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Dead Horse

Is anyone else still a little perplexed at the writer/editorial staff’s reaction to taking That Article down? Here are my thoughts:

  • There absolutely is a terrible precedent being set forth when the business side encroaches on the “journalistic” side. That’s true. In theory, they are correct to have that reaction. Typically, that is to protect the business interests from getting in the way of reporting journalistic truth. This is why it was such a big deal when Buzzfeed did it.
  • However, the story barely counts as journalism, and this sudden dedication to journalistic integrity instead of hiding behind “we’re a gossip blog, what do you expect?!” is a little mind-boggling to me. You can’t have it both ways.
  • The writers being in a tizzy about this makes sense to me, but I’m not sure why they don’t see it how the rest of us see it: by standing by this unverified extortion homophobic diarrhea of a story, Gawker would have basically shot all of its integrity to hell and taken all the writers with it. Is your byline not valuable to you, writers?
  • The purpose of a union (and union votes) is to protect you from your own employer trampling your labor rights. I’m pretty sure the right to Freeze Peach is not one of them.
  • The story could very well be untrue, and while technically any story could be untrue, the writer did not verify to the best of his ability the truths in the story. One (very unreliable) source does not a news story make! Ever! I don’t know the legal situation very well, and frankly I keep hearing conflicting reports on what legal wanted to do with the story, but one would think they would rather hunker down and protect the site’s integrity with a retraction that even just said, “we apologize for posting this prematurely. We did not get enough information to stand by this” or some other horse shit.
  • “Journalistic truths” are typically not presented in the form of angry op-ed essays. We read Gawker because we like these essays, but there is absolutely no media objectivity being shown, which is part of the reason all of this hogwash reaction to taking down the post surprises me.
  • I keep hearing about how this is kind of normal for Gawker and why the shit fit now. I have a few things to say about this: there have been plenty of despicable stories published, but not one of them has struck so many different kind of people like this one. It’s because this is punching down to a private citizen. It’s punching down to a white male. It’s punching down to a possibly gay male. It’s punching down to a family who thought their lives were private. It gave a platform to an absolute nutjob and aided him in black mail. This one has ALL THE THINGS. This isn’t just going to piss off humorless feminazis or rich white dudes.

That’s all.

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