Gawker’s Anti-Journalism Gains #GamerGate Allies In Fight For Ethical Journalism

Gawker has long been known to do whatever they wanted to bring in clicks. Most people call it “clickbait” but you could call it “anti-journalism” since it’s less about informing people and more about causing outrage. It’s turned into what’s now being labeled as the era of “outrage media”, where a site uses said clickbait to drum up outrage in their audience. Gawker did this when they lied about #GamerGate, and they’ve managed to do it again when they outed the CFO of Conde Naste in an article that garnered so much hatred across the web that they actually buried their ego just enough to finally relent and take down the article.

The article has been removed and Gawker founder Nick Denton offered up an apology, but the original piece was about Conde Nast’s CFO, titled “Condé Nast’s CFO Tried To Pay $2,500 for a Night With a Gay Porn Star”. It was published on July 16th, 2015.

It was about an escort attempting to blackmail the CFO who had connections with a politician. The piece was scraping a barrel with a bottom that was too ashamed to be scraped. The result was that some of Gawker’s own staff felt the site had gone too far.

Gawker’s Timothy Burke from the editorial staff made it clear where he stood; in the post where the company apologized for running the tawdry piece, stating…

“A large percentage of the Gawker Media editorial staff disagreed with Gawker’s decision to publish the post to which this statement refers. Our opposition to the removal of the post lies solely in the process by which that decision was made, not in regard to the content of the post itself.”

Kotaku’s editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo defended Gawker, with Kotaku in Action – the Reddit front for #GamerGate – capturing his comments and archiving them, where he states…

“This isn’t about the content of a post, which plenty of writers on my team had strong concerns about today. It’s about our company’s approach to editorial freedom and transparency.”

A Jezebel writer – another subsidiary under the Gawker media wing – also defended Gawker, trying to say that it was good to knock people down a peg.

However, even senior Gawker writer Adam Weinstein, over on Tumblr, had to concede that Gawker had stepped a step too far from counter-culture blogging to outright “bad journalism”. Weinstein waxed whining against #GamerGate while also condemning Gawker like some kind of self-flagellating, self-righteous blogger without a compass to find his own self-awareness…

“[…] none of this vindicates any of the psychotic, hateful, performatively sanctimonious self-marketing of Christina Hoff Sommers, Milo Yianawhatever, “gamergaters,” and the bevy of cold, craven, retrograde pre-fab apartment-dwelling souls who are waging an inane jihad against Gawker Media, feminism, and cultural justice. They are wrong. They are twisted. They are abusive. And I could give three hot farts about their crocodile tears for David Geithner and his family. What pisses me off the most about this lapse in editorial judgment is that it’s (again) enabled this barely coherent rabble of internet bullies to signal boost their dumb assertions about Gawker en masse, and to get them taken seriously for a dumb nanosecond.”

Weinstein, however, had to bring up #GamerGate because for the past 11 months Gawker and #GamerGate have been fighting across social media, leaving nothing in its wake but dust, tears and scorched comment sections with more butt-hurt than a waiting room full of first-time proctology patients.

Former antagonist of #GamerGate, Ian Miles Cheong – the managing editor of the gaming website GameRanx – chimed in to admit that maybe the internet cultural revolt against censorship, bad journalism and unethical behavior in the press isn’t such a bad thing.

Even people staunchly opposed to #GamerGate’s fight for ethics had to admit to some modicum of conciliation with the consumers mounting a revolt against sites like Gawker, with writer and blogger Jeff Fecke, amongst others, writing on Twitter

Part of this about-face from the online community in supporting, or at least tangentially acknowledging #GamerGate’s finger-pointing of Gawker’s bad behavior, comes from numerous instances where Gawker has partaken in what many have considered to be unethical defamation and purposed character assassination.

What’s worse is that they even had an article on Jezebel in January of 2014 condemning media for outing trans and gay individuals.

This also comes short on the heels of Hulk Hogan going full Hulkamania on Gawker in a lawsuit about the sex tape they published of him a while back.

Their continued efforts to libel, defame and put down private citizens and public celebrities alike even caused the gentle giant and YouTube star Boogie2988 to lash out against them.

The e-mail campaigns to their advertisers have been numerous and expedient. Consumers, readers and gamers alike have decided to fight back against the media giant where it hurts the most: their ad revenue.

Over on Kotaku in Action someone purportedly received a response from Netflix where the company stated…

“I will take your complaint and make sure it gets to the right people here today, we are always here to listen and we do take your opinions seriously.”

Even the Society of Professional Journalists stepped in to condemn Gawker in a piece titled “We Expect Better, Gawker“.

