Fake News Briefs

911 caller gets her day

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (July 28) – The woman who reported what she saw as a possible break-in at the home of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates has inked a three-book deal with publisher HarperCollins to tell her story of the incident.

Lucia Whalen met with the press yesterday after the $3.5 million publishing agreement was announced in New York. She said she has been unfairly targeted by some for her role in what has become a nationwide discussion about racial profiling. Gates, a widely respected African-American scholar, was arrested by local police July 16 on charges of disorderly conduct when he was suspected of breaking and entering at his own home.

“If you’re a concerned citizen, you should do the right thing if you see something,” she said. “I did the right thing, and now I’m rolling in dough.”

The first installment of the series, due out on Sept. 1, chronicles the moments before Whalen placed the 911 call to local police. Professor Gates had just returned from a trip out of the country and was wrestling with his jammed front door when Whalen saw him and became suspicious. She’ll describe how she stepped across the street and stood next to a large tree while she made the call on her cell phone.

The second book, scheduled for a Christmas season release, will discuss how she spoke briefly to Cambridge police Sgt. James Crowley before he confronted Gates on the porch. The final part of the trilogy will detail how she went on to the grocery store after the incident, stopping later to pick up a prescription at CVS and then some dry cleaning.

The deal includes a film option as well as North American TV broadcast rights. It’s expected that worldwide rights to Whalen’s story will be negotiated in a separate deal.

Solution to settlements issue?

JERUSALEM (July 27) – Middle East envoy George Mitchell announced a breakthrough in discussions with Israeli officials yesterday that will result in the dismantling of Jewish settlements on the occupied West Bank. The rapidly constructed housing has been a sticking point in efforts to enact a peace deal with the Palestinians.

Mitchell said an agreement has been reached with U.S.-based mortgage brokers to finance the homes being built mostly by ultra-Orthodox settlers. Under the plan, the Israeli citizens will receive loans from government agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Shortly after the housing is completed, it will be foreclosed on by American banks holding the mortgages, and then demolished.

“We’ve had great success in the States with this model in the last year or two,” Mitchell said. “There’s really no logical reason why we can’t engage in predatory lending practices over here.”

Mitchell said that families displaced by the so-called Subprimes for Samarians program will be re-settled in a desolate region of the Midwest that’s similar to the Mideast. Abandoned homes in Detroit, Cleveland and Gary, Indiana, will be made available for occupation by the Israelis, who will also receive a complementary small appliance for the inconvenience.

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