To Idi Amin: I'm a idiot.
October 24, 2008 12:04 AM   Subscribe

This isn't exactly the scarlet letter, but it might be a sign of something we've seen before (or maybe not, depending who you ask.) Still, you should probably get yourself one of these [see also] if you're planning to cry wolf! (You can also make your own.)

Mirrors aren't uncommon, of course, but some [see also] are less common than others. Ultimately, mirrors are simply a reflection of our personal vanity.
posted by davejay (125 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wow. I like how this post digresses. Free association Metafilter?
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 12:20 AM on October 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


This thing reeks of "Tawana Brawley" and apparently the local cops are suspicious that it was self-inflicted.

The scratch marks on her cheek don't look to me like they were done with a knife; they look like they were done with a fingernail.
posted by Class Goat at 12:22 AM on October 24, 2008


That's not digression, that's jazz.

I predict that the ATM's security camera footage will eventually be leaked, revealing her attacker as Joe the Plumber.
posted by rokusan at 12:24 AM on October 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


I predict that the ATM's security camera footage will eventually be leaked, revealing her attacker as Joe the Plumber.

Say it ain't so, Joe!
posted by Caduceus at 12:27 AM on October 24, 2008


So is the "B" for blunder, bomb, botch bungle, or bust?
posted by sourwookie at 12:29 AM on October 24, 2008




* I vote keep (this is notable and encyclopedic) ~~~~
posted by finite at 12:31 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Cause I'm seriously thinking about taking a blade and scratching a big "A" on ny cheek for mccAin.
posted by sourwookie at 12:31 AM on October 24, 2008


She should have carved an "O".
posted by chillmost at 12:47 AM on October 24, 2008


A college republican blogger asks "My Strange Dream. what does it mean?":
Apparently they had all the road signs changed and all sorts of stuff to confuse me. Oh, and then I got a phone call from the bosses at CRNC saying that because i had worked in the wrong state the whole time they needed all of my stipends and reimbursments back.
[via]
posted by finite at 12:50 AM on October 24, 2008


* I vote keep (this is notable and encyclopedic) ~~~~

Doesn't matter. It's random-deleting season. :/
posted by rokusan at 12:58 AM on October 24, 2008


Rise to vote, Sir!

A good palindrome is never odd or even, leaving no trace; not one carton.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:01 AM on October 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


I can't stomach reading this story enough to understand why her alleged attacked carved a "B" instead of an "O." An "O" is much easier to carve and most people aren't referring to the dude as Barry, know what I'm saying?

For that matter, I can't understand why she would carve a "B" into her own face.

And, finally, I can understand why we're giving her so much attention online. We just can't help ourselves.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:18 AM on October 24, 2008


I don't know. It could be real. I kind of feel sorry for the lady. The whole of the internet has been questioning her integrity. That's gotta do a number on a person. Of course, if it's not real, she's got mental problems. Either way, I just feel sorry for her.

She should have carved an "O".
People would accuse her of carving a 0 instead.
posted by robtf3 at 2:22 AM on October 24, 2008


For that matter, I can't understand why she would carve a "B" into her own face.

What I can't understand is how her attacker managed to carve a "B" into her face with his knife, yet left no cuts. Not only that, but he took great care to draw the B backwards, too.

My bet is that she did it to herself and was too dumb to realize that if she saw a "B" in the mirror the right way around, it was backwards on her face.

Add to that the fact that she refused medical attention, and said that the perpetrator was a tall black man, and well... I wonder if any evidence will come to light, at all.
posted by splice at 3:17 AM on October 24, 2008


This is a non-story. The police don't even believe her. She's an overzealous McCain supporter doing a Tawana Brawley impersonation.
posted by Ludi at 3:33 AM on October 24, 2008


So, uh ... davejay ... those are some neat mirrors.
posted by adipocere at 3:59 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


The "B" stands for "Bullshit."

Or maybe "batshit insane."
posted by jpburns at 4:13 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Damn. Maybe she was inspired after visiting YesWeCarve?

Absurd story. In the old days, bullshit like this got black men lynched, so it's not just a sad case if it's falsified. It's an ugly one.

And sorry, but how come this happened to a hardcore McCain staffer, member of the College Republicans, and all around crazy Texas conservative flake case, not to mention a young white woman? How convenient.

Don't even need to analyze the wounds or the story beyond that. She's running a con.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:21 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


She's almost certainly lying, if this article from CNN is accurate.

Specifically, this section:
"The woman also told police her attacker "called her a lot of names and stated that 'You are going to be a Barack supporter,' at which time she states he sat on her chest, pinning both her hands down with his knees, and scratched into her face a backward letter 'B' on the right side of her face using what she believed to be a very dull knife."

Basically, if he sat on her chest, then by definition, he'd have to have scratched the 'B' backwards.

Police planned to administer a polygraph test to Ashley Todd, 20, because her statements about the attack conflict with evidence from the Citizens Bank ATM where she claims the incident occurred, police said.

