#GamerGate: Patrick Klepek Leaves Giant Bomb Following Blacklisting Allegations


Patrick Klepek

A few weeks ago e-mails from the Games Journo Pros were leaked to the public showing Patrick Klepek and Alex Navarro from Giant Bomb allegedly blacklisting industry professional Kevin Dent by requesting other competing websites not to report, quote or interview him anymore. The article went live on December 17th, 2014. Two days after the news broke, Patrick Klepek – a former member of the secret Game Journo Pros list – was no longer with Giant Bomb.

Patrick Klepek, a news editor at Giant Bomb, recently made the news public in an article, stating…

“Moments ago, I finished watching the final episode of The Colbert Report, and it seemed fitting to head upstairs, pour some scotch, sit down, and write my final post for Giant Bomb. This, my friends, is it.


“Spoiler alert: my last day at Giant Bomb was, in reality, a few weeks ago. December 19, to be exact. I wanted to say something at the time, but due to reasons neither exciting nor very interesting, I had to sit on the news.”

Some took this that Klepek was moving on to a bigger, better gaming site. Although, one would have to question what’s bigger than Giant Bomb and what site offers more freedom? Unless it’s for a mainstream news organization.

There are rumors floating about that Klepek may be heading to a subsidiary under Vox.

Klepek was actually in the middle of building a new studio, according to his Twitter, on December 19th, 2014 he posted a photo of the studio space. As recent as December 28th, 2014 he posted another photo of the studio, which is still under construction.

I reached out to Jeff Gerstmann, the co-founder of Giant Bomb, to ask if Klepek had been intending to use the studio space for Giant Bomb, but at the time of the publishing of this article I have not received a response.

Back on December 3rd, 2014 news went out that Giant Bomb was hiring a news editor for the GB East staff, as noted on a LinkedIn post. Some people speculated that the new editor could replace Klepek, but this was neither confirmed nor elaborated on.

Of course, all the talk about members of the Game Journo Pros leaving and finding new jobs does look awfully suspect following the Breitbart leaks back in September in conjunction with the media’s attacks against their own gaming audience. Casey Johnston left Ars Technica, Corey Banks is no longer with PC Gamer, Dale North stepped away from Destructoid,  and now Patrick Klepek is departing Giant Bomb.

Moreover, Klepek did make it known that he’s still staying in the Chicago area and that he hasn’t spoken about his new gig because he’s still waiting for the e-mail to “get setup at the new job”.

Nevertheless, I did try reaching out to Klepek and Navarro about their involvement in the Game Journo Pros multiple times. However, neither opted to respond, especially in regards to the recent news that the FTC has been contacted regarding the alleged blacklisting of Kevin Dent. The information about the FTC also happened to be posted the day that Klepek left Giant Bomb.

Klepek did make mention on his Tumblr blog that he may be heading to the Cards Against Humanity offices, stating…

“Vinny, Alex, and myself all left on Wednesday, sadly. It was awesome to have everyone out for game of the year, and hopefully it’s not the last time.


“If you want to send something my way, hold onto it. Cards Against Humanity is switching offices in the next few weeks, and I’ll have an updated address for you shortly. (The office is super impressive, by the way!)”

In the farewell editorial about his departure, Klepek did make it known that he’s “not leaving editorial”, so we can expect that he’ll land someplace where he can still write out thoughts and engage with an audience. He wrote that…

“I can't say where I'm going yet, but I'm not leaving editorial, and I'm definitely not working for Dave Lang. Keep tabs on Twitter, and you'll have an idea of what's happening soon.”

It doesn’t sound as if Klepek left on bad terms with the crew, especially given his positive parting words to the rest of the staff at Giant Bomb. Alex Navarro also took to Twitter to state…

“I've been thinking for a while about what I wanted to say re: the just-announced departure of @patrickklepek, and not coming up with much.”

