We live in a world of consequences: if enough people can't stop talking about Sharknado on Twitter, we get Sharknado 2: NYC Boogaloo immediately greenlit. And if the NY Times is going to continue to publish 4,800 word Style section treatises that took five months of work to conclude that college women (at one particular Ivy League university) enjoy casual sex in the year 2013, then they deserve to be made fun of by master troll Katie Roiphe. The only people remotely surprised by (or interested in) the content of the Times' story seem to be the "Morning Joe" crew and some monocle-dropping parents. One of those parents happens to be Whitney Tilson, a millionaire hedge funder who put his semi-violent response to the "horrifying" story online for all to see.
Tilson, the founder of Kase Capital, was particularly shocked by a section of the patronizing abomination in which one young woman recounts a particular sexual encounter (one which hedged on the phrase, “get down on your knees”). He wrote a fired-up blog post about it, imploring his three daughters to "bite it" if it came to that.
Then for good measure, emailed the piece to his education reform listserv. “A handful of people asked to be removed from my [list],” Tilson told the Post, though he didn't say what his daughters reactions were to getting totally "OMG DAD SO EMBARASSING'd" in the press.
The NY Times overtly and implicitly defended the piece, which became #1 on their most emailed list over the weekend because SEX, in a long interview with author Kate Taylor yesterday; it's in that interview that we learned Taylor spent five months working exclusively on this ridiculous piece. The Times is one of the few places left in America that has the resources to pay journalists to do real investigative reporting over long periods of time...and this is what we get. Which is not to say there isn't an article about female sexuality in college that is worth reporting—this is just not it.
It's another sign that the Times has no interest in letting up with the contentless self-parodying (and ultimately depressing) trend articles, which continue to find new and more irritating ways every week to teach us about non-existant dating rituals or troll us with profiles of futurism consultants. We suppose we should be grateful that the paper of record can still make us laugh heartily, and still reports real news, too.