Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Let’s get right down to the chase: the people who are upset that Gawker is shutting down are upset that Peter Thiel was successful in his campaign to destroy them. They’re upset and concerned that a stupendously rich man can have so much influence over the media.
Let’s break all of that down to their components:
- This all started when Gawker outed Peter Thiel as a gay man against his will. I don’t care how many ways you explain it – that was unethical. I would never have run it, just the same as I would never have tapped the phone of a dead girl if I was running News of the World.
- Gawker and its supporters are trying to turn this into an issue of rich against poor. But aren’t the rich entitled to the same rights as everyone else? And why aren’t these people trying to take down the Murdochs, Packers, Bauers, Hearsts, Coxes, or even the Gina Rineharts of the world? The fact is, the media has a rich history (sorry, that’s an unintended pun) of being influenced by the wealthy. Well, to tell you the truth, you don’t even need to have that much money to influence the media – all you need is to be an advertiser.
- Does Gawker really qualify as media? Its content represents nearly everything I dislike about the media: if it isn’t promoting an indulgent level of consumption, it’s telling us how we should feel about everything, encouraging us to assume the worst in everyone and to celebrate their misfortunes and embarrassments. By definition it’s media, I suppose… but it’s definitely not “journalism” with a capital J.
Nick Denton, the person who founded Gawker, would obviously disagree with all of this; and he went down swinging in his final missive for the site.
Good for him, I suppose. Good for him.
About today’s photo: this was meant to be something about buying too deeply into the notion that the pen is mightier than the sword. Unfortunately the pen and the sword don’t exist in a bubble. I dunno – this seems a bit stupid.