!XAOH
posted by markkraft at 4:40 AM on October 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


This would've been just another "who cares" story of an unbalanced young woman seeking attention, but she went and done a coupla dumb things. One, she filed a police report. Two, she took that picture of herself. I mean, that picture is just so obviously a hilariously pathetic attempt at "movie makeup 101" that I can't believe the friend who took the picture didn't, at some point, pipe up and say "Lady, look, maybe this has gone a little too far." There is no swelling around the eye, just black (like eyeliner). The "B" is both backwards and meticulously drawn. The notion that a mugger would steal a woman's money, turn around and start to flee, then stop, see a car's bumper sticker, immediately assume that the car is the woman's car, return to the scene of the crime, assault the woman and then, ever so gingerly, slowly and cleanly use his knife to carve the letter "B" into the woman's cheek, presumably in the middle of a busy street at 9PM, I mean - are you shitting me! And this woman filed a police report! I don't think police officers enjoy people filing false police reports of hate crimes! And then, to top it all off, she refused medical treatment. Because when a strange, huge black man assaults you and uses a knife that's been used who-knows-where on the streets of Pittsburgh cutting up prostitutes and drug addicts, the LAST thing you want to do is determine whether or not that blade had the creepy crawleys like HIV or Hepatitis on it.

I have a feeling that this poor girl is just attention-starved and probably a little unstable. I don't think she has any idea what's going to happen to her life and credibility and her future. It'll probably be ugly. And as much as I blame her for doing this, I blame even more Matt Drudge and CNN and all these news organizations that are running this story when, if they would just pause for a moment and take a look at the damn photo (I mean seriously, that picture!), they might see that this story needs a healthy dose of skepticism and they should have waited until the official police report comes out.

In the meantime, stay away from dyslexic and angry Giant Negroes with long fingernails looking to gently carve perfectly shaped letters into your cheeks.
posted by billysumday at 4:53 AM on October 24, 2008 [10 favorites]


I used to live a few blocks from that bank and though I live a few mile a way now, I end up driving past it at least once a week. It's in a very busy main street of the Italian section of the city and there are coffee shops, bars and restaurants up and down the strip and it's right near the universities so lots of student live there. Here's a street view of the ATM. I just can't see how this could happen at 9PM without someone seeing it. There's always traffic on Liberty Ave and a good bit of pedestrian traffic too.
posted by octothorpe at 4:55 AM on October 24, 2008


Whether we believe her story or think she's a crazy person, I hope we can all at least agree that it is pretty hot.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:56 AM on October 24, 2008


DON'T YOU GUYS SEE SHE WAS ABOUT TO REVEAL BARAK HUSEIN OSAMA'S BIRTH CERTIGICATE SHOWING THAT HE WAS BORN IN MUSLIM SO HE WENT TO "TAKE CARE OF HIS SICK GRANDMA" BUT SECRETLY WENT TO PITTSBERG TO SHUT HER UP!!

WAKE AMERICA UP. DO not go along to get along.
posted by designbot at 5:27 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hope whoever did this gets what they deserve. And by whoever I mean her.
posted by diogenes at 5:38 AM on October 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Don't Miss
   * Police face cuts as economy falters


I really don't understand why the poor economy would lead the police to cut her face up like that.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:01 AM on October 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


I hope whoever did this gets what they deserve. And by whoever I mean her.

Funny, that's the same tone I got from the Obama campaign's official response language:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the young woman for her to make a speedy recovery, and we hope that the person who perpetrated this crime is swiftly apprehended and brought to justice."

Maybe I'm imagining that though.
posted by rokusan at 6:10 AM on October 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


It's not just you rokusan. I thought the same thing when I read that.
posted by diogenes at 6:28 AM on October 24, 2008


Potomac, Hot = Looks / Likelyhood of planting drugs in your car and calling the cops on you in the advent of a breakup. Just saying.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:28 AM on October 24, 2008


This is a non-story.

Too late.
posted by rokusan at 6:35 AM on October 24, 2008


Doesn't matter. It's random-deleting season. :/

You started a metatalk thread about this already. Please don't go spamming gripes into passing threads as well.

posted by cortex at 6:45 AM on October 24, 2008


I should have followed the links in order.

As it was I tried imagining shaving using a "true mirror," couldn't wrap my head around the idea, moved onto the link about the woman getting attacked, and could make no connection.

In the end, it was like a joke I got later. Or had the punch line without the lead up.

Nice post.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:50 AM on October 24, 2008


I'm a little offended that she posted to twitter that "Pretty sure I'm on the wrong side of pittsburgh" since I live on the wrong side of Pittsburgh and she was no where near there.
posted by octothorpe at 7:23 AM on October 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Police planned to administer a polygraph test to Ashley Todd, 20, because her statements about the attack conflict with evidence from the Citizens Bank ATM where she claims the incident occurred, police said.

