Saturday, December 29, 2007

Setting a horrible example

It's astonishing how low some people will stoop.

The following heart-tugging essay won a six-year-old girl from Texas four tickets to a Hannah Montana concert along with airfare and a makeover.

My daddy died this year in Iraq. I am going to give mommy the Angel pendant that daddy put on mommy when she was having me. I had it in my jewelry box since that day. I love my mommy.

The only problem with the essay was that it was a fabrication. As the girl's mother helpfully explained,"We did the essay and that's what we did to win...We did whatever we could do to win."

Every element of this story is disgusting, beginning with the mother entering a six-year-old into a contest to receive a makeover, moving on to the falsified essay, and then lying about the child's father being killed in Iraq. You have to feel most sorry for the little girl who was led into this fraud and who is still living with a parent with such a skewed moral compass.

The contest sponsors have withdrawn the prize. However, that does not even begin to address the harm that this fraud has caused. Fitting compensation would be to require the mother to hand-write apologies to the families of each of the nearly 4,000 service people who have perished in Iraq and whose cherished memories she has traded on.