Guest Post: In The Wake Of The College Admissions Scandal, “Grifty Shades of Bray” Weighs In On Julia Allison & The Culture Of Deceit

I was reading a piece in the New Yorker about the college admissions scandal. One of the takeaways from the article was about how scamming and grifting have become so casually pervasive and almost permissible in the upper stratas of America.

What I find so abhorrent about the woo culture that Donkey has attached herself to over the last few years is how clearly scamming and grifting are at the root of this culture, yet these people claim to be so pure, societally-minded, and yes (sounds familiar?) so full of LOVE. This is not news or surprising to anyone who has read this blog over the years. We can’t point out the phoniness and hypocrisy of most of its participants enough times.

For Donkey, this even pre-dates her woo phase. How exactly did she get into Georgetown after a mediocre performance in high school and a disastrous year at a state school? It was clearly the strings her father pulled with his friend Senator Mark Kirk, from his position of privilege. Her mother, a former Nixon speechwriter, edited her Georgetown dating column. Her PR stunts in NY allowed her to start up a fake web business where she “hired” interns for no pay to elevate her status and visibility. In NY, she worked her contacts and access to influence as hard as the woman who ran those massage parlors in Florida, and compare all the selfies the two of them took with movers and shakers to enhance their respective images. She pretended to write for the WaPo so she could grift a free breakfast at a hotel. Uninvited, she crashed countless parties and events and bragged about how to do it. She bought more than a hundred thousand fake Facebook followers, ostensibly with her BFFs Randi Zuckerberg and Dave Morin looking the other way, so she could grift free swag and gift cards from sponsors that weren’t always passed along to followers. She used a purloined unconnected NBC microphone to scam her way into NY fashion week where she gave fake interviews that never aired. She got a book deal and strung along the publisher for years without producing any usable material, and allegedly had to return her advance. She pretended to be the national spokesmodel for a clothing company, paid for and produced her own advertisements, and had a press release issued about it in her hometown. She fraudulently subletted apartments via AirBnb and was evicted in SF for doing so. And now she is presenting herself as someone who advises and inspires global entrepreneurs, having no relevant experience at doing so, simply because of her connections and because she says so.

None of her shenanigans were at the same level as the college admissions scam, but she is another example of how grifting and scamming is a way of life for some children of privilege who would rather profit by faking it through life instead of working hard. And there are new kids of privilege being born and indoctrinated into this way of life every day. Rules don’t apply to them, laws don’t apply to them, and accountability and consequences are for the little people. But let them show you how socially conscious and full of LOVE they are!


  1. Preach, Grifty!

    And let’s not forget her column for Tribune Media Services that she didn’t always bother to turn in, and when she did, it was either about her personal life or barely edited press releases from her acquaintances’ companies.

    Old Burro Network!

    • She also used that short lived Trib column to get back at folks she believed had ignored or wronged her, which was the same approach she took with her Georgetown Hoya column before she was fired for plagiarism.

      • Didn’t she also use it to rationalize going through Pancakes’s phone while he was sleeping?

      • I don’t believe in that, because she never took credit. Since when has she not brayed about all accomplishments, real or imagined?

        Alex Williams is a seeker of Woo idiocy all on his own.

        • But intrepid reporter and shillmeister Williams has maintained a friendship with Donkey over the years and has liked several of her IG posts. I would bet you any amount of cash that Donkey, Advanced Publicity Strategist, set up a meeting.

          • It is very unlike her not to brag about something like that, though.

            My guess is that whoever the Daddy Woobucks was who hosted the party was contacted Williams directly.

            Perhaps we’ll never know ??‍♀️

  2. The hometown press release about being at spokesdonkey for car wash bras never fails to make me lmao, but I’m also reminded of her self-serving press release to politico when she was shown the door by Mama McCain … Dadbod should know what to expect when he drops the hammer.

      • Oh yes, Dodi should know a press release will DEFINITELY go out if he doesn’t put a ring on it.

        • Allison revealed that Jack McCain isn’t entirely positive that he’ll stay in the navy, adding that military marriage might not be for her.

