In a stunning moment of self awareness, a former editor for defunct blog Gawker has openly admitted, “We were bullies.”
Joshua Stein, a former after-hours editor at Gawker who began work at the site in 2007, wrote an article for The Guardian ahead of the imminent shutdown of the site by its new owners, Univision. There was little surprise at the shutdown of the former gossip blog, a toxic brand that regularly published revenge porn, videos of possible rape, and took delight in outing gay public figures who were still in the closet.
In his Guardian article, Stein describes his first, surreal experience meeting Gawker founder Nick Denton, who initially wanted to hire Stein to run a website for gay men. When Stein revealed that he was in fact straight and asked would this be an issue running a gay themed website, “Denton said he was surprised I wasn’t, and that it would be, but that maybe I might find a home at Gawker.”
Stein describes his time at Gawker and why he left, saying, “What I discovered after a year was that Gawker was fertile ground for many things – ego, fame, alacrity, wit, a quick turn of phrase – but kindness was not one of them.” This may be one of the biggest understatements of the year; Gawker was not only actively unkind, they targeted the weak in order to make a quick buck.
Stein discusses the type of people that Gawker wrote about in a sort of symbiotic relationship, “Fameballs, as we called them, relied on us for publicity; and we on them, for material. But it didn’t mask the fact that we were – though righteous – bullies.” At least it seems that Stein was aware of his role in the Gawker media empire and says, “My regret… is that the Gawker of which I was a part did nothing noble. We were big fish in a little pond; I was young, calling phonies phony, blind to the fact that I had become a bully.”
Lucas Nolan is a conservative who regularly contributes articles on censorship and free speech to Breitbart. Follow him on Twitter@LucasNolan_ or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org