Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Why Would George Bush lie so blatantly?

by Ken Houghton

It's one thing to praise Julie Aigner-Clark and John Walsh. But when you start talking about sports figures, well, there are still some real reporters in that field, even if they are overly cautious:
But [ABC's Karen] Travers, a former sports editor of the Georgetown student newspaper, 'The Hoya,' raises whether this famous Mutumbo tale is perhaps a bit too tall.

First, Travers says that Dikembe Mutumbo came to Georgetown University to study languages—he enrolled in the School of Languages and Linguistics according to, a site run by another former Hoya sports editor, John Reagan.

Second, the arrival of a 7-2 freshman on campus may not have been a surprise to Hoya Head Coach John Thompson. Mutumbo played on the Zairean junior national team in 1986 and caught the attention of U.S. development officer Herman Henning, who sent a tape of Mutumbo to Georgetown, according to Regan's site.[italics mine; English spelling of "Mutumbo" standardized]

Don't get me wrong: Dikembe Mutumbo has some great accomplishments. He's a polyglot* and an athlete and certainly a worthy enough role model. But the "he could have been a doctor; instead he built a hospital" story is more apocryphal than The Gospel of Judas.

*From the article:
Despite his fluency in nine languages, he could not qualify for the NCAA because of its SAT requirement (English was not one of Mutumbo's strongest languages)

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