It’s no surprise that on Monday Gawker was supposed to be rebranding. This included being “20% nicer” according to co-founder Nick Denton. Instead of simply being “nicer”, the tawdry media giant – known for publishing salacious and scandalous stories about… everything – saw many of their writers with a talent for spinning dirt into news and smirching the internet with unnecessary gossip about the lowest forms of unproductive scuttle-butting and informational depravity, leave.
The great exodus started with features editor Leah Finnegan parting ways from the media giant, noting on Twitter she was available for work as an editor. There’s a thread about her departure on Kotaku in Action.
V. sad to leave gawker after 1 year. it was a great place. if you need an editor lmk. email@example.com
— Leah Finnegan (@leahfinnegan) July 27, 2015
Finnegan was the editor who was live-tweeting during the executive meeting at Gawker while they were dealing with the fallout after running the defamatory piece about the CFO of Conde Naste. Finnegans departure follows the likes of two other executive editors from Gawker, as reported by Capital New York.
John Galt on Twitter picked up various screen captures of tweets indicating other staff departing from Gawker, including editor Dayna Evans.
Big day at Gawker pic.twitter.com/DMTrdhIw10
— John Galt (@atlasnodded) July 27, 2015
Kotaku in Action also has a thread about Evans departing from Gawker, as well.
Joining Evans and Finnegan on their exodus is Sultana Kahn, who also acknowledged that Gawker would no longer be on the cards.
One individual did not leave peacefully into the night; treading loudly through the dark void of the unknown and carrying with him all the noise and raucous disdain of a man with a mind trapped in soundless fury, is none other than the security writer for Gawker, William Arkin.
In a report by Mediate, they make it known that Arkin was none too pleased with ending up with the shovel in which to dig his own grave; an insult worthy of a blog post. And blog Arkin did, viciously and without remorse.
Over on Cryptome [backup], Arkin fires off wordful salvos as if each letter, each sentence, each revelation was articulately primed to rip through the very thin fabric hiding the hurt and pain of a main betrayed.
Arkin, without mincing anything and without letting his emotion completely devolve his intent into aimless rambling or purposeless meandering, states in a very straight manner…
”Two Fridays ago, when I read a story posted on Gawker that seemed to senselessly out a nobody for soliciting a gay porn prostitute, I immediately thought someone should be fired.
“I never thought it would be me.”
As if struck with the reality of feeding scraps no one asked for through a shiny straw that says “suck me”, Arkin comes to terms with what feeds Gawker, with what makes it what it is. Without grandiloquence or gawd, Arkin stolidly writes…
“One last thought about Gawker: I’m grateful that they offered me an opportunity, there are some fantastic writers there and I truly admire the uniqueness (and fun) that Jalopnik, Deadspin, Jezebel, Gizmodo, and Kotaku represent. But like social media as a whole, it is also a miserable place, so driven by its own feverish pursuit that it has no clue what kind of world it inhabits and thus helps build. I hate to be hyperbolic, but want to understand ISIS or the Tea Party or Occupy or Charleston or Dylan? Look no further than Gawker and its ilk, which means look no further than twitter or your own so-called smartphone: We are making the world a miserable place. I’m glad I can withdraw and think about it.”
Well, he can think about it while Gawker burns under the weight of its own folly.
The company faces down against a foe with a lawsuit worth $100 million levied against them. There is no escape from the rag that peddles gossip as news and shame as entertainment.
Hulk Hogan has lost a lot since that original tape leaked, and Gawker fought hard to keep it up — to keep the Hulk at bay. But he edges up on them like a shadow against dying light, or a monster approaching a bed filled with a child’s fright.
Gawker’s day is coming and their rebranding looks more like a ship with a fleeing crew while it sinks.
There is little left for the media to defend of a brand that threw its weight behind a campaign to smear the gaming industry; changing the name won’t save what it was and what it’ll be. And now, with steel resolve and no inch to relent and no quarter to give, #GamerGate will carry the fight as they’ve carried every fight against every other boss that stood tall before them: one blow at a time, one advertiser at a time, one e-mail at a time… all until there’s nothing left.