Skip to comments.Comic book writer confesses Army Ranger hoax.
Posted on 05/01/2004 5:44:06 PM PDT by Mr. Blond
MICAH WRIGHT: "I WAS NEVER AN ARMY RANGER"
On his Delphi forum, Micah Wright has posted a confession he never was an Army Ranger, something he had claimed since his debut as a comics writer, as well as the author of remixed Propaganda, a book which lampooned World War II-era American propaganda posters.
Wright began his statement with a recap of what he used to tout as his credentials, and then added: Except that I was never an Army Ranger. I never served a day in a Ranger Regiment. I never went to Ranger School. The closest I ever got was Army ROTC.
This entire Army Ranger thing is a stupid lie which has its roots back in college. When I was in the Army ROTC (and I really was, trust me), I met a lot of Rangers, and got to know some of these amazing men. They always impressed me with their inspired competence and their commitment to one another. Though I enjoyed my time in Army ROTC, I decided that eight years of military service was not for me and I left the program. That ended my involvement with the military. But once I was out of the Army ROTC program, there was a lingering impression among friends that I had been in the Regular Army.
Wright went on to say that he began using the Army Ranger lie after he began remixing the posters something which brought him numerous death threats. After posting the webpage saying that I was a former Ranger, the number of death threats dropped drastically. I still got hate mail, but it was now of a different sort, telling me that my opinion was idiotic or that I had been misled. My fellow Americans seemed to believe that if you had served in the military, this gave you leeway to say what you felt... but if you were NOT a veteran, God forbid you should think opposite of what everyone else thought. Did any of that justify my lie? No. But it made it easier to tell. Too easy.
According to his post, Wright felt the hoax/lie had gotten out of control when he spoke with the Washington Post last year, adding lie upon lie, heaping (he thought) obvious falsehoods so high that surely, a reporter, or at least a fact checker from the Post would notice them.
A day later, the article ran, Wright posted. My outrageous lies were printed verbatim. They'd dedicated two full pages to a ridiculous hoax which could have been exposed with a half hour's work. My beliefs in the veracity of the corporate media had been shaken previously, but now they were shattered. I couldn't figure it out. How had this happened? I stared at the paper in shock. Then I realized that the Washington Post had only done what they normally do: run whatever anyone in a uniform or position of authority told them to.
It certainly wasn't unprecedented. After all, Governor George W. Bush had done the same thing in 2000 when running for president. Questions arose and were quickly squashed about his military service. Even today, Bush still hasn't released all of his military records but NO ONE in the media is crying out for them. It's no wonder that my much smaller-scale hoax worked! Of course, this doesn't excuse my hoax... but it certainly motivated it.
Within hours of seeing print, the edges of the hoax began to unravel. I received two separate emails from real Rangers and Special Forces soldiers. They had seen right through me. No matter how much research you do, you can't fool an expert, and in this case the experts weren't fooled for a second. Web pages sprung up overnight: Micah Wright is a Big Fat Liar. "Yes," I thought, "I am." Outraged Rangers started phoning the Washington Post. We haven't heard of this guy. His photo isn't familiar, who the hell is he? The Post, chagrined, began "investigating" after the fact... by calling ME and asking if I was telling the truth.
On the face of it, it was an easy story to disprove. A simple Freedom of Information Act request would turn up no records of me having an active duty military career. Was sending that piece of paper too hard for anyone in the corporate media to do? No wonder huge corporations get away with Enron-sized ripoffs. No wonder Jayson Blair was able to get away with making up the news. No wonder that 55% of Americans still think that Saddam Hussein carried out the 9/11 attacks. The media was sleeping on the job. The Jayson Blair story exploded at the New York Times in April of 2003--the story about "Ranger Micah" ran in the Washington Post on July 6th, 2003. It wasn't like they had no idea that there was a problem or that they should check their sources. Why were they so asleep at the switch?
Further down in the statement, Wright gives his reasoning for why he opted to come clean now, posting: So why come clean now, you ask? Why shouldn't I continue on, seeing how far I can push it? Well, frankly, I'm sick of it. The corporate-media-hoax part of the joke isn't fun any longer, and the personal side has never been fun. I'm sick of lying to my friends, to employers, to my fans, to myself. I'm not a Ranger. I've lied to so many people about this that it's made me physically ill. I havent been able to sleep and Ive just about given myself an ulcer. The phone would ring and guilt, terror and panic would grip me: is this the day that I get found out? Or is it NPR wanting to do a story on me? How long should I compound the media hoax? To lie to more people? The waiting has become too much. I'm killing the hoax and I'm stopping the lies.
However, this too may be a statement coming through a particular lens, as Newsarama has learned that tomorrows Washington Post will contain a story about Wright, exposing his Ranger story as a fiction.
Micah has listed on his site that he is a Ranger. We contacted him and attempted several times to get him to give us some information we could verify. We finally got a class date. Our research yielded the following:
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2003 15:29:24 -0400
To: Mir Bahmanyar
No such name in our files.
From: Mir Bahmanyar [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2003 10:47 AM
Can you tell me if a Micah Wright graduated from 13/87?
Without ever having seen any of his work, I can guess that the real reason the Post printed his works without question is that he espouses liberal views which intend to demoralize America on the war on terror.
Am I right? Anyone familiar with his work care to comment?
This guy is still on a prevarication roll. It's my understanding that the President has released all of his records and that it is Kerry that has been ever so selective about what service records he has released.
They don't fact-check liberals.
"And please... no more death threats.