I really wish they'd stop using polygraphs. Or at least be honest and break out the Ouija board next.
posted by Tehanu at 7:23 AM on October 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


The thing with the polygraph is that while it may not stand up in court, it may incite the "victim" to break down and admit the truth.
posted by splice at 7:42 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here's a street view of the ATM. I just can't see how this could happen at 9PM without someone seeing it. There's always traffic on Liberty Ave and a good bit of pedestrian traffic too.

I can see that the next street over from the "incident" is Commie Way, coincidence? Oh, crap that's Comrie, but that's close enough! Goddamn Comries!
posted by Pollomacho at 7:44 AM on October 24, 2008


If this does turn out to be a self perpetrated hoax, it will likely make for an easy last minute Halloween costume idea.
posted by JBennett at 8:34 AM on October 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


I am not a doctor, but it is my impression that black eyes and bruises like that take a day or so to blacken like that. I'm not sure of the timeline here, but it just seems like the time between when this assault took place and when the picture must have been taken seems rather short.

I would expect to see bruises like that on someone who had broken their nose or been hit by a car 48 hours beforehand.
posted by daHIFI at 8:40 AM on October 24, 2008


I spent a (fairly troubling) 15 minutes or so searching flickr and google images for black eyes. In the hundreds that I saw there was ONE that looked anything like the one(s) Ms. Todd has. The one picture that looked similar was from a clearly staged, artistic, anti-domestic violence poster.

Black eyes aren't really black. They're purple and green.

Granted, you can't tell anything from the photo that is going around, but it doesn't lend any credence, certainly. The fact that the picture came from somewhere other than the police, presumably from Ms. Todd, makes it a bit suspicious as well.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:01 AM on October 24, 2008


DON'T YOU GUYS SEE SHE WAS ABOUT TO REVEAL BARAK HUSEIN OSAMA'S BIRTH CERTIGICATE SHOWING THAT HE WAS BORN IN MUSLIM SO HE WENT TO "TAKE CARE OF HIS SICK GRANDMA" BUT SECRETLY WENT TO PITTSBERG TO SHUT HER UP!!

Holy shit, I actually TALKED to someone spouting this flavor of crazy while leaving the Obamarama in Leesburg on Tuesday - he started gibbering this email-forward lunacy about O not being a citizen, using legal arguments that sounded to have stemmed from some Wyoming secessionists' concept of the law system - the kind where judges have no authority to pass verdicts on dodging income tax because the flag in the courtroom has the wrong color fringe on the edge or something, so the courthouse isn't real and the judge is some sort of weird fake-out judge with no jurisdiction. Just nuts!
posted by FatherDagon at 9:05 AM on October 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


The whole thing is tabloid crap one way or the other.

Even if it were true -- and that's not bloody likely, by the look of things, but just suppose for a moment that it were true -- it wouldn't say one damned thing about anyone except the loon who did it (the guy who robbed her). And if it is shown to be a hoax, it doesn't say one damned thing about anyone except the loon who did it to herself (Ashley Todd). If it's some combination (she was actually mugged but then she marked her own face because she's a nutcase who was agitated by a mugging and obsessed with the election and Obama?), it's still just a couple of assholes in a city presumably not running short on assholes. It's a mess, but is there really a story here? Is someone suggesting it's part of a campaign strategy?
posted by pracowity at 9:05 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


The thing with the polygraph is that while it may not stand up in court, it may incite the "victim" to break down and admit the truth.

Yes, in practice the only difference between "police polygraph test" and "police interrogation without a lawyer" is a little machine that measures your stress level. Which is why it's annoying that everyone just thinks of it as a simple lie detector test. My problem with both is that if you're innocent and the police think you are guilty, nothing good for you can come out of either of them, so it's never in your own best interest to consent to them.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:11 AM on October 24, 2008


my first thought when reading the article was that, gosh, her description of the attacker sure did sound like the guy that charles stuart said attacked him and his wife...
posted by rmd1023 at 9:13 AM on October 24, 2008


"We have learned that the victim's statement has a few inconsistencies in it and her statement has changed." - Diane Richard, Pittsburgh Police spokeswoman.

Ms. Richard speaks about the investigation here.

Sorry for the tabloid crap but I think this is fascinating, in a sort-of psychohistory kind of way
posted by dirtdirt at 9:18 AM on October 24, 2008


Non-story. Kind of like a real world troll. It continues to exist (and grows stronger) to the degree to which we PAY ATTENTION to it, take issue with it, endeavor to prove it wrong. That's the cops job. Ignore. Move along. Give your attention to something that matters, like this.
posted by philip-random at 9:19 AM on October 24, 2008


What's funny about Mefi is how predictable most of you can be. I don't know if this was real or fake, but many of you do know it's a fake. How do you know it's a fake? Because it doesn't serve your point of view. Many of you are no more honest then the right-wing you rail against. I'm having a good laugh right now, so thanks.
posted by nola at 9:20 AM on October 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


For god's sake, Malkin thinks it's fake. It does not take a donkey to smell something funky here, and by and large I'd reckon that mefites in general have more contempt for liars and attention whores of any stripe than they have for a given political party.
posted by cortex at 9:32 AM on October 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


"...many of you do know it's a fake."