          “When he looks down the line, the truth is, he doesn’t know whether he wants to stay in the military or not,” Allison wrote.

          “When he looks down the line, the truth is, he doesn’t know whether he wants to stay in research or not,” Mulia brayed, “lest he be caught in the act of parenting.“

          Something like that?

          • “Although we still love each other deeply, we have mutually decided to break up. Alex has some unresolved insecurities, which he shared in this private email to me that I’ve included below. We will always be in each other’s lives, and if he ever gets another girlfriend– his busy career makes relationships difficult — I hope their love-making is as magical as ours was!”

  3. There was a lot I left out, and I didn’t edit carefully, because I had and still have a ton of stuff to do today. One thing Imdid leave out was how she used her book deal to grift free goods and services for several years with the promise of a mention in her book.

    Check out the NYT piece if you can today. It rang all kinds of bells.

    • I know you’ve been horrifically busy, which makes your thoughtful post even more impressive. I’m guessing you knocked this out in a few minutes because there wasn’t much time! Compare that with the four months it took Donkey to write a puff piece about Burning Scam.

      • Thank you Gilly. Life will be insane through the next week, but after that I think it will settle down. A confluence of unfortunately timed events threw my life into chaos, but things could be much worse.
        Wish I could edit my post, I wrote it from bed this am before coffee and it shows. But I’d just read the New Yorker piece and it reminded me so much of Julia.

  4. New in here – I’m doing research on the college cheating scandals and came across this. Would be interested to speak to the author to find out if these claims can be verified. Potentially for a story.

    Do you have proof of any of this?

    • And the gang signs + modified duck face

    • Pettifogger’s sportscoat could fit two of him. What is up with that dude and the oversized clothing?

      • Doubly funny because his donkey daughter has such a thing for clothes that are six sizes too small.

      • And you may tell yourself
        This is not my beautiful lakeside assisted living facility!
        And you may tell yourself
        This is not my beautiful burro!

  5. OT: SJW Donkey and her intellectual acumen were posting more groundbreaking stories on FB today. I’m amazed that she barely gets a response on any of these posts. Often crickets, with one comment at the most. The highest number of likes I’ve seen is FIVE. I posted a silly story on the college admissions scandal and received 20 likes and nearly 100 comments, which is saying something since I have a few hundred FB friends while Donkey has 5000 friends and 126,990 followers. Be sure to hire Julia Allison Baugher for all your advanced PR needs!

    • I think she keeps her friends on a private network and solicits all her goddess queen fan mail there. She no longer needs to project a global brand image, that ship has not only sailed, but it’s been demasted and turtled. Wali, Telexfree and Puspito Vito Oo Nugroho forever mourn her departure.

      • I tend to agree but then why the fuck even bother to make these throwaway posts public?

      • Puspito Vito Oo Nugroho, there’s a blast from the past! Puspito, we hardly knew ye.

        • She posted another battery of intellectual acumen, with the post on Andrea Dworkin(!) being liked by three folks from the ‘stans: Noor Ahmed, Yuventius Tongkang, and Mohammed Adawy.

          THIS IS SUCCESS!!

        • During the last year’s natural disasters in Indonesia, I was amazed at how many Nugrohos were quoted in the news stories. No Puspito, though. Must be a popular last name there.

      • I think she is in a Smellsbergian manic phase. Her “love” is busy with working life and she.. has nothing to do. The posts are accelerating on all kinds of learned and thpiritual topics. It’s worrisome!

        Anyone see the Bali is ruined essay in theguardian? thought of all these woos

        • I think someone else on here might have mentioned that essay. I’ll check it out!

  6. So much canklehausen about this college admission scandal…

    A lot of these people like to say how they are “self-made” and got their obscene wealth by working hard, without any assistance from anybody blah blah blah and how those single mothers dare to use food stamps blah blah blah if you need money to pay for your children’s doctor’s visit, GET A JOB YOU LOUSY FREELOADER, we are cutting Medicaid because we don’t want a culture of dependence.

    These are also the people (at least some of them) that think it’s OK to put the children of undocumented immigrants in cages because their parents BROKE THE LAW by coming into this country.

