The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
"Drew Cloud Is a Well-Known Expert on Student Loans. One Problem: He's Not Real."
A remarkable story from The Chronicle of Higher Education (Dan Bauman & Chris Quintana)
From the Chronicle article:
Drew Cloud is everywhere. The self-described journalist who specializes in student-loan debt has been quoted in major news outlets, including The Washington Post,The Boston Globe, and CNBC, and is a fixture in the smaller, specialized blogosphere of student debt.
He's always got the new data, featuring irresistible twists:
One in five students use extra money from their student loans to buy digital currencies.
Nearly 8 percent of students would move to North Korea to free themselves of their debt.
Twenty-seven percent would contract the Zika virus to live debt-free.
All of those surveys came from Cloud's website, The Student Loan Report.
… But he's a fiction, the invention of a student-loan refinancing company.
After The Chronicle spent more than a week trying to verify Cloud's existence, the company that owns The Student Loan Report confirmed that Cloud was fake. "Drew Cloud is a pseudonym that a diverse group of authors at Student Loan Report, LLC use to share experiences and information related to the challenges college students face with funding their education," wrote Nate Matherson, CEO of LendEDU.
Before that admission, however, Cloud had corresponded at length with many journalists, pitching them stories and offering email interviews, many of which were published…. Before being scrubbed from the website, he was described as having "a knack for reporting throughout high school and college where he picked up his topics of choice." …
Thanks to "Glenn Reynolds" (InstaPundit). I should add that "Eugene Volokh" is completely real, 100%. I've personally corresponded with him.