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Will Gawker Suffer Consequences For Outing Of Media Figure?

Gawker recently posted a story, detailing a private individuals sex-life, and possible extortion. Commenters and media pundits immediately chastised the NYC media gossip blog, and the next day, Gawker pulled down the post. Should Gawker Suffer Consequences For Outing Of Media Figure?

a full 90% of writers and pundits say yes
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Will Gawker Suffer Consequences For Outing Of Media Figure?  

Writers and pundits who say or about the topic, "Will Gawker Suffer Consequences For Outing Of Media Figure?"
last 24 hours | motherjones
Gawker Took Only One Day to Report and Vet the Story That Blew Up in Its Face ... - Mother Jones

"...Gawker took just one workday to investigate, vet, and publish its now-infamous article about a CFO's alleged extramarital sexting with a gay porn star, Mother Jones has learned from multiple sources a tight timeframe in which big legal and editorial decisions were made, with massive consequences for the company.The article, by 27-year-old staff writer Jordan Sargent, was based on texts provided by a man who tried to blackmail a publishing executive, and left a trail of destruction after it hit Gawker's front page last Thursday. Gawker thrust an arguably private individual into a media storm about journalistic ethics, and prompted top-level resignations after the site's publisher deleted the post a day later, an act that staffers said breached a sacred divide between editorial and business operations. Multiple rounds of knife-sharpening and bloodletting ensued...." see full article

1302 days ago | salon
When the absolute right to snark turns sour: A Gawker believer reconsiders the ... - Salon

"...I look at the recent kerfuffle that's gotten them in such hot water. Yes, arguably the people condemning Gawker gleefully outing a rival media company executive are being self-righteous and smarmy, defending the values of a traditional power structure in the face of challenge.They're also, you know, right.I can't believe this has to be said, but not all norms are there to be subverted, not all rules are made to be broken, not all boundaries of common decency are there to be crossed.Sometimes The Man's rules are there to protect the interests of the powerful and cover up uncomfortable truths. But sometimes they're just there to keep you from being a colossal asshole to innocent people.The fact that the guy Gawker's reporter outed was wealthy and powerful has absolutely nothing to do with whether there was anything to be gained by publicly shaming him especially anything worth the way the piece implicitly legitimizes shaming people for sexuality and using it to extort them...." see full article

1302 days ago | realclearpolitics
Sensitivity Over at Gawker

"...It's one thing for a liberal site such as Gawker to mortify an entertainer in professional wrestling -- home of casual homophobic slurs -- and quite another to out a gay man of high social status. In this case, the victim was media giant Conde Nast's chief financial officer -- a husband, father of three and brother of former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.That puts Gawker at risk of losing the few powerful friends it has left. Journalist/gay advocate Glenn Greenwald recently hyperventilated over the injustice of exposing a closeted gay man to ridicule. To Greenwald, this was not acceptable behavior like outing classified information tied to national security.There will always be a wild west of digital media, but those wanting to make fortunes off its freewheeling nature are beginning to fence it in. To traditional media types, that sounds a lot like "gatekeeping," and not a bad thing. ..." see full article

1303 days ago | ricochet
Gawker's Death Rattle -
"...Gawker has every right to run its business as it sees fit. They can, in short, be terrible people in the pursuit of what they believe is the truth. They can advance a progressive agenda that seems at certain times like it was pulled from the manifesto of a campus social-justice group, and, at others, from old-timey socialist ideas from nearly a century ago.What they don't get to do is to make careers out of this type of work, and then retroactively prop up cheap, easy, sometimes-filthy opinion writing as brilliance, while they simultaneously scramble to canonize each other before their company flatlines once and for all.What they don't get to do is claim to be the realest of real journalists while proudly abandoning any semblance of what the old people they despise might call objectivity. ..." see full article

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1305 days ago | talkingpointsmemo
On That Gawker Story

"...So yeah, I totally get the concerns on process. Business people shouldn't have a say on pulling a piece. Ever. On a decision this big it comes down to the editors and the owner and/or publisher (often the same person). But what seems to me to be the totally open and shut error of publishing the piece in the first place and the correctness of pulling it (though lot of good it does after the fact, in this case) makes it very hard for me to see that as the big deal here...." see full article

1305 days ago | slate
Nick Denton's editorial standards: Editors resign from Gawker after male ... - Slate Magazine (blog)

