Here’s What Gawker Media Does

Gawker Media Editors · 06/02/16 03:40PM

It was surprising to hear the news last week that right-wing billionaire investor Peter Thiel has been secretly trying to destroy Gawker Media through proxy lawsuits. It was dispiriting, and less surprising, to hear the conversation that followed the revelation. The discussion begins, in most cases, with the premise that Gawker is bad. Even those who are rightly alarmed at Thiel’s unprecedented attack on an institution that he regards as “terrible for the Valley” usually feel the need to preface that conclusion with some form of “I hate to defend Gawker, but...”

Andrew Sullivan Is to Blame for Donald Trump

Tom Scocca · 05/04/16 09:29AM

“With Donald Trump as the GOP front-runner,” Andrew Sullivan wrote on Facebook on April 1, “it seems to me a civic duty to get engaged with this election.” Fifteen months after the seemingly inexhaustible commentator announced one of his periodic retreats from blogging—“to decompress and get healthy for a while”—he declared he was getting back into the opinion-having business, this time to do “long-form journalism,” for New York magazine.

How Long Should a Story Be?

Tom Scocca · 02/26/16 05:45PM

Some articles should be short. Some articles should be long. No articles, as Vox and its SB Nation demonstrated, should be longform. Greg Howard’s postmortem of SB Nation’s “Who Is Daniel Holtzclaw?” debacle offers lots of insights into how a story can go wrong, but the most concise may be his reporting that a freelancer for SB Nation’s now-closed Longform section “said that per the terms of his contract, the story had to be at least 4,000 words long.”

The 10 Worst New Yorker #Longreads

Leah Finnegan · 07/24/14 01:25PM

The New Yorker, a magazine, has just opened its Internet "archives" (dating back to 2007) as a readers' jubilee in advance of its upcoming move to the world of paywalled journalism, three months hence. So much New Yorker to muck around in! So many words! So many stories! So many stories with so many words in them!

On Smarm

Tom Scocca · 12/05/13 09:30AM

Last month, Isaac Fitzgerald, the newly hired editor of BuzzFeed's newly created books section, made a remarkable but not entirely surprising announcement: He was not interested in publishing negative book reviews. In place of "the scathing takedown rip," Fitzgerald said, he desired to promote a positive community experience.

The 10 Most Horrifying Parts of Rolling Stone's Charles Manson Profile

Camille Dodero · 11/22/13 05:21PM

Perhaps you heard the news that Charles Manson is maybe, possibly engaged to a 25-year-old? Or at least that's what Manson's paramour, Star (left, with her bb on the right), told Rolling Stone's Erik Hedegaard during the arduous process of assembling a lengthy profile on the very famous convicted murderer. Unfortunately for the aspiring bride, when Manson was asked about their impending nuptials, he rebuffed the idea as "a bunch of garbage." But apparently that's just something endearing the face of evil does.

The Backstory of the Ricin Letter Sent To Obama Is Absolutely Cuckoo

Camille Dodero · 09/30/13 06:02PM

Last spring, after a ricin-tainted letter was sent to President Obama, the FBI arrested Paul Kevin Curtis, an Elvis impersonator and Prince super-fan from Mississippi, on suspicion of mailing the poison correspondence. But then a week later, charges against Curtis were dropped and soon another Mississippi musician was taken into custody, Tae Kwon Do instructor J. Everett Dutschke, who turned out to be Curtis's bitter rival. In the October issue of GQ, author/writer Wells Tower digs into the feud and the whole thing gets weirder—so so so much weirder.

Michael J. Fox Is Awesome, Back

Camille Dodero · 09/26/13 06:45PM

Michael J. Fox, a diminutive man with tremendous likability, is returning to primetime television in an eponymous sitcom, The Michael J. Fox Show, tonight on NBC. Even though the Emmy-winning actor has been around, in one capacity or another, since he publicly announced Parkinson's diagnosis, his appearances tend to elicit an unspoken pity from people who don't know what to expect: Uh, y'know, how's he doing? Is he OK? According to Rolling Stone cover story that just went online today, Michael J. Fox is doing very well. In fact, he seems pretty great.