[Ed. note: If you have already read the original and want to jump straight to the first update, click here. And if you’ve already read the first update, here is the link to the second update, wherein Dan tacitly admits that BHR was right and he was wrong, and here is the third update, an adventure in Dan trying to hide Reddit posts that aren’t going well for him.]
If I were going to give one piece of advice to all would-be politicians in this state, it would be this: If you are going to lie about yourself as part of your campaign, make sure that you can keep your own lies straight and, more importantly, that those lies are not easily disprovable.
As part of that, if you are, say, running for U.S. Senate and considering lying about your educational bonafides, you might want to ask yourself (or, even better, someone who knows more than you) how the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (“AFOIA”) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) interact. If you did that, you might learn that FERPA does not prohibit a college or university from releasing “directory information,” which includes things like dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, grade level or year (such as freshman or junior), and enrollment status (undergraduate or graduate; full-time or part-time). And you might also learn that the AFOIA applies to this directory information so that any Arkansan can receive it with a simple request. Armed with that information, you could smartly conclude that is a bad idea to lie about what degrees you claim to have from a public college or to claim that you are currently a student at a public university that you do not attend.
Which brings us to Dan Whitfield. Because of course it does.
This morning, on Whitfield’s twitter account, I noticed that he posted this comparison between himself and his main opponent in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, Natalie James:
Someone else pointed out to me that Whitfield had also posted the same thing on at least seven different subreddits. Looking at it a little closer, I noticed this:
“Currently working on a Bachelors in Information Systems specializing in Blockchain Engineering at the University of Arkansas.”
Except…well…I have some bad news. You may want to sit down for this, because it is going to shock you.
Dan is lying.
I don’t mean that he’s lying in the “oh, he’s just making his degree program sound fancier than it is” sort of way, either. No, I mean he’s lying in the he does not attend and has not attended the University of Arkansas at all.
I know! I was shocked at his dishonesty, too!1
Hold on. Let’s rewind.
Last August, I was looking for the transparency spreadsheet on Whitfield’s website that he bragged so much about before taking it down for some unknown reason, when I noticed that he had changed his paean to himself from “will finish my associates” to “finished my Associates of Applied Science” and would be transferring to the University of Arkansas “next semester.” The Wayback Machine confirms:
Me being me, I sent an AFOIA request to the University of Arkansas for all directory information about Daniel Allen Whitfield. Shortly thereafter, I received this response:
Ok. No biggie, I figured. Maybe, when he wrote “next semester” some time before summer 2021, he was referring to Fall 2021. That is certainly the kind of disingenuous response he would have given had I said anything about “next semester” at the time. So, I let it slide and did not think any more about it…until I saw his post this morning saying that he was currently a student at the U of A.
This morning, as you probably suspected, I fired off another request, seeking an updated response to the earlier request for Whitfield’s directory information at the university. In response, I received:
Interesting. So Whitfield is sharing far and wide something that says he’s “currently working on” his degree at the U of A, but the school says he is not currently enrolled. More importantly, my request was for directory information; if he had previously been enrolled there, there the school would still have that information and would have provided it in response to my request, even if he was no longer a student. So this response from the school means that Whitfield has never been a student at the university.
But maybe he misspoke. After all, it’s not like there’s a demonstrable track record of his lying about his academic credentials multiple times, right?
Let’s look at his Twitter account again and see what we find.
Oof. We’re not starting out too well. Both of these were tweeted in the summer of 2020, before I made my first AFOIA to the University of Arkansas. If these had been true, the school’s AFOIA response would have confirmed that he was “currently enrolled at U of A for fall.” As noted above, it did literally the exact opposite of that.2
Ok…so we can pretty safely say that he has been dishonest more than once about attending the University of Arkansas. But, just for shiggles, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt for a second. I mean, maybe he plans/hopes to do it someday, and his ego just won’t let him admit that he chose incessantly talking about running against Boozman over attending any classes thus far.3 As long as he has otherwise been honest about what he has actually accomplished so far, U of A admission notwithstanding, maybe we can give him a pass.
Back to his Twitter account!
Let’s see…as of April 12, 2021, Whitfield was claiming that he had already earned two associates’ degrees. On June 10, 2021, he claimed that he had a degree in political science.
Oh! I guess here is where I should mention that Whitfield attended Northwest Arkansas Community College, which, as luck would have it, is a public institution and is subject to the AFOIA. As even more luck would have it, I sent NWACC an AFOIA request on August 9, 2021, asking for Whitfield’s directory information. In response, NWACC wrote:
Now, maybe it’s just my eyes going bad in my old age, but I sure don’t see how Whitfield could have had a political science degree as of June 10, 2021, if he did not have one as of August 9, 2021. Maybe he bought a flux capacitor with campaign funds or something? Dunno.
