What can we say about these two articles other than: “Only in America”. Have a good laugh and shake your head, but you should know that the second article is not genuine.
MEDIA TYPES BOMBING COLLEAGUES
BARBARA Walters nabbed Monica Lewinsky. Diane Sawyer got Sammy “The Bull” Gravano. Ann Curry landed the McCaughey septuplets. But no media macher has snagged Ted “The Unabomber” Kaczynski, though not for lack of trying (not to mention sucking up).
The Smoking Gun Web site has obtained an amusing array of letters sent to the Unabomber by reporters begging for an interview. The pitches, recently donated by Kaczynski to the University of Michigan, show reporters cozying up to Kaczynski and dissing their competitors.
Don Dahler, “Good Morning America” national correspondent, wrote in August 1999 that he was “uniquely equipped” to interview the Unabomber, since “I was born not far from where you now live, and have a cabin in the woods west of Colorado Springs that has no electricity or running water.”
Shawn Efran, Dan Rather’s producer on “60 Minutes II,” slams his colleagues at “60 Minutes” in a November 1999 letter to Kaczynski. “Please understand that ’60 Minutes II’ is NOT the program on which your brother and mother appeared. They appeared on ’60 Minutes’ with Mike Wallace and Lesley Stahl. If you work with us . . . the folks who produced the story with your brother will have no input or control. Our story will allow you to personally refute what they said about you as well as provide a serious forum for your ideas.”
“Today’s” Katie Couric offered Ted “a chance to explain your experiences to our huge audience and also the opportunity to share your views and concerns, which I know you’ve long wanted to do.”
Katie Thomson, “20/20” editorial producer, requests an interview with Barbara Walters, “one of the world’s most respected journalists.” Thomson suggests a televised sitdown would help boost sales of the book Kaczynski was writing at the time, “Truth and Lies,” promising, “This interview would help bring more readers to your book and a better understanding of your legal appeal.”
CNN’s Greta Van Susteren details her 17 years as a defense attorney and adds, “No one can dispute that you are an extremely smart man.”
Perhaps the lamest offer was extended by David S. Bennahum, a contributing editor at Wired, who noted that he added the Unabomber’s name to the magazine’s subscription list, and added, “I understand that you have moved to Colorado.” The Rocky Mountain State is where Kaczynski is imprisoned.
The man who sent on this letter to Crikey’s spy insists its true, although this is not correct. Our man’s source was an old-time AFP correspondent, and not given to bullshit. The story behind the letter below is that there is this eccentric in Newport, Rhode Island, named Scott Williams who digs things out of his backyard and sends the stuff he finds to the Smithsonian Institute, labeling them with scientific names, insisting that they are actual archaeological finds. This guy really exists and does this in his spare time! Anyway…here’s the actual response from the Smithsonian Institution which is now claimed to be a fake, albeit a very funny one. Dr Stupid should Crikey a bollocking for falling for this one initially.
207 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20078
Dear Mr. Williams:
Thank you for your latest submission to the Institute, labelled “93211-D,layer seven, next to the clothesline post…Hominid skull.” We have given this specimen a careful and detailed examination, and regret to inform you that we disagree with your theory that it represents conclusive proof of the presence of Early Man in Charleston County two million years ago.
Rather, it appears that what you have found is the head of a Barbie doll, of the variety that one of our staff, who has small children, believes to be “Malibu Barbie.”
It is evident that you have given a great deal of thought to the analysis of this specimen, and you may be quite certain that those of us who are familiar with your prior work in the field were loathe to come to contradiction with your findings. However, we do feel that there are a number of physical attributes of the specimen which might have tipped you off to its modern origin:
1. The material is moulded plastic. Ancient hominid remains are typically fossilised bone.
2. The cranial capacity of the specimen is approximately 9 cubic centimetres, well below the threshold of even the earliest identified proto-homonids.
3. The dentition pattern evident on the skull is more consistent with the common domesticated dog than it is with the ravenous man-eating Pliocene clams you speculate roamed the wetlands during that time. This latter finding is certainly one of the most intriguing hypotheses you have submitted in your history with this institution, but the evidence seems to weigh rather heavily against it. Without going into too much detail, let us say that:
A. The specimen looks like the head of a Barbie doll that a dog has chewed on.
B. Clams don’t have teeth.
It is with feelings tinged with melancholy that we must deny your request to have the specimen carbon-dated. This is partially due to the heavy load our lab must bear in its normal operation and partly due to carbon-dating’s notorious inaccuracy in fossils of recent geologic record. To the best of our knowledge, no Barbie dolls were produced prior to 1956AD, and carbon-dating is likely to produce wildly inaccurate results.
Sadly, we must also deny your request that we approach the National Science Foundation Phylogeny Department with the concept of assigning your specimen the scientific name Australopithecus Back-yardicus. Speaking personally, I, for one, fought tenaciously for the acceptance of your proposed taxonomy, but was ultimately voted down because the species name you selected was hyphenated, and didn’t really sound like it might be Latin.
However, we gladly accept your generous donation of this fascinating specimen to the museum. While it is undoubtedly not a Hominid fossil, it is, nonetheless, yet another riveting example of the great body of work you seem to accumulate here so effortlessly. You should know that our Director has reserved a special shelf in his own office for the display of the specimens you have previously submitted to the Institution, and the entire staff speculates daily on what you will happen upon next in your digs at the site you have discovered in your Newport back yard.
We eagerly anticipate your trip to our nation’s capital that you proposed in your last letter, and several of us are pressing the Director to pay for it. We are particularly interested in hearing you expand on your theories surrounding the trans-positating fillifitation of ferrous metal in a structural matrix that makes the excellent juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex femur you recently discovered take on the deceptive appearance of a rusty 9-mm Sears Craftsman automotive crescent wrench.
Yours in Science,