Nguyen-Nguyen Situation

Sigh. The LA Times reports today that the Los Angeled Police Department officer who paid for the now-infamous letter to Spanish-speaking immigrants in Orange County is none other than Mark Nguyen. Mark is said to have paid $4,000 for the letter's dissemination under a fake name, and he lives with the officially unnamed Tan Nguyen staffer who allegedly sent out the letter without Tan's knowledge. Mark is also Tan's close friend from back in 1992 when they met as fellow Bruins at UCLA.

Tan Nguyen and Mark Nguyen are not related. Nguyen is one of if not the most common Vietnamese surnames. Just check out Theo Douglas's great article this week on sculptor Tuan Nguyen. When you hear Nguyen, think Johnson. Think Smith. Think Doe. Tan and Mark Nguyen, John and Ken Doe.

I can't wait to see what kind of mix-ups and confusions occur now that we've got two Nguyens in the story, especially considering how confusing it's been so far. Example: The news swept 'round Ireland days ago that Nguyen was Schwarzenegger's opponent (why else would the governor get involved in a congressional election?), though they've finally corrected themselves. In THIS STORY, the headline originally read, “Schwarzenegger urges opponent to step down”, and it can still be found in that format on Google News. According to Jill O'Sullivan at the Irish Examiner, “our US news supplier mixed up some facts.” And then half the news outlets in the country ran with it until it was corrected half a day later.

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