Likewise, I’m unclear why he would say he had two associate’s degrees on April 12, 2021, when the school’s August 9, 2021 email clearly lists him with one such degree. But since only someone who was intentionally lying would pretend like his Certificate of General Studies was an Associate’s Degree in Political Science, we should probably go a bit further, just to be sure of what we’re dealing with here.
Well, as we already know from NWACC’s response to my AFOIA request, as of August 2021, Dan Whitfield had one associate’s degree. This also tracks with NWACC’s commencement programs: Daniel Allen Whitfield is listed in the 2020 program as receiving an Associate of Science in Liberal Arts & Sciences (Non-STEM) and a Certificate of General Studies4, and he is not listed as receiving any degrees in the 2021 program. That brings us up to the start of the Fall 2021 semester.
Whitfield’s tweets above were vomited into the ether on March 31, 2022, and February 5, 2022, respectively. Both of those dates are prior to NWACC’s May 2022 commencement ceremony. Meaning, for Whitfield to have “3 associates [sic] Magna Cum Laude with Honors5 and Distinction” by February 5, 2022, he would have had to earn two more associate’s degrees in the Fall 2021 semester alone.
While campaigning. And working full-time.
Except…now that I think about it, if he had earned two degrees in the Fall 2021 semester, you would expect him to be listed in the May 2022 commencement program, right?6
On the off chance that he somehow did complete two additional associate’s degrees last fall, I sent a new AFOIA request to NWACC this afternoon. Should they come back with info that contradicts any of this, I will update accordingly. But, as we sit here right now, all available information suggests that this “3 associates” thing is just another lie from Dan Whitfield.
There are a couple layers of irony in this, too. First, and most obvious, is that Whitfield looooooves accusing other people of lying, whether that other person is a politician or just a handsome blogger who provided proof of everything he wrote about Whitfield.
With projection that strong, this dude could be a movie theater.
Second, and somewhat less obvious, the lies outlined above are all designed either to make him look smarter. But it is hard to imagine someone making themselves look more like a dumbass than by lying about their education. This is true regardless of whether the lies were designed to impress would-be voters, to bubble-wrap Dan’s egg shell ego, or some combination of both.
Here’s the thing: You don’t have to be smart to be a good liar. You do, however, have to be self-aware enough to know what lies are unverifiable and which ones could blow up in an embarrassing way if someone looked into them for even a few minutes.
As we’ve seen repeatedly with Dan Whitfield over the last two-plus years, it’s always that utter lack of self-awareness that bites him in the ass.
UPDATE — 5/21/22
There are few things as predictable as how Dan Whitfield will react any time someone points out that he’s being dishonest: he will double down with another lie or two and accuse someone else of lying about him. You can damn near set your watch by it.
After the original post went live last night, before the virtual ink was even dry, that is exactly what he did.
Now, unlike Daniel here, I am actually comfortable with the concept of possibly being wrong, and I would rather find out that I was wrong and correct the record if that is the case. So, out of an abundance of caution, I sent follow-up emails to both NWACC and the University of Arkansas. For NWACC, I asked simply for updated information since August 2021. U of A, I asked more specifically:
Both entities replied first thing this morning. The university’s response was about as straightforward as you can get:
Meaning–and I want to really emphasize this for the simps who keep defending Dan’s utter bullshit and endorsing his ongoing lies–he is not now “currently enrolled” at the University of Arkansas, nor has he ever been enrolled there. Every single time he has said that he is “currently enrolled,” including last night after the original post went up, he has been lying. Full stop.
NWACC’s response this morning was similarly illuminating:
Yesterday, I wrote that Dan did not have “3 associates” [sic] or a “degree in political science,” contrary to his claims, but instead had an Associate of Science in Liberal Arts & Sciences and a Certificate of General Studies. NWACC confirmed this yet again. Translation: The original post was and remains correct and Dan Whitfield remains a liar.
For any normal person–let alone any serious candidate for federal office–this would be the end of it. They would move on, say nothing else, and hope the story got buried in a bunch of election coverage and disappeared.
Not Dan, though. No, sir. His absolute incompetence as a candidate manifested, as it usually does, in his continuing to compound the lie through stupid explanations and actions that make no sense (at best) or make him look even more ridiculous (at worst). To wit:
That, dear reader, is in no way, shape, or form proof that Dan Whitfield is “currently enrolled” at the University of Arkansas. That is an email from July 2021, saying that he had been accepted to the university. Being admitted to a school and being an enrolled student at that school are not the same thing, of course, any more than being on the ballot is the same as being a Senator. Which, I guess, means we’ve reached a point where there are only two explanations: either he is still lying by posting this and hoping that most people will be too dumb to know the difference between admission and enrollment, or he is too dumb to know the difference. Neither scenario is good for Dan, and neither disproves a single word from the original post.
I need to take a step back here and just acknowledge how insane this is. I write a post that includes an email from the U of A, saying that Dan Whitfield is not currently enrolled at the school. Dan responds and says he is currently enrolled, but just took this semester off to campaign. The school then says, no, in fact he has never been an enrolled student at this school, which I post on Twitter. And still, despite LITERALLY HAVING THE SCHOOL SAY HE’S NOT AN ENROLLED STUDENT, Dan responds by smugly posting an email…that does not show that he is an enrolled student. That is truly amazing, and not in a good way.
