Journalist on Journalist Smackdown

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Over at Gawker, which time and time again has displayed a curious fascination with the Good Ship Spectator, it seems there’s been a tiff between Speccie Alexandria Symonds and star of MTV’s delightfully realistic The Paper/soon-to-be NYU student Amanda Lorber.

Lorber apparently took issue with Symonds’ review of The Paper published nearly two months ago in the Spec, which characterized Lorber as “a fundamentally lonely girl. Sure, she’s overbearing and annoying, but it’s obvious that it all stems from crippling self-consciousness and a terminally unfulfilled desire to be liked.” Retaliated Lorber to Symonds in a most unkind (and what should be noted as formerly private) email:

“I’m not saying I don’t have enemies, obviously I do. You seem to be one of them, but as I write now, I’m starting to see where it’s coming from. It’s a different kind of jealousy. The type spewed from young women who resent teenage girls that get their names out there. You, Ms. Symonds, are obviously a fundamentally bitter woman. You degrade the work ethic and academic values of a 17-year-old in order to cure your self-consciousness and upset at perhaps never being recognized for your work when you’re through with “The Specator.” In fact, if my staff hadn’t been excitedly ‘googling’ every article written about our (national television) show, I would never had come across your disgusting piece.”

Is this finally the NYU-Columbia rivalry we can all get behind? Perchance!

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  1. is it just me

    or was alex actually describing herself instead of lorber?

  2. wow

    Did Lorber actually pull the "ur jus' jellus!!" attack? Also, honestly, at first when I was skimming the article, I thought you'd included a picture of Symonds, not Lorber. Maybe it's just the glasses and long blonde hair but they look kind of similar to me...

  3. Wow 2

    Maybe this Lorber character should have thought about the criticisms she would receive BEFORE she decided to effectively lampoon herself on national television.

  4. obviously

    this girl hasn't done enough googling to find out that Alex is one of the most accomplished people of 2010--already the EIC of the Eye and doing a great job, and freelancing for Time Out NY. This whole thing is hilarious.

  5. Geez

    What's with the folks over at Gawker getting on their knees and licking Lorber's balls? Okay, they don't like Columbia, whatever, but they're praising this girl like she's the next incarnation of the Christ child.

  6. DPD

    I'm embarrassed for Gawker that they so unnecessarily attacked Alex. (It's likely that she's more accomplished more than everyone on Gawker's masthead besides Nick Denton, and I'm not just saying that because I consider her a dear friend.) If any of the "journalists" involved in this imbroglio had bothered READING the piece - http://www.columbiaspectator.com/node/30428 - they would have noted that it criticizes Amanda primarily for taking part in a series designed to humiliate her. Unfortunately, it seems like the entire media framework now hinges on public humiliation, even when a writer has not chosen the limelight.

  7. obviously

    this lorber gal wasn't doing her research or she'd know symonds was, in fact, an accomplished playwright while still in high school. Her central argument holds no water. Also, when you make yourself public, youre going to take some hear from the press. This girl needs to grow up and grow a pair.

    They're having a hyper-driven,chipmunk-cheeked snarky girl-off. Maybe there ain't room for the both of them
    in this here town...

    • Arlington Simmons

      Isn't "accomplished playwright while she was still in highschool" a bit of an exaggeration? From what I can see she got her play produced, which is a big accomplishment for a high school playwright, but you make it seem like she was an objectively "accomplished" playwright who happened to be in high school.

      Who cares, though, the point is that whatever lines Symonds crossed in her article, Lorber's e-mail was way too hateful, bitchy and narcissistic. I am all for Symonds here even if she is named after a county in Virginia.

  8. also

    I'm kind of shocked that Lorber would see this as a personal attack (well...maybe not: at 17, everything seems like a personal attack). I mean, she is the star of a reality TV show Symonds happened to be reviewing. Unfortunately for Symonds (who is someone I know and have nothing but respect for), she reviewed the show as if it had been a regular scripted Tv show, without much thought to the possibility that one of its "characters" would turn around, read the criticism, and smack her in the face for it.

    But as others have said, anyone on a reality TV show would have to be outlandishly narcissistic or just plain stupid to think he or she would not be attacked by someone, somewhere. And all these reality show stars are, supposedly, only playing slightly tweaked versions of themselves, so who's to say that Symonds had the wrong idea about reviewing the TV charaters as if they were TV CHARACTERS after all?

  9. I wish

    people wouldn't pay attention to this garbage. Alex is seriously awesome, and if this girl wants to be on TV, she better get used to criticism and learn how to defend herself without making personal attacks. Grow up, seriously.

  10. Little Liverbird

    Wow, if Lorber wants to be in the public eye, she needs to grow up and learn how to take criticism from the press. The entire world's not going to fall at your feet and tell you you're a wonderful little princess.

    I'm fighting in Alexandria's corner.

  11. hahahaha

    Everyone's established how accomplished Alex is, but has anyone noticed how narcissistic Lorber's email is?

  12. i bet

    I bet the comment on the Spec piece is from Lorber:

    "First of all, you could not relate to her passion for greyscaling? Clearly you've never worked for a college newspaper. Second, you should be embarassed, as you come across as far more unpopular and bitter than that girl on the very edited MTV reality show is, you sad, sad (terrible) writer."

  13. Fairfax Simon

    Also, some high school kids are pressed these days, damn

  14. keggy  

    alls I know is that re: the girl in the picture...I'd tap that.

  15. hm...

    The county in VA? Ha. She was named after that glorious Egyptian city, the center of all the knowledge of antiquity.

