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Prepare yourself for yet another Timesian we-didn't-do-any-due-diligence mega mea culpa, this time shaking the heretofore hard-hitting reporters of the Styles desk to their very core. In yesterday's annual hey-look-beards-are-in expose, fashion reporter Eric Wilson suggested that the facially hirsute folks at Vice are vying "with the pro-facial-hair contingent of an editorial rival, Spin, where a rash of new beards has broken out." But the truth is — and please make sure you're sitting down before we shatter your Woodsteinian notions about ThuStyles — we're told no one at Spin has a beard.

Deep breath.

A very detailed explanation of this new black eye for the Times — provided by a Spin vet we know and cataloging the current facial-hair fashions of the Spinsters — awaits after the jump.

Very odd that, after his opening anecdote about the supposed Beard Explosion at Vice, this guy Eric Wilson writes: "In that, they vie with the pro-facial hair contingent of an editorial rival, Spin, where a rash of new beards has broken out."

This is not true.

I was at a bar with like eight past and/or present Spin dudes on Tuesday, for Caryn Ganz's book-release party. Not one of them is sporting anything resembling a "full, bushy" beard. Not even a shadow. I know it's probably hard to imagine that a trend piece in Thursday Styles would contain made-up shit, but consider the following.

Fact: There was a "SPIN Beard Outbreak" (known internally as "The Month Everybody Decided to Grow A Beard") going on in early 2002. It was sort of a beard-growing contest. I believe top honors went to senior editor and future Oscar nominee Dana Adam Shapiro. His beard was fucking awesome, like some giant topiary animal. But that was FOUR YEARS AGO. Everyone involved with the contest has either left the company, or shaved.

Fact: Klosterman does have a really impressive beard right now. It's the most impressive beard in rock journalism. He looks like the managing editor of Outlaw Biker. But it's hardly a "new" beard — he's had it for months — and he's the only Spin-associated person sporting such a beard, and he doesn't even work there anymore.

Fact: I haven't seen Andy Pemberton in a while. It's possible he's grown some big-ass chin-curtain that makes him look like Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, and sent down a memo ordering the rest of the staff to do the same, and everybody's cultivating. But I doubt it.

Is Eric Wilson so drunk with Thursday Styles-related power that he feels he can just slap imaginary beards on the staff of a moderately-respected rock magazine in the pages of the Times and get away with it?

Follow the money, or something.

Earlier: Fashion Nuggets