NBC could have the kind of story on its hands that makes for jaw-droppingly bonkers good TV. As you’ll recall, I shared a clip yesterday from America’s Got Talent’s Austin auditions featuring Tim Poe, a military veteran who served in Afghanistan. Poe moved America and the judges to tears with his story of acquiring a stutter after having been hit with a grenade while trying to save his men. It should be noted that his service, his stutter – and the fact that his stutter disappears when he sings – are the real reasons he was passed on to go to Vegas in the competition, because his singing voice in and of itself isn’t that powerful or impressive.
Almost immediately after my post went up, comments started pouring in calling Poe a liar. Commenter IDK wrote, “I hate to bring bad news as it still needs to be investigated but soldiers from Tim Poe’s old company are stepping out to say that his entire story is a lie. As the wife of a service member, if it comes out that he lied about everything, I might actually throw up. Anyone who would lie about such things sicken me.” Anonymous followed that with, “Tim Poe is a fraud. He was never injured during his deployment in Afghanistan. His stutter is a ploy (to) pull innocent people into his fake sob story.” I was directed to a Facebook page called Defenders of Freedom where soldiers and others in Tim Poe’s life were calling him out. And now The Associated Press is trying to get the real scoop.
Looks like we’ve got a con artist on our hands, America!
According to Yahoo!, “Poe served with the Minnesota National Guard for nine years (not 14, as he said) as a supply specialist, and they can’t find any evidence of the injury he describes. ‘Sgt. Poe’s official military records do not indicate that he was injured by a grenade in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2009, as he reports,’ the Minnesota National Guard said in a statement.” Minnesota National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Kevin Olson says, “Poe did not receive the Purple Heart, a honor given to servicemen injured in enemy combat, as he would have if his story were true.” Additionally, Poe’s ex-wife told The New York Post, “There were no combat injuries… I think he developed a feel sorry for me’ stutter.”
Yahoo! notes, “NBC had no comment on the story, but if proven true, these accusations could turn a feel-good story into a serious scandal for the network. At the very least, it sounds as if someone at NBC didn’t do their homework before broadcasting Poe’s story into millions of homes.” The website AGT News, which as far as I can tell is not run by NBC, posted about the scandal and they have an exclusive interview with Poe’s ex-wife in which she says he “got another woman pregnant while she was deployed for ten months to Iraq in 2003.” Kelly Ballard told the site, “He ended up marrying her. They got divorced in March of this year.” She says, “I had him arrested in June 2002 for domestic violence. After that, he vanished to Minnesota. He didn’t help out with our son at all.”
I smell a sociopath! No wonder I loved him at first sight! Haha! You live, you learn. I am dying to see what NBC and more importantly, Howie, Sharon and Howard have to say about this! If Poe is kicked out of the competition, I bet Mitt Romney could take his slot. Just sayin’. He’s great at acquiring a fake Southern accent.