Jury finds Reporter, Rolling Stone Responsible for Defaming University of Virginia Dean with Fictionalized ‘Gang Rape’ story 

Deliberations about ‘A Rape on Campus’ spanned three days.

T. Rees Shapiro reports: A federal court jury decided Friday that a Rolling Stone journalist defamed a former University of Virginia associate dean in a 2014 magazine article about sexual assault on campus that included a debunked account of a fraternity gang rape.

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The 10-member jury concluded that the Rolling Stone reporter, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, was responsible for defamation, with actual malice, in the case brought by Nicole Eramo, a U-Va. administrator who oversaw sexual violence cases at the time of the article’s publication. The jury also found the magazine and its parent company, Wenner Media, responsible for defaming Eramo, who has said her life’s work helping sexual assault victims was devastated as a result of Rolling Stone’s article and its aftermath.

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The lawsuit centered on Erdely’s 9,000-word article titled “A Rape on Campus,” which appeared online in late November 2014 and on newsstands in the magazine’s December 2014 issue. Opening with a graphic depiction of a fraternity gang rape, the story caused an immediate sensation at a time of heightened awareness of campus sexual assault, going viral online and ripping through the U-Va. community.

UVa Fraternity

But within days of the article’s publication, key elements of the account fell apart under scrutiny, including the narrative’s shocking allegation of a fraternity gang rape. The magazine eventually retracted the story in April 2015, and Eramo’s lawsuit came a month later, alleging that the magazine’s portrayal of her as callous and dismissive of rape reports on campus was untrue and unfair.

University of Virginia administrator Nicole Eramo leaves federal court after closing arguments in her defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone magazine on Tuesday in Charlottesville. (Steve Helber/AP)

The jurors reached a verdict Friday after deliberating across three days. Eramo has asked for $7.5 million in damages but now, following the verdict, can argue for a different amount. The argument for damages is scheduled to begin Monday.

[Read the full story here, at The Washington Post]

Regardless of potential damages, the verdict showed the jury’s willingness to slam a major media outlet for the impact of getting a story wrong. Originally hailed as a brave triumph of reporting for its raw accounts of rape and attempts at bringing accountability to a storied public university, the article led to protests of the U-Va. administration, vandalism of a campus fraternity and outrage among activists trying to prevent sexual assault. Once its flaws were exposed, the article’s deeper message of the effects of campus rape — a pervasive national problem — was lost amid the allegations of shoddy reporting. Read the rest of this entry »


Taking on the Sandy Hook Truthers: What Kind of Person Calls a Mass Shooting a Hoax? 

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This article originally appeared in The Trace.

Mike Spies writes: A year and a half after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Lenny Pozner called to set up a meeting with Wolfgang Halbig. The 68-year-old security consultant was the de facto leader of a community of conspiracy theorists, known as hoaxers, who claimed that the shooting had been staged by the government. To the hoaxers, the 26 victims — one of whom was Pozner’s six-year-old son, Noah — were fictional characters.

“Ever since his son’s death, Pozner had been dealing with the hoaxers. It was his habit to regularly post photos of Noah, a happy boy with soft blue eyes and a wide smile, on his Google Plus page. He would put up pictures of Noah hugging his twin sister, or playing on the beach…The hoaxers would see these images and offer comments: ‘Where’s Noah going to die next?'”

It was May 28, 2014, and Pozner, an IT consultant, was in Florida on business. He hoped to sit down with Halbig at a coffee shop near his home in Orlando, Florida. He wanted to talk to him face-to-face about Noah, who was his only son and never far from his mind. On December 14, 2012, the day of the shooting, Pozner had been the one to drop Noah off at school. As they drove, they listened to “Gangnam Style,” Noah’s favorite song. When they arrived, Pozner said, “Have a fun day,” and watched as his child headed inside, fiddling with his backpack and brown jacket.

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“Pozner was one of the rare Sandy Hook parents who confronted those who questioned his child’s murder. In response to their comments, he posted online his son’s birth and death certificates. He shared the medical examiner’s report and one of Noah’s report cards. The hoaxers said the records were counterfeits.”

