Last night, as the internet started to flicker in and out and Manhattan went dark, so too did some websites and news outlets. All Gawker Media sites and the Huffington Post website are still down for the count as of this morning. BuzzFeed was down last night, but is back today.
“In a nutshell, it appears the emergency backup power did not kick in when Con Ed shut off power,” Thomas Plunkett, Gawker’s chief technology officer, emailed us last night. Gawker servers are at Datagram on Whitehall Street, which also hosts BuzzFeed and some Huffington Post servers, explained Mr. Plunkett.
A Gawker writer is in. A Times editor is out. A Reuters reporter goes to a trade. A Daily Beast reporter goes toe-to-toe with the best actor from the best film of 1999. All that, and more, in your Thursday Evening Media Briefs:
If you’re one of those ancients who still remembers the internet of yesteryear, you’ll be excited to learn that the blog-cum-book The Great Cock Hunt is getting its own web series. And, as the PR person for the series put it at the very top of an email, Hunting Season will be interesting to us because “it’s partly filmed in the Gawker offices.”
Also because “The content is definitely adult, but very NYC, as I recall from my own misspent youth.”
Sounds exciting! Remind us what this was again?
The state of journalism is bad. Of course, Jonah Lehrer and Fareed Zakaria—high-profile writers at The New Yorker and Time, respectively—were recently exposed as frauds and plagiarists, but that’s not the worst of it. Not even close. The phone-tapping scandal that nearly imploded NewsCorp’s news division last year? Nope.
In fact, nothing illustrates the distressing state of affairs more clearly than the reaction to Judge William Alsup’s recent order that Google and Oracle turn over the names of the reporters and bloggers whom the two companies had paid for potentially positive coverage supporting their case in a high-stakes copyright lawsuit.
Wait, what reaction? Oh, you didn’t even hear about this?
Some website just published some documents that we’ve never seen before about some guy who’s running for president, but it’s not like you haven’t already seen or know what’s in the documents that we haven’t characterized further in detail or published about this crucially important person, right? Right. Also, what drives a political reporter to quit (read: her job), the latest on how Barry Diller makes his scrilla, and what one Murdoch said about another. Here are your Thursday Evening Media Briefs:
If you haven’t heard of Peter and Harry Brant yet, you should be calling the Postal Service and Time Warner to find out why they’ve discontinued service to that rock you’re living under. The teenage sons of paper mogul Peter M. Brant have been everywhere lately: gracing the Style Section of The New York Times, tweeting from a shared Twitter account and being profiled in this week’s lugubrious three-page spread in the latest issue of Vanity Fair (to make matters worse, the piece was titled “Little Lord Flauntleroys”).
Now the blood is in the water, and its officially hunting season as the collective new media aims to take a shot at these young male socialites.
The newly revitalized Spin magazine is being un-revitalized, Gawker’s big new hire, Blodget’s big new profile, Borowitz’s old trolling tactic attracts new “fans,” and more media stories in today’s Power Lunch.
“When someone comes into your house and throws shit around, you get pissed,” Anna Holmes told The Observer. She was speaking in metaphor: The house was the Gawker Media women’s interest blog Jezebel, of which she was the founding editor; the someone was the blog’s commenters, a famously undisciplined crowd.
“If you open your front door to people they just act like jerks,” agreed former Gizmodo editor Joel Johnson. Now the managing editor of Animal NY, he favors abolishing comments sections altogether.
Blog proprietor Nick Denton has a different plan—he’s giving them the run of the place. The commenters are creating content, after all, just like the writers. What’s the difference?
“I want to erase this toxic Internet class system,” he told The Observer in a gmail chat.
“Nick has always loved to subtly and not so subtly insult his employees,” said Gawker writer John Cook. “He thinks of us as glorified commenters.”
At a crowded movie premiere in Midtown recently, The Observer witnessed a young movie and TV star—a dashing young man who’s been involved with several starlets despite whispers about his close relationships with other men—sitting for the entire party in close conversation with a well-groomed gent, even as his co-stars circulated. As we passed, the Read More
Julia Allison is not dead. But you could be forgiven for thinking so, since everyone talks about her in the past tense.
“Julia represented the industrialization of self-promotion,” said Jason Tanz, who profiled Ms. Allison for the cover of Wired’s August 2008 issue. “People were going to start using the Internet as a Read More