It’s interesting that he doesn’t exactly say what his reasons are for leaving, but going from Giant Bomb to Cards Against Humanity seems like a mighty big step backwards… career wise.

[Update: The word “coincidence” was removed from the opening lede at the request of readers.]

[Update #2: Patrick Klepek has joined Kotaku]

(Main image courtesy of Giant Bomb)

[Disclosure: I was a former member of the Game Journo Pros e-mail group]



About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Contact.

  • Dustin Geels

    I’m not the only person from giant bomb who will be happy to see him go

  • Chicago_Gamer

    We have hundreds of burger joints here in Chicago that he can go make fries in the back of where no one will have to hear from him. That’s all he’s qualified for in the first place.

    • Critical thinking skills?

      Eh, he’s actually pretty good at this job, even if you disagree with his SJW-ness and views. In terms of ethics, Giant bomb has a pretty clean record. The worst thing they ever did was say “This guys a bit of a dick, i’m going to stop quoting him, will you?” So much worse going on.

      Saying someone isn’t skilled just because you disagree with their views is probably the seconds fastest way to make your cause easily dismissed. The first would involve shiting on your face and filiming it.

      • Chicago_Gamer

        >Member of the GJP list
        >Personally tried to blacklist someone out of the industry
        >Giant Bomb – pretty clean record

        Patrick, pls go.

      • bryoneill11

        Skilled in what exactly? pretty good at what job?

  • Maniate

    This doesn’t deserve a news tag. Replacing shit journalism you dislike with shit journalism you don’t isn’t the answer.

    • ???

    • Tio H

      How isn’t this news? An person accused of breaching anti-trust laws left his job two days after the accusations hit. Do people need to draw a map for you?

      • Maniate

        No, I need something to print in the article to fucking back that up. The least I would have done to the author if he submitted this shit as a news piece would have been to chew him the fuck out until he was in tears. Just because the people you are against are bloggers playing as journalists doesn’t mean you get to be the same thing but on another side.

      • No, I need something to print in the article to fucking back that up.

        Back what up?

        The least I would have done to the author if he submitted this shit as a news piece would have been to chew him the fuck out until he was in tears.

        You’re welcome to point out the flaws so I can fix them. Raging aimlessly helps no one.

        Just because the people you are against are bloggers playing as journalists doesn’t mean you get to be the same thing but on another side.

        Well I’m not sure what you’re getting at here. Again, if you have a specific problem, feel free to point it out. This is a recount of Patrick leaving GB. I am curious how this isn’t news?

      • Maniate

        The flaws are you have nothing. If Alex Navarro (sp?) leaves, you have something. If you have a quote, you have something. Right now, you have jack. You know what you put in an article just after you allege something with your snarky little “Coincidence?” You back it the fuck up with something, and don’t think I didn’t notice the sudden disappearance of that question without any mention of an edit.
        That’s why I’m raging, because you don’t do that. You don’t ninja edit shit to change the tone and you don’t publish something as news when you’ve got fuck all.
        I’m not saying your heart is in the wrong place and you aren’t striving to fix the problem of ethics in journalism, but much of what we decry as a lack of ethics are people who don’t know fucking journalism playing at journalism. You’ve got some work to do.

      • If Alex Navarro (sp?) leaves, you have something. If you have a quote, you have something. Right now, you have jack.

        You seem to be misinterpreting something here. The headline reads “Patrick Klepek Leaves Giant Bomb Following Blacklisting Allegations” not “Patrick Klepek Leaves Giant Bomb Because Of Blacklisting Allegations.” They are two separate events that happened closely together. It doesn’t say that one caused the other, just that the time frame of them happening are very close together and NO ONE from staff is willing to comment about these issues. I do state that I reached out to Jeff, Patrick and Alex for clarification. Only Kevin Dent offered to respond.

        You know what you put in an article just after you allege something with
        your snarky little “Coincidence?” You back it the fuck up with
        something, and don’t think I didn’t notice the sudden disappearance of
        that question without any mention of an edit.

