Taking the art of self-absorption to new and previously-unseen heights, a 22-year-old San Franciscan, Ben Vanderford, has acknowledged that he faked a videotape of his own beheading in Iraq. He originally taped the beheading a few months ago to drum up interest in his campaign for (what else?) Matt Gonzalez�s District 5 Supervisor seat. (He was running as an independent). However, when he lost interest in the run, he nonetheless decided to keep the video up on his website "as social commentary." He made fake blood, filmed the beheading at a friend�s house in Pleasanton, spliced in footage of mutilated bodies from Hamas websites, claimed to have been murdered by Al Qaeda's Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and modified the video to make it look "less high-quality." The video was found and reported as true earlier last week by the AP (which about 90 minutes later then was forced to somewhat embarrassedly report it a hoax).
Vanderford has refused to apologize to the families of those who were actually beheaded by Al Qaeda, saying that he has in fact done us all a great public service by illustrating how easy these videos are to fake.
Vanderford�s day job is at a bank, but he designs video games and raps with his posse when not working. Of course he does. Meanwhile, he's been doing brisk business granting interviews, shirtless, on the news. Hey Ben, you still got five days to declare yourself a candidate for District 5.