Ever since his son’s death, Pozner had been dealing with the hoaxers. It was his habit to regularly post photos of Noaha happy boy with soft blue eyes and a wide smile,on his Google Plus page. He would put up pictures of Noah hugging his twin sister, or playing on the beach, or showing off the tooth he lost less than two weeks before he was murdered. The hoaxers would see these images and offer comments: “Where’s Noah going to die next?” read one.Another commenter, seemingly believing that Pozner had been recruited to help perpetuate the myth of the shooting, asked, “How much do you get paid?”

[Read the full story here, at VICE]

 Pozner was one of the rare Sandy Hook parents who confronted those who questioned his child’s murder. In response to their comments, he posted online his son’s birth and death certificates. He shared the medical examiner’s report and one of Noah’s report cards. The hoaxers said the records were counterfeits.

Lenny Pozner in an undated photo with his son, Noah.

“Every modern atrocity or disaster has its attendant conspiracy theories. Their shared thesis is that governments, needing a way to keep the populace in fear, orchestrate mock calamities, using the tools of the state to cover their tracks.”

Pozner remained undaunted. He thought that perhaps if he could show Halbig the documents in person, he and the rest of the hoaxers might at last relent. “I wanted to be as transparent as possible,” Pozner says. “I thought keeping the documents private would only feed the conspiracy.”

Within 24 hours of the recent mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, videos claiming the event was “staged” surfaced on Youtube and received thousands of clicks.”

When Pozner did not receive a reply from Halbig, he contacted Kelley Watt, one of the more aggressive hoaxers who showed up on his Google Plus page. Watt wrote back on Halbig’s behalf. “Wolfgang does not wish to speak with you,” her note said, “unless you exhume Noah’s body and prove to the world you lost your son.”

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Giving up on a meeting with Halbig, Pozner looked to engage in some sort of dialogue with the people who, around this time, made him their chief target. (One video montage that started making the rounds showed images of Noah set to a soundtrack of pornographic sounds.) In June 2014, Pozner accepted an invitation to join a private Facebook group called Sandy Hook Hoax. He told its members that he was willing to answer their questions. “I think I lasted all of eight minutes,” he recalls. One participant said, “Man, I’m gonna have to coach you up if you wanna go on TV and make money Lenny.” Another typical attacker proclaimed,”Fuck your fake family, you piece of shit.”

Pozner eventually realized that, for Halbig and his brethren, this was a game without end. His efforts to combat them became a mission. “I’m going to have to protect Noah’s honor for the rest of my life,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »


OH YES HE DID: Bridgeport Officer Who Reported Racist Letter Wrote It

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A former Bridgeport police officer who claimed someone left a racist memo on police letterhead in his mailbox at headquarters in February admitted to writing the letter himself and has been charged with filing a false report, according to police.

Former Officer Clive Higgins reported that he found a racist hate letter in his police mailbox the morning of Monday, Feb. 9 and feared for his life because of it.

The letter, printed on paper marked with the department’s official letterhead, started off with “WHITE POWER” and went on to say “Officer Clive Higgins doesn’t belong here in this Police Department” and “These Black Officers belong in the toilet.”

Authorities Investigate Racist Letter at Bridgeport PD

Authorities Investigate Racist Letter at Bridgeport PD

A month earlier, Higgins was acquitted in connection with a 2011 police brutality case in which officers were caught on camera beating a suspect at Beardsley Park and shooting him with a stun gun. Two other officers were convicted, but a federal jury found Higgins not guilty.

“He’s not getting his gun or his badge back. He didn’t even support his fellow Officers in Court,” the letter stated. “Where were you Higgins ?? You better watch your back.. We know where you live.” Read the rest of this entry »


Black Activist Charged for Making Fake Racist Death Threats Against Student Protesters

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‘Yet another example of such activists faking racist incidents.’

Richard Lewis reports: On Nov 17 Kean University students engaged in a rally to raise awareness for racial issues. The rally was entirely peaceful and was without incident until the group was informed of some threatening messages aimed at them via Twitter.

These messages included threats to shoot black students and a bomb scare. With an air of panic rising, things had the potential to turn hostile, and the police were notified. The twist? Their resulting investigation found that it was one of the activists who reportedly issued the threats.

NRO  Timpf Black Activists Hoax

24-year old Kayla-Simone McKelvey allegedly left the protest to use a work station in the campus library to create the Twitter account that issued the threats. Following that she returned to the group and notified the group about them. McKelvey will now face one charge of creating a public alarm with the case scheduled to start in two weeks.

