Newspaper Fakes Pick Up Artist Story

Well, here's some extra kindling for the fire for the seduction community rumor mill and grist.

Social commentator and gossip rag The Gawker (similar to The Defamer which covers my old stomping grounds Los Angeles instead of Manhattan) has commented upon the Voice's story about the New York Pick Up Artist scene that included fellow blogger and pseudo-PUA Dolly.

Basically they're saying that the article is full of bunk and was not actually investigated well (if at all). In fact, Dolly implies that the Voice stole her idea!

Dolly goes on to say that she is writing a letter to the editor stating:
  1. Women are NOT wising up to the seduction tactics in Neil Strauss' book, "The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick Up Artists.".
  2. Pick Up Artists (PUAs) are actually cool, fun guys and, in her experience, not the maligned malcontents that the article makes us out to be.

Is Dolly naive? or just too nice for words? We may never know, but thank you Dolly for putting in a good word and recognizing that- yes- even us players sometimes have hearts of gold.

Or latex.

The ‘Voice’ Is Even More Fucked Up Than Usual

by The Gawker

Here’s what we know: This week’s Voice had a cover story by hotshot young Nick Sylvester reporting that men around New York are using Neil Strauss’s The Game, about pickup artists and their techniques, and that women are increasingly aware of this and outsmarting their would-be seducers.

We know said cover story has been removed from the Voice website. We know that the Voice’s acting editor-in-chief Doug Simmons, to whom we were referred when we called because the paper’s PR director has left the company, hasn’t returned our message. And we’re reliably informed that the newsroom — such as it is anymore — knows some sort of big shit is going down but isn’t being told what.

Here’s what we hear/speculate/gather: People quoted in the story claim they never spoke to the reporter. Editors at the paper now believe Sylvester likely fabricated material. Writers at the paper believe this is because young Sylvester — a former Harvard Lampoon kid who writes criticism for the Voice and indie-music reviews for Pitchfork — didn’t quite get the whole big-reported-cover-story thing, which he wasn’t really ready for and which Simmons was pushing him to do. Simmons, merely the acting editor, is trying to make a splash so he can get the job permanently. This is not the sort of splash he had in mind. Sylvester may or may not have fainted in Simmons’s office while being berated. And everything in the usually boisterous office is being kept very need-to-know.

Please insert an “allegedly” into every sentence of that second, speculative graf. We’ll let you know more as we do. Meantime, we’ll actually have to trudge to the corner a pick up a Voice. How delightfully old-school!

Update on 3/2/06: 'The Voice' has retracted their cover story.

And now... for the apology!

Editor's Note: What Happened to That Cover Story?

March 1st, 2006 8:53 PM

Early Wednesday morning, the Voice learned that the concluding section of this week's cover story, "Do You Wanna Kiss Me?" by senior associate editor Nick Sylvester, contained fabricated material. In that section, Sylvester says he met at a New York City bar with three TV writers who had flown in from L.A. to test their updates of pickup techniques from Neil Strauss's book, The Game.

That scene, as Sylvester now acknowledges in the statement below, never happened.

We have removed the article from the Voice website and begun a review of the entire piece. Sylvester has been suspended.

What follows is Sylvester's statement:

Dear Voice Readers,

I did not meet Steve Lookner in New York at Bar 151. The trip and my encounter with him, DC, and Vali did not happen as I reported, or at all. The scene was a composite of specific anecdotes shared to me primarily by the two other parties, DC and Vali; Lookner did not share or take part in these anecdotes either. I deeply regret this misinformation, and I apologize to Lookner for his distress, which I certainly never intended.


Nick Sylvester

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