    Symonds, I'm behind you 110%.

    Lorber, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Sorry, but in the real world you don't get babied. Reality gets served to you cold, kthx.

    • Loudoun Simpson

      Yeah, but wasn't the city just retroactively named after Alexandria County?

      • EAL

        As as resident of the great Commonwealth of Virginia, I must correct you that Alexandria is a separate city on the border of Fairfax and Arlington counties. Arlington County was once a part of the District of Columbia, but seceded from the District in 1846. Thereby Alexandria was never a county; indeed, it actually was named after the great Egyptian city of antiquity because its founders hoped that it would become a great port on the Potomac like its Mediterranean cousin.

        • Prince William Simms

          It was Alexandria County, V.A. between 1846 and 1870, you blowhard.

          • EAL

            Blast, I've been out-Wikied! Well done, sir! I had forgotten that Arlington County was indeed called Alexandria County before 1920 and the City of Alexandria seceded from said county in 1870 (though Alexandria, as a COUNTY, had been ceded by the District back to Virginia in 1846, as I maintained before).

            Indeed, Virginia history can be fascinating! Did you know that Botetourt County once extended all the way from east of the Allegheny Mountains to the Mississippi River?

  16. is it just me

    or has gawker gotten even meaner and randomer since i started reading it 4 years ago?

    • not just you

      The newest crop of Gawker editors kind of sucks, it all went downhill when Choire left. They used to produce pithy, focused articles on media and NYC gossip. Now they kind of post about whatever, TV shows or whatever catches their fancy that day. They've lost focus, and they're no longer funny, just mean and/or lame. Sad. Find some new editors, Denton!

  17. question---

    how many gawker bigwigs had their humble beginnings at columbia?

  18. EAL

    That's meant to be *a resident.

    And by the way, why waste your time watching those retardation-inducing "reality" shows? This Lorber girl is clearly somewhat brainless to begin with (unless a good portion of this really was only acting; if that's the case then my opinion of her improves). Besides, that's why she's going to NYU in the first place (bazing!). As for Ms. Symonds, I do hope you return The Eye to its previous incarnation under Tim Shenk as a forum for controversial campus issues (MRS-degree Barnard girls, St. A's, et al.) instead of the esoteric hipster rag that it's become under Alex Gartenfeld.

  19. ianc-b  

    "specator"? bitch needs to learn how to spell.

  20. hmm

    It seems like we need to consult the esoteric works of one of the great modern day philosophers: Doctor Dre. Indeed, his wise words in his short expose, "Xxplosive," may apply well to this situation. Now, I may be paraphrasing but, ". . . [that NYU girl] is more of a bitch than a bitch."

  21. YAY!  

    This Lorber girl needs to know that she's dealing with real Bwog commentators and she's not gonna get off that easy


    comment away!

    • ...

      If this Lorber girl is really that accomplished and talented, why is she going to NYU??

      I mean, haven't you seen the facebook group... she's going to be bagging Symond's groceries some day

  22. symonds

    One of my favorite (and one of the few genuinely humble people) at spec...

  23. tom faure

    Alex Symonds is the bee's knees! down with negative nancies! oh golly..

  24. This is why...

    I hate theater kids.


    Consider, for a moment, how uncannily similar these two look.

    Done? Now let me ask you a question: How well do we know this "Lorber" character, really?
    Notice 1.) the accusation of self consciousness shared by each quote, 2.) the identical acerbic style/voice 3.) the fact that Symonds has fictional doppelgangers in her plays, repeating each others lines, lamenting self consciousness, etc. etc. etc!

    In other words, how do we know this "Lorber" character isn't just... A CHARACTER CREATED BY ALEX SYMONDS? It wouldn't be the first time she's done this!

    It's almost sloppy; a blond wig and glasses? Could you have been more obvious?!

    Who's the real narcissist here?

  26. but...  

    alex never had a nose-job, as far as i know.

  27. i hate to admit it

    but i love this

  28. Wow  

    is that a bitchy pair of glasses. Nice bitchy pair of glasses, bitch.

  29. That there,

    That there is the smile of someone who's checking to see if there's spinach stuck in her teeth. Just sayin.

  30. yawn  

    Really? High school paper drama?

  31. Northumberland Sims

    It seems more likely to me that the publication had a lot of good ideas at the beginning and that those began to run out. It's pretty common, actually, that when something new gets started it can be driven by a lot of its members having ideas they've wanted to do for awhile, and then you have a downturn afterwards that sometimes if followed by a new wave of improvement, and sometimes isn't. I don't know how much an individual editor is responsible.


    There are a shitload of talented and brilliant people from NYU but this girl doesn't seem to be one of them.

  32. Hmm  

    I think #37 is onto something.

  33. cuprincess

    Sure, Lorber was annoyed. Who wouldn't be. That said, did anyone care to read the electronic rant that she sent Alex?
    It wasn't narcissistic as much as it was a validation of her existence. "I have friends" the text between the lines said. "AND I DO ALL THESE EXTRACURRICULARS". That means she has friends and Alex's review was unfounded. Maybe so. But, (1) I'm surprised she took the time and effort to write such a gloriously long email to Alex. Find something better to do, honey. and (2) Not everyone's going to love you. And good job propelling an article in a minor periodical that would likely fade into oblivion onto the world stage. Good job drawing attention to yourself and Alex.

    Who's begging for attention now?

  34. Michael

    No contest; you can't fuck with Alex Symonds. She hides razor blades in her weave and has way more newspaper-dork-in-the-sexiest-sense-of-the-word glasses then that piglet Lorber.

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