Friday, October 24, 2008

The Ashley Todd Hoax

I'm usually pretty cautious about dismissing claims like Todd's out of hand...but the probability that Todd's story is true is basically too small for us to meaningfully distinguish it from zero. That is:

Todd is lying.

I tried to be fairly noncommittal about this at first, in part to correct for my bias in disputes that have implications for the election. But there is simply no appreciable chance that Todd is telling the truth.

A. Her reports of her movements before and after the attack on her Twitter page are pretty obviously clumsy elements of the whole fantasy. She might as well have posted "Here I go to the ATM! Hope no huge violent black man sees my McCain sticker!".

B. The 'B' "carved" in her face is entirely bogus.

i. It's backwards. She did it while looking in the mirror. I normally wouldn't state something like this categorically until all the evidence was in, but there it is. In the immortal words of the Eagles, I could be wrong but I'm not. Many fake attacks like this have been discovered on such grounds (backwards swastikas or whatever).

Note: some of our friends across the aisle have tried to say that the 'B' is not backwards, but upside-down. This is false. Were someone to do something like this, they'd straddle the victims body for control, not do it upside-down where no real control of the body is possible.

ii. It's too perfect. It's drawn very precisely. Even if the victim weren't struggling, she'd have recoiled reflexively. There's no way the letter would come out looking like this.

iii. It's too shallow. It's a scratch. Todd didn't want this to hurt too much, nor to be truly disfiguring.

C. Others have reported--though I have to admit I don't really know anything about such things--that criminals don't act like this. That is, they don't follow their victims around after having taken their money. It does sound rather fishy, but I don't really know about this point. But we don't even need it. The previous points are sufficient.

D. Her story has been inconsistent on several details, e.g. whether she was knocked unconscious.

E. Her story is now alleged to be inconsistent with video evidence from the ATM.]

Kant says that the mark of belief is willingness to bet. I'll bet everything I've got in the bank that this story is bullshit. Despite my cautious nature in such matters, there's just no real doubt here.

Ashley Todd is lying.


Blogger Joshua said...

Even if she'd gone all the way and gouged a proper B in real deep, I'd still think the whole "B" think was bullshit.

I mean, it's not a symbol anybody associates with Obama. An "O", I could maybe see, because that's what his campaign logo sort of looks like, but "B"? And furthermore, ost of his supporters tend to know him as "Obama" rather than "Barack". It's the bloody wingers who called him "B", as in "B. Hussein Obama". Or else "Barry", when they want to claim that he's running away from his American heritage.

But to Obama supporters, "B" is meaningless. You'd be better off claiming she was assaulted by some crazy-ass Red Sox fan. That's a far more plausible scenario for the "B" scar.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Joshua said...

Seems she confessed to making it all up:

The interesting part being her claim that she went through this whole rigamarole because she "just wanted to tell the truth". Making up bald faced lies apparently being how truth is told in wingnutopia, which explains a lot.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Damon Runyon put it:

The race is not always to the swift, nor victory to the strong, but that's the way to bet

3:20 PM  

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