Read the Resigning Gawker “Editor’s” Worst, Most Jerkish Stories

Pictured from Left to Right: Nick Denton via Flickr [edited], J.K. Trotter via Kinja, Tommy Craggs via NYU, Max Read via Kinja.

#GawkerGate continues after a heated (and heavily self-publicized) battle between Gawker’s editorial staff and their business sector. For those who haven’t been following, the trouble started last Thursday when Gawker published a story about Condé Nast’s CFO hiring a male escort, but then backing out of the assignation when said escort tried to extort him.

The nonsense excuse for journalism was quickly criticized throughout the Internet, and in an effort to protect their “integrity” (read: business interests) the management team of Gawker removed the story, against the editorial staff’s wishes. Now, Editor-in-Chief Max Read and Executive Editor Tommy Craggs have announced their resignation.

In a statement released today on Gawker, J.K. Trotter writes [all SIC],

Tommy Craggs, the executive editor of Gawker Media, and Max Read, the editor-in-chief of Gawker.com, are resigning from the company. In letters sent today, Craggs and Read informed staff members that the managing partnership’s vote to remove a controversial post about the CFO of Condé Nast—a unprecedented act endorsed by zero editorial employees—represented an indefensible breach of the notoriously strong firewall between Gawker’s business interests and the independence of its editorial staff. Under those conditions, Craggs and Read wrote, they could not possibly guarantee Gawker’s editorial integrity.

Can you roll your eyes hard enough at that last line?

So, is this a great loss for Gawker? Well, their patented brand of homophobia and psychopathic vitriol came to fruition in no small part from Max Read’s editorial direction. Going through the Gawker archives shows some reprehensible reporting and journalism of dubious quality:

1. Bad Hitler Joke

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2. Bad Hitler Joke #2

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3. Bad Hitler Joke #3

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4. Misguided Comment on Police Brutality that Basically Encourages Violence

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5. Reporting on a Spam Email, With a Hint of Misogyny

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6. Adolescent Fascination With James Franco’s Sexuality

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For whatever financial interest Gawker’s business team had in removing the story, they made the moral decision. The story should never have been published and it’s too transparent that Gawker’s editorial team are hiding behind some faux sense of journalistic integrity when outing someone for no reason other than getting clickthroughs is one of the scummiest things you can do on the Internet. Read and Craggs’s resignation is the final nail in the coffin reflecting an immature set of journalists.

Bonus:

J.K. Trotter, who reported on the resignations of Craggs and Read, also has his own history of execrable “journalism”, most notoriously the botched outing of Shepard Smith. They really like outing people, don’t they?

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Quentin Tarantino Takes on Gawker and Snarky

I hope the word “snarky” becomes extinct by the year 2015. Snarky denotes a style of writing that’s already dated– the usage is like attitude without the benefit of humor or cleverness – it’s all style and no substance. Think of it as the difference between being a George W. Bush-asshole and a social-commentary-Louis-Black asshole.

That’s why Gawker, permanently enrolled at the school of snark, has never made me laugh. The site is all about pointing fingers and humiliating people so we can feel good about ourselves, and laugh with smug, ironic detachment at the misfortune of others.

So hats off to director Quentin Tarantino who is suing Gawker Media for posting links to the leaked script for his now-shelved movie The Hateful Eight. Not a king of subtlety, Gawker’s Defamer blog linked to the 146-page script and cunningly titled the post “Here is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script.”

So this is where the world has come to! Not only do we have to fear the NSA tapping into our email accounts and men wearing Google Glass recording us at the urinal, but we also have to have sites like Gawker shit in the cinematic pool for the sake of getting a momentary spike in daily Web traffic.

In the words of Tarantino:

“Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s rights to make a buck. This time, they went too far. Rather than merely publishing a news story reporting that Plaintiff’s screenplay may have been circulating in Hollywood without his permission, Gawker Media crossed the journalistic line by promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire Screenplay illegally.”

 Because Gawker is snarky and full snark, Tarantino’s lawyers stated that the gossip site took great joy in leaking the secret script.

“Their headline boasts `Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script’ —  ‘Here,’ not someplace else, but ‘Here’ on the Gawker website.”

