“An elaborate experiment in collective insanity”: Andrew Lohse’s Unpublished Essay About Hazing at Dartmouth

The shadowy entity known as Goldman Snacks, previously responsible for publishing hazing whistleblower Andrew Lohse’s book proposal, has leaked a series of Lohse’s private emails, which we’re sifting through right now. (Know more? Get in touch.)

In the time being, here is a column Lohse wrote under the pseudonym “Phineas Ridley.” It was never published.


By: Phineas Ridley ’12

[Column removed at request of Andrew Lohse.]

Yale Football’s Worst Year Ever — Voter Fraud Edition!

Yale football is having the worst year ever—for reasons entirely unrelated to the actual game of football. As The Crimson reported a month ago, the Bulldogs have lately been rather scandal-prone. Most recently:

In January, the New York Times reported that quarterback Patrick Witt ’12 lost his Rhodes candidacy due to a sexual assault allegation raised by a classmate.

In May, captain Will McHale’s ’13 gave a former Yale Daily News sports editor fourteen 14 stitches in a bar fight.

And now this new impropriety: yesterday, former lineman Pat Moran ’12 resigned from his father’s Congressional re-election campaign after James O’Keefe recorded him plotting to cast 100 fraudulent ballots.

Oy. It’s almost like Yale would be better off not having a football team.

Like Every Other Normal Human Being Would, Michelle Obama Runs Away from Princeton Screaming

Princeton is notable for a lot of reasons—its lack of a law school, its eating clubs (the bicker process in particular), the fact that it employs novelists like Toni Morrison and Jeffrey Eugenides who then produce ones like Jonathan Safran Foer and Jennifer Wiener, and on and on—but as this Prince story makes clear, the most notable thing about Princeton is the relationship alumni have with their alma mater.

At the yearly Reunions, graduates frock themselves in orange, sing Old Nassau, and get drunk—much, of course, like many other schools. But Princetonians do so with an intensity unmatched even by its Ivy League peers, so that the alumni who don’t partake in Reunions’ communal obliteration (and the entire culture of self-congratulation such gatherings encourage) can appear bitter, like frowny scolds who don’t appreciate everything that was given to them.

Over the past seven years, as her husband rose to national prominence, University officials made at least six direct overtures to [Michelle] Obama to return to Princeton or speak at Princeton-affiliated events. In all but one case, Obama has rebuffed the University’s advances, often citing a busy schedule.

Later: Read the rest of this entry »

Some Guy Obama Knew in College Claims the President Sold Drugs


A man claiming to be a close pal to President Obama during college made contact with Republican operatives recently, ready to go public with claims that Obama used and sold cocaine in college, RadarOnline.com is reporting exclusively.

The operatives tried to spread the story through the media and the Romney campaign, a source close to the situation told Radar.

And: “The alleged pal was willing to go on the record for the story and take a polygraph test, according to the source.”

It’s unclear whether the “alleged pal” knew Obama at Occidental College or Columbia. And we’re unsure which school makes the allegations more believable. (Not because of their respective cultures, but because of Obama’s respective habits. He was far more outgoing at Occidental, where he delivered a speech, than at Columbia, where he holed himself up “like a monk.”)

Alas, the Romney campaign decided the story was too radioactive. “Operatives close to the Romney campaign believed the man’s story would be the ultimate October Surprise but they got nowhere, Radar writes. “They don’t want their candidate smeared with this type of activity.”

The National Review Has an Ivy League Problem

As the brain-child of a disenchanted Yalie named William F. Buckley, Jr., the National Review has never had an easy relationship with the eight schools from which it draws much of its writing talent, like Nathan Harden (who recently published “Sex and God and Yale”), Eve Tushnet (the gregarious Catholic writer), Maggie Gallagher (the gay marriage conspiracy theorist), and of course Buckley himself. Add to that managing editor Fred Schwarz (a Columbia grad), who articulates “the true, the fundamental conflict in Obama’s soul”:

Is he a Columbia asshole or a Harvard asshole? The answer is important, because those are two very different types of asshole. Both are obsessed with showing you how smart they are, but the Columbia asshole does it by telling you everything he knows, while the Harvard asshole does it by acting bored with whatever you say. The Harvard variety is at least laid back, and the Columbia variety can be interesting; but put them together and you have a world-weary pest. That may not be an exact description of Obama, but he’s certainly getting there.

