Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Another Possible Fraud (And Why It Matters)

Looks like we have yet another person attempting to pass themselves off as something they apparently aren't.


America's Got Talent contestant Tim Poe allegedly has fabricated his military service to make himself appear as a wounded veteran on the talent show.

I must admit up front that I haven't watched this show nor have I heard of Mr. Poe before this article, but nonetheless, we have what appears to be yet another fraud tugging at America's sleeves for undeserved attention.

The difference between Poe's supposed tall tales and Elizabeth Warren's, is that Poe actually did serve in the National Guard for 9 years (not 14 as he claimed).

Warren claims to be a Cherokee Indian but has produced no proof of ancestry to this date.

Poe also claims to have been injured by a rocket propelled grenade in combat. This also allegedly caused brain damage which caused him to stutter which he can only overcome by singing, thus his appearance on the show.

The website Rickey.org comes right out and calls Poe a fraud.

The Minnesota National Guard released a statement refuting Poe's claims:

"Sgt. Poe's official military records do not indicate that he was injured by a grenade in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2009, as he reports," Lt. Col. Kevin Olson, a spokesman for the Minnesota National Guard, said in a statement.
 Poe's ex-wife also chimed in:

“There were no combat injuries,” said Ballard from her Texas home. “I think he developed a ‘feel sorry for me’ stutter.
Here are some other links about fraudulent military service claims:

Daniel Gordon, Rhode Island state representative who claimed he was injured by shrapnel in Baghdad.

Christopher M. Simmance, leader of Occupy Buffalo, also claimed to be an injured war veteran

We could dig up more and more but the point is that when these folks are exposed, there is a price to be paid. Whether it is resigning from a public post or just being shamed publicly, there should be repercussions.

The point of bringing up Poe and all the others is that for some reason, people feel they have to embellish themselves in order to be accepted. Whatever it is they are seeking whether it's fame and fortune or just plain admiration, there's a boatload of phonies out there.

When someone portrays themselves as a military hero or even fraudulently claims to be a veteran and never served, there is (and should be outrage). But for some reason, it's not resonating with some people when a fraud like Elizabeth Warren claims to be a Native American.

Why is that?

Warren's supporters are calling this a smear campaign and dismissing overwhelming evidence as not credible. As I wrote yesterday, The Boston Globe editorialized that tracing Native American genealogy is not as reliable as it is for everyone else. 

I guess for some, it's OK to dismiss the truth when it stands in the way of a good piece of fiction.

Poe is trying to win a stupid game show and get his 15 minutes of fame.
At least Poe is telling the truth that he was actually in the service.
Warren is running for a 6 year term for the United States Senate.
Warren is completely dodging the ancestry issue and cannot prove a thing.

It seems like it catches more people's attention when some guy tries to game a TV show.

Which should have more impact on everyone?

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