    The worst part is none of them are going to jail, I can guarantee it, they are just going to pay some fine and do “probation”, probably in the form of some charity work (i.e. donation) to a fake(ish) non-profit, and it will be business as usual, as if nothing had happened.

    • I dunno… I am bothered by the apparent favoritism/protectionism of William H Macy… From the get-go, it had, to moi, a very similar feel to when Martha Stewart was made an example of…

      • The feds didn’t have enough information on Macy to charge him. Huffman was the primary facilitator and she’s all over the government recordings. Compare this to the case involving Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, both of whom were charged. Giannulli is worth much more money than Macy.

        • What Gilly said. Macy was basically a passive observer, and misprision of a felony isn’t really a thing. Failure to report a crime isn’t a crime unless there’s a duty (standing in loco parentis to a child, creating the harm, etc.). Although, it would’ve been super fun to watch the media coverage if he had been charged. “He’s fleein’ the interview!”

          What’s a bit sad is that it’s mostly celebs, who I guess didn’t go to college, and don’t know how pulling strings and asking favors works, as opposed to Petey, who did it old school. It doesn’t take hundreds of millions to get a half-wit into a good university. It just takes knowing the process, but these pretty people don’t know it, so they way overpaid and broke the law. Meanwhile, the everyday privileged, say your average lawyer, know the system and can manipulate it for much less. The result is still the same, half-wits taking deserving spots, but I’m pretty cynical that these universities will enact any meaningful safeguards that’ll ensure more deserving kids get in. At least with the uber wealthy, their legitimate donations pay for deserving scholarships. The middling wealthy just paid graft.

          What Dershowitz said kind of resonated. If they brought back actual grades, not this nobody flunks out, nobody gets a C, everybody gets an A or B, or we don’t even have grades bs to protect widdle egos, then there would be no point of buying a kid in ’cause they couldn’t hack it. Donkey would’ve failed out instead of her shenanigans working. One could even argue that it’s how a donkey was born. Georgetown let her skate by and thrust her onto NY and DC when it should’ve held her accountable. But “that was years ago”, right? Yet, if prestigious universities sifted a bit more, refused to accept dishonesty, we might not have donk, Zuckerberg, et al? Would they’ve been as successful in wreaking havoc in life if they’d been expelled for their early shenanigans? I know zuck dropped out, but would venture capital had touched him if he had a Harvard expulsion on his record for hacking into their system, etc? Maybe NY media would’ve thought twice about embracing a donk dropped from Georgetown for plagiarism? Enabling dishonesty and even rewarding it, by letting it associate with a name that invokes respect, is dangerous. It’ll be interesting what SC does about Loughlin’s daughter. I don’t wish her ill but will they let her graduate? I guess it will depend on how well she’s done there.

        • I really have kept my nose out of the college entrance fraud news except for reading the explosive headlines. This is the result of good griftership (pay attention Ali Shanti et al). I suspect these things start out more innocent than the news could ever comprehend or depict (because the grifters are THAT GOOD) and then grow more insidious daily. These people put their trust in snake oil peddlers. When the news hits, the disgust seems so obvious to all. There’s much pearl-clutching and “how could they?” But a good grifter makes one forget their morals and sense of decency and they sign the bottom line in blood. (Ali’s Mom for instance. Where’s that reality television show?)

          This reminds me of the Bernie Madoff scandal. Really, a lot of people, including celebrities, thought it was a great deal. However, you know somewhere deep down they knew it was too good to be true. They lost their moral compass and they lost their shirts. Many were too embarrassed to come forward because they knew what they did was illegal. Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick got taken in that scandal.

          • It likely did start out innocent, but it doesn’t take much savvy to realize something is wrong when the “adviser” is telling you how to fabricate a sports career for your kid. Or taking their kids to certain doctors who’d certify learning disabilities in order to have the kids take the SATs in an environment the scammer controls.

            As for Madoff, most of his victims were sophisticated investors who had to know that guaranteeing a specific rate of return (or any return, actually) is a HUGE red flag. And illegal. But they wanted in on the absurdly high returns he was claiming he got for clients and ignored the obvious. Just as the parents of the college kids knew at some point that they were doing bad things.

