Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

January 19, 2013

Morgan: What is a ‘Catfish’ hoax?

I realize that I could well be a victim

By Ron Morgan
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — When I was doing my usual exhaustive research for last week’s column, I ran across a term that I’d never seen before: Catfishing. Some apologists at Notre Dame are claiming that Manti Te’O was a victim of catfishing. I thought that meant he’d been in Oklahoma catching the whiskered scavengers by hand in muddy water.

I was wrong.  Catfishing has nothing to do with Hillbilly Handfishing. It’s an online hoax perpetrated on someone by creating a fake individual on something like Facebook.  This made-up person then creates an online relationship with the victim, in this case Manti Te’O.

As I pondered this newly acquired piece of knowledge, I realized that I could well be a victim of catfishing. Almost ten years ago, I met my wife on Match.com.  My wife, Julie, if that’s her real name, claims to be from Mississippi. How do I know that such a place even exists? Could this beautiful lady actually be a plant by some nefarious character trying to put one over on me? It gives me pause.

There are just certain things you cannot question because of the nature of the circumstance. Manti Te’O’s story was one of those.  It would be very insensitive to dig into a story that involves the death of a loved one, now wouldn’t it? Who could be calloused enough to question the motives of a grieving athlete? During this period of the wussification of America, we must appear sympathetic.

Let’s take Lance Armstrong as another example. Lance was a cancer survivor and not just any cancer but cancer of the private parts.  You can’t question the accomplishments of someone who has overcome cancer of the private parts. I know because I’m a survivor of cancer of the private parts.

Back in the day, if I took performance enhancing drugs to improve my golf game, no one would dare suggest that because I was a survivor of cancer of the private parts. If I miraculously found my wayward drive in the woods, no one could doubt it because I was a survivor of cancer of the private parts.

The only difference was that I was much better at masking it than was Lance. Lance won seven Tour ‘Frances. How suspicious was that?  At the end of each round of golf, I made sure I was paying money to Larry Morrison, Ronnie Ragsdale, Jimbo Parks, Brad Haney, John Smith and/or other patrons of our “friendly” game.  Face it. I was smarter than Armstrong.

Politicians know this phenomenon and play on it constantly.  Gun control didn’t come up after the killing of gangbangers in inner city drug wars. They’re not sympathetic characters.  Gun control didn’t rear its head until the appropriate tragedy occurred.  Forget the actual efficacy of outlawing “assault” rifles. It would be insensitive to argue the point.

Global warming is another perfect example. You can’t question the conclusions of “scientists” all over the world, even if an equal number of “scientists” come to different conclusions. That would just be insensitive to Mother Earth and all the little children, lambs, baby kangaroos and unicorns. As Beta Males we must cower in the presence of sympathy.

So just in case my lovely wife isn’t really who she says she is, I’m going to play the sensitivity card.  I’m just going to remind Julie, if that’s really her name, that I am a survivor of cancer of the private parts. I deserve a little sympathy.