Lawmaker cites satirical website to nix hazing bill

A lawmaker misquoted an article on the satirical website The Onion in supporting efforts to deep-six a bill targeting hazing among college sororities and fraternities.

“I’m reading right here on The Onion a report about Kentucky seniors who hazed freshman basketball players,” said Rep. Micah Van Huss (R-Jonesborough).

Van Huss appears to have been referring to a 2016 article on the satire website titled: “New Report Reveals Kentucky Seniors Forced To Endure Brutal Hazing From Freshman Players.”

The House Criminal Justice Committee video shows Van Huss reading from his iPad, and then sliding it away as he speaks about his support for sending the bill to a summer study committee after the session ends. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Brenda Gilmore (D-Nashville).

The satirical article purports to quote an NCAA investigator saying that the freshmen players had been forcing the upperclassmen to carry gym bags, consume excessive amounts of alcohol, and sit in a locked closet for hours on end.

“This was apparently seen as a way to make the seniors understand their place on the team, but regardless of the reasoning, it is absolutely unacceptable,” The Onion wrote.

The article concludes by saying that the players were suspended pending an investigation and that Kentucky coach John Calipari was left with “no choice but to field a starting lineup with no freshmen in the NCAA Tournament.”


33 Responses to Lawmaker cites satirical website to nix hazing bill

  • Avatar
    Gerald Mahoney says:

    Wow. Just wow.

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    Stacy L Germano says:

    Behold our leaders.

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    William Upton says:

    Would the people who voted for him like to stand up and be recognized? And we wonder why we have stupid government and laws.

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    Kay White says:

    I have spoken out at several events and my feelings are: Any “State Funded” school, college, university or other like places of education should not be allowed to have any type iniation or practice such as “hazing” or other events which has the potential to endanger or even cause death to those participating will not be allowed on or off campus State funded programs are designed to educate, train and promote the well being of all individuals who enroll, participate or otherwise engage. It should be put into law that any school encouraging or promoting any activities such as this will be exempt from any state funding immediately. Any membership to any sororities, fraternities or other “clubs” should have to do so outside of the “State Funded” facilities and in no way assocdiated with the facilities. For years this type activities have been allowed, encouraged or tolerated due to either student or professors/educators who perhaps engaged themselves at some point in their life in these type activities. Some “clubs” require a certain grade point average, or certain other sponsors or recommended requirements in order to participate. This is a type of discrimination against those who do not meet these requirements, etc and can cause mental problems, feelings of alienation or other disorders which can lead to violence. It is my belief that anytime a state sponsors an event, educational facilities, or other public place that every care and due diligence must be taken to insure the safety and security of all of those attending or involved in any way. diligence

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    N8 says:

    Diligence, indeed.

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    Sandra Barrett-Hoomani says:

    Van Huss … still representing … lol

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      “Representing” quite well as a matter of fact. He has an excellent conservative voting record, which after all is why he is elected and is of most importance.

      He made a mistake which obviously amuses Miss. Hoomani to no end. Why don’t you give the guy a break, he’s no Maxine Waters, but he represents his constituents very well.

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        Leslie Parsley says:

        I don’t think anyone thinks this is amusing. It just proves how out of touch with reality you and your fellow Republicans are. Very distressing, in fact, to say nothing of being hypocritical.

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          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Leslie, if you stopped “distressing” so easily it would put you well on the road to stop being so liberal. Besides, Miss. Hoomani obviously thinks that Micah’s mistake was amusing, didn’t you see that “lol” in her 9:55 AM response. Oh, that means “laugh out loud.”

          Of course, the legislature shouldn’t be concerned with greek hazing so of course Micah wanted to kill this bill. Micah’s position was, after all, the correct one as usual.

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            Ben A. Rowned says:

            > “Besides, Miss. Hoomani obviously thinks that Micah’s mistake was amusing.”

            You’re completely right. After all, how could you not be amused at an adult making the mistake of a child? The Onion is notorious for satire (oh, that means “fantasy teasing reality”). So it’s absolutely amusing that he didn’t realize this. And also, shouldn’t lawmakers be familiar with a source before using it? And he wasn’t? There’s another point of amusement, however, “disconcerting” would seem much more of an appropriate expression for that, if I were putting it politely, that is.

            Of course, I suspect Hoomani was also being polite by making it seem as if she were merely amused. If she’s intellectually grounded then her esteem just plummeted for the state of her democracy.

            Then again, I guess that’s par for the course in the U.S.–so perhaps she didn’t bat an eye in that regard? “Some lawmaker” uses any source he can find to back something up, even if the source is invalid? By glossing that over, Stuart, you’re not exactly trying to exert much wit here, are ya?

            (Notice, in respect to your naivete, how I specifically just made fun of *you*, rather than your political peers? I realize that’s probably a bit high brow for you, therefore let’s take a step back–you should continue to resort to some more remarks about how naive liberals are. I think that was your strongest point. After all, I am heavily distressed after reading your comment and imagining that you’re actually an adult behind that keyboard. It’s a very humbling realization, to say the least).

