Falling for fake Phrygians

In “Michael Vick is innocent (like OJ)” we noted how MSNBC’s Alex Johnson (with the assistance of two NBC/MSNBC reporters) quoted a statement by “Al Sharpton” posted on the obviously fake Al Sharpton’s Blog. On Alex Johnson’s behalf, however, it could be said that the statement sounded like something Al Sharpton would say. Despite his arrival as a Democratic power, the real Al Sharpton is a creation beyond parody.
In her September 8 article on the governance struggles at Dartmouth, New York Times reporter Tamar Lewin quoted the parody Web site of a Dartmouth secret society (the Phrygians) discussing possible actions against the college administration. The New York Times reporter apparently thought that the Phrygian Society — a secret society — maintains a website to apprise the public of its latest conspiracies. Dartmouth trustee and George Mason University Law School Professor Todd Zywicki comments: “Imagine skullandbones.org holding pictures and minutes of Skull and Bones’s meetings.” With the article’s obligatory reference to “Animal House,” perhaps the reporter was confused by the film’s exposure of “double secret probation.”
It only took the Times a week to research and correct its error. Yesterday the Times published this correction:

An article last Saturday about Dartmouth College

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