New York Times Descends Into Parody--Literally:

Today's "Corrections" page in the New York Times contains the following:


Published: September 15, 2007

An article last Saturday about Dartmouth College's governance structure incorrectly described a Web site congratulating Todd J. Zywicki, a trustee, for meeting with members of the Phrygians, a secret society, and discussing possible actions against the college administration. It was a hoax site, not an official Phrygian site. Mr. Zywicki says he met several times with the Phrygians, but did not discuss actions against the administration.

The "Phrygian Society" is a senior secret society at Dartmouth--there are several of them and they traditionally have been single-sex (by the way, I meet with a lot of student groups). Apparently this reporter thought that a secret society would have a completely public website with pictures, meeting minutes, and the like.

It appears that the reporter let her political biases (which are strongly reflected in the original story) get out in front of her reportorial good judgment. Would you expect, for instance, that Skull & Bones at Yale would have a website at where they posted pictures of their meetings?

For those who read the original story last weekend, therefore, please be aware that the website that was posted was a complete hoax as was all of the "substance" of the puported meeting that took place. My understanding is that the website is actually set up by a member of the Jack-O-Lantern, the Dartmouth humor magazine, and that they have established similar sites for other Dartmouth-affiliated groups.