How do you know they know it's a fake? They are just saying it's a fake, becaase they probably believe it's a fake, and they probably believe it's a fake because the elements of the story don't seem to add up to a rational explanation.

Most people don't take the time to offer the usual disclaimers about this sort of thing, they just blurt out what they believe. It's not like this is an academic journal. Besides, saying "She is an unstable liar" certainly has more impact than the effete, intellectual "It appears that her story is more consistent with someone seeking attention by filing a false claim than with someone who actually suffered a brutal and bizarre assault."

As for knowing anything with certainty, that's one thing we know we won't ever really know.
posted by Xoebe at 9:34 AM on October 24, 2008


Yabut... let's not pretend the MeFite population in general is not pro-Obama, and as a result the majority of comments reveal that bias. Which is fine, but pretending that if the story was reversed and the victim was an Obama worker, the response would be the same is just... well.. dumb. (2nd grade argument is all I could come up with.)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:40 AM on October 24, 2008


"We have received photos from the ATM machine at the Citizens Bank and the photographs was (sic) verified as NOT being the victim making the transaction." -Pittsburgh PD, quoted at (ugh) TMZ
posted by dirtdirt at 9:45 AM on October 24, 2008


That's not a "B," it's just a sideways stylized image of a butt. He's calling her a butt-face. It's not political at all.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:47 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


nola: How do you know it's a fake? Because it doesn't serve your point of view.

So, if we're pro-Obama, we should completely ignore everything screwy about this (backwards B, not a knife cut, black eye that doesn't look like a real black eye, no puffiness, the "victim" refusing medical treatment, not remembering exactly which ATM this happened at, changing her statement, etc etc ad nauseam) just because she's pro-McCain?

Thanks for assuming the worst of everyone. For sure we don't have an intelligent thought in our brains and the only reason we think this is fishy is because the person's political views aren't the same as ours. Obviously. It's all so clear now that you opened our eyes, man! F@#% any and all evidence, if someone has an opposing viewpoint we can't say a single thing about them and their actions, ever! It's hypocrisy otherwise, right?

Fuzzy Skinner:but pretending that if the story was reversed and the victim was an Obama worker, the response would be the same is just... well.. dumb. (2nd grade argument is all I could come up with.)

And I think that sums up the level of your thinking. Strawman, strawman, strawman.

If this was an Obama worker, I would still be mighty suspicious of a reversed letter, a fake black eye, and everything else. For you to pretend that I wouldn't is damn insulting, and completely baseless besides.

Oh, and dirtdirt links to a statement from the Pittsburgh PD saying she wasn't at the ATM she said she was. But obviously that's also false, I mean someone somewhere in that chain must be an Obama supporter, so IT'S ALL LIES!
posted by splice at 9:55 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


For you to pretend that I wouldn't is damn insulting

I didn't say a thing about you. I'm talking about the bias of MeFi in general. My point is, don't pretend it doesn't exist. And yelling strawman is the new strawman.

To be clear: I think the whole story is BS and always have. But MeFi has a bias. Period.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 10:02 AM on October 24, 2008


And the story starts to change...

Todd, who is white, now says she was knocked unconscious and doesn't remember being cut. She now says she only discovered the wound later.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 10:10 AM on October 24, 2008


I am not a democrat, and I approve this taunting.

Even if she's clearly way way below the crazy-hot line, it's still a pretty awesome dirty fantasy.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:11 AM on October 24, 2008


For god's sake, Malkin thinks it's fake.

Yeah, me too. But if this was a story about a woman getting a M carved on he face, the tone of the discussion would be very different in here. In fact people would be stomping around waving their arms over the very idea of calling the event a "fake".


by and large I'd reckon that mefites in general have more contempt for liars and attention whores of any stripe than they have for a given political party.


I could not disagree more, in specific there are left leaning mefites that are thoughtful, smart, honest, and as you say "have contempt for liars . . ." but in general mefites are dogmatic and left-wing. If mefi has taught me one thing it would be that I'm not, and never will be as liberal as I could be. Mefi is as liberal as is humanly possible (in general, of course)
posted by nola at 10:13 AM on October 24, 2008


...if the story was reversed and the victim was an Obama worker...

Well, the story was reversed, and less than a week ago (which makes the timing of this 'attack' more suspicious). Of course, in that case the McCain supporter admitted to attacking the Obama worker. But there hasn't been a call for his blood by the liberal media the way there has been in the right-wing media for this mysterious black man whom they characterize as an Obama proxy. A VP at Foxnews makes the statement, "If Ms. Todd’s allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Senator Obama, not because they are racists (with due respect to Rep. John Murtha), but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee." Even the most ardent Obama supporters did not take the previous attack to this kind of conclusion.

(Of course, he also says, "If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting." Yeah, that is why McCain will lose, right?)