"...On Monday, as part of his resignation letter, outgoing Gawker Media Executive Editor Tommy Craggs leaked the company's new brand book, which serves to introduce Gawker to potential advertisers. In it, Gawker Media touts itself as being fearless in sharing our own perspectives regardless of how unconventional, unpopular, or unexpected they may be. We tell the real story. Gawker Media has always been a company that prioritizes the telling of real, good stories. But in hastily publishing the media executive story, and then in just as hastily unpublishing it, Gawker Media has undermined its own story. On June 4, after the editorial employees of Gawker Media voted overwhelmingly to form a union, Denton appeared in his own site's comment section and lauded Gawker Media as Internet's foremost champion of the independent press. In this age, we live as subscribers and employees of hollow conglomerates, and data points in the algorithms that govern the soulless networks that now dominate the web, he wrote. There is a haven for free thought. Only Gawker Media is independent. It is uncompromised. It is unique. ..." see full article

1305 days ago | linkedin
Unethical like a fox: Gawker may have a friend in N.Y. law | Daxton "Chip ... - Pulse
"...My initial thoughts were that taking the post down may mitigate damages, but the harm was already done -- there's no taking back an act this intrusive of one's privacy. One can't unsee the Hulk Hogan sex tape -- also a Gawker joint -- and one can't unhear things about a guy most people had never heard of hours before. I Googled his name this morning, and it wasn't until the third page of results that I got one that wasn't about the Gawker incident; that one was his facebook page.The first instinct was to turn to privacy torts -- does the CFO have a cause of action based in the classic privacy invasions, in this case, what's known as "public disclosure of private facts" or sometimes the "embarrassing private facts" tort? In short, this would allow a person to recover damages for revealing private facts that are offensive to a reasonable person, distributed widely, and are not newsworthy. Erik Wemple does a good job of outlining that reasoning. Private facts is the ground Hulk Hogan is using in his lawsuit against Gawker for posting his sex tape; as detailed by my esteemed colleague Jane Kirtley. ..." see full article

1306 days ago | variety
Gawker Gaffe Reveals a Brand At War With Itself - Variety
"...Upper-class resentment doesn't explain Gawker's story entirely. It's a toxic stew filled with other ingredients including an obsession with denigrating its rivals (Conde Nast owns longtime Gawker antagonist Reddit) and a preoccupation with outing people in the closet. Then there's Denton's own glib litmus test for what constitutes a story being newsworthy it is true and it is interesting and you understand how a publication leaves the door wide open to this kind of ineptitude.In Gawker's legal standoff with Hulk Hogan, there's at least some semblance of an argument to be made for publishing excerpts of the wrestler's sex tape. But in the instance of the Conde Nast executive Gawker maligned, the article is so completely devoid of any journalistic justification that it should be mandatory reading for every aspiring reporter, a cautionary tale of what not to do...." see full article

1306 days ago | capitalnewyork
Gawker editors Tommy Craggs and Max Read resign | Capital New York - Capital New York
"...Going forward, Gawker will have to adopt stricter editorial standards that take into account whether a story is newsworthy, not just whether it's true, and whether its news value outweighs possible harm that it could cause its subjects.This is Denton's personal editorial standard, but it has not been the site's. Denton did not personally believe that the Geithner post was interesting or worthwhile enough to publish, but Gawker's editors did, so it was published. Now, Gawker will officially adopt editorial standards that are in line with Denton's."We need a codification of editorial standards beyond putting truths on the internet. Stories need to be true and interesting. I believe we will have to make our peace with the idea that to be published, those truths should be worthwhile. And some humane guidelines are needed in writing on the calculus of cruelty and benefit in running a story," he wrote...." see full article

1306 days ago | thedailybeast
Male Escorts: Shame On Gawker - The Daily Beast - Daily Beast

"...Maybe that's changing. The Twitter outcry and subsequent resignations indicate that we think that private citizens ought to be able to pay for sex without humiliation. Extrapolate that conviction, and perhaps the choices of the people they pay to sleep with are also private. Those asserting that this is a private matter could carry that thought one step further: If buying sex should be one's own choice, maybe so should selling it. Jackson and I talk about our fear of exposure. He says that it doesn't weigh on him anymore. He says, the advantage to coming [clean with family and friends] is that then you don't have to give a shit anymore. I remember when I hadn't come out and it was really fucking terrifying. There were some dark times when I was wrought with uncertainty and fear about it. ..." see full article

