Dating a Banker Anonymous…exposed!

On January 25, the New York Times reported on the women of Dating a Banker Anonymous. The Times reported:

The economic crisis came home to 27-year-old Megan Petrus early last year when her boyfriend of eight months, a derivatives trader for a major bank, proved to be more concerned about helping a laid-off colleague than comforting Ms. Petrus after her father had a heart attack.

For Christine Cameron, the recession became real when the financial analyst she had been dating for about a year would get drunk and disappear while they were out together, then accuse her the next day of being the one who had absconded.

Dawn Spinner Davis, 26, a beauty writer, said the downward-trending graphs began to make sense when the man she married on Nov. 1, a 28-year-old private wealth manager, stopped playing golf, once his passion. “One of his best friends told me that my job is now to keep him calm and keep him from dying at the age of 35,” Ms. Davis said. “It’s not what I signed up for.”

They shared their sad stories the other night at an informal gathering of Dating a Banker Anonymous, a support group founded in November to help women cope with the inevitable relationship fallout from, say, the collapse of Lehman Brothers or the Dow’s shedding 777 points in a single day, as it did on Sept. 29.

On February 2, the Times appended a typical Times correction to the story:

An article on Wednesday about a support group for women dating or married to men in the banking industry misspelled the surname of a prominent Wall Street investor in referring to the effect that significant financial news has on a partner’s mood. The investor is Warren E. Buffett, not Buffet.

The Times missed a tad more than the second “t” in Buffett’s name. Yesterday the Times added an Editor’s Note that went to the heart of the story:

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.

One might infer from the Editor’s Note that DABA is a joke, but Newsweek adds the details. Newsweek reports that DABA “is actually a full-blown parody — and it’s at least partly fictionalized. 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.” 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.”

Dating a Banker Anonymous is not exactly a subtle joke, but it was a bit too subtle for the Times. Clay Waters has more here.

JOHN wonders: Do you suppose the Times also fell for the parody site by the guy who calls himself “Andrew Sullivan”?

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