        Someone on Reddit said “Coincidence” was over the top so I removed it. Would you like me to add an update at the bottom of the article saying “I removed the word ‘Coincidence’ because some people felt it didn’t belong.”? Usually if there’s a substantial modification or edit I’ll add a note about an update. It seems wasteful to add in a bold “Update” every time I add or remove a comma or re-arrange a word.

        You don’t ninja edit shit to change the tone and you don’t publish something as news when you’ve got fuck all.

        The news is that Patrick left Giant Bomb. Even if the headline was just “Patrick Klepek left Giant Bomb” that’s still news. Why are you so angry that it’s even being covered?

        I’m not saying your heart is in the wrong place and you aren’t striving
        to fix the problem of ethics in journalism, but much of what we decry as
        a lack of ethics are people who don’t know fucking journalism playing
        at journalism. You’ve got some work to do.

        No, you misunderstand. I HAVE NO WORK TO DO. I’m only doing this because your saviors failed YOU. I’m only doing this because no one else will do anything about it. If I didn’t leak anything or write anything about the GJP following the Breitbart links, who else would?

        You seem to think I’m going about this to make a career out of it. I’m not.

        I’m only playing by the rules you want to see so when the opp sees it they can’t as readily rip it apart. Once this is done and over with there’s no pursuing a career in journalism because it’s not worth it.

        I would prefer going back to just writing about games casually; engaging in console war debates; discussing the latest trailers, etc.

        I only picked up this mantle because someone had to, not because I wanted to.

        So yeah. This article only serves the following purposes:
        1.) That Patrick Klepek is leaving Giant Bomb and it follows closely after the blacklisting info. This is a fact. whether or not they’re directly related is up for debate, but neither the headline nor the article states that they are directly related.

        2.) Keep documentation of ties and relations to people coming and going in the industry related to the GamerGate scandal.

        3.) Helping neutrals who would have no idea what’s going on have a direct line to the information relating to the scandal. There is no other mainstream site that will even bother reporting on the GJP stuff, and as you can see, it’s never going to properly get documented in Wikipedia. This article helps raise awareness for neutrals and hopefully get them to question and dig because everyone in the GJP has shut up.

        There are no quotes; they will pretend this doesn’t exist. Quite naturally, if this article didn’t bring these two issues up together it would fade away and disappear.

      • Notagoodname

        I just wanted to tell you man that I really appreciate your work, and I hope that dealing with trolls won’t take too much of your energies.

      • Heh, I don’t think he’s a troll. But if he has issues with the article that needs to be fixed then he’s welcome to point them out.

        The idea is that this article isn’t really for the die-hard GGers but for the neutrals who go to Google and type in “Patrick Klepek quits Giant Bomb” or “Patrick Klepek fired from Giant Bomb”. Having the info about the blacklisting in the headline directly red-pills neutrals to the GJP, which is the main aim here.

        If someone has a better idea please let me know.

      • Maniate

        Oh come on, there’s stories about two things that happened and then there’s stories about two things that happened. You see news stories about things that can be linked together and you see news stories about the thing which happened and that which occurred right before and right after. You don’t see news stories about the thing which happened and the event that preceded it intertwined throughout with no solid tie between the two. You don’t have your link here, but you’ve constructed it as if you do. We all know what we are meant to draw from this. It’s in the headline. The lead. The body. The close. You don’t have the link to do that, not in a news story. Yes this things both happened. No you can’t link them together. Not as you have.

        This doesn’t mean you can’t write a story about it, because this is a newsworthy story. This is trade press in and industry tied to said press where everything is built on personalities and brand and a personality is leaving a brand.

