“Gawker made my life super awful, twice.” writes Xeni Jardin in a tweet. “A day after my cancer diagnosis, Jezebel implied I was faking it. The other time was worse.”
Dozens, maybe hundreds, of people like Jardin have been victimized by Gawker’s bullying style of journalism. I don’t presume that they all share the same POV about Gawker and its troubles but I’d really like to hear what they have to say. Wouldn’t you?
This is why I recently offered to drop all of my lawsuits against Gawker and its staff if Nick Denton agrees to publish a 1000 words from at least 10 Gawker’s victims about Gawker on Gawker.com.
If Denton is really a supporter of the First Amendment and free speech he’ll agree do it.
Denton can’t say it’ll be bad for business. He’ll get to keep all the money he makes on traffic. After all, who wouldn’t want to read Gawker’s victims getting a chance to set the record straight?
If Denton is really dedicated to transparency he’ll turn that transparency on his own actions.
Without further ado here are a few of the victims. There are many more than just those listed here.
We’ll start with the women.
How did the college girl whose rape your website published feel when Gawker editor A. J. Daulerio refused to take down the video of her alleged rape?
What did minor PR flak Justine Sacco think when Sam Biddle upended her life over a joke she tweeted and made her fear for her safety?
How did Canadian politician Lenore Zann feel when you published her nudes?
What did actresses Olivia Munn or Christina Hendricks think when you published their nudes?
What did 27-year-old Fox Sports reporter Emily Austen feel when your website went into overdrive to get her fired for making an off color joke?
What does Christine O’Donnell think about your decision to publish an anonymous, unsourced story about a supposed one-night stand she had when she was running for U.S. Senate?
What did Michael Wolf’s pregnant girlfriend think about a nasty post that Gawker’s staff wrote?
How did Sarah Palin and her family feel when you published Governor Palin’s hacked private emails and stole her family’s private photos? How did Bristol Palin feel when you used her illegally obtained private cell phone to record her voice mail? Or are vice presidential candidate’s families fair game?
What did Michelle Malkin think when you falsely published a fake photo of her claiming she was in a bikini?
The male victims of Gawker have gotten it pretty terribly too.
Actor James Franco was repeatedly targeted by Gawker for supposed homosexuality. He was even accused of being a rapist. What was it like for the actor to have to deal with the constant stalking?
Former New York Post editor Col Allan was a frequent target of Gawker. Gawker libelously accused Allan of pig f*cking and racism. What does Allan think of the vindictive campaign to get him fired?
How has David Geither’s family weathered Gawker’s accessory in an extortion plot by a gay porn star turned evangelical Christian? It’s rumored that they settled out of court but what amount of money makes that kind of invasion of privacy okay?
What was cartoonist Scott Adams thinking as he endured a years long campaign against him and his work?
What does director Quentin Tarantino think about the theft of his Hateful Eight script by Gawker? It’s true that Tarantino withdrew his suit.
Was Chris Christie concerned about his election prospects after Gawker falsely claimed to publish a video of him having sex?
How did Max Temkin, creator of Cards Against Humanity, deal with the repeated false accusations of rape by Gawker?
WeSearchr CTO Pax Dickinson lost his job at Business Insider and was blacklisted over five year old joking tweets.
I lost investment in my first company after Gawker falsely, maliciously and repeatedly accused me of having sex with animals and defecating on the floor. In fact I saved someone’s life in college from dying of alcohol poisoning. Does Gawker want to live in a world where people don’t save strangers because they’re worried about malicious lies spread about them years later?
Even this past two weeks Gawker repeated a lie from a liberal rag that I outted an openly gay student in college when I asked him not to delete an anti-gay marriage comment during the Proposition 8 campaign. Gawker just can’t seem to stop making stuff up about me. Why would I praise Peter Thiel as the second smartest man in America if I hated gays?
Perhaps I should sue Gawker again but I wanted to give Nick Denton the chance to do the right thing before still more lawsuits are filed against him.
I suspect Denton won’t give his victims a chance to weigh in on his behavior because Denton isn’t really a journalist but as he once described himself – a “pornographer.” He is, as even his friends and colleagues have described him in a 2010 article with the New Yorker, a sociopathic “villain” whose “villain public persona” is “eighty-per-cent true.”
“Other people’s emotions are alien to him,” says Choire Sicha, a former Gawker employee.
“[Denton] has fun when people say horrible things about him,” the blog guru and blacklister Anil Dash said. It’s time to prove it and give his victims a chance to tell the truth about him. Truth will be our standard even if it isn’t yours. You told the New York Times in 2004 that speed is a higher priority than accuracy. Mickey Kaus rightly predicted that “vulnerability to libel suits” would be your “Achilles’s heel” but it’s actually been criminal invasion of privacy that did you in. Of course when you’re going to talk truth to power it helps to actually be truthful.
So what’s it going to be Nick?
Do you need personal bankruptcy to accompany your moral bankruptcy?
We’ve heard a lot from you these last few weeks but now it’s time to hear from your victims.
Charles C. Johnson is the CEO of WeSearchr.com and the co-founder of GotNews.com. He has been a victim of Gawker’s smears for over two years now. If you’ve been targeted by Gawker please email me at email@example.com. Your confidentiality will be respected.