Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Kennings Hoax Update

If you missed the Kennings Hoax, treat yourself. Brief synopsis: SIU journalism graduate (Reynolds) , SIU Daily Egyptian editor (Brenner), Daily Egyptian reporter (Wasson), Daily Egyptian columnist, an unnamed local Christian radio employee who would seem also to be-- but it's unclear-- a nurse (Patrick Trovillion) Rumpelstiltskin-like spin from straw a golden soldier fighting for the noble cause in Iraq. They go so far as to borrow the minor daughter of a local Nazarene Church pastor to vouch for the mythical Sergeant Dan Kennings, screen name Kodee (real-life Caitlin). Everyone except the graduate, who was caught red-handed, deny any real responsibility. Many people involved claim to believe that they thought this was part of a documentary being filmed, even though no cameras or other equipment was ever seen. The hoax, which apparently involved dozens if not hundreds of people, finally unravels when the participants announce that Kennings has been tragically killed in Iraq. At which point, all the spun gold reverts to straw. You can read the now-former reporter Burke Wasson explain how he was actually a helpless victim, who says " I can't guarantee that these two stories I wrote are 100 percent correct." He says he has now learned not to trust anyone. Nevadans: he is currently with the Lahontan Valley News. Caitlin denies writing columns that appeared under her name You can read how Pastor Richard Hadley allowed his little girl to be repeatedly taken on what must have been overnight trips by a total stranger (SIU graduate Jaimie Reynolds). The trips ranged as far as Detroit. Reynolds says she was coerced by Brenner. Brenner, who admits to breaking Illinois law by illegally recording unrelated conversations and fabricating certain facts in the stories, says he is just gullible and naive, not culpable. Any claims that Caitlin's parents were victims appear to be undercut by Pastor Hadley posing in uniform as Kennings.. Fortunately, Pastor Hadley seems to have recognized and assumed his responsibility in the matter publicly. To the gift of Mercy, which he says he has already received, may also be added the gift of Peace. I think Humility comes free with a coupon. Reader Rob Bedford, Professor of Sociology accurately identifies the Kennings hoax as a kind of "oppo," designed to discredit the anti-war movement. If it wasn't ordered by George Walker Milhous Bush, it should have been.
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