            Perhaps you need to hear this said, Stu–but legislature should absolutely be concerned with greek hazing if such hazing is unlawful and/or disorderly and/or unusually cruel. Micah is about as correct as his source is valid.

            If you’re gonna be a lawmaker, perhaps don’t be so lazy that you make the type of mistake that would get you detention in middle school. There’s a reason we check our sources for validity before using them to defend our thoughts and our claims, and usually that reason is because we’ve grown up and have obtained an education valuable enough to instill that basic insight into us. But sometimes we gain that insight by sounding like a moron on the internet and getting corrected by anonymous strangers using fake names. In which case, this is surely your lucky day, Stu.

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            Zach A. says:

            Considering he didn’t even cite the article correctly, after SIMULTANEOUSLY failing to realize it was satirical, I doubt he even really understood the bill on any level.

            As the old saying goes, he’s so dumb he couldn’t pour piss out of a boot with the instructions written on the heel.

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            David Axson says:

            You *seriously* don’t see a problem with an adult not being able to distinguish satire from reality?

            From blindly accepting an article posted online and bringing it up in a government hearing as fact, without any source checking?

            Damn, you’re dumb.

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        James White says:

        Nancy Pelosi represents her constituents very well too.

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    Saje Williams says:

    Stuart. Surely you can’t be serious. Lawmakers shouldn’t be concerned with assault on college campuses? Because hazing starts out as assault and often becomes battery. Let’s see. By your logic, ‘conservative’ logic, students can’t speak out against things they dislike because they have no legal standing (beyond the 1st Amendment, that is) to ask anything of anyone but lawmakers can’t take on the issues of import to them because it’s not their job? Then whose job is it?

    Students demonstrate and you call them pawns of someone else’s agenda (something your ilk has said about every protest and movement since suffrage), you ignore their demands for respect on and off campus, disdaining it as “political correctness) and act as though their government has no obligation to listen to them or act on their behalf.

    Your arguments are spurious, what passes for logic in your arguments only unassailable because it’s indecipherable.

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      LOL THE ONION says:

      The Onion is a satirical website. The article is literally fake and he’s using it to pass legislation.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      In order to have an assault, you need an intention to cause physical harm. Hazing, therefore, doesn’t typically “start out as assault. . . .” A battery requires physical violence inflicted without consent. Those of us who pledged a greek organization did so voluntarily with the understanding that we will be subject to a certain amount of demeaning treatment in exchange for which we will eventually gain membership in the organization. We could cease our pledging at any time. In those few cases where assault and battery does take place there have long been laws in Tennessee against such things. No more laws are necessary, though I understand the left’s affection for command and control make them naturally inclined to support more and more laws.

      The rest of Saje’s response concerns things I didn’t say but apparently Saje thinks I would have said as a natural extension of those few things I did say. Another habit of those on the left is to try to engage in reading of minds of people they simply don’t know. Saje shows himself to be no better at this than anyone else and I always believed that if we simply ignore baseless mind reading it will help those so afflicted to break the habit.

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        Simon Moon says:

        You are missing the entire point of this article. It isn’t to debate hazing, assault, or Tennessee law. It is to point out that this moron of a lawmaker is citing The Onion as part of his argument for some sort of legislation. It doesn’t matter if he was discussing naming a post office, passing a law against bears driving, or voting on school funding. The entire issue is that this person unironically cited a satirical website in a serious manner. You cannot read the Onion without figuring out pretty quickly it is satire. So he is using it either because he didn’t even read it meaning he is incompetent, or he did read it and didnt understand it is satire meaning he is a moron, or he knew it was satire and tried to pass it off as real to back his views which would make him certainly lacking ethics but also probably stupid.

        Now, to entertain you and do exactly what you think all “liberals” must do, I’ll get inside your mind without knowing you. I’d guess that you are utterly obsessed with your political identity to the point that the thing you are arguing about isn’t relevant, just that you are showing those dirty “libruls” the what for.

        Or maybe you are just completely oblivious and don’t realize how stupid you might be. Tough to tell over the internet. Have fun writing your well punctuated retort I won’t read.

      • Avatar
        Sam Shepherd says:

        “In order to have an assault, you need an intention to cause physical harm.”

        Is it hard being so dumb and ignorant of how the law really works?

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    Robert Ritchie says:

    The added irony is that TNGA Rep. Micah Van Huss lists himself as a wrestling coach at Davy Crockett High School in Washington County, yet he did not cite the 2015 case involving David Crockett High School students who were reportedly hazing a freshman student at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes football camp who was held down by upperclassmen for “repeated” ‘penis-in-face’ hazing:

    High school students suspended for ‘penis-in-face’ hazing

    4 Crockett students suspended for year following hazing investigation
    By: Jennifer Sprouse
    Updated: Aug 12, 2015 12:50 PM EDT

  • Avatar
    DF says:

    Just saying this article and these comments will be reread with his foolish HJR.

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