This Week in Milford

June 18, 2022

I Love the Sound of Breaking Hamms

If Rubin set out to drive clicks to Janet Cooke and Stephen Glass, not to mention Mason Hamstetter, he succeeded. Credit where credit is due, I suppose.

Janet Cooke was a writer for the WaPo who lied about her academic credentials and fabricated a story about a child heroin addict in the District. Bob Woodward – yes, that Bob Woodward – submitted the story for consideration for the Pulitzer and it won. It was soon revealed that there were discrepancies in her backstory; the WaPo board pressured her to confess and the Pulitzer was rescinded. Cook subsequently disappeared from the public eye.

Stephen Glass had been a feature writer and associate editor for The New Republic for several years when rebuttals from the subjects of his articles (D.A.R.E., the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Hofstra University, among others) began to shed light on his journalistic integrity. Glass’ bosses at TNR caught him in a lie involving a software company and its talented young hacker employee, all of which were fabrications created by Glass. He was fired by TNR then, after getting a law degree from Georgetown, was rejected for admission to the New York and California bars due to lack of moral fitness. Kinda makes you wonder why Georgetown Law let him in to begin with.

There have been other plagiarism scandals in this country, from Jayson Blair (not cleared) to Stephen Ambrose (not cleared) to Alex Haley (cleared and not cleared in separate cases) to the current President of the United States (cleared). Some of those charged have built back better than others. Seems like Mason Ham(m)stetter has kinda built back okay, so maybe he needs to chillax with his wife a little bit. It’s not like Gil’s gonna leak this to the press; he and Marty aren’t exactly best buds. Now if Heather Burns crawls out from under Gil’s desk off-panel, all bets are off.

Gil looks perplexed, doesn’t he? I haven’t seen him look like that since he was pondering whether to have an iced tea.

Musical inspiration for today’s post title:


  1. Well, popps has a point. If he was looking for anonymity, he fucked up bad by coming to Milford, the only city in the country with more busy bodies per capita than anywhere else. The women in the town are pretty bad too with their nosiness. By telling Gil, Mrs hamms might as well have pulled a Bobby howry and put it on a billboard. Gil didn’t notice Gregg’s blind ass but he won’t miss this.

    Comment by franku2016 — June 18, 2022 @ 2:39 pm

  2. Teenchy, excellent stuff and I learned a ton. Thank you for the insights as it adds VERY well with what is transpiring at this point.

    My semi-beef is that while plagiarism is certainly a serious offense and Mr. Hamm got what he deserved, I really cannot tie this in with The Sopranos knocking at their doors, unless The Sopranos ran the publishing company. Yes, it is advisable for Mr. Hamm to start over and even pursue a new ID to defuse the controversy surrounding the situation; I just think Witness Protection is a bit extreme unless again, they were plagiarizing about The Sopranos at their sons’ wedding. Thorpiverse is raising a stink where there is no Gil, IMO. There’s an old Korean proverb which states “Never use a sword on a mosquito”. T-verse is using an Uzi on this farce.
    Now in fairness, Alan Berg, the noted talk show host in Colorado in the ’80’s was gunned down in his driveway in 1984. While I certainly don’t condone the crime, Berg did have an abrasive and combative style, many times abruptly hanging up on callers he disagreed with or just in general. Not surprisingly, he had few friends. Yeah, I’d go Witness Protection on this bad boy even if it really didn’t fall within the parameters. The police would just tell him to tone it down(couldn’t agree more), something Berg wasn’t about to do.
    The point is, that would warrant WP more so than Mr. Hamm, even taking into account his transgressions, IMO.
    But Go on shoveling around the cow manure, wven if you have to resort to Tiki Jensen’s Hooverville neighborhood.

    Comment by tdrewhardin — June 18, 2022 @ 7:03 pm

  3. If you’re saying that the Hamms are really in Witness Protection, no, they’re not. They just changed their last name (somehow) and moved.

    Comment by MopMan — June 18, 2022 @ 7:31 pm

  4. Mopman, I see your point but I am simply going with what Curtis saw on the computer and relayed to Gil. Why would his name be exhibit A unless there was a reason. Why would Gil call unless Witness Protection was part of the issue, even if by Gil’s own admission it was pretty far-fetched(hey, we’re talking Thorpiverse here-ha).
    Now it was nice that Mrs. Hamm reassured Gil and the readers that they truly weren’t running from The Sopranos but you can understand my reasoning, though Mr. Hamm was wise to head out of Dodge and start over in a new town after his serious lapse in judgement, it certainly didn’t warrant Witness Protection, IMO, and I believe has contributed to the hilarity of this plot.
    I agree with you, they did indeed change their identity and move which was wise, again given his lack of ethics in journalism. You da Man.

    Comment by tdrewhardin — June 18, 2022 @ 11:16 pm

  5. Well what I gathered was that Curtis Googled Witness Protection and based on the description of the program and how they were acting he felt they were part of it. Not that he found the Hamms somehow listed.

    Comment by MopMan — June 19, 2022 @ 6:48 am

  6. Point well-taken, Mopman. I respectfully disagree but then again, I am always learning. Life’s like that. You da Man. I promise to check in on your site, BTW.

    Comment by tdrewhardin — June 19, 2022 @ 8:17 pm

  7. The only thing missing at this point is Gil finding out that Blindy’s dad stole their new surname from a man in Rye, NY, and his fraudulent story of doom was about the Mayo Clinic. So when his investigation calls start being returned simultaneously, he can tell the school secretary “Give me Hamm in Rye, hold the Mayo!”


    Comment by Moon Mullins — June 19, 2022 @ 11:53 pm

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