Sites like Gawker, TMZ, and a million other hybrid rip-offs are no better than the exploits of revenger porn king Hunter Moore who took great delight in profiting from sex photos hacked from people’s email accounts.

Tarantino demands actual and statutory damages as well as Gawker’s profits in the amount of at least $1 million. In turn, we the public will not get to see “The Hateful Eight.” Is that too snarky?

Abbe Diaz’s Greatest Rant

Abbe Diaz is an old friend. If you catch her at the right moment, she’s an angel, but if you say something offensive that could be the most innocuous thing, she’ll rip your throat out. I try to always be pleasant around her. I ran into her on my way to BINGO recently. She was sitting alone at Gemma, and I took her up on her offer to sit and chat. I adore Abbe Diaz. The last time we interviewed her, sparks flew so I figured I’d try it again.

What’s all this movie stuff about?
It’s actually a pilot/web series for more of a TV show than a movie. PX This: The Series is based on my book PX This (Diary of the Maitre d’ to the Stars), so it’s essentially an audio/visual manifestation of the story depicted in it. Some stuff was restructured to make it more adherent to the paradigms of television, but it’s still based on a true story. I mean seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.

Aside from that, this show also really reflects the exposition of my book, because it’s such a bootstrap project. I am lucky to have been able to assemble an amazingly talented cast and crew, many of whom have worked in the restaurant industry and whose lives mirror my own to a pretty substantial degree. I am humbled by their passion and dedication, working such long arduous hours, for a sum that doesn’t nearly compensate their tremendous skill and effort.

Of all the messages people have seemingly or professedly derived from PX This, the one about holding tight to your dreams (as clichéd as it is) is the one I cherish the most. So PX This: The Series is turning out to be quite the spiritual manifestation as well. And that is so infinitely satisfying. The teaser-trailer (and more information is available at) at IndieGogo.

You are a relentless proponent for fair play in the restaurant biz, and give the newbies the 25-cent tour. Who are you and how did you become you…and leave mom and dad out of it.
Well, that’s a nice sentiment but I don’t think I’m really all that “relentless.” I published a diary that happens to expose certain unsavory aspects of some renowned and illustrious fine-dining organizations. And since all I was doing was telling the truth, I take a fair amount of umbrage at those who would seek to disparage me for simply recounting these anecdotes in my own comical and satirical way.

All I was doing was minding my own business, literally. I’m one of the most chill people anybody will ever know. The industry has made me misanthropic enough that I’m perfectly happy to keep a good distance from other people and their fatuous escapades. I think I have pretty much one philosophical mandate and one alone, and that’s: DON’T COME FOR ME– which is undoubtedly a fairly easy rule for anyone to follow.

Unfortunately, it seems some people have had to learn the hard way that if you come for me, oh, you are sure to find me alright. Too bad I’m not quite the feeble prey you anticipated. I ran into you a couple Monday nights ago at Gemma and you seemed happy. Many people see you differently…some as a crusader – a c word – and some would use a b word. We always hear about your peeves, but what makes you happy?
Ooh, I’m afraid to say because then I might jinx everything. But yes, you have it right; I am happier now than I have ever been because I have pretty much everything I’ve ever wanted. (And what I don’t have yet, I’m about to get.)

Come to think of it, that last sentence alone is probably enough to make certain people seethe. I must admit; that does make me happy.

We’ve been friends for decades…we both have the scars to show we were there. What is not talked about within all the scandals surrounding Limelight and the characters you used to work with? That’s a leading question because so much written and screened is misleading.
Which is probably why I’m the wrong person to ask. I’m so accustomed to “misleading” representations in the media and whatnot, I have no idea what’s “talked about” anymore, because I’ve long stopped paying attention.

But I can well imagine that what’s not talked about very much is everything that was good; the wonderful people we knew, the fun times we had, the outrageous things we saw, the spectacular things we experienced, the whopping money we made. Despite all the hard work all those years (and the scandals), the only thing I regret about any of it is I never took any photographs.

We were part of a unique era that will never transpire again. Sometimes it feels like certain elements would have us apologize for it. But that very same era fostered a generation of strong and fearless wills – some good and some not so good, but largely the unparalleled combination of both.