1306 days ago | nymag
Gawker's Existential Crisis -- NYMag - New York Magazine
"...In one way, the staffers' frustration is understandable. Denton, after all, encouraged them for years to throw bombs and not worry about the collateral damage, in human or financial terms. Some of the cruelest posts that have ever been written are by Nick, one said. Denton seemed to acknowledge this himself in an email to Jordan Sargent, the 26-year-old reporter who posted the disgraced post. You need to know you did nothing wrong, Denton told him. These are the stories we used to do. But times have changed. It wasn't just Denton's belief that the post was beyond the pale. All of Twitter was in an uproar over the cruelty to an essentially private citizen. Gawker staffers I spoke to continue to defend the post. "This is gossip and a bizarre story to boot. We fucked up the packaging," one told me. "The facts of the story are newsworthy, bottom to top. The more immediate question is just how the site will continue to function this week. At Craggs and Read's farewell meeting, staffers expressed anger that they were leaving them behind. At one point, writer Bill Arkin wanted to know what would happen to the rest of them. Craggs and Read didn't have answers. This is not helpful! Arkin yelled, according to a source. Right now, Gawker is being edited by Read's deputy, Leah Beckmann. Denton has been trying to right the ship. At 1 p.m. today, he held a meeting with the company. Two sources said he asked John Cook, executive editor for investigations, to fill in as acting editorial director. So far Cook hasn't answered. ..." see full article

1306 days ago | realclearpolitics
Gawker & the Left's Selective Outrage | RealClearPolitics - RealClearPolitics

"...Between all this and the whiff of homophobia in the story's obvious glee at outing a supposedly closeted gay man (Geithner has denied the escort's claims), Gawker inevitably incurred the wrath of the progressives who had been the core of its respectable following people like journalist Glenn Greenwald, whose tweet condemning the story noted that he was a fan of Gawker, or one of Gawker's own more prominent ex-staffers, Adam Weinstein. But the fact that Gawker was seen as acceptable in polite liberal society until now says a lot about the climate on the cultural left.It's not as if Gawker wasn't odious before. It's a publication that posts leaked videos of celebrities' sexual activities (it settled one lawsuit over such a video in 2010 and is currently facing another from pro wrestler Hulk Hogan). It's a publication that conducted a drawn-out innuendo campaign based on rumors, conjectures, and what the site itself described as questionable emails suggesting that actor James Franco was not only gay but a gay rapist who had violently assaulted an ex-boyfriend. (Now that it's open season on Gawker, this campaign has been chronicled in all its vileness, and the author of some of those articles has admitted, in a later-deleted tweet, that the stories were baseless. ) So why do people like Weinstein think those were the good days when Gawker was a special place to work?..." see full article

1307 days ago | linkedin
Gawker's Gaffe Makes it Hypocritical - Pulse
"...Yet, Gawker writes a story that defames a person and is not news. And, that is the ultimate gaffe. That a news organization could not discern the difference between news and no news not discern the difference between a person who never took a public stance, and a hypocrite. A news organization publishing news that is not news is hypocritical.In taking the post down, chief executive officer Nick Denton, who founded Gawker Media in 2002, wrote: The point of this story was not in my view sufficient to offset the embarrassment to the subject and his family. Accordingly, I have had the post taken down. It is the first time we have removed a significant news story for any reason other than factual error or legal settlement. ..." see full article

1308 days ago | nymag
Gawker Took Down Its Controversial Post Outing a Conde Nast Executive, and ... - New York Magazine
"...At the Washington Post, Erik Wemple argued that the post had a purpose beyond its questionable newsworthiness. His theory is that "the site publishes stories such as this just to stay in shape. Its people know that when they step close, near or on top of ethical lines, they are in good territory for their brand. That queasiness about the publishability of a story is a good feeling. That causing a firestorm in media-crit blogs is part of the mission statement. That writing about some guy's arrangements with an escort sends a message to their sources Yes, send us the sleazy stuff, please."Beyond questions of whether Gawker's editorial mission would survive the maelstrom and the furious reaction of the editorial staff to how this post's life unexpectedly expired makes it clear that it is ready to fight to keep doing what it's doing undeterred Slate's Mark Joseph Stern thinksthat the media company should be more worried about having to deal with even more legal problems beyond Hulk Hogan in the near future. "[U]nless Gawker is completely confident that every single allegation [in the post] is completely accurate, the company should be very, very nervous right now."..." see full article

1308 days ago | slate
Gawker takes down post on media executive: Nick Denton used to punch up, but ... - Slate Magazine

"...If the rich are inherently worthy of suspicion, then what are we to make of Denton's unprecedented choice to remove Sargent's story from Gawker? In a blog post Friday, Denton called his decision to do so the first time we have removed a significant news story for any reason other than factual error or legal settlement. Scrubbing the post seems less a change of heart or a sudden attack of conscience than a bid to forestall any potential lawsuits. Gawker Media already has enough of those on its hands. It has been sued by the wrestler Hulk Hogan over its decision to post an excerpt of a video that showed Hogan having sex with his friend's ex-wife. Hogan seeks $100 million in damages. Aren't they kind of protected by piles of money from those rocks? I guess Gawker Media will soon find out...." see full article

