RUSH: Manti Te'o, "Yeah, I lied, but I had to." No, that's not Lance Armstrong. This is Manti Te'o. This is TMZ. I'm telling you, TMZ is becoming the new AP.
Exclusive to TMZ: "Manti Te'o is telling friends ... he knew the truth about Lennay Kekua in early December ... but continued the lie for 20 days for the sake of his team.
Sources connected to Te'o say ... it's true what ND Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said Wednesday night, that Manti realized he had been hoaxed on Dec. 6, when he got a phone call from 'Lennay' ... months after he thought she was dead."
It wasn't until then that he knew he was talking to a woman who didn't exist. He talked to a woman who didn't exist for a whole year, but it wasn't until after she died and he got a phone call from her from beyond the grave that he thought something was up.
Sources tell TMZ that "Manti didn't tell his coaches about the hoax until Dec. 26 ... because he thought it would be a huge distraction while the team prepared to face Alabama in the BCS Championship. During the 20 days, we're told Manti struggled over how to handle the situation ... but eventually felt compelled to come clean to his coaches.
Manti is currently training for the NFL combine -- and we're told he's getting a lot of support from the guys he's been training with." So he lied for the team. He must have a great PR person. Republicans need to get hold of this guy. Let's go to the audio sound bites. This is December 8th in New York before the Heisman Trophy ceremony.
TE'O: I don't like cancer at all. I lost both my grandparents and my girlfriend to cancer.
RUSH: That was Manti Te'o before the Heisman Trophy ceremony. "I don't like cancer at all. I lost both my grandparents and my girlfriend to cancer." Now, let's see. Hang on. Hang on. What's the date? Manti Te'o, for 20 days, he knew. Okay, listen to this now, folks. According to TMZ, Manti Te'o realized he'd been hoaxed on December the 6th. Play that sound bite again. This is two days later, December the 8th, two days after Manti Te'o says he realized he'd been hoaxed.
TE'O: I don't like cancer at all. I lost both my grandparents and my girlfriend to cancer.
RUSH: There he is perpetuating the hoax, two days after he admits to learning it was a hoax, because he got a girlfriend call after she died. That was the first red flag. And that would kind of shake you up. Your girlfriend dies and she calls you, you might think something was weird. That was the first warning sign for Manti Te'o. January 8th, now a month later, ESPN Radio, Manti Te'o is being interviewed during a discussion about his grandmother and girlfriend, and the host and Manti Te'o have this exchange.
FREDDIE COLEMAN: Manti, you mention the tragedy, you lose your girlfriend and your grandmother in the same week, right? I wanna make sure I got that correct?
FREDDIE COLEMAN: Okay.
TE'O: Uh, same day, same day.
FREDDIE COLEMAN: So what do you think both of those ladies would say to you, being a Heisman Trophy finalist?
TE'O: I hope that my grandmom and, you know, my girlfriend would say that they're proud, um, not only that I'm here but, uh, the way that I conducted myself, and, um, just always to remain humble.
RUSH: Wait a minute, now. Wait a minute. What would they say to you being a Heisman Trophy finalist. I guess that could be January, didn't win it. So this is 32 days after learning about the hoax, and he said, "What would your girlfriend and your grandmother say?" "I'd hope my grandmom and my girlfriend would say that they're proud, the way that I conducted myself." Folks, I tell you, this is strange city.
Now, this piece is related to this to this. This whole story -- remember, now, the Drive-Bys were on this story every day inside out, the college sports media, a lot of the professional sports media, 'cause the guy's got prospects. They're covering this, and they're ballyhooing it, they are promoting it. See, it fits a narrative: great athlete, off the field, what a guy, what a story. Just amazing. His grandmother and his girlfriend, that he's said he's never met, die on the same day, and he's doing everything in his life for them. And so whether it's true or not, the Drive-Bys weren't even interested in that. And that's the point of the Deadspin guy's column, which is entitled "Won't Get Fooled Again." Let me just give you a couple of excerpts, a couple of quotes. Will Leitch is this guy's name.