The salty language surprised us—even us!—because, in his discussion of a recent Pundits prank at Yale (involving a character called “Wilma Dickfit”), IvyGate hero Nathan Harden confers NR the distinction of being “family-friendly” (really):

You won’t believe what they’re up to in New Haven. The latest example of a Yale’s depravity is so graphic that I can’t even mention much of it on these family-friendly pages. It involves an innuendo-filled flyer that appeared all over campus this week, advertising a fake event by a female author of a sex-themed book supposedly entitled “Let’s Find Out The Hard Way.” Crude, and woman-demeaning, this is comic material worthy of a 13-year-old’s intelligence and sophistication.

(Contra Harden, we think the National Review’s audience will believe.) Back to Schwarz: Read the rest of this entry »

Harvard Students Attempt Satire: ‘Asians…practically indistinguishable from one another’

The Harvard Voice — “Harvard University’s premiere student-life publication” — recently published, then retracted, the following paragraph:

You can always spot the Asian contingent at every pre-interview reception. They dress in the same way (satin blouse with high waisted pencil skirt for girls, suits with skinny ties for boys), talk in the same sort-of gushy, sort-of whiny manner, and have the same concentrations and sky-high GPAs. They’re practically indistinguishable from one another, but it’s okay. Soon, they will be looking at the same Excel spreadsheets and spend their lunch talking about their meaningful morning conversations with the helpdesk of Bloomberg. Uniqueness is overrated when you make six-figure salaries.

The Crimson says the paragraph was eventually scrubbed from the listicle (“5 People You’ll See at Pre-Interview Receptions”), to which the Voice’s editors appended the anonymous author’s response (which, incredibly, was also deleted):

Clearly, I’ve been censored, which in itself is an interesting reflection on free speech in America. If you couldn’t tell that this article was satire, then we have bigger problems than me being ‘offensive.’ (If you are curious to know what the censored stereotype is, just take a quick look around the room. JK!)

And then the author took it all back, launching into a careful—yet honest, yet brave—discussion over how to confront the racial resentment that continues to plague the Ivy League. JK! That probably would have been deleted too.

[The Crimson]

The Impeccable Weirdness of Andrew Lohse’s Book Proposal

When we sat down to write this post, we felt like we knew what to say: that Andrew Lohse’s recently-leaked proposal for his 2014 memoir A Party at the End of the World is yet another artifact of the author’s well-intentioned but often preposterous campaign to reform Dartmouth’s Greek system while building his own media career.

To describe the proposal that way—to pathologize its author—de-emphasizes the context from which it emerged: namely, an anonymous group, vocally angry at Lohse and fearful of damage to their reputations, somehow obtained the book proposal, heavily redacted it, then published it online. Whoever orchestrated this coup wanted to discredit Lohse without sabotaging anyone else involved—including, of course, themselves. And this context is important: the proposal reveals nearly as much as it obscures. For example:

1. Whoever redacted the proposal doesn’t understand how redactions work. “Goldman Snacks,” as the group calls itself, tried to scrub Lohse’s proposal of certain details (names, descriptions, and the like) that identify SAE brothers. That effort failed. Take a look at this passage.

[Quote removed at request of Andrew Lohse.]

That’s a real person! Indeed, the President of the Dartmouth Review in October 2009 (identified here) was, according to an archived copy of the house’s website, a brother at SAE. This is the same person who apparently said he “would bring down the Review from the inside if it meant that [he] could save SAE” and who forced Lohse (according to the proposal) to chug six beers as a requirement of pledging.

2. Lohse actually admits he was an “especially harsh hazer”. This is unambiguous. Read the rest of this entry »

Two Weeks Later, Conservative Bloggers Salivate Over NYT Correction

Remember this? Today—for unknown reasons—the resulting correction lit the belly of the conservative blogosphere.


LAYERS AND LAYERS OF FACT CHECKERS: The editor’s note at the bottom is priceless. Always remember, these people are trustworthy, unlike those bloggers working in their pajamas. (And that’s in something where their politics don’t matter.)

Roger Kimball (“Why I Don’t Read The New York Times”):

Relax. I am not going to tell you all the reasons I don’t read our former paper of record. I am not even going to mention its appalling subservience to political correctness or the dumbed-down sewer that is its cultural coverage. (Can a sewer be “dumbed-down”? Read the Times before answering.) Nor will I go on about what’s happened to the book review under its current editor. Let’s move on, as Hillary Clinton used to say when she wanted to put something unpleasant behind her. Let’s talk about facts.


