For a few seconds, the questions stopped and the doubts quieted. As Alex Balk's 756,000th post went live on Gawker last night, there were no thoughts of controversy or chemicals.
When the post went up, though, reality and the suspicions around Balk returned as quickly as the post disappeared from the page.
Believe it or not, there is a new post king in blogging - Alex "My Cock" Balk. His ascent to the throne will be viewed as tarnished by some, but Balk officially is now the champion of the long-ass post.
The suspected stimulant user passed Jessica Coen at 5:00 P.M (EDT) on a lazy, throwaway post about the San Francisco Chronicle.
Balk stood still, then raised a glass to his lips and chugged as he watched the post hit the screen. He then fell off his chair.
No fireworks or streamers were set off around the Gawker office and the crowd of seven did not give Balk a long ovation. Co-editors ignored Balk, and then Choire Sicha, Balk's managing editor, rolled his chair over to the blogger and told him to "go the fuck home, you useless piece of shit."
A special e-mail message came from Coen to the tip line. Coen declined to be in attendance as Balk pursued her record. This was viewed as a commentary on Coen's feelings of whether Balk's posts were real or aided by speed. Last night, Coen saluted Balk, though.
"I would like to offer my congratulations to Alex Balk on becoming Gawker's career post leader," Coen said. "Whoop-de-fuckin'-doo."
"I don't know what to think right now,'' an emotional - and drunk - Balk said after the post.
"I'm thankful for my co-workers, my family, the fan in New York - they're my family. Also, the guy who gets me my drugs. Oops, don't print that."
Balk said he knew the post would go up the moment he wrote it.
"I was like, 'Whew, I got it,''' Balk said. "It was pretty late in the day and I knew Choire was desperate for material."
Commissioner of Blogging Nick Denton was not in attendance. He also did not call to congratulate Balk.
"While the issues which have swirled around this record will continue to work themselves toward resolution, today is a day for congratulations on a truly remarkable achievement,'' Denton said in a statement from somewhere in Europe, where he is totally MIA and driving everyone back at the office crazy.
In 2006, Balk broke Elizabeth Spiers' single-day post record by writing 27. As he reached unprecedented heights, rumors of Adderall use began. Balk always has denied using stimulants but the way he winks and nods and exaggeratedly crosses his fingers while so doing make his denials look hollow.
Balk testified before the BLOGGO grand jury in December '06 and his testimony was leaked a year later to Gothamist. Balk remains under investigation for "being kind of a dick," a constant shadow during Balk's chase of the record.
Now, Balk is the post king. History will judge whether the crown is crooked or not. [Choire: Is this enough? I've got to run to the "doctor" this afternoon or else I'll be useless tomorrow. Thanks—AB.]