It’s the first time in Gawker’s illustrious dirt-digging history that it has retracted a story without the revelation of a factual error or the threat of a lawsuit. Entirely of its own accord, Gawker has retracted a story about how David Geithner, CFO of Condé Nast, tried to hire a gay porn star for a night of sex. Why exactly did Gawker retract the story? Gawker managing editor Nick Denton released a statement. Here is part of it:
The point of this story was not in my view sufficient to offset the embarrassment to the subject and his family. Accordingly, I have had the post taken down. It is the first time we have removed a significant news story for any reason other than factual error or legal settlement.
. . .
This action will not turn back the clock. David Geithner’s embarrassment will not be eased. But this decision will establish a clear standard for future stories. It is not enough for them simply to be true. They have to reveal something meaningful. They have to be true and interesting. These texts were interesting, but not enough, in my view.
In light of Gawker’s past rhetoric about our fearlessness and independence, this can be seen as a capitulation. And perhaps, to some extent, it is. But it is motivated by a sincere effort build a strong independent media company, and to evolve with the audience we serve.
I don’t really get it. Why would Gawker choose now of all times to grow and exercise a conscience about the invasion of privacy? This is a company that is being sued by Hulk Hogan over the alleged release of an alleged sex tape. Why the sudden retraction?
I’m telling you it has everything to do with the homosexual angle of this story. Tons of people are mentioning “gay shaming,” and most people are upset with Gawker for publicly “outing” David Geithner, who has a wife and two kids. The homosexual lobby is extremely upset by even a hint that homosexuality is connected to profligate promiscuity. Even when it is.
Now, I’m not saying that heterosexual CFOs act any better. Plenty of them hook up with prostitutes and escorts too. And I have no problem with them being shamed publicly for that behavior. Gawker has regularly been one of the sources shaming them. But, suddenly, you have an alleged homosexual allegedly trying to hook up with a homosexual porn star, and talking about that is an invasion of privacy.
By Gawker’s admittedly low standards, this story seems like a no-brainer. It’s juicy gawk-worthy gossip. Is it built on shaky evidence? Perhaps. But that has never stopped Gawker before.
Gawker, like the rest of this country, has decided to bend over backwards (or forwards, depending on which direction you want to take this analogy), for one of the most inflexible, narrow-minded, touchy, and tyrannical social movements in all of history: the LGBT (QRSTUVWXYZ) lobby. It’s strange that the first time I heard this story, my mind was drawn to the way that satirists, comedians, and journalists have avoided publicly criticizing Islam, in spite of the fact that most of these people (South Park comes to mind) have no problem making fun of pretty much every other religion and social movement in the world. Isn’t it strange that the LGBT lobby should be given a similar kid-glove treatment? It’s as if homosexuals were waging social jihad on the American public, and most people, even the formerly “brave” are too afraid to state the obvious.
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