I think that the media took advantage of Te'o and really made something that was hard enough individually, all the more difficult for him. He was a victim and was thrust into a judgmental spotlight full of speculation and criticism. Te'o went through an incredibly traumatizing and embarrassing experience that was only made worse through the medias intense coverage. I only hope that it won't affect his ability to move on and recover from the event.
The Manti Te'o scandal is representative of the power of social media in today's society. Once the media got hold of the information that Te'o's girlfriend was fictitious, they immediately jumped on the story and made a social media timeline of Te'o's supposed relationship. Through social media, news outlets had an enormous amount of information evidence to support the allegations of the fake relationship. The Te'o situation displays the trustfulness of people on the internet and how anyone can be pulled into an internet scam.
I think the Manti Te'o scandal revealed just how powerful the media can be. As far as agenda setting goes, the Te'o story blew up in a matter of minutes. Additionally, nearly every initial story skewered Te'o for deceiving his fans, his friends and the country. The onslaught of accusations against Te'o for his 'alleged' participation in the scandal skewed public opinion heavily, and to an extent irreversibly.
Even in acknowledging how effectively the media skewed my opinion, it is difficult for me to believe Te'o did not play some role in this scandal, even though such an occurrence is by no means unheard. His personal problem became public fodder and it is not unlikely that it will effect his professional career by threatening his draft stock.