Liar liar pants on fire.
September 28, 2007 12:40 AM   Subscribe

Lies. Tania Head told a bunch of lies about 9/11. As a fiction editor for the NY Writers Coalition, she apparently knew her fiction. I guess it's nice to feel important.
posted by Eekacat (57 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
She won't be getting my vote for President.
posted by Poolio at 12:44 AM on September 28, 2007


And it took 6 years to figure this out? She must've been telling all the right lies to the right audience...
posted by wendell at 12:58 AM on September 28, 2007


Can I be the first to say that this is exactly what we expect of old media?

Heck, I'm part of it myself and I'd have done the same.
posted by rhymer at 1:07 AM on September 28, 2007


Look, it's just amazing that embellishment meets embellishment. How sad for anyone to claim such omnipotence in a time of grief.
posted by parmanparman at 1:11 AM on September 28, 2007


If she were slim and hot I'd be inclined to hear her side.
posted by sourwookie at 1:12 AM on September 28, 2007 [6 favorites]


I'm in your support group, stealing your sympathy.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:28 AM on September 28, 2007


You people sure you aren't missing the wider truth here?

Miserable literalists.
posted by Wolof at 2:21 AM on September 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


/horrible troll
posted by Wolof at 2:24 AM on September 28, 2007


Can I be the first to say that this is exactly what we expect of old media?

You can be the first to say it, but I've got no idea what you mean. Are you saying that old media are guilty because they perpetuated the lies, or because they uncovered the lies? And was whatever they did a bad thing? Or a good thing?

I get very confused by all this old media/new media one-upmanship.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:40 AM on September 28, 2007 [3 favorites]


Marla Singer: [on support groups] It's cheaper than a movie, and there's free coffee.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:45 AM on September 28, 2007


Perhaps she was the one who planted the explosives!

[kidding]

I hope she gets some kind of help or support because she needs it and will need it even more now that she is being outed .
posted by srboisvert at 3:07 AM on September 28, 2007


heh,
Marla Singer: [speaking for a sympathetic public] I haven't been fucked that hard since grade school.
posted by hypersloth at 3:11 AM on September 28, 2007


Yes, but was she telling the emotional truth?
posted by billysumday at 3:13 AM on September 28, 2007


spleh,
JACK (V.O.): This...chick...Marla Singer...did not have testicular cancer. She was a liar.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:21 AM on September 28, 2007


What she did was wrong, but I can imagine how it happened. Lonely person, desperate for some affirmation, tells one lie and is instantly rewarded with a staggering amount of support. And then it's "Hey, did you meet Tania? Poor thing, she lost her fiance in the towers and barely escaped herself." Hugs, support, a thousand instant friends. It's intoxicating. One thing leads to another, and from that point the path is set. It's too hard to go back and say "sorry, it was a really awful time in my life and I needed attention and got it by deceiving you." Maybe she could have said that to one or five or ten people, but by the end of the first day of the first lie it was already bigger than that. So she rides the wave--always refusing money, just enjoying the affirmation and attention. Maybe she even thinks of all the 9/11 volunteer stuff she does as her penance for the deception.

For a year or two she dreaded the day that someone would figure it all out. By year three and four she figured that would probably never happen, since it hadn't already. And then in year six, it all unraveled. Whatever problems she had before are tiny compared to what she has now. And all those close, dear friends she's gained are gone in an instant.

If I could, I'd invite her to dinner and help her start building an honest network, but I'm a softie that way.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:32 AM on September 28, 2007 [10 favorites]


Thing is, I knew she was lying. And I posted about it several times on the web. And every time, her lawyers got me to remove the allegations. Hell. I even met her once, and she admitted to me that she had lied. That she'd done it for Stephen King who she'd had an affair with some 20 years earlier. Not that I could use that information until now. Not with the watching and the surveillance.
posted by seanyboy at 3:49 AM on September 28, 2007 [3 favorites]


[Server Not Found]

Here's another link. (With very annoying, click-again-every-four-lines interface.)
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:52 AM on September 28, 2007


Oh - And I am Jack's outraged spleen. Or something.
posted by seanyboy at 3:52 AM on September 28, 2007


microsoft has begun quietly allowing tania to downgrade her lies to fibs xp.
posted by quonsar at 3:54 AM on September 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


LOLAMERICANS
posted by lastobelus at 4:10 AM on September 28, 2007


You can be the first to say it, but I've got no idea what you mean.

Sorry, PeterMcDermott, if I was being a bit opaque. I thought I made it pretty clear that I was being facetious, taking the piss out of the oneupmanship you refer to, and way that bloggers etc tend to jump in for a clusterf-ck anytime the old media might possibly have got it wrong, even in a rather mixed up affair like this.
posted by rhymer at 4:15 AM on September 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


In that case, rhymer, I completely agree. It's just so contrary to the view usually expressed on Metafilter that I got befuddled by cognitive dissonance.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:22 AM on September 28, 2007


Can't wait to see what Ann Coulter tries to do with this. Yikes.
posted by Kinbote at 4:24 AM on September 28, 2007


Pater is so right. I don't condone what she did, but if the only thing she actually collected was misdirected sympathy then let's call it a lesson and move on.

