Aw now NPR is scolding people for not being skeptical of Elan Gale’s story. Aw now I feel bad.
This was reported as fact in all sorts of places, including the New York Daily News, as well as Buzzfeed, which opined that even with all the families gathering happily around their tables, even with the parades and football games, it was Elan Gale telling this woman in “mom jeans” to “eat [not turkey]” that “won Thanksgiving.”
And then, somebody claimed to be a member of her family and claimed she had cancer.
And then Gale disappeared from Twitter.
And then he came back and now seems, kind of, to be acknowledging that — as people had begun to expect — this was … well, a “hoax” is really too flattering for a dude taking camera phone pictures of a coaster with writing on it. As writer Dave Holmes (no relation) said to me last night: “Shouldn’t we demand higher quality hoaxes?”
I say to you, my friends: we should. And we can, and it’s not that hard. There were lots and lots of reasons to be skeptical of Gale’s story from the beginning. The behavior of the flight attendants didn’t make any sense, the fact that he would single-handedly get to decide whether she was arrested didn’t make any sense, the part about sending her vodka bottles didn’t make any sense, and it didn’t particularly make any sense that if Gale was playing Manly Defender Of Flight Attendants And Other Working People, he would tweet a story that would so obviously, if it were true, get the flight attendants who participated in his on-board harassment in so much trouble.
Sure; true enough. A lot of it didn’t make much sense, but a lot of that had to do with Elan’s goonish behavior, and I have very little reason to find goonish behavior incredible. The opposite, in fact. The more goonish it is, these days, the more drearily familiar it is. “Oh, yet another guy thinking he has some kind of obligation to be an asshole to a woman he takes a dislike to? Surprise surprise.”
Anyway what I was reacting to wasn’t his story so much as the reaction to it – the laughter and high fives and attaboys. So I took five minutes and reacted to it. I had no idea it was going to go viral.
This is before we discuss the fact that he’s a producer on The Bachelor, which may not make him a liar, but certainly makes him capable of concluding that the most entertaining and irresistible stories are the ones where women are emotional, infantile dummies who need a talking-to and perhaps could stand to be told not to limit their Thanksgiving feasts to the traditional dishes.
Exactly. That’s why I posted about it. The reaction was real even if Elan’s story was fake.
Still. Obviously it was very bad of me. I wasted posts, and everything.
Sara E. Mayhew @saramayhew
How many tweets has Mayhew wasted tweeting about oh never mind.