Website wrote a piece exclaiming that Gawker went from “toxic” to “radioactive”, with author David Fenton writing…

“Simply put, Gawker has always been dangerous. That’s not an opinion. This isn’t an editorial. That’s a fact. However this steps over the line in so many ways. There’s no excuse to blackmail someone and hide it behind the flimsy excuse of journalism. There is no excuse.”

But this has been a common occurrence with Gawker for quite some time, as pointed out by a former writer for Gawker, Richard Lawson, who admitted to smearing in the name of clicks…

Keep in mind that the reason people have such a low opinion of #GamerGate is because media websites like Gawker purposefully crafted a narrative to depict it to the public as a hate campaign, this happened after #GamerGate targeted Nathan Grayson and Stephen Totilo on charges of journalistic impropriety and unethical behavior in covering up a conflict of interest between a developer and an editor.

The general public finally gets to see the monster #GamerGate has been fighting for the past 11 months. The “doxxing” and “rape threats” and “death threats”? Those happened from random egg accounts that were made and deleted that day but it had nothing to do with #GamerGate – those individuals didn’t even use the hashtag. This information was corroborated by a peer reviewed WAM! report that statistically absolved majority of the people on the GG Autoblocker list from being harassers.

GamerGate - Gawker

The reality is that the whole harassment narrative was concocted in part by the Game Journo Pros, a group that contained several Gawker employees, and that group has been found to have partaken in some very unethical behavior. It was mirrored after JournoList after all.

Hopefully the narrative will finally break down and the truth will finally get out, and normal everyday people will finally see just how dangerous it is to have a media website control public perception through defamation, misinformation and agenda-driven deception.

Some normies and those who even classify as “anti-#GamerGate” are actually helping #GamerGate by partaking in the Operation Disrespectful Nod e-mail campaign. A campaign, I might add, that originally was put into effect last year in the fall, back when Gawker and other unethical media websites attacked and defamed the gaming industry.

(Main image courtesy of Maggie Hager and Captain Toog)


OAG staff consists of writers creating content about video game and digital culture.

26 thoughts on “Gawker’s Anti-Journalism Gains #GamerGate Allies In Fight For Ethical Journalism

  1. Weinstein seems prejudiced, even racist, in his coherency rant. It would take 5 seconds to find the spelling of Yiannopoulos… Not to mention the dwellingism and ageism..

  2. “the bevy of cold, craven, retrograde pre-fab apartment-dwelling souls”

    Well, I’m sorry, Adam Weinstein, that we can’t all live in expensive places that make every home it’s own creation, or trendy re-purposed factories, or whatever kind of apartment would be preferable to you. We’ll all work on getting a cushy non-job where we get paid to be assholes like you so we can live somewhere you approve of.

    1. “the bevy of cold, craven, retrograde pre-fab apartment-dwelling souls”

      These sound like the words of a man who likely had his whole life paid off of his rich parents cash and connections.

      When I lived In Japan I found that there has always been a trend in large companies to pass down the business in most instances to the grandchildren because the children of rich people are well known for being completely useless and idiotic. He may not be passing down a business but he may prove that theory out.

    1. These absolutely idiotic bunglers just keep wiping themselves out one after another. Gamergate isn’t even really doing anything at this point except letting people know when they do screw up.

  3. It is often said that it is not the big things that end empires but something stupid during a time of scrutiny.
    This situation looks pretty stupid to me.

  4. I have an answer from Amazon that they’ll at least look into it. And I’m waiting for an answer from Blue Aprons.

  5. Let’s not get overly enthusiastic folks. Remember they still hate us. When has proving false one media narrative ever gotten people to re-examine and dismiss others? (Show of hands, how many still instinctively subscribe to “Republicans are Racist” even after a year of being falsley called “sexist misogynists” by the press?) so yeah even if they think Gawker is evil… In this limited case… They still loathe us because the media has taught them to loathe us. They just loathe us even more when they are forced to admit we were right. We will never win hearts and minds. Our power lies in purses and pocketbooks. Do whatever you can to starve these basterds of commerce and compensation. Use your power as the consumer, or rather as the ultimate alpha consumers, the most desirable and profitable consumer demographic on the planet to solve this.

    1. It matters little if they hate us. If they hated us, but still called out unethical practises; if they hated us, but still refused to blindly believe allegations of harassment to the point of drowning legitimate discussion; if they hated us but still read our arguments, then I would gladly accept all of their hate.

      I only speak for myself here, but I don’t think people in GG want to be loved – we just want to be heard.

    2. Remember, the loser of a fight generally gets the nastiest right before it’s over, and pulls the dirtiest tricks right before they go down.

      A nearly beaten opponent is extremely dangerous, because that’s when they start biting and scratching … but that’s also how you know they’re basically done.

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