        • I have read the wiretap transcripts that include his participation, so I have to wonder: just how much is enough? Had he been caught on wiretap trying to solicit a hitman to take out his spouse, I don’t think an economy of words would have served him well at all…

        • What I find startling is how easy it is to fool admissions office of an Ivy League school. Apparently, all it takes is to Photoshop your kid’s face into the body of a high-school athlete in a stock photo, i.e. about 5 mins of work for someone who knows Photoshop.

          I guess the Donkey was right when she said it was all about “presentation and perception”. If you present something in an expensive folder, printed on premium paper, with some professionally written words around it, they will just swallow it. Some of the grifting parents shared my concern and were wondering if the University was at some point going to require their kids to play the sport they knew nothing about, but they were reassured that that would never happen.

          This reminded of the Robert Maxwell scandal, in England in the ‘90s. The guy basically raided the pension fund of his company, stealing hundreds of millions of dollars and then “died” in mysterious circumstances by falling overboard his own yacht. One of this tricks was to get a letter from his bank stating the balance one of his accounts, then he would change the number with Liquid Paper, turning thousands into millions, and fax the letter to another bank to get a loan.

          It is THAT easy when you operate from a position of power!

          • my fav is Bill McGlashan who created a venture capital fund focused on ethical investing…. (note that his Wikipedia page already says “was” – “…was an American businessman and international private equity investor”) and had positioned himself as a leading voice in Silicon Valley for social responsibility advising Airbnb, Uber etc., and working with Bono on The Rise Fund.

            Really all those 2 ding dong girls had to do was have daddy and mommy promise to show up to some events and they’d have a doors-wide-open invite to attend. The others could have just said, “Don’t you know who my parents are? I can show you their tax returns!” and they be shoo-ins.

            JFA’ing myself to also say that the guy made big bucks just playing off their fears. For USC? Just go to community college affiliated for 2 years, get a 3.5gpa and you can get in without any problem.

  7. Give mediabistro story I linked upthread says that Donkey only went to Indiana for one semester instead of for the full year. I didn’t realize that. I do know that she says she took a year off to work for Mark Kirk. So it sounds like she spent the balance of that Indiana year working for Kirk in order to land his recommendation to get into Georgetown.

  8. Maybe they thought Jerry Lundegaard had suffered enough? Maybe he cut too sympathetic a character in the court of public opinion? Who knows what goes on in the mind of a federal prosecutor? They’re odd birds, and like Marines, you’re either born one or you’re not. Funny, though, how Rob Lowe was quick to defend his sons for getting in on merit then deleted it. What’s going on there? Solidarity with his peers? Oh, to be a fly on the wall.

    BTW, has anyone ever gotten the scoop on that year at Indiana? Who are these girls who drove donk away? Mean girls who saw her coming a mile away and shut her down burn book style?

    • What went down that semester at Indiana U and the (sh)It Girls pilot are the holy grails of RBD.

      • I know some girls who lived in the same dorm as her the same year as her. It’s a large dorm, but it’s co-ed, and certain floors were reserved for certain programs–making it somewhat easy to narrow down which floor she might have lived on. The group of girls I know (who were split between two floors) don’t remember her at all. I have (embarrassingly) asked. One girl was like “She looks vaguely familiar and if it’s the person I’m thinking of, she never left her room.”

        As an IU alum, I can see Julia not fitting in there at all. It’s a big school and easy for anyone (especially freshmen) to feel lost or invisible. Also there’s just no way her schtick would fly there. IU is definitely a place where substance is valued and cultivated over façade, all the way down to shallow-ish party people.

        I have followed our dear donk since the [redacted] days, and I am inclined to believe that she wasn’t fawned over or immediately given special treatment, so she hid away in her dorm room feeling lonesome and saying “this place sucks / everyone here sucks.” I wonder if her Georgetown persona was an extreme overcorrection in reaction to her IU experience?

        Of course this is all pure speculation. I wish I knew more.

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