Gawker is facing harsh criticism for posting a story alleging that a highly placed executive at a media company attempted to solicit sex from a gay porn star. The piece by writer Jordan Sargent includes screenshots of text messages and photos that allegedly identify the man, who is married to a woman and has three kids.
The media exec is the brother of a former high-ranking Obama administration official. According to the story, he was prepared to meet the male escort in Chicago and pay $2,500 for the encounter. He paid half that, but then canceled the encounter when the escort figured out the media exec’s identity and tried to get him to use his brother’s influence to resolve some sort of housing dispute.
The media executive backed out of the encounter, so the two never actually met in person. When contacted by Gawker, the media exec denied the story and called it a “shakedown.”
The post, which was published last night as Gawker founder Nick Denton hosted a party at his apartment to celebrate the delay in the Hulk Hogan trial, was met with swift criticism online. Prominent media figures tweeted their disapproval for what many contend was the outing of a private person.
This widespread criticism of Gawker comes as the company was enjoying goodwill as defenders of the First Amendment for the Hulk Hogan court case, in which the wrestler sued Gawker for publishing a sex tape.
There were a few people who tweeted their support for the story, but those were mostly people who work at Gawker.
“Given the chance gawker will always report on married c-suite executives of major media companies f**cking around on their wives,” Gawker editor in chief Max Read tweeted last night.