But this assumption also overlooks basic facts about the campaigns. McCain's campaign has--and he has admitted himself that it has--worked to tap into people's anger. They have set a tone for which violence is a logical next step. Obama hasn't gone in that direction at all and has actually tried to steer it in a more positive direction by not taking their bait.
posted by troybob at 10:17 AM on October 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


I think the whole story is BS and always have. But MeFi has a bias.

I sort of don't understand your point. The story has been justifiably questioned, but to question it is to reveal the bias of MetaFilter?
posted by dirtdirt at 10:21 AM on October 24, 2008


Oh, come on. Look at the photo! This is so fake it looks like it was pulled off by the acting chair of the Faux Dept. at Université de Fraudulént, a tanuki who sells Rolexes made of leaves on the Rue de L'arnaque on his days off.

To be clear: I think the whole story is BS and always have. But MeFi has a bias. Period.

Um, yes, that's quite true, but the bias has very little to do with the reaction to this particular story. Hardly anyone here is claiming that this didn't happen because of Obama, or McCain, or whatever. They're claiming it didn't happen because her entire story makes no sense, and she can't even keep the sense it doesn't make straight. And the whole "well, if the situation were reversed all you guys would be saying X!" thing is really stupid -- no, we wouldn't, not if the nature of the accusation were equally ridiculous. There are certainly a few who probably would, but the majority? No way.

She was attacked by the makeup artist from the junior high school production of Cats, only in front of a mirror at the ATM on a busy street at 9PM, but of course no one saw it, and everybody in the thread doubts her oh-so-likely story BECAUSE OF LIBRUL BIAS? That is bullshit, no matter what your political affiliation, and I say that as someone who routinely runs afoul of the liberal mefi zeitgeist.
posted by vorfeed at 10:27 AM on October 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


I find these thoughts astounding:

I'm talking about the bias of MeFi in general.

But if this was a story about a woman getting a M carved on he face, the tone of the discussion would be very different in here. In fact people would be stomping around waving their arms over the very idea of calling the event a "fake".

I fully support Obama over McCain. You would count me in the biased group. However if I and others part of this biased group speak up and say we'd find it damn suspicious even if this story was reversed, we get told that doesn't matter, the bias is well known, and it'd happen the way you think it would in any case, regardless of what we say.

Frigging unbelievable. And how exactly are we to prove that in such an imaginary situation we'd react as we said? We can't, so let's just go ahead and assume we're all dirty liars, and if we're not liars we're exceptions anyway and it's obvious that MeFi would be biased and react differently to this same act perpetrated against someone of a different political affiliation.

It's the very definition of a strawman, and insulting to boot. I'll just go ahead and assume that your blind belief in what would happen is completely self-serving and not at all intellectually honest. Protest if you like, the bias is well known.
posted by splice at 10:34 AM on October 24, 2008


But if this was a story about a woman getting a M carved on he face, the tone of the discussion would be very different in here.

What really gets me is how a statement like this ignores any element of real-world context. That an Obama supporter would do something like this is unbelievable; that a McCain supporter would is not--and the Republicans themselves have fostered that distinction: Republicans are tough dudes, and liberals are weak pussies. The tone of the campaign echoes it; the tone of the conventions echoed it.

But it also ignores that a white woman who claims, under increasingly suspicious circumstances, being attacked by a black man is a story we've seen played out time and again, and we've seen the same cheerleaders use those kinds of stories to stir up racist sentiment. The McCain campaign has worked to exploit any kind of prejudice that will get them a vote, and they don't worry about honesty in the process. So this kind of false accusation is fully consistent with their known tactics. That's not to say they were involved in perpetrating this one, but they were sure ready to take advantage of it.
posted by troybob at 10:35 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


But if this was a story about a woman getting a M carved on he face, the tone of the discussion would be very different in here.

I don't know about that. I think the original post made note of how Tawana Brawley's story was just as obviously crazy from the get-go to everybody. Granted, that was white-on-black violence, not McCain supporter-on-Obama supporter, but if we're talking what side liberals are going to be taking if they're reacting in a knee-jerk manner, it's similar.
posted by queensissy at 10:36 AM on October 24, 2008


Fake.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 10:36 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


For the record I'm a life long Democrate, and OBama has my vote.
posted by nola at 10:36 AM on October 24, 2008


PS - I've always been fascinated by those true mirrors.
posted by queensissy at 10:36 AM on October 24, 2008


Wow, she has had an interesting 20-odd hours..

She has confessed to making the whole thing up.

Hopefully she gets the help she needs.
posted by davey_darling at 10:38 AM on October 24, 2008


Damn, and I just thought of a good porn title for the Re-enactment: "The B-Job" starring Mr. Marcus and...well...Ashley Juggs?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:42 AM on October 24, 2008


Yep, busted. Now we get to enjoy the right-wingers all talk in terms of hypotheticals and how it would have played out in the reverse, etc.
posted by troybob at 10:42 AM on October 24, 2008


I could not disagree more, in specific there are left leaning mefites that are thoughtful, smart, honest, and as you say "have contempt for liars . . ." but in general mefites are dogmatic and left-wing.