[Read the full story here, at Breitbart]

[Also see Tweets Threatening to Kill All Black Students at University Posted by Black Activist]

In light of the revelation, Kean University issued the following public statement:

As a diverse academic community, we wholeheartedly respect and support activism, however, no cause or issue gives anyone the right to threaten the safety of others. We hope this information will begin to bring a sense of relief and security to the campus community.

This is yet another example of such activists faking racist incidents in a bid to generate sympathy and further their agenda. Read the rest of this entry »


ANOTHER ‘Anti-Gay’ Hate Crime HOAX

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After an investigation that included identifying 150 possible witnesses, investigators concluded that exactly zero evidence exists to support any of Gisvold’s hate-crime allegations.

Eric Owens reports: Police in Grand Forks, N.D. have announced that a gay man who claimed to have been the victim of a hate crime at a University of North Dakota fraternity party fabricated his entire story.

The man accused of inventing the latest bogus hate crime is Haakon Gisvold, reports local ABC affiliate WDAZ-TV.

In August, Gisvold, who is not a University of North Dakota student, alleged that members of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity threw him out of a party because he is gay. Gisvold also claimed that Lambda Chi members also beat him, choked him, stripped him and robbed him — all while shouting anti-gay insults. He said he hid in some bush wearing only his underwear until some kind soul came along with some clothes.

“I just want those guys to learn from this,” Gisvold, 18, said at the time, according to a gullible and sympathetic Huffington Post story. “They could go to jail, sure, but they could go to jail and then come out with the same mindset that they don’t like homosexuals.”

After an investigation that included identifying 150 possible witnesses, investigators concluded that exactly zero evidence exists to support any of Gisvold’s hate-crime allegations. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The Infamous Irving Texas Clock: ‘Homemade’ Claim Effortlessly Debunked 

The original story was about a controversial package in a school setting, but it was quickly claimed to be a homemade clock.

cuckoo-clock

If so, the clock itself (not the presentation) might be cool as the White House said. If not, the world may be propping up a plagiarist who flaunted the piece of crap in an intentionally controversial way (suppositions). This video challenges that the clock was homemade by showing a nearly identical package being prepared in about twenty seconds (screws and simple fasteners were excluded for brevity here).


Anatomy of a Hoax: Reverse Engineering Ahmed Mohamed’s Clock…and Ourselves

Ahmed Mohamad did not invent, nor build a clock. He took apart an existing clock, and transplanted the guts into a pencil box, and claimed it was his own creation.

Without dating myself – fast forward a bunch of years, and I’m the same way. I’ve even picked up an engineering degree over the course of those years. I don’t have to only imagine how things work anymore, I have a pretty good understanding now. High resolution police photo of Ahmed's clock. Click to enlarge.

[Read the full analysis here, at artvoice.blogs]

When shopping for electronic devices, my first instinct is to see if there’s a way to build one myself (and, I frequently do!) When something of mine breaks, I don’t send it back, I take it as a personal challenge to get it working again.

If I fail, I still salvage useful parts – they might come in handy to fix something else later. This aspect of myself – being both methodical, and curious – hasn’t changed a bit over the years.

So, this story about a 14 year old boy in Texas that was arrested on suspicion of creating a bomb hoax (who, apparently just wanted to show off his latest electronics project to his teachers) that has blown up (no pun intended) all over the news and social media, caught my attention immediately.

“The shape and design is a dead give away. The large screen. The buttons on the front laid out horizontally would have been on a separate board – a large snooze button, four control buttons, and two switches to turn the alarm on and off, and choose two brightness levels.”

Not because of his race, or his religion, the seeming absurdity of the situation, the emotionally charged photo of a young boy in a NASA t-shirt being led off in hand cuffs, the hash tags, the presidential response… no, none of that. I’m an electronics geek. I was interested in the clock! I wanted to figure out what he had come up with.

“He again claims it was his ‘invention’ and that he ‘made’ the device…Here it is on Amazon, where it’s clearly labeled as being 8.25 inches wide. Our eBay seller also conveniently took a photo of the clock next to a ruler to show it’s scale – about 8 inches wide. The dimensions all line up perfectly.”

