wrapped up in books

Ana Marie Cox: Nick Denton a ‘Completely Unrepentant, Unethical Person’

Ana Marie Cox’s review in Bookforum of Emily Gould’s new book, And the Heart Says … Whatever, says a lot about Gould and what the former Wonkette editor thinks of her writing. But it includes a dose of criticism for Gawker Media founder Nick Denton, who used to employ the two women. Like this, for example:

A memoir by a completely un-repentant unethical person could make for a titillating read, if not a very literary one (Nick Denton, our mutual former boss, leaps to mind here, not sure why).

Cox, who did not overlap with Gould while the latter was at Gawker, points to this section of Gould’s book, which explains why she was a good candidate for the web-media company:

Being mean and quick came easily to me, and if I thought about it, I could imagine that everything I’d done up until that point had been my training for this job. The hyper-awareness of celebrity culture I’d developed at the publishing house served me well, certainly, but I was also reminded … of my high-school era proclivity for frantic, constant note-passing. I had even maintained a notebook solely for the purpose of writing nasty little observations about my teachers and classmates, which my friends and I would circulate. … At one point it had been confiscated and a teacher we’d been particularly cruel to had punished us; I had protested the punishment, citing the first amendment rights we’d been studying that semester in Government class.

I have never read a clearer description of what it’s like to work for a Gawker blog, right down to the huffy self-righteousness and the absence of any sense of responsibility,” muses Cox. “The quotation above hints at what a soul-sucking, pleasureless attitude factory (maybe even a sweatshop) Denton runs. Gould, whatever faults she may have, is not cruel, and few people can survive such relentlessness.”

Gossip Girl [Bookforum]
Related: Gawker and the Rage of the Creative Underclass [NYM]

Ana Marie Cox: Nick Denton a ‘Completely Unrepentant, Unethical Person’