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Manti Te’o, Fake Death, and Real Death

Getting to the real story at Notre Dame

Adam Chandler
January 17, 2013

If the internet were a tangible, physical thing, it would have combusted over the story of Manti Te’o, the star Notre Dame defensive player, who is at the center of scandal involving an imaginary girlfriend and an imaginary death.

This is the kind of story is catnip because of how insane and fantastic it is. But, as Tablet contributor Irin Carmon and others are arguing, the real story is being obscured. Carmon begins:

Less than a day into the Manti Te’o revelations, we’ve heard more about a fake dead girlfriend of a Notre Dame football player than a real dead girl. Lizzy Seeberg committed suicide, not long after being intimidated by Notre Dame football players for reporting a sexual assault by one of their teammates. A second woman who was taken to the hospital for a rape exam declined to formally accuse another Notre Dame football player after getting a series of bullying texts from players.

The handful of people who immediately took note of the contrast in the attention — both by the press and by the university — are absolutely right to be angry. But no one should be surprised.

Read the whole thing here, it’s worth your time.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.