I was wrong. That’s an admission you don’t hear often from a journalist. But it’s one that I have to make. Spank me, whip me, put a scarlet “W” on my chest. I screwed up, big time: I completely misinterpreted the ending to Lost.

For those of you who don’t know — and there were an awful lot of you out there — shortly after the final scene of the series finale, the one in which our hero Jack Shepard lays down to die in the middle of a forest of bamboo, the very spot where his journey on the island began, there was another series of shots that ran over the ending credits. And these shots featured the wreckage of Oceanic Flight 815, which brought Mr. Shepard and his fellow survivors to the island; a few scattered articles of clothing; and little else. The meaning was Crystal Pepsi: Everyone had died when the plane first crashed, and the entire show had taken place, not in our reality, but in another, more supernatural realm. Was it purgatory? Perhaps. Hell? Maybe. But whatever it was, it wasn’t the planet Earth that we call home.

However, late last week ABC, the home of the sci-fi series, announced that when it came to the scenes that played over the credits, well, the show’s executive producers and writers had absolutely nothing to do with that crap. Nada. Zilch. Bupkis. In fact, the network itself inserted those images as a way to transition viewers from the finale of the fan-favorite show to the nightly news.

I was crushed. I had mistaken a piece of meaningless information for something of significance. I had come to the wrong conclusion.

As has most everybody when it comes to this whole he-said, she-said mess involving South Carolina blogger and former Gov. Sanford spokesman Will Folks and state Rep. Nikki Haley, the leading candidate to replace the Luv Guv in Columbia.

Some folks believe Folks, who claimed he had an inappropriate relationship with Haley, a God-fearing acolyte of Sanford and a first-generation American (her parents are Indian immigrants). These folks ignore the fact that Folks has made a rather bad name for himself as a fluffer for rumor and innuendo.

Others believe that Sic Willie, a moniker that the douche bag blogger and smear merchant Folks gave himself, made up the whole thing to drive traffic to his site, FITSNews.com. These individuals are apparently unaware of the fact that Folks has championed Nikki Haley since her campaign began and that Sic has repeatedly trashed her opponents, some in the most unsavory ways.

And then there are those who believe the entire thing was a conspiracy, like RedState’s Erick Erickson, a conservative blogger and CNN commentator who knows next to nothing about South Carolina politics and even less about the motivations of Folks and Haley. For these thick bricks, this entire episode is either a play by Haley’s opponents who paid Folks to confess to a relationship that never occurred or a coordinated move by both Sic and Nik to boost support for the Indian-American candidate. Both suppositions are asinine.

After all, the facts we need are right there. The answer is staring us right in the face. And it’s all there in the text messages and the late-night phone calls, one truth and one truth alone: Nikki Haley and Will Folks were planning a surprise birthday party for Sic’s former boss and Haley’s hero Mark Sanford.

And if that’s not the case, then they were debating the merits of Team Edward and Team Jacob.

Or they were chatting with each other while they played World of Warcraft and fantasized about the one time they ran across Mr. T’s night-elf mohawk in the game and their never-ending quest to find the legendary Leroy Jenkins.

Or they were arguing over the rather shocking cut-to-black ending of The Sopranos. Folks believes Tony and his fam were gunned down; Haley thinks it was a metaphor for the paranoia that had finally overtaken the mobster’s psyche.

Without further evidence, any one of these explanations is as likely as anything we’ve heard so far.

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