RIP: Goodbye Gawker, Our First And Best Frenemy



BYLINER mecroppedsharp_1BY JONATHAN VALANIA So, the sad, but not entirely unexpected, official news that Gawker will cease to exist came down today. Like most every right-thinking netizen with an abiding belief in the cause of journalism and weaponized wit, we are appalled by Peter Thiel’s grim determination to choke-out the First Amendment with his bazillion dollar money belt while furiously stroking his revenge boner even if A) we think he has good reason to hate Gawker and want it dead (forcibly outing anyone who is not a hypocritical closeted politician who actively demagogues/legislates against the LGBT communities was an unforgivable wrong when Gawker media did it to Thiel in 2007 and it is unforgivably wrong now B) we think, ultimately, it was Gawker’s imperial hubris and drunkard’s judgement that brought on its self-inflicted destruction C) we are kinda pissed that Denton, Daulerio et al would blow a decade’s worth of brilliant precision-targeted snark, poison-pen petard-hoisting, digital comeuppance doled out to the high and the mighty and the odious and the deserving, not to mention breaking important news that would have remained unbroken otherwise for a Hulk fucking Hogan sex tape clickbait gambit and the ensuing refusal to back away from this existentially-stupid and frankly indefensible editorial decision when they had the chance. And what Peter Thiel is doing to our homeboy AJ Daulerio is a media war crime worthy of a Hague tribunal indictment. Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel? Thuggish nouveau riche libertarian tech billionaires adept in the pitiless politics of personal destruction, it turns out. Meet the new robber barons, just as thin-skinned and throat-slashingly vindictive as the old robber barons. Anyway, we shall bid farewell to these harms with a reminder that not only did we get our namesake from a dubious Gawker pun — part tribute, part swipe, in the double-edged Dentonian tradition — but upon our digital birth in 2006, we were baptized by fire with a Jessica Pressler-helmed Gawker diss, which at the time, was the highest form of flattery the Internet could bestow upon a newly-minted insurgent media property (and netted us 25,000 unique visitors on the day we went live). In 2006, if Gawker didn’t shit on you, you didn’t matter. Rest in pieces Gawker, and godspeed to all who sailed upon her.

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