Gawker editors quit after row over article ‘outing’ Condé Nast exec
Two of the editors of online news site Gawker have resigned – after being rebuked for running an article outing a senior businessman.
The article by Gawker last week alleged that Conde Nast’s CFO David Geithner – who is a married father of three – attempted to set up the encounter with an anonymous gay porn actor in Chicago.
It claimed that he had offered to pay $2,500 for the meeting, and that the trip was cancelled when the porn actor attempted to get Geithner to help him out with a housing dispute.
However, the post caused widespread outrage online – and Geithner denied all the allegations.
After Gawker’s managing partnership intervened to pull down the post, the site’s executive editor Tommy Craggs and editor-in-chief Max Read resigned in protest.
In a statement, Read slammed the business for compromising editorial neutrality, claiming: “That non-editorial business executives were given a vote in the decision to remove it is an unacceptable and unprecedented breach of the editorial firewall, and turns Gawker’s claim to be the world’s largest independent media company into, essentially, a joke.”
However, Gawker founder Nick Denton hit back – claiming the article was invasive and not of the site’s standards.
He wrote: “Let me be clear. This was a decision I made as Founder and Publisher — and guardian of the company mission — and the majority supported me in that decision.
“This is the company I built. I was ashamed to have my name and Gawker’s associated with a story on the private life of a closeted gay man who some felt had done nothing to warrant the attention.
“We believe we were within our legal right to publish, but it defied the 2015 editorial mandate to do stories that inspire pride, and made impossible the jobs of those most committed to defending such journalism.”