Taiwanese Animators tackle the Gawker situation

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What’s “Gawker”?


A place to read stuff by mostly youngish white American dudes trying hard to seem cool and calling sometimes on women, gays and racial minorities to help them do it. They mostly rewrite other people’s stuff and don’t have the decency that BB does to let you watch videos on the front page. Gotta click through to watch cuz yeah, it’s a click farm.


It depends.

Gawker.com is pretty much what milliefink said; it’s a gossip blog* that occasionally tries to do interesting, responsible journalism but mostly does shallow, shitty gossip pieces.

Gawker Media is a company that owns a whole fuckload of blogs*, including some that are semi-well-regarded, like Jezebel (feminism and women’s issues) and Kotaku (video games). Okay, Kotaku sucks sometimes, but GamerGaters hate them viciously, so they must be doing something right.

*In the modern sense of “blog” where it’s basically a synonym for “website”, not the original, useful sense where it was something like a personal journal.


From what I’ve heard, the problem with the Gawker post in question wasn’t just that it was a shitty, tawdry expose of someone’s personal life. I mean, it’s Gawker, that’s like 50% of their content.

The story as I understand it (I didn’t read the original article before it was taken down, so feel free to correct me) is that a married executive allegedly solicited a male prostitute; they had some sort of disagreement; the prostitute threatened to expose the exec to Gawker if he didn’t hand over the cash; the exec refused, and the prostitute followed through on his threat.

So Gawker wasn’t just slinging gossip. It was cheerfully assisting with a blackmail scheme.

This is a shitty situation all around, because Gawker Media’s writers had recently been pushing hard to unionize and assert some editorial control so that legit news items couldn’t be squashed just because an advertiser objected to them. Now they’re in the position of feeling they have to stick to that solidarity even though a lot of them think the article was completely repulsive.


Yeah, they certainly picked a funny hill to die on basically.

Honestly if it was just 'Executive hires prostitute!" it would be…I dunno. Lame but not noteworthy as far as Gawker bullshit is concerned. The fact that they basically were the knowing executors for a blackmail scheme changes it pretty significantly, although I can’t say I can really give a clear reason why. I suppose that’s why I’m not a journalist, since I don’t have to really explain any of that.

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Thank you. You saved me the effort of asking: “What’s ‘Gawker’? Should I care?? Is this a San Francisco thing? a 'Mercan thing?”

Maybe that animation of the guy in the BVDs is about all the coverage?

I really wish io9 had nothing to do with Gawker…


Pretty much. Add onto that the fact the nobody knew who this guy was before the article, it’s not in the public’s interest to know whether he’s gay or cheating on his wife, and that Conde Nast is a direct competitor to Gawker through owning websites like Wired.com and you have a shitstorm of epic proportions.


The feeling is probably the same at io9 and all other Gawker Media sites.


I think the animated short pretty much nails it. My first reaction when I heard about the developing shit-show at Gawker was that if the journalists hadn’t been such petulant, irresponsible children, none of this would have gone down. They published an incredibly stupid story and then (gasp!) had to deal with the repercussions.

Of course, Nick Denton created the monster in the first place, so it’s not like I have any sympathy for him either.

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Gawker Media owns:

Cink - hungarian
Deadspin - sports
gawker.com - NYC media and gossip, tabloid
Gizmodo - gadget and tech
io9 - Science Fiction
Jalopnik - Cars
Jezebel - Celebrity, sex, fashion for women
Kotaku - Video games
Lifehacker - Productivity and computers

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Yeah… but io9 is pretty great, actually.


Having just heard about this story… How did Gawker assist with the blackmail? They published the story, I assume they didn’t actually have any part in the blackmail itself, though?

Their comments section got pretty crappy throughout the years, though.

I imagine that the regular Deadspin commenters are more of an exception, but even Jezebel went downhill.

It seemed to be 10% the possible blackmail thing, 40% the fact that they didn’t actually have a shred of evidence, and the prostitute is mostly likely lying and definitely wacko (believes Obama is the son of the devil, hates the Geithners), and 50% because since when is some random exec with a prostitute something that gets published? It was a low even for Gawker.

Edit: I didn’t even notice that link has some NSFW images, though it is called “str8upgayporn”, so that might be self-evident


Gawker is to io9 as Fox is to The Simpsons?

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Maybe The Simpsons 15-20 seasons ago.

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Yeah, something like that. I generally find io9 to have pretty interesting and insightful articles on genre fiction, on a variety of topics related to that - including some good stuff on race and gender. And I always like to read morning spoilers.

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They knowingly executed the threat that the prostitute made. That’s plenty enough for me…