I believe this is precisely backwards. There are a few very loudly dogmatic hardcore lefties on the site, yes, and the loudly dogmatic tend to stand out in a crowd on account of the loudness, but by and large? No. Most folks here are more laid back, more tempered in their opinions, more complicated in their politics than that.

A general skew—and I totally agree that there's an American-leftish demographic skew here—is not by a very long shot the same thing as hardcore dogmatism, and I think it's a mistake of the worst kind to treat the situation as otherwise: you're essentially working by that tack to create a self-fulfilling divisiveness, forcing folks with more complicated and nuanced politics and ideas than you're willing to credit to defend and define themselves according to a sharp and combative line.

Do not let loudmouths in a crowd define your perception of the crowd. It's crappy when people mistake a nutter at a Palin rally for a fair representative of every American conservative or every McCain voter, and it's crappy when people mistake a mefite with a strong opinion for a fair representative of every person on this site.
posted by cortex at 10:46 AM on October 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


I sort of don't understand your point.

My comment was in response to the reaction to nola's point.

I don't have any more to say about it.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 10:47 AM on October 24, 2008


As for the story at hand it looks like you all were right about her making this up.

There are a few very loudly dogmatic hardcore lefties on the site, yes, and the loudly dogmatic tend to stand out in a crowd on account of the loudness, but by and large?

That's a fair point, I guess sometimes it just seems like folks on this site are falling over each other to be more progressive than the next guy (or gal). Maybe there is something to this but on this topic I don't think much can be made of at this point, because as it turns out she did make it up so . . . 'This is not over mefi, you haven't seen the last of me!' *and with that the self hating liberal known as nola disappeared amid a flurry of 1s and 0s*
posted by nola at 10:54 AM on October 24, 2008


...and an awesome new Halloween costume is born.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 11:05 AM on October 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


how Tawana Brawley's story was just as obviously crazy

Oh geez! I totally confused Tawana Brawley with Geraldo Rivera's swastika story, which was the obvs crazy story of that day. Sorry about that.
posted by queensissy at 11:07 AM on October 24, 2008


Yeah, I'm tempted to shave off my five-year beard so I can do this for Halloween. A big 'B' and a sign that says 'FAIL'.
posted by troybob at 11:08 AM on October 24, 2008


Let it "B"
posted by JBennett at 11:12 AM on October 24, 2008


Letter B
posted by jpburns at 11:14 AM on October 24, 2008


Do ATMs in College Station, TX have cameras?
posted by stubby phillips at 11:16 AM on October 24, 2008


I still think there's a story here. Cuban invasion perhaps?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:17 AM on October 24, 2008


Nola: I guess sometimes it just seems like folks on this site are falling over each other to be more progressive

How does pointing out that this was obviously fake relate to being a progressive?
posted by diogenes at 11:21 AM on October 24, 2008


Yeah, she was lying.
posted by Class Goat at 11:21 AM on October 24, 2008


This is LULZ I can believe in.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:27 AM on October 24, 2008


Omigod, I get so cynical and overloaded so that the madness becomes normal and then something like John Moody's latest comment comes along.

If Ms. Todd’s allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Senator Obama, not because they are racists (with due respect to Rep. John Murtha), but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee.

Words fail me. I guess the only words come that come to mind have to do with the actual importance of an EVP title at Fox (or anywhere I guess.) OK, more words: Fuck FOX.
posted by Wood at 11:31 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


How does pointing out that this was obviously fake relate to being a progressive?

Do not question the mental contortions people go through to cope with cognitive dissonance. Just be supportive and offer them warm, soothing beverages.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:32 AM on October 24, 2008




Well, they've been looking for somebody to blame besides McCain...
posted by troybob at 11:37 AM on October 24, 2008


I like this comment on the Foxnews 'moment of truth' page:

I wonder if Ashley Todd used a hatchet before she used a scalpel to carve that B on her face.
posted by troybob at 11:39 AM on October 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


You know honestly looking at the quest is over part of John Moody's comment sort of quells my disgust because it's just so weird. Linking the hoax to McCain is at least as bizarre as linking the mugging to Obama and John Moody actually makes a stronger claim there (that the "quest [...] is over".)
posted by Wood at 11:49 AM on October 24, 2008


Todd said that the assailant told her, "You are going to be a Barack supporter" before dyslexically commencing his carving task.

Maybe when she finds out the Republicans are tougher on crime, she will be a Barack supporter.
posted by troybob at 12:07 PM on October 24, 2008


...and an awesome new Halloween costume is born.

I just so happen to be going to a costume party this weekend, but I had no idea what to go as. Thank you.
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:10 PM on October 24, 2008


If the situation was somehow reversed, and some white guy attacked and left some girl J-marked, my reaction would be the same.

