"I was young. It was just the kind of shit that actresses have to go through. Somebody told me I was fat, that I was going to get fired if I didn’t lose a certain amount of weight. They brought in pictures of me where I was basically naked, and told me to use them as motivation for my diet. It was just that. [Someone brought it up recently] They thought that because of the way my career had gone, it wouldn’t still hurt me. That somehow, after I won an Oscar, I’m above it all. ‘You really still care about that?’ Yeah. I was a little girl. I was hurt. It doesn’t matter what accolades you get. I know it’ll never happen to me again. If anybody even tries to whisper the word ‘diet’, I’m like, ‘You can go fuck yourself.”
It was the kind of story that every local television news station dreams about: A feel-good story of a minority who chooses the high road in the face of unfathomable oppression.
When Dayna Morales sent a receipt bearing an anti-gay message to a pro-gay Facebook page, she was likely looking to win over the empathy of a few dozen, maybe a few hundred, followers.
Instead, the receipt, bearing a hash mark where a tip should be and a message in opposition to Morales’ lifestyle, went viral. Someone, somewhere, republished it. Soon after, every local television station in New York City wanted an interview with Morales, who was all too happy to oblige.
It was the perfect story, told at the perfect time — November sweeps, when American TV stations air their most titillating news stories with the hopes of driving up ratings. Millions around the world heard Morales’ story, and thousands patroned the restaurant where Morales worked, some even going so far as to make donations.
Yes, it was the perfect story — for Morales, for the restaurant, for the media — until it wasn’t.
On Monday, WNBC found the couple who ate at the restaurant the night of November 13th. They produced a different receipt, one that showed a 20 percent tip and no anti-gay message. And to quell any doubters who questioned the difference between their “customer copy” and Morales’ “merchant copy,” the couple produced a Visa credit card statement showing the tip had been charged to their account.
Confronted with the evidence, the restaurant could offer no explanation. Neither could Morales, who told the reporter that the handwriting on the receipt wasn’t hers — even though nobody had accused her of writing it.
Two days later, friends and former co-workers are speaking out.
Friends say Morales has a history of embellishing. Some of the things they accuse her of lying about: Living in a home damaged by Superstorm Sandy, shaving her head because she had been diagnosed with brain cancer and being severely injured during combat in Afghanistan, where she served as a U.S. Marine (a military spokesperson confirmed Morales enlisted, but never served in Afghanistan).
What’s more, a former girlfriend told LoHud.com that the handwriting on the receipt that went viral last week belongs to Morales.
Morales, who took advantage of every media opportunity two weeks ago, is now turning down reporters seeking requests for comment.
This whole story makes me sad.
Inside these boxes are enough videotapes to fill a Blockbuster. What’s on these tapes? Well, about 35 years of local and national news, recorded by Marion Stokes, a woman who spent nearly half her life recording the news in the belief that someday it would be useful. It probably isn’t very useful, but it was a pretty epic hobby.
These tapes will actually be incredibly useful. They contain hours of history that can be re-lived, instead of re-imagined, when viewed.
The San Francisco-based Internet Archive plans to digitize the tapes and make them available on their website for searching and viewing. Someday, in the not-too-distant future, you’ll be able to watch ABC News segments on the Iran hostage crisis — the event that launched Nightline. The live CNN video on the Challenger disaster. Little Jessica being rescued from the well. Nightly news segments on the fall of the Berlin wall.
The first Gulf War. The war in Bosnia. TWA 800. Clinton’s impeachment. The Florida “hanging chad” scandal. Hours of videotape on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. The entire war in Iraq as it played out on cable news. The start — and end — of the housing crisis that crippled economy. The election of the first black president.
Marion Stokes might have had an unusual hobby, but her hobby bore a priceless gift that now millions connected to the internet will be able to enjoy. I guess I’d expect nothing less from someone who was once a former librarian.
You should absolutely read (and buy!):
Because it’s wonderful, obviously. I’m sure almost all of you already know how hilarious Allie is, and if not you MUST check out her blog ASAP and just know that her book is that PLUS oh so much more. What I mean by that is: this book is 60% pure hilarity, but also 40% hard-hitting-but-FUNNY-self-reflection-that-makes-you-as-the-reader-be-brutally-honest-with-yourself-because-omg-god-Allie-feels-the-same-way-which-means-you-are-not-alone——and those are my favourite kinds of books.
I wasn’t sure the blog would translate to book, and I am delighted that I was wrong.
The book is amazing and wonderful and will make you laugh so hard you’ll cry.