        Klepek leaves GB. It’s newsworthy. You’ve got the who, what, when and where right there. You don’t have the how and why. You don’t take the answers they give for those questions as gospel but you report them as you did because that’s what one does. So those questions are still out there and need answering. So Usher’s article. The GJP thing is newsworthy, it breaks just before the guy leaves. There are possible ties, but you don’t have your link. You won’t get a statement from them giving you your link so no answers there. Alex is still with them, no answer there. GJP goes in as a possible answer, but not nearly so hard as you did. It’s a possible answer to how and why, it doesn’t answer them without firmer ground to stand on. So you’re left with Klepek’s and GB’s non answers and that’s what you get.

        Now you’ve told me why you’re doing this. I’ll respond in kind. It’s because the piece was published with a news tag on it. I said newsworthy and news a lot here and in my initial replies because this is not how one does news. Call it opinion and I never would have existed except perhaps to say that he damn well was asked to resign but given space between announcement and the 17th. Call it news and that’s why I’ve written what amounts to this twice now as I fucked up a click and lost it the first time. The people who consume gaming press deserve not another view point than one that has stifled the industry , but examples of what a simple basic freakin’ straight news story should look like. Your points two through four don’t apply to the column in which this was published, not really. If giving them the straight news leads to those points, goody. If not, you don’t force it unless it’s an op-ed. I didn’t want to come off as raging because of the viewpoint from which I approached this thing in terms of sides, I wanted to come off as if I expect better because I damn well ask for better from them and that means I want it from you in spades. I know how things have been done in our press so far and I came on hard on this because how things have been done in games journalism isn’t nearly enough what journalism is and it is why we are where we find ourselves.
        Yes I Goddamned want an notation of the edit, bonus points for detailing the edit because that is most assuredly how we do.

      • the piece was published with a news tag on it. I said newsworthy and
        news a lot here and in my initial replies because this is not how one
        does news

        I’m not really sure what the tag has to do with anything. It’s just the tag for how information is indexed and — assuming this site ever gets approved in the future by Google — what ends up in Google news or not. You may notice that some guides, walkthroughs or other articles/rants/etc., don’t have a news tag on them because if they’re not actually new or just an editorial rant, etc., it’s not indexed as something “new”.

        The people who consume gaming press deserve not another view point than
        one that has stifled the industry , but examples of what a simple basic
        freakin’ straight news story should look like.

        This site wasn’t actually made for that. I only do the important GG stories that way because people need to red-pill neutrals and they’ll only accept something that’s presented according to SPJ rules, just short of an AP-quality story. If you look at the other content on this site it’s very much NOT designed to be simple news stories, but mostly core oriented for people to discuss and banter over or whatever.

        There are a lot of other sites out there that do the straight news quite well, so I’m not really interested in emulating that.

        I didn’t want to come off as raging because of the viewpoint from
        which I approached this thing in terms of sides, I wanted to come off as
        if I expect better because I damn well ask for better from them and
        that means I want it from you in spades.

        Not really sure how I got classed in with them; this started as a niche site to foster my brand content that was no longer allowed on CB. I’ll eventually go back to that once I finish up with the GG stuff or close the site down altogether depending on how things turn out.

        Yes I Goddamned want an notation of the edit, bonus points for detailing the edit because that is most assuredly how we do.

        If it makes you feel any better I removed this from the “news” category (heh, not that it makes any real difference) and added a notation at the bottom.

        Are you happy now?

      • Maniate

        I am, because I’m looking at the news category from the standpoint of capital J-ournalism. There is news writing, which is treated in a certain way, it’s not ethics but rather standards and structure here, though ethics can come into play if you pass off opinion as news. I dunno google, but it could be that the view news in the same manner as the profession at large.
        I classed you in with them because for years they played at being journalists while not having trained to be journalists and did a real fucking poor job of being journalists. It’d be hypocritical to ask the people I rail against to hold to one standard and not ask it of those with whom I agree. Perhaps I could have saved trouble if I researched how you guys see yourself or read the mission statement to see what it is you’re here to do and what you consider yourselves to be doing.
        The category mattered because, as I see it, the event counts as a newsworthy (timely, relevant, not previously reported by you guys, etc) straight news story but it wasn’t written like one. You cold do it with pretty much everything you have in it, but it’s off enough. It works with another label and you guys got it out first I saw, good scoop and happy trails.
        p.s. I wouldn’t take any bets that he did want to go.