Huh?
posted by graventy at 12:36 PM on October 24, 2008


Basically, this is the awesomest trick ever and it's been way too long since Morton Downey, Jr. did it. This is so cool it should become the standard response when anything goes wrong. Tomorrow Bush is going to give a press conference with "jihad" scratched backwards on his forehead.
posted by snofoam at 12:40 PM on October 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


if the story was reversed

If a giant black Obama supporter was brazenly given $60 by a tiny white woman at 9 in the morning on a busy rural route while stuffing cash into an ATM, a tiny white woman who noticing the lack of a McCain sticker on his bicycle somehow managed to accomplish a typographic miracle by carving an "M" backwards onto her own cheek...

...no, I still think that'd strike me funny.
posted by Shepherd at 1:02 PM on October 24, 2008 [8 favorites]


You've got it all wrong Shepherd. It would be a tiny black Ron Paul supporter and a giant white Kucinich fan. And it would be on an island at night. And the ATM would be a coconut tree.
posted by diogenes at 1:15 PM on October 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Basically the only reason we thought it was fake is because we are black.
posted by Artw at 1:21 PM on October 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


It was a hoax. She even admitted it.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:24 PM on October 24, 2008


oh, heh... guess ya'll already knew that.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:26 PM on October 24, 2008


They shouldn't punish her by sending her to jail...

They should punish her by having a backwards "L" tattooed on her forehead.
posted by markkraft at 1:35 PM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


She is my hero! By comparison, everyone else in the world is a little less lame than we were before she did this.
posted by snofoam at 1:40 PM on October 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


"If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting."

Holy cats! This lady is the Steve Bartman of the McCain campaign!
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:45 PM on October 24, 2008


markkraft I think that a backwards "I" would be more appropriate.
posted by Skeptic at 1:45 PM on October 24, 2008


So, what kind of punishment do you get if you're a boldfaced liar who takes one for the team, anyways?

C'mon, Republicans... she gave a year of her life to work for McCain's campaign, and when it was clear McCain was losing, she literally etched on herself to try to turn the tide.

Be proud of her... give her a talk show and a book deal!

Stick by her... she's one of you!
posted by markkraft at 1:47 PM on October 24, 2008


Todd confessed to police that she was driving alone, looked in the mirror, saw her black eye and the B on her face, and didn't know how they got there. She assumed she could have done it herself, she said, and then she made up the story about the attacker.

Even the confession is weird. If that's on the up and up, I can understand the stated concern about her mental health. It's hard not to wonder if that's just another attempt at a mitigating change of personal spin, though—scary memory lapse + mysterious self-inflincted wounds + panicky, idiotic attention-whoring is at least more sympathetic than than deliberately self-inflicted wounds for the express purpose of methodical, idiotic attention-whoring.

Shades of contemptable, irresponsible stupidity, sure, but in her position grappling for a more favorable shade is understandable, if galling.
posted by cortex at 1:50 PM on October 24, 2008


IBBY means I'll Be Blasting You!
posted by Gungho at 1:54 PM on October 24, 2008


*NOT* the October Surprise that McCain was counting on!
posted by markkraft at 2:02 PM on October 24, 2008


I thought in the picture it looked like there was a darkish 'S' next to the 'B', as if it were written as 'BS' upside down. My theory is that she went to some party and got wasted and fell asleep, and her fellow young Republicans wrote 'BS' on her face with a sharpie. So maybe she tried to clean the 'B' off with steel wool or such.

Anyway, hopefully she'll get help, but not so much help that she'll end up with a talk radio show or a slot on foxnews. We haven't heard the final word on why this is Obama's fault, but it's coming.

I'm actually hoping the backward 'B' becomes a new icon of this fake black-on-white violence, if not for right-wing race-baiting altogether. I think it would make an excellent addition to McCain-Palin campaign materials in towns across America.
posted by troybob at 2:22 PM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Some details on the early dissemination of the Todd story by a McCain communications director named Peter Feldman.

Corey was unavailable for comment.
posted by cortex at 2:24 PM on October 24, 2008


troybob: Well, the story was reversed, and less than a week ago (which makes the timing of this 'attack' more suspicious). Of course, in that case the McCain supporter admitted to attacking the Obama worker.

Huh. I hadn't heard about these - it's happened in North Carolina (the one you're talking about?), in Wisconsin, & New York - that last one involving vehicles. (via)
posted by Pronoiac at 2:25 PM on October 24, 2008


I have that criminal record and the scars to prove it, my friends.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:09 PM on October 24, 2008


But if this was a story about a woman getting a M carved on he face, the tone of the discussion would be very different in here.

Even my FPP would have been different, as the mirror of M is either M or W, so the whole mirror tangent wouldn't have come up.

and a giant white Kucinich fan

I would totally be a fan of a giant white Kucinich.
posted by davejay at 3:39 PM on October 24, 2008


In other election news, I just heard on CBC that Kima and Bunk are touring Virginia to get out the vote. Sonja Sohns refused to reveal who she was voting for on the air. Classy.
posted by Shepherd at 4:00 PM on October 24, 2008


from http://kdka.com/local/attack.McCain.Bloomfield.2.847628.html:
Todd told police that while she did not remember how the backward "B" got on her face, she may have done it herself since she was the only one in the car.