But I digress. Anyway, as you may have noticed in the screenshot with the not-an-enrolled-student email that he posted, Dan also said that he would “take pictures of [his] certificates when [he gets] home.” Except, you know, (1) NWACC has already confirmed that he has one associate’s degree and one certificate, and (2) certificates and associate’s degrees are not the same thing.7
Plus, it is not like he might have additional associate’s degrees from other schools. At least he shouldn’t, since he never informed NWACC that he had attended any prior institutions. It says right there on NWACC’s email, “Prior institution(s) attended: N/A.”
Based on his track record so far, it is certainly possible that he lied to NWACC in the admissions process. But that seems like a bridge too far, even for him, since having that come to light would open a whole other can of worms. So, no, I don’t think he’s going to suddenly have “3 associates” [sic] to take pictures of and show us; I think he’s going to post a picture of his associate’s degree, his certificate, and some other random certificate (maybe “honors program” or some such thing). And he will still completely fail to understand how posting a collection like that literally proves that the original post was correct when it called him a liar for saying he has three associate’s degrees.
Like I said above, all of this should have ended after the first post. If had even an ounce of sense, he would have ignored the original post entirely or (at the very least) just said it was not true and moved on. Instead, he doubled down, then doubled down again, pretty much ensuring that an updated post would come out to drive home the point that Dan Whitfield is a liar. (At the end of the day, that is 100% the point of this.)
Then, because he is the kind of thin-skinned baby that can’t help but lash out when no one believes his follow-up lies, he complained to Twitter that I had posted his “personal information,” resulting in Twitter suspending my account. That suspension is under appeal now, because, as I wrote to Twitter in the appeal: Dan Whitfield is a candidate for United States Senate, and he is openly lying to would-be voters about his résumé. I did not post his “personal information;” I posted publicly available records that directly disprove his lies, and I was even nice enough to redact his address and phone number out of them. Again, this is a candidate for the U.S. Senate, trying to avoid having people know that he’s lying about himself as part of his campaign.
Will the appeal succeed? I have no idea. If you would like to tweet at Twitter Support and urge them to unsuspend the @bluehogreport account, that would be wonderful; if not, no biggie.
That’s not why I mention this suspension, however. Rather, I mention it as context for more of Dan’s lies:
Accusing other people of lying when they show actual proof that you are lying? Talking about how honest while continuing to overtly lie to would-be voters? Calling yourself trustworthy and transparent you are, while whining to Twitter to have proof of your lies taken down and deleting your “financial transparency” page after it was used to show your questionable spending habits? And doing it all in the most ham-fisted way possible because that’s just who you are as a person? How very MAGA.
Remember that screenshot he posted of the admissions letter? After a number of people, all of whom apparently understand things better than Dan, pointed out to him that admission does not mean he is enrolled, Dan tweeted this in response to Tom Mars:
For those of you who do not speak Danese, allow me to translate: “No, I am not a currently enrolled student at the U of A. BHR was right. But rather than admit I am a liar, I am going to act like I, a 35-year-old man who wants to be a US Senator, cannot understand something as basic as the difference between college admission and actually enrolling at that college. Doesn’t it make you feel better that I’d rather paint myself as ignorant than admit to my obvious lies?”
I figure we’ll get a similar “oh, I didn’t realize that certificates aren’t the same as degrees, despite the fact that they aren’t called the same thing and are specifically differentiated by the school that awarded them” when Dan gets home and posts pictures of “the certificates.”
The other very predictable thing that Dan does, once he realizes that he’s caught in his lies, is go back and try to delete/limit posts where people are calling him on those lies. Today’s example? Reddit.
Yesterday, as I mentioned near the start of the original post, Dan had posted that comparison of himself and Natalie James on at least seven subreddits from his r/DanWhitCongress account. Here’s a sample:
A few minutes ago, someone texted me that Dan had deleted or hidden all of those posts. Sho’nuff.
Deleting or destroying documentary proof of people disagreeing with you and calling you out on your lies? Tell us again how “transparent” and “open” you are, Dan. Maybe we’ll believe you this time.8
Because he was lying in these tweets. Because he’s a liar. Not to put too fine a point on this.↩
Oh, sure, he technically had time even in the Fall of 2020 to attending classes, since he wasn’t on any ballot and was not campaigning. But getting Fall 2020 Dan Whitfield to understand that he did not have a chance of being on the ballot no matter how much he said otherwise was never going to happen.↩
Importantly not an Associate Degree in General Studies, which is a different thing.↩
[Sic] again, you redundant ass motherfucker.↩
NWACC did not have a Fall 2021 commencement.↩
Just like being admitted and being enrolled are not the same thing. I’m sensing a theme.↩