      • I am, because I’m looking at the news category from the standpoint of capital J-ournalism.

        I see where you’re coming from. I’m not actually a journalist. I’m just covering these topics in this way because no one else will. I explain that here in this piece:

        https://blogjob.com/oneangrygamer/2014/10/gamergate-an-honest-discussion-about-games-journalism-ethics-part-1/

        I classed you in with them because for years they played at being journalists while not having trained to be journalists and did a real fucking poor job of being journalists. It’d be hypocritical to ask the people I rail against to hold to one standard and not ask it of those with whom I agree.

        Fair enough. I’m just fulfilling a role (and attempting to play by the rules) for the time being until real journalists (or the FTC/FBI/etc.,) step up and start laying down the law.

        Perhaps I could have saved trouble if I researched how you guys see yourself or read the mission statement to see what it is you’re here to do and what you consider yourselves to be doing.

        Yeah, it’s explained here on the about page.

        The category mattered because, as I see it, the event counts as a newsworthy (timely, relevant, not previously reported by you guys, etc) straight news story but it wasn’t written like one. You cold do it with pretty much everything you have in it, but it’s off enough.

        I see what you’re saying; this piece is more editorialized news. It’s more so posing the question or setting up people to inquisitively breakdown the situation to ask questions about Klepek leaving Giant Bomb. The idea was to get people questioning this and thinking about the blacklisting as opposed to just seeing Klepek leaving and the GJP stuff as completely separate. Will people take issue with that? Maybe. Will people debate the veracity of correlation? They can.

        I was just setting up and framing the line of questioning based on the facts. This wasn’t a news piece with answers since I couldn’t get any from the players involved.

      • Maniate

        Word up all around. As far as the last bit goes, it’s an op ed or opinion piece, doesn’t matter if it’s about news, difference is it allows opinion to make points rather than verifiable statements of fact. Beyond that you’ve pretty much got straight news which merely do the who, what, and all that junk and then features, which fall on the news side in terms of whether facts or opinions are kosher but are longer on more involved. You won’t run into anything else. I’m just going to go back and clean up all this spaghetti I seem to have dropped everywhere in your comment section, if I can.

      • I’m just going to go back and clean up all this spaghetti I seem to have dropped everywhere in your comment section, if I can. Here’s hoping I can take the time to find out what website I on before I do this again.

        Hey man, it’s all good. I welcome constructive criticism so this was all helpful.

        I think you should leave the comments as is so people can read them and form their opinions. I’m not in the habit of deleting comments because I would rather people take the proper info and learn from it rather than walk away blind. But it’s up to you.

    • Chicago_Gamer

      Patrick pls go

  • Meittimies

    Kuchera posting an opinion piece about Gamergate very soon after. Their ivory towers are crumbling and those who feel their career days are numbered are throwing temper tantrums.

  • JoeSislack

    I am sure wherever he goes it will be as slimy and self serving as he is.

  • MonkeyNuts

    You’re missing a key bit of background in this article: It’s unlikely he left directly due to the GJP leak you reported on the 17th since they have been hiring a replacement Senior News Editor (his job title) since the 2nd. Source: https://www.linkedin.com/jobs2/view/29267214

    • The LinkedIn post was mentioned in the article and is linked up above. It’s in the ninth paragraph.

  • Livnthedream

    Klepek was the one who shared the stage with Quinn at PaxEast this year for a panel on how to deal with harassment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGiUHF2iqkY They deputized people who asked questions as SJW’s at the end. Fuck that guy.