The article in question is the usual emetic Times piece, instinct with a scolding, know-it-all tone and oozing social concern. What’s noteworthy, however, is not the piece but the correction that follows….


If their names aren’t right, why are we supposed to presumptively believe that the students weren’t making other stuff up? How did Ms. Rubin, who apparently did not attempt to go to any of her subjects’ Facebook pages (which she of course would not have been able to find), even know that the misidentified “students” are really students before submitting her draft?

Read the rest of this entry »

Rolling Stone: Andrew Lohse Fabricated Anecdote for Book Proposal

After Rolling Stone contributor Janet Reitman profiled Andrew Lohse in March, the former SAE brother landed a book contract with St. Martin’s Press—an extension of his effort to “tell the truth” about Dartmouth’s insane hazing culture. And good for him! However, in Lohse’s book proposal, he seems to have lied about the provenance of Reitman’s Rolling Stone article. Here’s what his proposal says:

A few weeks into the media blitz over “Telling The Truth” I received a call from Janet Reitman, a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. Janet related to me that a former writer for the magazine-who had become an English professor at Dartmouth-had alerted Rolling Stone’s editor-in-chief about the potential of the hazing story, and that the editor had given Janet the assignment.

That’s not how it happened, according to Reitman, who sent this email to “Goldman Snacks” after the group published Lohse’s proposal:

Subject: this statement is untrue

Hey – so this didn’t actually happen – “Janet related to me that a former writer for the magazine-who had become an English professor at Dartmouth-had alerted Rolling Stone’s editor-in-chief about the [writer] of the hazing story, and that the editor had given Janet the assignment.” Not so. My editor, Sean Woods, read about the hazing scandal on Gawker and then called me with the assignment. RS managing editor Will Dana had no discussion about this with anyone – nor did Jann Wenner, the editor-in-chief. No one from Dartmouth faculty was contacted w/r/t to this story as far as I know. It was a Gawker item – a good one – and we went with it. End of story. Please correct. Thanks.

Janet Reitman
Contributing Editor Rolling Stone

(Reitman has confirmed the email is real.)

As the author of a truth-telling hazing exposé—one which many are predisposed to question—it’s unclear why Lohse would lie about something so mundane.

‘A Gross and Insulting Error’: Cornell ‘Astrological’ Society Not Too Pleased with the Cornell Sun

Just landed in our inbox:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: art samplaski < ***@hotmail.com>
Date: Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Subject: Error in today’s story about the Sagan Planet Walk
To: “cas-l@cornell.edu”

To the members of the CAS public email list,

As you know from a note sent out last week, there was a guided tour this past Saturday to celebrate the completion of the Sagan Memorial Planet Walk in downtown Ithaca by the installation of a pillar representing Alpha Centauri in Hilo, HI. A story about the event appears in today’s Cornell Daily Sun, which contains a gross and insulting error in CAS’ name. Below is the letter to the editor I just sent when I saw the error; as it notes, the reporter _knew_ her writing “Astrological” instead of “Astronomical”
was in error because I explicitly corrected her about it, and she appeared to cross out the wrong word at the time–yet that is how we were cited.

I am deeply sorry to clutter up people’s inboxes on a matter like this, but I felt the error was serious and insulting enough to warrant it. CAS always has been and will be about educating people on _science_, not superstition. The _Daily Sun_’s story undermines what CAS members have striven for, for decades.

Art Samplaski, CAS

> From: ***@hotmail.com
> To: sunmailbox@cornellsun.com; ***@cornell.edu
> Subject: Error in today’s story about the Sagan Planet Walk
> Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2012 11:28:34 -0400
> To the Editor:
> Today’s story about the expansion of the Sagan Memorial
> Planet Walk to include a station for Alpha Centauri
> contains an egregious error in citing the Cornell
> _Astronomical_ Society as the “Cornell ASTROLOGICAL
> Society.” This is a gross insult to the memory of Dr.
> Sagan, who spent his entire career fighting such
> ignorance and superstition; to the Astronomy Dept.
> for the implication that public viewing nights at
> Fuertes Observatory have anything to do with such
> superstition; and to the members of the Cornell
> Astronomical Society, who are devoted to educating
> the public on matters of science. Read the rest of this entry »