Jesse Oxfeld: Gawker Stalker Is Not, How You Say, New Yorkey

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A year of Gawker traffic: March’s record traffic peak represents, at least in part,
the hubbub over a newly-introduced mapped version of Gawker Stalker.

In this week’s New York magazine, Jesse Oxfeld, that mag’s newest hire and a former Gawker editor, expressed his thoughts about Gawker’s most infamous feature, Gawker Stalker, in which the sightings of celebrities are reported:

“The shtick of being a New Yorker is that we don’t care about celebrities,” says Jesse Oxfeld, who was co-editor of Gawker at the time of the controversy but has since parted ways with the site (and subsequently joined New York). “And this entirely belied that. So it offended me a little bit. Because Gawker is supposed to embody a certain Ur-New Yorkerness, which means not being impressed by celebrities. Or, at least, being impressed but knowing enough not to seem impressed.”

Elizabeth Spiers, who pioneered Gawker Stalker as the founding editor of Gawker, had this to say via IM today. “The point of Gawker stalker *was* not being impressed by the celebrities. The irony was subtle, but I’m fairly certain it was obvious. (That Jesse interpreted it that way may be indicative of why he wasn’t a good fit for Gawker.)”

(Disclosure: Everyone everywhere, including this blogger, has worked with or after or before everyone else at all of the same places for the same millionaires.)

“That sounds bitchier than it is,” Ms. Spiers noted; she went on to say that Mr. Oxfeld’s sensibility works well in analytical pieces about the newspaper industry.