Defeating the Terrorist Organization Known as Gawker

August 06, 2015

Multiple Pages
Defeating the Terrorist Organization Known as Gawker

When four Soviet diplomats were captured by jihadis in Beirut in 1985, the Russians returned the favor by capturing, castrating, and butchering a close relative of a Hezbollah official. The KGB sent the organs to Hezbollah and promised there would be similar attacks unless their diplomats were returned. They were promptly released. The only way to defeat terrorist organizations is to increase their costs. So, too, with Gawker, the gossip-mongering website founded by Nick Denton, a former Economist journalist–turned–enforcer for the New York media elite.

While Gawker Media pretends to be a journalist outfit, it is, in fact, a terrorist organization. Its weapon of choice is whipping up the social justice mob to destroy people’s livelihoods. Of course, Gawker doesn’t think of itself as a terrorist organization any more than the hippies in the Stanford prison experiment thought of themselves as rage-driven thugs. But in practice, being a social justice warrior means being an antisocial unjust coward. In the good old days we’d settle these disputes with dueling, or perhaps trial by combat, but now we have to use the courts. A pity.

“Gawker’s weapon of choice is whipping up the social justice mob to destroy people’s livelihoods.”

The list of people who should sue Gawker is growing. Gawker’s employees are running for the exits, too, since the gay outing and blackmail story. If more than eight employees leave Gawker, does it become a transjournalist outfit?

We already know Denton is a revenge pornographer, thanks to the ongoing Hulk Hogan sex-tape suit. While the second-most hated man on the Internet, Hunter Moore, goes to prison for revenge porn, The New York TimesJonathan Mahler smokes pot with Denton on his balcony and portrays him as a champion of the First Amendment for publishing a pro wrestler’s sex tape. Denton serves as an accessory to blackmail while he loves him some black males, but don’t you dare do social media at his wedding! was the first to expose how Denton’s Gawker published the rantings of a soldier–turned–gay porn star–turned evangelical Christian conspiracy theorist. Naturally, Gawker Media concealed the madman’s identity—as they are wont to do—to “protect their source,” but they never seemed to ask if their source could be trusted. Indeed, I’ve made something of a career exposing all of the anonymous people who make a mockery of due process by falsely crying rape. Anonymity has become the means by which deeply disturbed individuals use the new media to settle scores without the consequences of search engine optimization.

The ad-driven Gawker writers don’t care if something is true or false; they just care about the page views above all else. This is ultimately why Gawker’s efforts to be 20% nicer will fail: Hate clicks drive page views, which get meager amounts of profit. Indeed, a “hate click is just as valuable as a love click,” says plagiarist Benny Johnson, the “content director” of the cuckservative Being fooled by its anonymous sources, then, isn’t a mistake; it’s a feature of the page-view news economy where the poorly paid, mostly white, Ivy League-educated liberal arts majors whore themselves out for advertising dollars. Denton isn’t so much an editor who mentors young writers on their way but a click-baiting pimp who keeps scrupulous track of how much money his staff brings in.

How they make the money, Denton doesn’t really care, as YouTuber Sargon of Akkad perceptively points out in this video. He admitted to CNN’s Brian Stelter that he doesn’t even read the stories. Hitting their advertisers, as #Gamergate has done by encouraging corporations not to advertise on Gawker, has cost Denton over seven figures. While Sam Biddle writes that “brands aren’t your friends,” Denton needs brands like him to keep the site in the black. The #Gamergate activists aren’t going away, though, and stand ready to hit Gawker. Here they are out in front of the Gawker offices sending a message.

In fairness, Denton doesn’t have the luxury of a venture-backed tech bubble fueling Gawker, unlike BuzzFeed, the “cat pornography” website that Andreessen Horowitz recently supported with $50 million. Like the clean-tech bubble backed by Ellen Pao before it, the new-media bubble is something that VCs like Marc Andreessen feel they should support. Vice is allegedly worth more than The New York Times—even though its founder is a pathological liar/con man who wastes over $300,000 on dinner. Once the Fed raises interest rates, the new-media bubble will pop. Both the print and digital advertising markets have been rapidly declining. Gawker, BuzzFeed, Vox, and every other ad-supported publication will be competing over an increasingly declining market while they try to signal that they are all doing fine. “BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, Gawker, Quartz, Business Insider, the Intercept, Talking Points Memo, and ProPublica are all located a short walk from one another in lower Manhattan,” reports The New York Review of Books. No one seems to know why. Bubbles have a way of making people insular, especially status-signaling journalists who seem to spend all day laughing amongst each other as Twitter’s stock price collapses.

Click-bait writing is grueling, difficult work in a declining industry. Healthy industries don’t unionize; they increase salaries to keep valuable people around. But Gawker employees are offered pitiful two-month severance buyouts if they want to quit. Unionization—which has hit Salon, Gawker, and The Guardian—may yet bring transparency to their books. Even Denton, though, is looking for an out from the hell he created. He reportedly met with billionaire Mark Cuban—himself not averse to bubbles
—who dismissively told him to take Gawker public. But that’ll never happen, as the costs for Gawker’s terrorism continue to increase.

Denton, who loves being at the center of the party, has thus far escaped the social costs, but that shouldn’t be permitted. And if anyone should find anything damaging on a Gawker writer or staffer, please do let me know. Assuming your information is true—yes, I do due diligence, unlike Gawker—I’d be happy to buy it from you for an agreed-upon price. After all, the best way to defeat terrorists is to make sure their network can’t grow and that they can’t profit off of their terrorism.

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