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Jewish World Review
May 9, 2005
/ 30 Nissan, 5765
Runaway bride's spokesman vanishes
Runaway spokesman sparks nationwide manhunt
Pastor Tom Smiley, who became a familiar face to millions of Americans as the public spokesman for runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks, failed to show up at a press conference scheduled for today, sparking a nationwide manhunt.
Those close to Mr. Smiley said that they were shocked by his sudden disappearance and began holding a candlelight vigil for his safe return.
"I hope to high heavens that there is no foul play involved," said Sheila Delawn, a family friend of Mr. Smiley's who joined the vigil outside his home in Gainesville, Georgia. "What we are all praying for is that the pressure of being Jennifer's spokesman just got to be too much for him and he got cold feet."
The possibility that Mr. Smiley might be a runaway spokesman was to be the subject of a press conference held today by Mr. Smiley's spokesman, Pastor Raymond Tonlin, but that press conference was scrapped when Pastor Tonlin himself failed to show up.
"We don't know where Raymond went," said family friend Jonah Coulier, who led a candlelight vigil outside Pastor Tonlin's house. "We just want to put the word out that if for some reason Raymond felt he had to run away, he has our understanding and forgiveness."
Dr. Lars Hensall, a psychologist at the University of Minnesota who studies the runaway spokesman phenomenon, failed to show up today for a scheduled phone interview.
The University of Minnesota said that they did not know Dr. Hensall's whereabouts and that they were "praying for his safe return."
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JWR Contributor Andy Borowitz, the first-ever recipient of the National Press Club's Award for Humor, is a former president of the Harvard Lampoon,and a regular humor columnist for Newsweek.com, The New Yorker, The New York Times and TV Guide. Recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the most powerful producers in television, he was the creator and producer of the hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and producer of the Oscar-nominated film Pleasantville.
© 2005, Andy Borowitz
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