In a story — which oddly appeared on the Observer website with the prominent disclaimer, “Gawker.com, where the author is employed as a staff writer, declined to publish this story” — reporter John Cook produces evidence that a contract writer with Vanity Fair was at the beck and call of the Church of Scientology and worked as an agent to the shadowy religion’s leaders. John Connolly, a former cop and somewhat legendary investigative reporter, was reportedly “a Church of Scientology Office of Special Affairs informant for nearly two decades.” He’d use his relationship with the tony magazine to look into stories and books that other people were writing about Scientology or its public faces, notably Tom Cruise. Cook’s story is almost more interesting for its details about Connolly, a colorful figure who has operated out of the nexus of celebrity, crime, and gossip for many years now. It’s also notable for that opening disclaimer. Since when does Gawker hesitate before posting stories that target the media elite? Or the Church of Scientology? Or stories that are sketchily sourced and unconfirmed by major protagonists, for that matter?