Let's not get so hyper about the sanctity of the memory of those that died, that we channel it into hatred and vitriol for someone who's obviously troubled. That doesn't make anything any better.
posted by Riki tiki at 4:32 AM on September 28, 2007


"I've been there anytime she needed someone to listen, even if it was at three in the morning. She has stolen my time and my soul," she said. Cilento said many of the network's members "feel very upset and betrayed. "We have members who thought Tania's trauma was so extreme they did not want to discuss their own. They gave their time to help her, and she didn't even need it," she said.

Some people overestimate the value of their own time.

Yeah, what she did was inexcusable, but this seems a little melodramatic (at least how it's being reported). Maybe she was doing them a favor by helping them forget their own trauma. Any decent, qualified and trained counselor would have been able to poke holes in her story just by doing a little probing. I think part of the problem is that the people involved wanted so badly to believe what she was telling them, they happily glided by some obvious inconsistencies in her story.

Nevertheless, Tania Head is a shit and the fat bitch needs to pay. Burn her!
posted by psmealey at 4:37 AM on September 28, 2007


It's andy warhol performance art. Same as Britney and Lindsey and $your-most-disliked-metafilter-attention-whore. Meanwhile, Iraqi's are bombed, the Iranians are targeted, and there is a big sale at Target this weekend.
posted by bukvich at 5:02 AM on September 28, 2007


So how much of a check did she take? She one of the instant millionaires? This woman is pretty damn evil. I think she needs to be banished from New York for sure (after jail time for fraud). "Your New York privileges have been revoked."
posted by cjorgensen at 5:28 AM on September 28, 2007


there is a big sale at Target this weekend

Seriously? Is it one of those across the board discounts on everything? Or is it just some departments or some items?

I can't get that "You say good buy, I say hello" commercial out of my head. Those are some good jingle writers.
posted by flarbuse at 5:29 AM on September 28, 2007


I'd just like to add that that stupid "Morning Buzz" icon in the NYT "cityroom" (the "important" link, above) looks, if you blur your eyes only slightly, like Bullwinkle.

Thank you.
posted by Dr. Wu at 5:37 AM on September 28, 2007


Pater is dead on with this one.

Let's face it, the media has offered up a fucking smörgåsbord of coverage for anything even remotely tied to 9/11...is it any surprise that some people are tempted to take a bite?

I lost several friends in the towers and I'm disgusted by this woman's behavior, but I find myself incapable of hating her for it. I just feel sorry for her.
posted by JaredSeth at 5:55 AM on September 28, 2007


So how much of a check did she take? She one of the instant millionaires? This woman is pretty damn evil.

Did you even bother to read the article?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 5:56 AM on September 28, 2007


seanyboy, I think the applicable quote is:

"I am Jack's complete lack of surprise."
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:06 AM on September 28, 2007


cjorgensen: by no means defending her pathetic/needy/exploitative lying, for which she clearly needs some serious headshrinking, but the article in the first link clearly states she has not applied for any survivor's compensation money: "According to the Times, Head never attempted to receive financial remuneration for her "survivor" status." And if telling lies about one's past for sympathy were grounds for doing time... well, prisons everywhere would significantly more full than they already are.
posted by aught at 6:10 AM on September 28, 2007


So how much of a check did she take? She one of the instant millionaires?

Few things worse than morons who think their opinion is so necessary that they make it without even bothering to read the fucking link.

Nice post Pater Aletheias.
posted by dobbs at 6:58 AM on September 28, 2007


Did she get any of the money from victims funds? If so, they should beat it out of her with truncheons.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:07 AM on September 28, 2007


If you're having trouble following the details, this NYTimes article originally broke the story.
posted by cribcage at 7:16 AM on September 28, 2007


I lost several friends in the towers and I'm disgusted by this woman's behavior, but I find myself incapable of hating her for it. I just feel sorry for her.

I lost not several but more than one and I feel exactly the same way. Someone up above called her "evil". Evil. Really. How about needy, pathetic loser? Seems to me that covers it.
posted by psmealey at 7:18 AM on September 28, 2007


Did she get any of the money from victims funds?

Re-read page 4 of the first link: she ended up receiving over $2.5M that was earmarked specifically for orphans with learning disabilities, but lost most of it gambling online. Jail is too good for some people.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:22 AM on September 28, 2007 [5 favorites]


Her role model.
posted by nickyskye at 7:41 AM on September 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Re-read page 4 of the first link: she ended up receiving over $2.5M that was earmarked specifically for orphans with learning disabilities, but lost most of it gambling online. Jail is too good for some people.

