Gawker’s Denton To NY Mag: Bilious? Me?


New York magazine profiles Nick Denton and his Gawker network in its new issue, out Monday. We haven’t seen the piece yet*, but Denton seems to have a good idea of what’s in it (presumably because he dealt with the magazine’s fact-checkers prior to publication; New York also employs ex-Gawkerites Jessica Coen and Jessie Oxfeld). He seems particularly upset (we think) by the piece’s coverline about Gawker and the “Culture of Bile”.

We imagine that the Gawker team will take a few swings at the story on Monday; we look forward to reading it ourselves. In the meantime, we can gaze upon Denton’s preemptive strike, published on his personal site. The gist: Describing Gawker as bilious is a cliche. And if we are, so what — we’re not the only ones! Also, old media is clubby and hypocritical! Good points all. The money quotes:

Internet media can indeed seem, particularly to the gentlemanly and leisurely American magazine business, a Hobbesian environment. The new journalism is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. For many New York writers, Gawker is a proxy for this harsh and competitive new world, because the gossip site covers the death agonies of Manhattan’s old-line media industry, without much respect for the club’s cosy rules…

…And bilious bloggers are hardly the first disrespectful outsiders to bother the media incumbents. Every age has its own cultural panic, in which uncouth interlopers threaten all that is decent and good, and the media establishment, like a stuffy dowager, strikes them from polite society.

We’ve taken two stabs at estimating the annual revenue and overall value of Denton’s empire. Suffice to say that if New York‘s words really have bruised him, he can afford some very nice salve. NickDenton

* We’ve quickly scanned the piece; beyond inflating the value of Denton’s company, it sounds reasonably accurate to us. We can’t imagine it’s really upset Denton all that much.

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