Friday, July 11, 2008

Bizarre Twists in Internet Hoax Story


That Nebraska fan who created the bogus webpage and story about Oklahoma quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Landry Jones being arrested on cocaine distribution charges? He happens to be the computing services manager in the information technology department at the University of Texas.

James Conradt's hoax spread quickly Wednesday through cyberspace and was reported as fact by at least two Texas radio stations. Although he apologized, Conradt's legal problems are growing. Jones' dad said he is considering prosecuting Conradt "to the fullest extent of the law." Now Oklahoman publisher David Thompson is considering legal action after Conradt used a template from the newspaper to create his bogus page.

Conradt was also featured in a 2005 article that appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star about message boards and their potential danger.

"I think anonymity brings out the worst in people. There are no consequences for saying what you say," Conradt told the Star. "New people come along all the time and are naive and believe too much of what they read. A lot of people just post stuff to stir the pot."

The Oklahoman also posted the above video by columnist Berry Tramel, who calls Conradt a "dweeb" and says message boards "have no more redeeming qualities than a porn site."

Tramel also says Oklahoma and Oklahoma State "identify message boards as a constant thorn in their efforts to run quality and dignified athletic departments."

Speaking of quality and dignified athletic departments, Oklahoma football has been on put on NCAA probation, what, five or six times? We've lost count.
As for dignity at Oklahoma State, who can forget Mike Gundy's tirade last fall, holding up a copy of Oklahoman and ripping into reporter Jenni Carlson? Carlson's story, of course, was proven to be true when Bobby Reid transferred, but there was never an apology from Gundy.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

How Tramel manages to keep a steady job I'll never know.

Jeff said...

So just because ESPN aired a story with Bobby Reid whining about how unfairly he was treated, that Jenni's story is automatically true? The ESPN story sounded like a bunch of sour grapes for losing the starting position to me. I don't see how this makes OSU's athletic department less dignified at all, let alone to the scale of recent issues that OU has had.

Anonymous said...

jjeff,

because wizzardofodds and espn said so!