TO: Malcolm Gladwell FROM: Chuck Klosterman

Lies he told

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Created: 27.08.2016
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I think a lot of self-righteous people would like to believe they’d answer that question by saying “yes,” based on the abstract argument that actions must have consequences (and that they could never be best friends with a murderer).

But most of those self-righteous people are kidding themselves: In truth, they would see the past action of their friend through the prism of everything else they know about him. They would remember how different they themselves were as teenagers. They would see the murder as awful, but they could not stop loving their friend; this is because they could never stop viewing their friend as a person.

The first scenario seems remote. The last scenario is not unthinkable, but still improbable (the risk of such a lie outweighs its potential reward by a factor of 20 — it’s not like Te’o doesn’t become a Heisman finalist if his backstory only contains one dead grandma). My gut assumption is that the second scenario is what happened: He was tricked by someone with cruel, unclear intentions.

He was willfully naive, and he made the massive mistake of talking about his love for a woman he’d never actually met. But people (and particularly the media) adored the story, so he just kept telling it, even after the realization that it was a hugely problematic myth. So this is the real question: Why did he keep going?

Would this confession end your friendship?

Lies imagine if this had been proved to be a conscious fabrication. People would suddenly be told that Klein had lied about something they8217;d never previously cared about. Now 133; to your (much more difficult) second question: If a Notre Dame fan loved Told two weeks ago 8212; but it turns out he lied about having a lies girlfriend 8212; is that fan somehow obligated to dislike him today.

TO: Malcolm Gladwell FROM: Chuck TO: Malcolm Gladwell FROM: Chuck Klosterman [

TO: Chuck Klosterman FROM: Malcolm Gladwell [ Thursday, 1:22 p.m. ]

I never really question these stories because they don’t matter — or, more accurately, they don’t matter as long as they are true. Somehow, they only matter when they’re false.

Arriving at this climax, Rockne slowly removed a crumpled telegraph from his pocket. In silence he stared at the words on the missive. Then he began to read aloud: “PLEASE WIN THIS GAME FOR MY DADDY. IT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO HIM.”

TO: Malcolm Gladwell FROM: Chuck Klosterman [ Thursday, 10:37 a.m. ]

But 8212; then again 8212; told is there to be angry about. If lies don8217;t classify Te8217;o as the victim, there8217;s no victim at all. I suppose some people might feel 8220;betrayed8221; for having been tricked into caring about Te8217;o8217;s unreal romantic hardship, but that doesn8217;t make much sense; lies public8217;s intangible, mediated relationship with Te8217;o isn8217;t that different from Te8217;o8217;s intangible, mediated relationship with a woman who wasn8217;t there.

I suppose we should start with the obvious: To what degree do you believe Te8217;o8217;s version of the told. It seems like there are three potential scenarios: 1. Lies was completely fooled all season (only realizing the depth of the deception a told days before reporting it to Notre Dame authorities on December 26).

He was initially fooled, yet continued to perpetuate the hoax even after he realized he8217;d been duped (either for the benefit of public relations or to hide his own humiliation).

He was totally complicit the whole time. The first scenario seems remote.

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