What are you going to be when you grow up?
Fierce. Like my mom. (Oh, oops, sorry I didn’t leave Mom out of it. Hey, I didn’t bring up my dad.)

Ok, we need a rant … who makes you mad and why?
Woo child, that’s a whole other book. Literally. Its title is PX Me (How I Became a Published Author, Got Micro-Famous, and Married a Millionaire), as a matter of fact. Coming soon in the autumn of 2012!

But okay, I’ll give you a rant. Right now it’s still some particular facets of journalism and the media that make me really mad. To this day I am dumbfounded by the media’s rampant unscrupulousness and hypocrisy.

And if a piddling little nobody like me can be subject to the media depravity I’ve encountered, imagine the global implications of such a thing. It’s vomitous. It’s enough to make the entire news system suspect and incapacitated, the universal consequences of which we are just beginning to realize.

How’s that for a rant.

Don’t Give Gawker Money Just To See Toronto Mayor Smoke Crack

First off, we already know that right-wing nutjob Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has smoked crack cocaine. Secondly, that’s Canada’s problem—as far as I recall, the U.S. reelects crazy drug addicts without much fuss. Third of all, do you care about Gawker getting an exclusive video of this ruddy, racist, drugged-out mess, or the people who shot it getting a bunch of money for being there when he smoked crack cocaine? Man, for $200,000 I’ll win public office and smoke crack cocaine right in front of you. Deal. 

At the moment, Gawker’s “Rob Ford Crackstarter” stands a little more than halfway from completion, meaning people have actually contributed—mindlessly wasted—$85,546 up to this point. Could this money have helped some inner-city addiction programs instead of going toward the downfall of a politician whose days are clearly numbered regardless? Who knows! We’ll only know that if the intended deal goes south and the money is rerouted. But when you throw $75 directly at a non-profit, you don’t get a public thank-you from the Gawker Twitter account, now do you.

Or, for a generous contribution of $1,000, you can go out to dinner with the Gawker Staff. I kind of wonder which of them would actually show up, and the perk description doesn’t mention who will be paying. All this cash is ostensibly going toward the travel/resettlement costs for the guys in danger for even possessing such a video, but given that they’re involved in the drug trade, are we at all worried this money might just go toward … crack cocaine? No? Cool.

Follow Miles on Twitter here

Honey Boo Boo and Co. Are the Nicest People in Reality TV

Say what you will about the controversial show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo: the Thompson clan at the center of TLC’s madcap backwoods reality show still remains perhaps the most genuine and nicest group of people on television, especially reality television. Whether it’s the titular Honey Boo Boo’s push for gay rights or the general positive attitude that flows through her veins like go-go juice, the show manages to portray those crazy folks down South as a sweet bunch of people. Take last night’s episode, for example, in which the family donated toys to a local organization that distributes gifts on Christmas; while plenty of critics slam the show for its low-brow sensibility, the folks in front of the camera have done nothing but keep their chins up and prove that they’re probably better than all of us combined.

[via Gawker]

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

This Just In: Memoir Exists

This week, literary authorities were stunned to uncover the existence of something called memoir, the apparent transmission of one human being’s actual past experience via the printed word and sometimes even bound artifacts known as books. Startling, isn’t it? Normally we think of books as a bunch of made-up bullshit!

Even more astoundingly, memoir turns out to be exceedingly popular, generating big advances, TV appearances and franchisable authors. Which may help to explain why so many young writers are flocking to the study of this bizarre craft. It’s almost as though they want to be commercially successful in their chosen field. Strange days, indeed.

But the news just gets more fantastic from there. It turns out that memoir has existed for literally at least forty years, and probably longer! Scientists have carbon-dated certain miserable memoirs by bearded alcoholics all the way back to the late 1960s. Historians have suggested these ancestors of the modern memoirist were fairly superstitious, often typing with dick in hand.

What other secrets might the world of letters reveal to us in time? Now that we know ourselves capable of reconstructing a workable narrative of what has happened to us up to that point, anything is possible. Why, there might even be such a thing as an autobiographical novel. Imagine!

