Many of you will recall the DABA girls debacle of last month. First the NYT ran a profile of the women who had started the ‘Dating a Banker Anonymous‘ site, which (not surprisingly) resulted in a uproar of chatter on the web. This was followed by accusations that the site and the group was a hoax. Which in turn was followed by a statement from the NYT backing their story. However, it now appears that the Times may have spoken a wee bit too soon!
Newsweek did some digging and discovered that the DABA girls were perhaps less a support group than a “a full-blown parody.”
There is no real support community, no regular meetings and the blog is written by Crowell and her lawyer sidekick Megan Petrus, who concoct entries out of a mixture of their own experiences, stories of people who email the site, and anecdotes of girls they meet socially. They don’t fact check the emails, or the gossip, and the posts are embellished and exaggerated for added laughs. At times, details are plucked from thin air to give the stories a satirical edge.
“That isn’t my life,” says Crowell of her snotty, gold-digging online “character.”
Oh my. As a result of the Newsweek post the Times has added an editor’s note to the original article.
Editors’ Note: February 25, 2009
An article on Jan. 28 about women who commiserated over dating Wall Street bankers caught in the financial crisis described a group they had formed, Dating a Banker Anonymous, as a support group. That is the name of their blog. Its creators originally told The Times that about 30 women had participated, but since publication, they have said that all involved were friends. Laney Crowell, one of the women who started the blog, said in the article that it was “very tongue in cheek;” she has since described it as a satire that embellishes true experiences for effect. Had the nature of the blog been made clear at the outset, the article would have described it accordingly, not as a support group.
No kidding. Crowell goes to almost zero lengths to explain why they felt the need to dupe the Times, and “denies snookering people intentionally as part of a publicity stunt. “It was a misunderstanding that there is a formal â€œgroupâ€ and that there are actual “meetings,” she wrote in an email to Newsweek. She says the site is rooted in emotional truth…”
Meanwhile, and really not surprisingly, her literary agency Janklow & Nesbit points out that there is still more than enough to base a book on: “It’s a humor book. That’s the category it would be.” He who laughs last, etc.?