1308 days ago | thedailybeast
Gawker's Homophobic, Years-Long Crusade to Out James Franco - The Daily ... - Daily Beast

"...Perhaps the vilest thing about the piece is how laced with homophobia it was, as its main, hateful mission seemed to be outing a man, as if being gay was something to be ashamed of in 2015, mere weeks after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all fifty states.But Gawker Media has long harbored a creepy obsession with outing closeted men. Back in 2007, one of its first controversial stories involved its sister site Valleywag publishing a piece outing Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel in a post titled, Peter Thiel is totally gay, people. In the comment section of the piece, Denton wrote that he was confused why Thiel would keep his personal life a secret from journalists as if he was entitled to this information from a non-public figure. And then there was the unfortunate outing of Fox News anchor Shepard Smith in 2013, a nasty gay fright piece that was eviscerated in a columnby the late, great New York Times media critic David Carr...." see full article

1308 days ago | linkedin
Gawker's Gaffe Makes it Hypocritical | Rob Wyse | LinkedIn - Pulse
"...Yet, Gawker writes a story that defames a person and is not news. And, that is the ultimate gaff. That a news organization could not discern the difference between news and no news not discern the difference between a person who never took a public stance, and a hypocrite. A news organization publishing news that is not news is hypocritical.In taking the post down, chief executive officer Nick Denton, who founded Gawker Media in 2002, wrote: The point of this story was not in my view sufficient to offset the embarrassment to the subject and his family. Accordingly, I have had the post taken down. It is the first time we have removed a significant news story for any reason other than factual error or legal settlement. I commend Denton and the other four executives on the leadership team who had the sense to take this post down. ..." see full article

1308 days ago | thedailybeast
Gawker Got In Bed With The Wrong Escort

"...To the contrary, however, the Geithner controversy has potentially created another serious problem for a company whose very existence could already be threatened by an unfavorable verdict from the jury in the Hulk Hogan trial, which was scheduled to start in state court in St. Petersburg, Fla., on July 6 before being postponed till later this year.Hogan claims Gawker Media and Denton who owns 68 percent of his privately-held company violated his rights to privacy and publicity 2 years ago by posting a video of him having sex; under Florida law, if the jury decides against Gawker with substantial monetary damages, Denton will be required to post the entire amount on bond, pending an appeal which could be financially catastrophic.Although Denton insisted in Friday's blog post that the Geithner story was true and well-reported, he added that the decision to publish it in the first place was an editorial call, a close call around which there were more internal disagreements than usual. And it is a decision I regret. ..." see full article

1309 days ago | bgr
How Gawker completely disgusted everyone on the Internet - BGR
"...In this crazy area of modern online media when everyone is scrambling around competing for page views, plenty of questionable stories get run that probably shouldn't be. That said, some standards still need to apply to anything you decide to publish, particularly when you're writing about a non-public figure.And, I mean, come on. If this escort had come to you with dirt on the CFO of Gawker Media sleeping around, there is no way in hell you would have published that. The only reason you did so was because it was the CFO of a rival company and to pretend that you just did us all a great public service for it makes me throw up in my mouth...." see full article

1309 days ago |
Michael Wolff Reveals Gawker Boss Nick Denton's Private Thoughts on Oversight and Morals
"...It's not just that Gawker is by its nature malevolent, casting about to wound people just because it can something screwy and addled and self-destructive and plain old bizarre is going on there too.Yesterday it posted a bilious, homophobic piece about the secret sex life of a media business CFO that no level of public interest or right-to-know could possibly justify. Today, Gawker boss Nick Denton, acknowledging that the damage could not be undone, took it down.Obviously, in the publishing business this is supposed to work the other way. The boss is supposed to not let something be published that he can't stand by. It's a rather new Internet conceit that you can unpublish.The initial story that might reasonably have been written is one about Denton's personal disconnection, his cruelty or social pathology. But now the story is about his absence. Where was he? Who is minding the store? Are the nuts running the nuthouse?..." see full article

1309 days ago | ijreview
Gawker Suffers Major Backlash by 'Gay-Shaming' Exec. with Obama Ties – And ... - IJ Review
"...Furthemore, for a media outlet to humiliate a figure whose private life may not be a matter he or she wants held up to the flames of public scrutiny is an abuse of power.Such stories risk the audience identifying with a fellow human being who is morally imperfect. The readers grasp the mortifying humiliation that would result from a national media outlet violating their own sacred spaces in such grotesquely spectacular fashion. That is the fallout Gawker now has to deal with...." see full article

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