I found the highest resolution photograph of the clock I could. Instantly, I was disappointed. Somewhere in all of this – there has indeed been a hoax. Ahmed Mohamed didn’t invent his own alarm clock. He didn’t even build a clock. Now, before I go on and get accused of attacking a 14 year old kid who’s already been through enough, let me explain my purpose. I don’t want to just dissect the clock. I want to dissect our reaction as a society to the situation.

“I don’t want to just dissect the clock. I want to dissect our reaction as a society to the situation. Part of that is the knee-jerk responses we’re all so quick to make without facts.”

Part of that is the knee-jerk responses we’re all so quick to make without facts. So, before you scroll down and leave me angry comments, please continue to the end (or not – prove my point, and miss the point, entirely!)

For starters, one glance at the printed circuit board in the photo, and I knew we were looking at mid-to-late 1970s vintage electronics. Surely you’ve seen a modern circuit board, with metallic traces leading all over to the various components like an electronic spider’s web. You’ll notice right away the highly accurate spacing, straightness of the lines, consistency of the patterns. That’s because we design things on computers nowadays, and computers assist in routing these lines. Take a look at the board in Ahmed’s clock. It almost looks hand-drawn, right? That’s because it probably was. Computer aided design was in its infancy in the 70s. This is how simple, low cost items (like an alarm clock) were designed.

“Ahmed wasn’t accused of making a bomb – he was accused of making a look-alike, a hoax. And be honest with yourself, a big red digital display with a bunch of loose wires in a brief-case looking box is awful like a Hollywood-style representation of a bomb. Everyone jumped to play the race and religion cards and try and paint the teachers and police as idiots and bigots, but in my mind, they were probably acting responsibly and erring on the side of caution to protect the rest of their students, just in case.”

Today, even a budding beginner is going to get some computer aided assistance – in fact they’ll probably start there, learning by simulating designs before building them. You can even simulate or lay out a board with free apps on your phone or tablet. A modern hobbyist usually wouldn’t be bothered with the outdated design techniques. There’s also silk screening on the board. An “M” logo, “C-94” (probably, a part number – C might even stand for “clock”), and what looks like an American flag. More about that in a minute. Point for
clock6now being, a hobbyist wouldn’t silk screen logos and part numbers on their home made creation. It’s pretty safe to say already we’re looking at ’70s tech, mass produced in a factory.

“Ahmed Mohamad did not invent, nor build a clock. He took apart an existing clock, and transplanted the guts into a pencil box, and claimed it was his own creation. It all seems really fishy to me.”

So I turned to eBay, searching for vintage alarm clocks. It only took a minute to locate Ahmed’s clock. See this eBay listing, up at the time of this writing. Amhed’s clock was invented, and built, by Micronta, a Radio Shack subsidary. Catalog number 63 756.

The shape and design is a dead give away. The large screen. The buttons on the front laid out horizontally would have been on a separate board – a large snooze button, four control buttons, and two switches to turn the alarm on and off, and choose two brightness levels. A second board inside would have contained the actual “brains” of the unit. The clock features a 9v battery back-up, and a switch on the rear allows the owner to choose between 12 and 24 hour time. (Features like a battery back-up, and a 24 hour time selection seems awful superfluous for a hobby project, don’t you think?) Oh, and about that “M” logo on the circuit board mentioned above? Micronta.

[Read the full text here, at artvoice.blogs]

For one last bit of confirmation, I located the pencil box Ahmed used for his project. During this video interview he again claims it was his “invention” and that he “made” the device – but the important thing at the moment, at 1:13, we see him showing the pencil box on his computer screen. Here it is on Amazon, where it’s clearly labeled as being 8.25 inches wide. Our eBay seller also conveniently took a photo of the clock next to a ruler to show it’s scale – about 8 inches wide. The dimensions all line up perfectly. Read the rest of this entry »


Will Dana, Rolling Stone’s Managing Editor During University of Virginia Rape Hoax Catastrophe, Suddenly Unemployed

Will-Dana

The magazine commissioned an analysis of the article by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, and its report in April cited failures at every stage of the reporting process. After the report was made public, Rolling Stone retracted the article.

The magazine has since been the target of lawsuits from an assistant dean at the university and by three members of the fraternity at the center of the article, who filed a defamation lawsuit on Wednesday.