  • asfdasf

    You guys do realize that when they finally get around to replacing Patrick, it’s going to be with someone like Cara Ellison, right? (The chick that wrote the poem “Romero’s Wives” based on the Ginsberg poem Haddabe that includes the line about how giantbomb are sexist and misogynist for being angry with Leigh Alexander’s repeated obnoxious and overbearing appearances that even got Brad and Ryan’s heckles up and even people like Paul Barnett who was in the room for the brunt of her for hours).

    I mean, they’re going to trade a milquetoast SJW who was otherwise an interesting enough and amusing enough personality with someone who has a full-on agenda and is less interested in games than trojaning their social causes through them. We all know this, right?

    • asdfasfd

      Oh, also, if you think this has anything to do with him and Alex being on the GameJournoPro list and their behavior on it, think again. GiantBomb is totally down with the SJWs. Look at their forum moderation. Even if you don’t discuss anything SJW related, you will be heavily moderated on their forums if the volunteer forum nannies are familiar with you via twitter or elsewhere. (That is, they will hold opinions shared by you outside of giantbomb against you on giantbomb and moderate you scummily for totally unrelated and undeserving things, because of it).

      They especially aren’t going to give their friend of 10-15 years the boot because of it.

      Most likely, Patrick got a gig at Gamasutra or some other gaming website that will let him indulge SJWs more than ever. Or maybe even some place only tangentially related to gaming that is all about social justice will give him a position. And GiantBomb will replace him with someone even worse. Not right away, mind you. But when they finally do (after the last few episodes and how giantbomb has been a lightning rod for public attack and in the press for being sexist, even though they have tried to stay the fuck out of everything), it is going to be with a woman. I don’t think a non-white male will be enough. Don’t forget the PROGRESSIVE STACK. To atone for their years of sins against SJWs by not having the right balance of staff, they’re going to have to go from white straight male to well beyond white gay male or something. A white female, maybe. A transgender will be even better. Or even best, someone who prefers something like “they” as a pronoun (like the one person they had do a top ten list this year that was only repeatedly referred to as “they” in the article about her).

      I doubt they’ll jump to transgender. I think that might stir things up too much (even though it’s obviously irrelevant as long as that is who is really compelling at the job, but we all know this next choice has to be as much about appeasing the sexist/misogynist accusations as hiring the right person).

      • Dustin Geels

        Personal I think cbs simply didn’t what the contraversy he has been bringing parent companies can fire peopel to

    • RonnieBarzel

      I hope Cara gets the job. She’s a great personality and would be terrific addition to whatever GB cooks up in 2015.

  • doc

    Wow, this is some sensationalist bullshit. Are you the TMZ of video games? It’s always some scandalous shit. It’s always “Patrick Klepek is a corrupt asshole.” It’s always “GiantBomb’s going down hill,” or some other useless nonsense. I’m pretty sure that Jeff Gerstmann just wants to run a fucking videogame website. Why do people constantly try to fuck this up for him? Is it jealousy? Do you hate him for some other reason? Are you just clickbait? (The answer to the last question is an obvious “YES.”)

    • You’ve got this site confused with another. Nice try with the trolling GamerGhazi.

      You need to learn a few tips from the chans before trying to stir the pot.

  • a talking cow

    This dude is at Kotaku now. It’d be great if all of the GJP moved into one place together as it’d be so much easier for us to completely abandon them.

  • Doug brophy

    So, yeah. How does it feel to be so incredibly wrong. I would think it would be embarrassing and frustrating. Homeboy shits on you idiots and gets a higher paying job.

  • Wholemeal

    There are also other reasons that are also legitimate and not related to any conspiracy that this article is trying to conjure. Ryan Davis recruited Patrick to GB and is arguable one of the closer friends. Seeing as Ryan Davis has died and the fact that he works remotely from the main GB crew he might question his involvement and impact on the website. Patrick did a lot of video content, to which GB was definitely heading (and less editorial and written pieces). He has always expressed continued interest in writing and reporting. There are 3 benign reasons he may have left GB.

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