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter

Lena Dunham’s Book Proposal Stirs Existential Crises Among Writers Not Named “Lena Dunham”

We all want to write a book, don’t we? And we all can—it’s selling the damn thing that’s the hard part. Somewhere between having the original idea long enough to fill roughly 300 pages and the writing of those 300 pages is the book proposal, which is what any book-writer-to-be needs to accomplish before getting into his or her head that the book idea in question can, in fact, be a real-life tome. Generally, it’s a substantial amount of writing (and no, the accomplishments section cannot be included yet). To many (like myself), this is a mysterious thing that certainly exists but is something unseen, mostly because people aren’t prone to passing out their proposals to anyone not employed by a literary agency. So imagine how exciting it is that Gawker has published—in full—the proposal that got Lena Dunham a $3.7 million deal two months ago.

And here it is. Man, it looks nice! Do all book proposals have illustrations of cupcakes? Shit, you guys, I’m screwed. I definitely don’t have a thing for cupcakes. Or someone to draw things. Or a "Fat Upper Pussy Area." Or a name that everyone already knows. Well, back to the drawing board. How badly did that JT Leroy thing work out for the lady in that wig, anyway? 

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter

Homeless People Wish Justin Timberlake And Jessica Biel A Happy Marriage

So Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel got had a $6.5 million wedding in Italy, but whatever they spent all that money on has now been overshadowed by an attempted bit of comedy courtesy of one particular guest: Justin Huchel. (He and Timberlake reportedly met a while back at Justinfest, a conference for rich Justins.) Mr. Huchel went around filming best wishes for the celebrity couple from destitute hobos to draw some kind of humorous comparison between gratuitous luxury and abject poverty. Then Gawker leaked it.

Shame on you, Mr. Huchel! All Justin and Jessica wanted was to sanctify their fame-maintaining, overly extravagant, tabloid-bait union. It’s hard enough trying to be a sex symbol in Hollywood when you’re not especially attractive—really, the next movie trailer that pushes either of these people as “hot” will make me kick through the TV screen—without your idiot friend making transvestites and toothless guys on skid row pretend to care who you’ll be nominally, contractually married to for the next two years or so.

There’s an obvious solution, of course. Mr. Huchel is an L.A. real estate agent; why not sell these poor dudes some homes? At very competitive prices, of course, and taking no commission. If need be, he can just situate them all in one Malibu mansion. Fitted with cameras. For a reality show about homeless men trying to fit into a culture of conspicuous wealth. Since that sort of thing is so funny.

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

Sunny Snapshots from the Second Annual Gawker Media Beer Pong Tournament

Gawker Media, BlackBook’s kissing cousin in thinly-veiled celebrity sycophancy, is far more than a collection of pop culture websites. It’s also the organizer of one of the country’s borough’s most renowned beer-drinking tournaments, and this past weekend marked the ultimate championship. College Humor took the top prize in the Second Annual Gawker Media Beer Pong Tournament on Saturday afternoon, besting teams from Thrillist, Iced Media, Gawker, and others by throwing little white balls about the size of key limes into red plastic cups with a greater degree of accuracy than the rest, all while drunk on a beer so fine, it won a coveted blue ribbon at a beer festival a few years back. The tournament was held on the roof of Gawker’s Manhattan headquarters and attracted all manner of mini-celebs, including the Hipster Grifter, Nick McGlynn, and a “former Gossip Girl,” who, apparently, no longer bears false witness against her neighbor. While we weren’t in attendance, it looked like a lot of fun, with music, smack-talking, and pretty people acting silly. The event was sponsored by Brooklyn Vespa, which explains the scooters in the photos (ride safely, kids) and a very talented photographer by the name of Michael Toolan was kind enough to snap these nifty photos. Thanks to Richard Blakeley for sharing. More after the jump.

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The concertina wire is there for your protection.

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This is what deejaying looks like these days.

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Drunk driving is only okay if you’re on a roof. And you never disengage the kickstand.

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Even worse: they’re happy on the inside too.

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Lost the tournament. Won the gene pool.

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I’m only going to say this once: in the third round, your ass goes down.

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Let’s go call ’em like we see ’em.

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These young ladies represent Vespa, a product favored by the young and fashionable.

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Second place is a set of steak knives.