#1.5 - The Bonkers Conclusion to Pronunciation Book

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 05:42 PM

One last update to episode 1 of TLDR. We all found out on Monday that Pronunciation Book (along with horse_ebooks) were part of a collaborative stunt between Jacob Bakkila and Thomas Bender to promote their art project Alternate Reality Game, Bear Stearns Bravo. The Daily Dot's Gaby Dunn, who we spoke to for our original story, figured out that Bakkila was the guy behind Pronunciation Book months ago. In order to convince her not to publish her story, Bakkila manipulated Dunn with a very elaborate series of lies. Weirdly, many of the people in her life were in on those lies, in varying capacities. We did a follow-up interview with Gaby about living her own personal version of the Truman Show, and you should listen because it is bonkers. 


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Comments [15]

Laughing two years later

She got played so hard now she's playing the victim. Shoulda just not got played.

Jul. 31 2015 09:29 PM
Never Again

I can't ever listen to TLDR again. This episode ruined it for me. And not just the overuse of the work LIKE. I'm not sure this story has any relevance to the world.

Oct. 27 2013 01:39 AM

In this day and age, any responsible ARG runner is going to respond to press inquiries with "yes, it's a game, and no, I can't comment," and they're going to clearly instruct anyone who spends any time "behind the curtain" to do the same. Good ARGs are performance, not deception, and anyone who doesn't grasp that is a self-aggrandizing jerk, not a "puppet master."

Oct. 02 2013 02:42 PM
Ilima from Hawaii

Wow, she was just trying to do her job, and a bunch of her "friends" targeted her specifically for their game, then conspired together to lie to her and manipulate her. This was a game for them, but it's her livelihood and career on the line. Hope she finds some better friends.

Sep. 28 2013 08:23 PM

I couldn't be less impressed by your guest. She spent a year essentially attempting to blackmail some marketers for behind the scenes movie access, then when she found out she'd gotten played she put all the blame on them.

I'd normally feel some sympathy for someone who received such a crushing blow to their ego, but she doesn't display even a shred of introspection about the whole affair, or seem to have anything intelligent to say about it. The reason her friends are laughing at her pitiful braying is because they don't respect her or her work, and honestly after listening to these segments I understand why.

Sep. 28 2013 06:13 PM

I was sad for you all that you had such a transparently silly subject for your first episode, which served only to publicize what was clearly a viral marketing effort aimed at the most gullible of the gullible. Now at least I was able to have a little laugh during this episode, when your guest indignantly proclaimed, "I'm a reporter!" Someone that gullible needs a new line of work. Maybe as a focus group subject for ad companies.

Sep. 27 2013 10:35 AM
Doug Cattie

Jeeeeez Gabby, maybe don't take the story so personally. You wanted to make yourself the story and it backfired in the LOWEST STAKES way imaginable. Bad scoop. Move on.

Sep. 26 2013 09:22 PM

I've never stopped watching you, @fart.

Sep. 26 2013 04:18 PM

The Truman Show delusion is not that uncommon! And I guess in this case it's not a delusion.


Sep. 26 2013 11:20 AM
Jay Blanc

Was there any benefit at all, other than to you personally for "getting the scoop", to revealing what you wanted to reveal? Was it good journalism? Was it worth marking yourself to your friends as "The one we can't tell anything about because it'll end up in TMZ"?

Sep. 26 2013 06:19 AM
Jay Blanc

What you mean after pumping her actor "friends" for information so she could get a scoop, they lied to her? WHAT A TRAGEDY. Clearly those friends have lied to and upset this poor innocent journalist who simply wanted to use them, and make them betray confidences they had given.

What a topsy turvy world we live in where Journalistic integrity isn't about holding Politicians to account when they lie, but is instead about revealing every little secret of Actors and Artists.

Gabby, sorry, but you want to know why your friends did it? Because you were acting like a hack. We *want* Actors and Artists to tell us pleasing lies, we don't need Journalists revealing them as lies, we know that they're lies. Why don't you use this passion for "revealing lies" on Politicians.

And really, you're upset that it wasn't a tacky corporate advertisement for a new hollywood movie, or a new car, or a new breakfast cereal? You're so far gone that you can't tolerate that people might make art so they can make art?

Sep. 26 2013 06:16 AM

This is all really really hilarious to me.
Advanced ARG tactics.

Should of had her talk to an actor though.
Also, this was an ARG for a web-based FMV game. I literally cannot be upset.

Sep. 26 2013 02:57 AM

So, I want to believe Gabby, but also a little bit that interview made me think that's she's also in on it and this is some Inception dream within a dream fucked up performance art.

Then again, I'm sorry for even implying that. Ugh.

Sep. 25 2013 09:55 PM

I enjoyed the countdown and I think the Bear Stearns Bravo game they've cooked up is fantastic. I'm probably going to keep playing it, but what they did to Gaby is never going to sit right with me.

Sep. 25 2013 07:28 PM

Wow, okay, that is SERIOUSLY messed up. Any interest I might've had in that stupid ARG is totally gone. Who even does a thing like that?

Sep. 25 2013 07:23 PM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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