New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan weighed in today on DealBook editor Andrew Ross Sorkin’s unmasking of the titanically unfunny Twitter account @GSElevator, which purported to publish conversations overheard in the office elevators of investment bank Goldman Sachs. The bank was so concerned with account, Sullivan writes, that it banned talking in elevators:
It’s safe to talk on the elevator again at Goldman Sachs. The author of a snarky Twitter feed — @gselevator — has been revealed as John Lefevre, 34, of Texas, described as a former bond executive. As it turns out, he doesn't work at Goldman and never did. Why would anyone have thought he did? (Goldman brass took his purported presence at the firm seriously enough to forbid its employees to talk on the elevator.) Well, possibly because it was reported in The New York Times more than two years ago ...
Sullivan appears to be citing, and taking completely seriously, Goldman Sachs’ statement to Sorkin: “We are pleased to report that the official ban on talking in elevators will be lifted effective immediately.”
“The statement was tongue-in-cheek,” Goldman Sachs spokesman David Wells told Gawker. When informed, earlier, that the New York Times’ appointed ombudsman believed the bank had banned talking on its elevators, Wells began laughing, then said, “Wait, they did? Can you send me the link?”
Shortly after Gawker spoke with Wells, Goldman Sachs’ official Twitter account issued the following tweet:
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