(read more)

The New York Times


Cuckoo-Bananas ‘Chattanooga Shooting Hoax’ Truthers Mesmerize Dozens of Viewers

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“Chattanooga Shooting Hoax Crisis Actor FAKE Crying Exposed!”


[VIDEO] WHAT? Did NAACP President Rachel Dolezal Lie About Her Race? City Investigates

NAACP President’s Mom Says Daughter Pretending to Be Black

Parents of Spokane civil rights leader say she’s been lying about her race for years

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Washington State – The City of Spokane announced Thursday is investigating whether the president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP violated the city’s code of ethics in her application to serve on the citizen police ombudsman commission. rachel-d-busted!

“Rachel is very good at using her artistic skills to transform herself.”

—  Rachel’s mom, Ruthanne, in a telephone interview

NAACP

Gawker‘s Brendan O’Connor has this:

The city of Spokane, Washington has opened an investigation into whether Rachel Dolezal, the president of the local chapter of the NAACP, lied about her race when she identified herself as African-American on her application to serve on the citizen police ombudsman commission, thereby violating the city’s code of ethics.

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In addition to serving as the chair of the police commission and president of the local NAACP chapter—which the Spokesman Review credits her with revitalizing—Dolezal works as an adjunct faculty member at Eastern Washington UniversityHere she is delivering a lecture on the cultural significance of black women’s hair.

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However! Dolezal’s birth certificate lists her biological parents as Ruthanne and Lawrence Dolezal of Montana. On Thursday, Ruthanne and Lawrence confirmed to the Coeur d’Alene Press that Rachel is their biological daughter—and that they are both white:

They backed up the claim with a copy of their daughter’s birth certificate and photos. The images show a younger, pale, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Dolezal who looks much different than the woman with caramel-colored skin now leading the Spokane NAACP and helping review claims of police misconduct in that city.

“Rachel is very good at using her artistic skills to transform herself,” Ruthanne said in a recent telephone interview. Read the rest of this entry »


Setting the Record Straight on ‘1-in-5’

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TIME

If you’ve followed the discussion about sexual assault on college campuses in America, it’s likely you’ve heard some variation of the claim that 1-in-5 women on college campuses in the United States has been sexually assaulted or raped. Or you may have heard the even more incorrectly abbreviated version, that 1-in-5 women on campus have been raped.

As two of the researchers who conducted the Campus Sexual Assault Study from which this number was derived, we feel we need to set the record straight. Although we used the best methodology available to us at the time, there are caveats that make it inappropriate to use the “1-in-5” number as a baseline or the only statistics when discussing our country’s problem with rape and sexual assault on campus in the way it’s being used today.

First and foremost, the 1-in-5 statistic is not a nationally representative estimate of the prevalence…

View original post 1,125 more words


NASA Hoax Response Item of the Day

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Who Says Ebola Can’t Be Sexy?

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Ebola Nurse Halloween Costumes Arouse (Concern)

Sexy cop, sexy Snow White and sexy corn have new, topical competition in the skimpy Halloween-wear section: Meet “Sexy Ebola Containment Suit,” the most awkward and arguably insensitive of them all.

“The fact that there’s a sexy ebola nurse costume proves the sexy costumes have gone out of control.”

— Individual on Twitter experiencing full-blown Halloween costume panic

Online retailer BrandsOnSale, which bills itself as a “Unique Costume Shop and more” unveiled the new ensemble days ago, featuring a short white dress, face shield, breathing mask, safety goggles and blue latex gloves at $59.99 per costume. A pair of bright yellow knee-high rubber boots can be purchased at an additional cost.

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The Internet met the news of the costume with mixed responses.

“I’m in complete and utter disgust,” one Twitter user reacted, while another questioned the costume’s existence. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: SECURITY BREACH: The Stolen Egg Salad Recipe Hoax of August 2014


Were Vassar Hoax Bias Perps also Involved in False Rape Prosecution?

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Robby Soave reports: The two former Vassar College students who were expelled for creating hoax bias incidents and then filing false reports about them were also actively involved with the college’s Sexual Assault and Violence Prevention committee, which currently faces a lawsuit for prosecuting a wrongful rape conviction.

