Here's what we know: This week's Voice had a cover story by hotshot young Nick Sylvester reporting that men around New York are using Neil Strauss's The Game, about pickup artists and their techniques, and that women are increasingly aware of this and outsmarting their would-be seducers. We know said cover story has been removed from the Voice website. We know that the Voice's acting editor-in-chief Doug Simmons, to whom we were referred when we called because the paper's PR director has left the company, hasn't returned our message. And we're reliably informed that the newsroom — such as it is anymore — knows some sort of big shit is going down but isn't being told what.
Here's what we hear/speculate/gather: People quoted in the story claim they never spoke to the reporter. Editors at the paper now believe Sylvester likely fabricated material. Writers at the paper believe this is because young Sylvester — a former Harvard Lampoon kid who writes criticism for the Voice and indie-music reviews for Pitchfork — didn't quite get the whole big-reported-cover-story thing, which he wasn't really ready for and which Simmons was pushing him to do. Simmons, merely the acting editor, is trying to make a splash so he can get the job permanently. This is not the sort of splash he had in mind. Sylvester may or may not have fainted in Simmons's office while being berated. And everything in the usually boisterous office is being kept very need-to-know.
Please insert an "allegedly" into every sentence of that second, speculative graf. We'll let you know more as we do. Meantime, we'll actually have to trudge to the corner a pick up a Voice. How delightfully old-school!