Late last month the Web buzzed about their blog, Dating a Banker Anonymous, which bills itself as a place for Wall Street women to vent about how the financial crisis has killed their love lives.
("If your monthly Bergdorf's allowance has been halved and bottle service has all but disappeared from your life," this is your site, the homepage cheers.) Populist outrage followed the publication of a credulous profile in the New York Times, and was furthered with the news last week that the DABA girls have signed with big name agencies in Hollywood and New York publishing--United Talent and Janklow Nesbit, respectively.
It's official: The New York Times got pranked by the girls of "Dating a Banker Anonymous," referred to in a fizzy Times profile last month as a "support group" dedicated to women whose "monthly Bergdorf's allowance has been halved."Linda Holmes, blogging at National Public Radio, was dubious from the start: "Isn't it totally obvious that this is a put-on?
" She dismissed the idea of a "support group" and figured the people behind the blog were angling for a book deal.
When a NEWSWEEK photographer asked for a Wall Street bar recommendation, she couldn't name a single one—although she'll have plenty of time to look into that now.
Crowell was recently canned by her employer, the online fashion channel Style Caster, because DABA had become too much of a distraction.
It’s not often that romances are this dysfunctional. “Today, I got 8 minutes [of his time], yesterday 10,” she says.
They don't fact check the emails, or the gossip, and the posts are embellished and exaggerated for added laughs.
Last month, Dating a Banker Anonymous broke out as the hated, irresistible Website du jour, and it has earned its self-pitying, gold-digging authors some national press, not to mention promises from Hollywood agents of a "Real Housewives"–style media franchise. Crowell and Petrus fill the blog with a liberal mix of their own experiences, anecdotes from girls they meet out on the town and stories from people who e-mail the site, which they make no effort to verify.
But hold on a minute—are the DABA girls even for real? DABA cofounder Laney Crowell tells NEWSWEEK that what The New York Times and many other outlets portrayed as a serious Web site is, in fact, a full-blown parody by Crowell and her sidekick Megan Petrus, a Manhattan lawyer. Often the DABA girls invent fresh details for maximum satirical effect."That isn't my life," says Crowell, 27, from a coffee shop near her apartment in New York's West Village.
This has, of course, renewed rumors of a book, a movie and maybe even a TV series based on the blog.
But even after a full turn of the media world -- NPR has raised doubts about the site's authenticity and the New York Times was forced to defend its story-- the question remains: are these girls for real?