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Hey look! The good folks on Fox and Friends did a segment on Gawker this morning, for no apparent reason at all, claiming (falsely!) that our traffic is down 75%.
What's the hook for breaking into hurricane coverage to lie about the stats of an independent online news outlet? It probably has something to do with a story that Fox News knows is coming.
Gawker and Fox News are natural opponents and we've always been a thorn in their side. But the network has been busy amping up the rhetoric in the last couple months: There was this Mike Huckabee segment featuring my mug and asking viewers if they would invite me to their childrens' birthday party, this Fox and Friends clip describing us as a "lousy web site out there," and this The Five segment calling us "miserable" and "a joke."
As it happens, over the very same time frame, I wrote a series of stories revealing Fox News chief Roger Ailes to be a paranoid maniac who uses Fox News security to spy on his own employees, hatched the idea for Fox News in the Nixon White House with Watergate felon H.R. Haldeman, acts as a confidential strategist to Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (whose desire to keep his conversations with Ailes secret was so strong that we had to sue him to get them), calls the cops constantly and uses them as a personal locksmith service, and starts fights with 80-year-old men.
This latest attack, however—which incidentally began yesterday with this inscrutable web item—is preemptive rather than reactive, and there are two things you need to know about it. Firstly, Gawker's traffic is not down 75% this year. This chart shows that we had 68.2 million pageviews as of August 24, as opposed to something just north of 40 million at the same time a year prior. In terms of unique visitors, we're about even with our year-ago numbers. (These figures reflect the U.S. only, not visits from other countries.)
Secondly: I have for several weeks been working on a story about a Fox News personality that Fox News really does not want published! Fox knows what the story is, because I've asked its PR department for comment (they refused). Tune in next week to see what the story is. And if past is prologue, get ready to see Gawker on Fox News a lot.