He says: "This is what happens when you report on sports as if they are some sort of metaphor for life, or that athletes are somehow more 'inspirational' than regular people. This is what happens when you think sports are more than sports. This has always been a problem with sports media -- it is, to be frank, the primary reason that Deadspin was invented in the first place -- but it has worsened in an age where media is fractured, niche and struggling, where the primary goal is to get on the 'Today' show or the front page of Yahoo, to get the clicks and exposure everyone is now so desperate for."
So whether the story is true doesn't matter. Having Al Roker talk about it after he admits pooping his pants in the White House or Matt Lauer talk about it or having it be on the front page of Yahoo, that's what it's all about. For the journalist and his treatment of the story and the belief that it could be true, because a great athlete's involved here, and they're special people. I'm probably destroying this poor guy Leitch's reputation by quoting him. Mr. Leitch, I apologize. I am signaling your piece, offering praise, and that's gonna get you in big trouble with your buddies. I know this. So I apologize here in advance.
Another excerpt. "Everybody who wrote 'Manti Te’o’s Tragic Journey' stories got pats on the back for it because those stories went huge. That they weren't true is not just something nobody checked -- it's something nobody even thought to check." He's right. Now, expand this to the news media's coverage of Obama, or lack of. The tentacles of this story reach deep, I think, into the overall news media's coverage of Obama and other Democrats. I think there's a lot of similarity.
"Or maybe," he writes, "they didn't have the staff to check." Doesn't matter. "When you have a hit story, hey, don't rock the boat. Times are tough enough as is." If you got a story going like the Manti Te'o story, you just keep at it, try to dig up more, come up with more heart-tugging stuff, more tear-jerking stuff to put in that story. Make sure it gets read and you get clicks. It doesn't matter if it's true or not. It's just great journalism.
Another pull quote: "In this way, it's sort of like the steroid story in baseball, in microcosm. A complicit press corps misses the story that's right in front of their face, if they had just thought to look for it -- either willfully or just because of laziness/ineptitude/inertia -- and then, when the truth comes out, they scramble to overcompensate." They have to go find a villain to explain how they got hoaxed. When they get taken by a story or when their laziness permits them to be taken in by hoax or a total lie of a story -- and the truth finally comes out and they look like fools -- somebody has to pay the price, and that's when mainstream journalists kick into high gear on character assassination.
Those are my words, not Mr. Leitch's. He writes, "You'll be seeing that in the coming days, as more and more aspects of this story are revealed, and we all find out just who we can 'blame' for this. There will have to be someone to burn at the stake, someone to serve as the stand-in for the story everybody missed. We were all duped before: Now, we will make up for it. We will not be duped again." He says, the next phase of this is to see who the Drive-By sports media people finger to blame as the culprit for making them look bad as their escape mechanism.
And he's right on the money.
RUSH: Folks, do you remember all of the stories during the campaign of 2008 that Obama told about people dying because they didn't have health insurance that turned out not to be true? How about the story about his own mother? He told a flat-out falsehood about his own mother being ripped off by a health insurance company or a hospital or something. It turned out not to be true.
It's the same thing in the sense that if you're the right guy -- if the media has total love and adoration or approval of you for whatever reason -- they're not gonna question you. They want it to be true! They want people to be dying because of health care because they support Obama, and they'll gladly report that Obama's mother got the shaft. If it isn't true, it doesn't matter. If it helps move the chains, that's all that matters.
The Manti Te'o situation, it was such a great story, and of course we would love for this to be true! Wow, what a great story and what a great indication of where we're going culturally. Men and women are now having affairs on the phone. Manti Te'o said he slept with this woman on the phone. He went to bed with her on the phone. How cool that is! (interruption) Well, it's societal evolution, Snerdley! It's how the progressives, you know, are ahead of all of us backwards, boring clods.
That's really happening out there. All of this is great, so you don't question it. Now, if Tebow starts talking about this stuff, not a syllable of it goes by without it being investigated -- and if they can find that Tebow is lying about something? (snickers) Well! Can you imagine Tebow trying to run this hoax? Oh, folks, I don't even want to think about that. Man, oh, man. Mariah Carey thinks she's got trouble with that Kooky Minaj babe? Boy, can you imagine what that would do to her?