August 18, 2016

The death of Gawker.

Announced here, with prime blame laid on "the Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel" and "his clandestine legal campaign against the company."

Ah, well. I remember Gawker from the Elizabeth Spiers days, that is, the year 2003. Loved it.

Where is she now? I had to look it up. Here Wikipedia page says she's editor of The New York Observer. You know what The New York Observer is? It's Jared Kusher's publication. But Wikipedia's page for The New York Observer says she was only editor 2011 to 2012. Is Spiers so unimportant that her Wikipedia page isn't updated in 4 years?!

Well, here's a little piece from this morning: "A eulogy for Gawker.com from its first editor, Elizabeth Spiers/Plus: What it’s like working for Donald Trump’s son-in-law":
Spiers recalled that Gawker.com started as a completely different sort of site from what it is today.

"There have been so many incarnations of Gawker," Spiers said. "If you read it when I was writing it, it wasn’t really negative — it was gleefully laughing at the notion that the entire world revolves around New York. The alter-ego voice I was using was a persona that had no self-awareness, and that was part of the fun of it."
I still don't know what she's doing now, and I don't know what she said about Kushner. The link goes to a podcast, and I haven't listened to it yet. I've only read the text. 

ADDED: The text does give Spiers new line of work: "founder the virtual reality agency The Insurrection."

24 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Our hearts and prayers go out to Gawker. This feels like an Alfred Hitchcock moment.

Sean Gleeson said...

But if you read the text, you saw that Spiers has a "new gig as founder of the virtual reality agency The Insurrection."

J. Farmer said...

Hasn't Peter Thiel had a vendetta against Gawker since they outed him?

Darrell said...

Didn't Univision but it?
Check your white privilege.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

"The alter-ego voice I was using was a persona that had no self-awareness, and that was part of the fun of it."

I probably know what she means by that but right now I'm having trouble accessing the right neural pathway.

All I'm getting right now is that George Hamilton was the first person I heard of being described as famous for being famous.

Ann Althouse said...

"But if you read the text, you saw that Spiers has a "new gig as founder of the virtual reality agency The Insurrection.""

Thanks. I read it in the sense of: skimmed it. Inadequately, obviously. Thanks.

Ann Althouse said...

"Didn't Univision but it?/Check your white privilege."

Well, now, someone else is reading inadequately. From the top link:

"Nick Denton, the company’s outgoing CEO, informed current staffers of the site’s fate on Thursday afternoon, just hours before a bankruptcy court in Manhattan will decide whether to approve Univision’s bid for Gawker Media’s other assets. Staffers will soon be assigned to other editorial roles, either at one of the other six sites or elsewhere within Univision."

Gawker is over.

Matthew Sablan said...

They probably should have tried to learn from the National Enquirer. C'est la vie.

John Christopher said...

I too was a Gawker reader from almost the very beginning. I remember a 2003 article in the Washington Post about blogs and Gawker was among those mentioned and I was hooked almost right away.

It was a lot of fun, especially in the Choire, Emily, Balk era.

buwaya said...

Univision is owned indirectly by Haim Saban
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haim_Saban
Plus a consortium of private capital partnerships.

i.e., This is not a Hispanic-owned outfit.

Personally I think Univision is just bailing out the politically-significant media elements of Gawker. Just a move by the establishment media consortium to keep the political megaphone in tune.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Elizabeth Spiers will have to rewrite her obituary, but I'm guessing she will be OK with that:

"She was also the founding editor of Gawker, Gawker Media's flagship site which she launched with publisher Nick Denton in December of 2002. She realizes that Gawker probably needs no introduction and will be the first thing listed in her obituary when she inevitably dies in a fluke accident involving a falling cat and a poorly designed Manhattan skyscraper. She's okay with that."

chickelit said...

Gawker was always kinda iffy.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I used to read Gizmodo way back when--Engadget too. Gawker itself didn't seem too interestng.

Todd Barry had a bit about the Gawker Stalker page where people logged sightings of celebrities (in NY, I guess); "a banana-less Ethan Hawke" was the memorable line.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Can't link now, but search for Fortune.com on Gawker's Millions Mired in Tax Dodge. Interesting corporate structure...

J. Farmer said...

@buwaya:

Haim Saban is also a big money man for the Israel First wing of US foreign policy. He and Sheldon Adelson once publicly mused joining forces to buy the New York Times because the paper's editorial line was simply insufficiently groveling in its attitude towards Israel.

Todd said...

and four months after the Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel revealed his clandestine legal campaign against the company.

Sure that was it! It had nothing to do with Gawker being in the wrong and doing wrong and getting caught and punished, it was all that nasty billionaire's doing! "Darn those kids, I almost got away with it!"

Had the company going down been (oh let us say) Philip Morris instead of Gawker, every single person crying over Gawker would have been cheering that "someone was finally able to stand up to the big nasty corporation and bring them down". Cry me a river...

SgtPete said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Smilin' Jack said...

The text does give Spiers new line of work: "founder the virtual reality agency The Insurrection."

That shouldn't take too much work. Virtual reality start-ups are likely to founder on their own.

sykes.1 said...

The Gawker staff and management deliberately, maliciously and knowing set out to humiliate and destroy someone they had contempt for. In a just world they all would be in prison. The mere destruction of the company itself is inadequate. Anyone who does not understand this is a debauched, depraved sociopath who also should be kept in a cage. And beaten daily, and starved.

Bob Matthews said...

I also recall the early days of Gawker with Elizabeth Spears and Choire Sicha as do many of you. It was a hoot and was very much an insider's view of New York, told with a "can you believe this s**t" attitude. Something happened to it around 2005/6 or so: it became meaner and less funny, more arrogant, less thoughtful, and more leftwing with not a small amount of hatefulness. Much like the democratic party, now that I think about it.

David Begley said...

Good lawyering here. Close Gawker and stiff the judgment creditor in BK (assuming no insurance coverage). Sell the other corporations to Univision.

The corporate shield is a good thing.

Paddy O said...

"It had nothing to do with Gawker being in the wrong and doing wrong and getting caught and punished, it was all that nasty billionaire's doing!"

If only the courts had been involved, then we would have gotten justice. Instead of a billionaire vigilante with his mask, fancy car, and secret headquarters in a cave.

n.n said...

First the dodo, now Gawker. What's next, The New York Times? Dead JournoLism walking.

narciso said...

And Chaim Saban, is a major contributor to red queen personally, through the foundation in the 10 million range, and the Democrats generally,