Bogus: ‘Case Western’ Blogger Falsifies Protest

, Bethany Stotts, Leave a comment

Blogger “Norman Novus,” who claims to be a Case Western Reserve University Ph.D. candidate, wrote on December 18 that “a group of Cleveland’s less cerebrally engaged have take to protesting outside my research suite at Case.” But at least one of his photos is ripped off Getty Images.

“For the past week, a group of Cleveland’s less cerebrally engaged have taken to protesting outside my research suite at Case.  (I can hear them once in a while from where I’m sitting and writing this.)  It’s been a mix of locals mostly, but a few students have brought placards on their way to class as well.”

“One of my colleagues snapped a few photos yesterday,” he writes, and embeds the photos I’ve included below.

“The groups haven’t been especially large, maybe a dozen or so people at the most–and today there seemed to be a few fewer than yesterday–but they’ve been pretty vocal and confrontational.  On Wednesday, one threw his shoulder into mine as I tried to pass on the sidewalk leading into the building’s entrance.  This guy below, whose shirt pretty much sums up the general message of those assembled, occupies a special place in my heart–it’s too bad the image doesn’t show you what his sign says, as my name assumes a bold font near its top.”

I can’t speak for the second photo, but the first one was taken by Teresa Barbieri of Getty Images last year, according to an October 2008 article by Canada’s CBC News.

Its caption reads, “Protesters at the Religulous premiere at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival.”

So not only did the supposedly “captured” protest in action not take place in Cleveland, the featured protesters weren’t even photographed in the United States.

According to a December 19 Salon blog posting by “checkitout,” entitled “Norman Novus ‘fesses up,” Norman private messaged him claiming the post was “art.”

“He wants me to go along with the gag.  And the horse he road in on,” writes “checkitout”; the blogger provides no evidence to substantiate this claim.

“Norman Novus” does not appear in the Case Western directory. Read more at his blog on

Thanks to William O. for the tip.

Bethany Stotts is a staff writer at Accuracy in Academia.