Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Candidate for city council exposed as chronic liar

To all of you who don't see the worthiness of a student newspaper: stuff it.

College newspapers are doing the work that professional newspapers ought to be doing.

In Minneapolis, an openly gay 23-year-old University of Minnesota student, Charles Carlson, ran for a city council seat.

All was fine and dandy until the student newspaper found out that Carlson had fabricated his entire biography, and he suffered from severe mental illnesses.

Carlson, who had received a large amount of support from the gay community in Minneapolis, claimed to have been born in England, attended Princeton University, officiated a tennis match at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, and a number of other falsehoods.  Carlson went to the extent of falsifying documents for each of these claims.

Briana Bierschbach, a junior at the University of Minnesota, began an investigative journalism piece on Carlson after comments on an earlier article about Carlson made interesting claims.  In her investigative work, she faxed over Carlson's fake transcripts from Princeton and his 'supposed' high school.  She called his 'supposed' relatives.  And she even called up the Obama and Clinton campaigns, both of which he claimed to have a higher-up position in.

After all of this work, the local newsstation and newspaper immediately picked up the story and Ms. Bierschbach got little attention.

Many believed that Carlson, with his superior funding, higher-tech website, and corporate sponsorships, would have won the election.  This just goes to show the power of the student press and the laziness of the professional media.


  1. Well that's what happens when you tell lie's. Now he has lost all his creditability and his reputation. I am very suprise that the media did not check this guy out. Usually when you run for office they do a background check. Now isn't it funny that the school newspaper found out about his personal life.

    Good job goes out to the student of the newspaper. At least she caught im, before he did anymore damange.

  2. Boys and their lies. I don't know what it is but some people, not only boys always have to exagerate and fabricate their lives and accomplishments, as if their real lives aren't good enough. This is one thing i will never understand. What this boy did is beyond believable, yet, it seems like he will fit right into politics. Why does everyone in politics seem like they feel they have to lie about aspects of their lives? I also believe that Ms. Bierschbach should send in a letter of complant and petition to the media for the rights of her story. What the media did was also wrong, i think they call that plagerism, the network that stole it should be publicly repremanded and made an example of. They also should offer this talented and ambitious student a job! great post.

  3. Kudos to the newspaper who called this guy out. He needs to get what he deserves. And I believe I sense in my future that this person is going to jail. Why? Because he lied to federal officials about being part of the Clinton and Obama campaigns.

    Not only should it have been in the professional news, it should have been on national television because of the severity of what he did. I also think it is great that this student newspaper was able to find out the truth about his personal life. They should offer whoever did this posting to the paper a job. Great post.

  4. Well, this was an interesting piece. I'm glad to see that this caught the attention of the news, although it was a student. It shows hope for the future of reporting. This was a great deal that could have been really bad for a lot of people, and I'm glad they stopped this man from becoming more powerful than he thought he actually was.