Last night, Gawker published a story about a Condé Nast executive (who’s married to a woman) allegedly arranging to meet up with a gay escort while on a trip to Chicago. When the escort found out who his client was, he attempted to blackmail him into helping with a housing-discrimination lawsuit he was embroiled in. The Gawker story, complete with text-message screenshots, provided anonymity to the escort but named the executive. In the end, the executive never even met up with the escort, nor did he agree to help with the discrimination lawsuit.
Criticism of Gawker’s decision to publish the story was swift and mighty. Editors and writers at the site have continued to defend publishing it — “given the chance gawker will always report on married c-suite executives of major media companies fucking around on their wives,” Gawker editor Max Read tweeted — while many other media types have taken to Twitter to voice their disapproval. [Update: Gawker has decided to remove the story, and has issued a statement explaining its decision here.]
“An appalling act of gay shaming disguised as a story – thought we were way past this crap,” tweeted Recode editor Kara Swisher. “I’m working realllly hard to find the news basis and public interest here and it’s just not quite coming together?” tweeted Awl editor Choire Sicha.