The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint – Entertainer’s 9/11 lie leaves unanswered questions

By – Dylan Leverett/ reporter

Steve Rannazzisi of The League fame recently apologized for fabricating a story about surviving the 9/11 attacks that leaves most of us to wonder, “Why?”

Rannazzisi originally claimed through several interviews to work as an account manager for Merrill Lynch on the 54th floor of the South Tower when it was struck and narrowly escaped before both towers collapsed. His survival made him rethink his career path and pursue a career in comedy in Los Angeles.

A New York Times article presented the inconsistences in the comedian’s story that compelled him to fess up, among them he was never an employee of Merrill Lynch and was actually working in midtown far from the attacks.

Oddly enough, Rannazzisi is not the first to lie about surviving the 9/11 attacks, notably Alicia Esteve Head or Tania Head as she was known when she was acting president of the World Trade Center Survivors’ Network, a nonprofit organization. Head alleged she was also an employee of Merrill Lynch when the attacks happened, and she also fabricated a relationship with a fiancé who died in the attacks.

Head was able to fool her colleagues for some time until New York Times reporter David W. Dunlap brought her inconsistencies to light.

Now, obviously, what Rannazzisi and Head did makes a rational person want to scream, “Why? Just why?” These actions are unforgivable and above all unnecessary. There are several acceptable ways to get attention and become successful although it appears Rannazzisi didn’t receive any direct personal gain. That just leaves more questions unanswered, so again why?

Washington Post reporter Sarah Kaplan hypothesized that “Rannazzisi and Head’s falsehoods are similar to what psychiatrists call Munchhausen Syndrome … a condition that causes people to feign illness or psychological trauma in order to gain sympathy.”

Although there may be a psychological reason behind Rannazzisi’s actions, it still does not make it forgivable. He is responsible for his actions and has to answer to those affected by the attacks. Comedian and WTF podcast host Marc Maron, who was on the receiving end of Rannazzisi’s lie, sums it up: “This is obviously going to be a life-changer for Steve, and he’s gotta live with this. It was a bad thing to do, but that’s on Steve now, and that’s his cross to bear on his conscience. And he’s gotta live with the repercussions with what he did.”

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