The Daily Caller first reported that Genesis Hernandez, a transgendered student and vice president of the student government, had been named as one of two perpetrators in a string of hoax bias incidents on campus. The perpetrators wrote hateful messages on students’ doors — including “Hey Tranny. Know Your Place” — and then filed false reports to the Bias Incident Response Team, of which Hernandez was the only student member. (Related: Shocking discovery in hoax bias incident at Vassar College)

Watchdog Wire recently reported that Henandez’s partner in crime was her girlfriend, Imani Wong. Both were expelled, and could not be reached for comment because their university email addresses are no longer active.

Given the nature of their dishonesty, some are asking questions about the couple’s involvement in Vassar’s sexual assault adjudication process, which was recently criticized by a former male student who is suing the college for wrongfully convicting him of rape.

Read the rest of this entry »


[Video] Bogus ‘Anti-Gay’ Update: Tip-Denial Waitress Has History of Self-Serving Drama

From the Greenroom, via NBC New York, Ed Morrissey notes:

The New Jersey waitress whose story has been questioned after she claimed she received an anti-gay note instead of a tip on a restaurant bill was dishonorably discharged from the Marines last spring after she stopped showing up, NBC 4 New York has learned.

And that’s not all:

A woman who says she and Morales worked together at a Cheesecake Factory in Nyack, N.Y., last year said Morales told coworkers she had brain cancer.

“She came in with her hair shaved because she wanted to shave it herself before she lost it,” said Jacqie Fitzpatrick.

Read the rest of this entry »


Human Events: Knockdown Games, Bigoted Receipts, and Self-inflicted HIV

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John Hayward  writes: There’s a coincidental, but illuminating, confluence of “media mythology” stories at the moment.  The first concerns a series of claims by wait staff that hateful, bigoted customers stiffed them for tips and wrote awful things on the receipt.  First there was a waitress at a Red Lobster in Tennessee who claimed her customer wrote the N-word on a receipt, a story that gained national attention and led to her collecting over $10,000 in donations from sympathetic and/or outraged people across the country.  Her story is almost certainly a hoax, based on handwriting analysis, the testimony of the allegedly offensive customer, and other data.

The new “wronged waitress” saga also appears to be a hoax.  A gay waitress in New Jersey claimed she got no tip for a sizable bill.  The customer supposedly wrote “I’m sorry, but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle” on the receipt.  After an initial burst of media hysteria, and another wave of sympathy donations from far and wide, it was determined from credit card records that a hefty tip was indeed left on the bill, and the customers are not only former restaurant employees who always leave good tips, they’re also gay marriage supporters.  They evidently made an innocuous comment based on the name of the waitress that someone in the restaurant either interpreted as offensive, or saw as a good opportunity for a fresh “bigoted receipt” hoax.  The waitress – a former Marine who has donated much of her windfall to the Wounded Warrior project – might well have been deceived along with everyone else, because some of the restaurant staff has been acting suspiciously under media scrutiny.

In both cases, social media firestorms erupted over stories that inflamed certain passions and fulfilled certain expectations.  The narratives were too good to check.  But the press is suddenly very interested in “debunking” the Knockdown Game, building off a hysterical piece in Slate that alleges – based on nothing more than the deep-seated ideological convictions of the author – that the rash of random, racially-charged attacks can’t possibly be happening.

Read the rest of this entry »


Student admits to posting anti-Islam fliers and Nazi flags around liberal college

OBERLIN, Ohio — An Oberlin College student acknowledged posting anti-Islam fliers and racist cards around the campus of the historically liberal Ohio university earlier this year, saying he meant them as a “joke” to provoke a reaction, according to statements he made after being detained by campus security.

A student riding a bicycle on the campus of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.

A student riding a bicycle on the campus of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.

The student also took credit for the display of a large Nazi flag, which he also said he meant as a joke, and posting the face of Oberlin’s president onto a picture of Adolf Hitler, according to the statements contained in an Oberlin city police report.

The student, detained after allegedly being seen posting anti-Islam fliers in the college’s Science Center Feb. 27, denied involvement in other, earlier racist postings and said he was trying to show people had overreacted to them.

The student, whose name was blacked out, said the people who put up earlier fliers were just looking for attention.

“I put out these fliers to get a similar over-reaction to prove this point,” the student said, according to the report. Read the rest of this entry »