Uh, there is no page four in the first link. The ABCNews story is 3 pages.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 8:02 AM on September 28, 2007


Right. Hence the joke.
posted by agregoli at 8:17 AM on September 28, 2007


You call it a joke, agregoli. Some might call it... A LIE.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 8:43 AM on September 28, 2007


So, someone I know died in 911, and afterwards, this guy came out with websites and testimonials about how he was her fiance, how upset he was, blah, blah. But it was a lie -- he made it all up, they probably didn't even know each other, and it turned into this really surreal situation. How many people made stories like this up? I find it hard to believe it's just this woman and this strange dude.

And I remember theories that people would take 911 as an opportunity to just disappear -- did that ever happen, too??
posted by armacy at 8:54 AM on September 28, 2007


And I remember theories that people would take 911 as an opportunity to just disappear -- did that ever happen, too??

Yes, but I reappeared a couple of days later. Turns out you need a lot of cash to disappear and stay disappeared.
posted by psmealey at 8:57 AM on September 28, 2007


smörgåsbord

I am Jack's pedantic obsession with Scandinavian typology.
posted by gompa at 10:49 AM on September 28, 2007


I am Jack's pedantic obsession with Scandinavian typology.

Saved by spell check.

Now there's an idea for a t-shirt. Just needs a funny mispelling with a picture of Jesus on it and I'll be rich, I tell ya.
posted by JaredSeth at 11:16 AM on September 28, 2007


I remember theories that people would take 911 as an opportunity to just disappear -- did that ever happen, too?

Well, if they did it properly we wouldn't know. And I suspect that just "believed to be in New York on 9/11, missing since" would not be sufficient to tag you as a suspected victim; New York is a big town. So you'd either have to be a lucky/unlucky opportunist (known to be in the building/immediate area, survive the collapses, not seen to survive the collapses by anyone you know, and decide to take advantage of it it vanish, or else you'd need accomplices to lie for you to place you at the scene.

In either event, if someone was caught for doing that, I think it's safe to say anyone who followed the news would hear plenty about it, just like we're going to hear plenty about this woman.
posted by nanojath at 11:21 AM on September 28, 2007


Meantime, I'm adding the whole schmeer to my username. From here on out, it's gömpå, and I'll post only in threads about (ugh) techno-pop. And/or pickled fish.

*dons skinny tie and blank expression*

*waves a fey wrist at accusations of derailing*
posted by gompa at 11:22 AM on September 28, 2007


Can I be the first to say that this is exactly what we expect of old media?

the media has offered up a fucking smörgåsbord of coverage for anything even remotely tied to 9/11


Thank god for the internet, that champion of integrity, truth, and all that is truly worthy and important.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:37 AM on September 28, 2007


Marla Singer: [originally, pre-censorship] I want to have your abortion.
posted by birdie birdington at 12:39 PM on September 28, 2007


I guess this would be a bad time to describe how I rode a hang-glider off the roof of a burning Oklahoma City federal building in '95 carrying a quadraplegic child and a basket of abandoned kittens?
posted by brain_drain at 1:35 PM on September 28, 2007 [3 favorites]


Wake up, it's all made up. 9/11 never happened, top Iranian scientists have proven that the towers could not have been brought down.
posted by Krrrlson at 2:02 PM on September 28, 2007


At a previous job a really strange guy got hired. He wasn't really able to do much, and they hired him into the wrong department entirely.

He told stories about how his wife died in 9/11. We were sympathetic. Then he told about how he had had several houses burn down (never his fault), how he had wrecked a car and been launched twenty feet, how....

We decided that he was either a habitual liar or had the worst luck of anyone in the world. Either way he probably wasn't too safe to hang around with.

Poor guy eventually got let go. Near as we could tell, he hadn't really done anything at all the entire time he was there.
posted by vsync at 5:13 PM on September 28, 2007


I am Jack's irritation over lame Fight Club quotes.
posted by the_bone at 10:13 AM on September 29, 2007


Just for the record, I did read the links, just missed the detail where it said she didn't get any cash. I also looked over her "fiction editor" credentials. Seems more like a vanity publication than anything else.

I stand by the "evil" opinion. On the grand scheme of things, not as evil as some, but for sure not a good person.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:25 AM on October 1, 2007


I think that anyone who would do this has mental or emotional problems. I don't think that makes them evil.
posted by agregoli at 9:55 AM on October 1, 2007


Mental and/or emotional problems does no preclude one from being evil. Her actions fit how my dictionary defines the word.

evil |ˈēvəl|
adjective
profoundly immoral and malevolent
harmful or tending to harm

noun
profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity
posted by cjorgensen at 11:21 AM on October 2, 2007


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