According to police, Todd said she thought of Barack Obama when she saw the "B" in her rearview mirror.


clearly, B. hussein oBama did it with his crazy mental powers! he made her carve it on her face! CAN NOTHING STOP THIS MAN?!
posted by rmd1023 at 4:00 PM on October 24, 2008


"At this point my story becomes confused, its thread is lost. I know I pursued the McCain supporter down the dark sidewalks of nightmare and the deep parking spaces of vertigo. Todd had come to know the ATM very well, much better than I. Once or twice I lost her. I cornered her before the police arrested me. From one of my pants' mounted sets of pockets I snatched out a switchblade; with the shiv I sealed her face, forever, with two half-moons of blood. Officer, I have confessed this to you, a stranger. Your contempt will not wound me as much."

Here the narrator stopped. I noticed that her hands were trembling.

"And Todd?" I asked her.

"She was paid the ATM-money, and fled to College Station. And that afternoon, she watched some talking heads in an impromptu investigative squad on Fox devote actual airtime to her account."

I waited in vain, for her to go on with her story. At length I asked her to continue.

A sob shook her body. And then, with feeble sweetness, she pointed to the red arced scar.

"You don't believe me?" she stammered. "Don't you see the mark of infamy written on my face? I told you the story the way I did so that you would hear it to the end. I besmirched the candidate who took me in: I am Ashley Todd. Despise me."
posted by decagon at 4:02 PM on October 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


Clearly she was attacked by Mushmouth.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 4:11 PM on October 24, 2008


good job, agent todd. go back to sleep now.
posted by waraw at 4:23 PM on October 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Nicely done decagon. With your post as inspiration I thought: maybe I'll edit The Witness to have McCain as the old Saxon... but it was too morbid and didn't make a lot of sense. Any excuse to read some Borges, I guess.
posted by kurtroehl at 4:42 PM on October 24, 2008


She's off to jail now.
posted by hojoki at 5:17 PM on October 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I just can't even begin to fathom why she thought that this would be a good idea. She's going to gently scratch a backwards letter on her face, draw on a black eye and tell everybody she got mugged after going to an ATM that she DIDN'T GO TO, in order to crush a Presidential campaign? If this charade had lasted more than ten minutes, was she going to just draw on the black eye every morning before going on Fox and Friends?
posted by 235w103 at 6:00 PM on October 24, 2008


I was all set to make an Aggie joke about the B being backwards...but she wasn't an Aggie. She goes to Blinn, which is not the same thing as a real university.

I kid A&M, but in all reality, it's a tough school to get in to, and an even harder one to graduate from. I can't imagine a real Aggie pulling something like this because they'd be drummed out of the university.
posted by dejah420 at 6:07 PM on October 24, 2008


They should punish her by having a backwards "L" tattooed on her forehead.

POOR
IMPULSE
CONTROL
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:32 PM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


These Young Republicans need to get some kind of network going so that they know this "blame random people we're scared of" tactic doesn't work - I mean, Justin Zatkoff tried it just 2 years ago, and since then he's had to find new ways to get attention.
posted by batmonkey at 7:48 PM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


So . . . if the scratching of a backward "B" on a young woman's face by an Obama supporter disqualifies Obama from the presidency, as McCain staffers implied by breathlessly propelling this story, shouldn't that very same act by a McCain supporter disqualify McCain?
posted by Toecutter at 8:09 PM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd like to point out the following:

Noted Racist Michelle Malkin, a woman who once called Rachel Ray a terrorist sympathizer because she wore a scarf in a donut commercial, was not convinced by this dyslexic Mandingo story.

But John McCain's own spokesman was.

I think that's the perfect summary of John McCain's 2008 Presidential campaign.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:48 PM on October 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


Hell, Malkin once spoke approvingly of the internment of Japanese Americans in WWII.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:42 AM on October 25, 2008


Hell, Malkin once spoke approvingly of the internment of Japanese Americans in WWII.

Are you kidding me? Isn't she Japanese American?

I know she's something Asian, which is one of the reason the right-wing love her so much ("Look, she's not white, and she agrees with us! That mean's we're not being racist!"), but she's going to start having trouble with her fan base should hostilities ever break out with China. She might start regretting her hate spewing then.
posted by Caduceus at 10:13 AM on October 25, 2008


Top Five Mistakes of the McCain Campaign in the past Week



1. McCain and Palin called up fraudster Ashley Todd and 'wishing her a speedy recovery' after she lied about being attacked by a tall Black man who carved a 'B' into her cheek.

2. They did no fact-checking, and if they can't do fact-checking before a telephone call like that now, when can we expect them to fact-check once they are in the White House.

3. Employing the kind of campaign directors in Pennsylvania that will come out and make incendiary remarks about what proved to be a hoax.

4. Palin says she supports scientific research on autism but she disses genetic research on fruit flies, which is key to scientific advances in this field.

5. The highest-paid McCain staffer is the one who does Sarah Palin's make up.

posted by caddis at 12:23 PM on October 25, 2008


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