6 Links That Explain the War at Gawker

As editors Tommy Craggs, Max Read resign today
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2015 1:36 PM CDT
6 Links That Explain the War at Gawker
The announcement about Craggs' and Read's resignations.   (Gawker.com)

On Thursday, a storm erupted with Gawker's publication of a story by Jordan Sargent about the CFO of a media company who allegedly planned to step out on his wife to meet a gay escort in Chicago. As Dylan Byers pointed out at Politico, "widespread condemnation" ensued, and that's possibly putting it mildly. Here are the six things you should read if you want to know what's going on:

  1. On Friday, CEO Nick Denton said the post was coming down: While "the account was true and well-reported ... Gawker is no longer the insolent blog that began in 2003. 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."
  2. There was a vote: Gawker explains the nuts and bolts of the meeting in which it was decided the post would come down. "The partners who voted to remove the post were Andrew Gorenstein, who serves as the president of advertising and partnerships; chief operating officer Scott Kidder; chief strategy officer Erin Pettigrew"; and Denton.
  3. The editorial staff issues a statement: They refer to "today's unprecedented breach of the firewall, in which business executives deleted an editorial post over the objections of the entire executive editorial staff. ... We condemn the takedown in the strongest possible terms."

  1. Michael Wolff weighs in on what Denton is thinking: As the lead-in to his Hollywood Reporter piece puts it, "Weeks before the gossip outlet took down a reprehensible article amid outcry, Denton seemed to suggest to Wolff via an email apologizing for a personal attack that there is a lack of responsibility for the consequences of the site's content in the new age of after-the-fact mea culpas."
  2. Gawker's editors resign today: Gawker Media Executive Editor Tommy Craggs and Gawker.com EIC Max Read announced they're leaving over the decision. From Craggs: "All I got at the end of the day [Friday] was a workshopped email from Denton, asking me to stay on and help him unf--- the very thing he'd colluded with the partners to f--- up."
  3. Denton shares this letter with all of edit: "Were there business concerns? Absolutely. ... It was such a breach of everything Gawker stands for, actually having a post disappeared from the internet. But it was also an unprecedented misuse of the independence given to editorial. ... This is a one-time intervention, I trust."
(More Gawker stories.)

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