Anorak | Gawker hangs Seth Abramovitch out to dry in race to be offended

Gawker hangs Seth Abramovitch out to dry in race to be offended

by | 11th, January 2012

GAWKER has sacked writer Seth Abramovitch for writing about Kanye West. Abramovitch said the singer’s mother name DONDA, stood for “Dis Original Nigga Dresses Alright”.

Gawker editor A.J. Daulerio. tells TheWrap:

“I thought it was a half-assed apology. I basically do not want people working for the site who do not care. I had a conversation with Seth and he told me he really didn’t care.”

Abramovitch has been hung out to dry. Gawker is a terrific site, and Daulerio has helped to make Deadspin, the site’s sister sports-focused organ, a hit. But in sacking Abramovitch and then publicly condemning him, the editor has played it wrong.

Abramovitch responds:

“My apology was completely sincere. After waking up to the vitriol over the post, I looked at the post again and agreed it featured a dumb joke using an offensive term, and that my attempt at edgy humor fell flat. I conferred with my coworkers (Daulerio was unavailable) and they concurred. I wanted it to be clear and concise, and I ran it by the Gawker team to make sure it was sufficient. The consensus was that it was. It was most certainly sincere, and I have no clue why AJ would say I said otherwise. Ironically, it was the very fact that I posted an apology, and didn’t stand by my work, that AJ initially cited as the reason for my firing.”

The sacking and condemnation cast Abramovitch as unacceptable, a pariah who needed to be gotten rid of.

What he wrote was:

The Top 10 Kanye West Tweets About DONDA, His New Everything Venture.

You think Tom Ford is full of himself? Kanye West shits Tom Fords for breakfast. Then he irons out the shits into cutting-edge fabrics, and frantically cuts, sews, and laces that fabric through the night and into the morning, until he has produced the most unbelievable clothes — nay, FASHION + ART = FARTSHION! — in the universe. And he calls these clothes DONDA. But he calls all that other stuff DONDA, too! DONDA will be your everything. Just you wait and see. And what is DONDA? It’s an acronym for Dis Original Nigga Dresses Aight.*

The passage was later added to read:

*DONDA is actually the name of Kanye’s deceased mother, not the acronym above, which was meant to be the kind of thing Kanye would make up in a late-night creative writing fit, but has offended many people. So sorry, to everyone who was offended, and for the confusion. Sorries all around!

Even cheats get a fair hearing and backed by their editor in public. In private you get a heavy phone thrown at your face (true – I ducked) and a massive bollocking.

Is Gawker Media that sensitive to causing offence that it seeks out racism and bigotry in such a benign post? It was once much freer. Wonkette, the group’s political blog it sold off, wrote about Sarah Palin’s 3-year-old special needs son Trig Palin. One line went: “What’s he dreaming about? Nothing. He’s retarded.”

When Jan Moir, the Mail hack, wrote that gays were “unnatural” she kept her job because the Mail loves to be talked about and shitty invective is what the paper does very well.

Daulerio adds:

“It’s a horrible joke and I don’t want it on the site regardless… That was atrocious to me.”

Daulerio was offended. Is he a little too keen to say how offended he is? As he says, it is offensive to “me”. The first person pronoun makes a spectacle of the man’s feelings. It’s easy to make an argument against Abramovitch’s comment, made as it was from a weak and brittle substance. But Dauleriro wants to claim to moral high ground, a victim of something that hurts him by proxy. The right-minded person wants the person who caused offence and pain shamed into silence and banished. Is that free speech?  Is that what the internet and a site like Gawker wants to stand for?

Abramovitch responds:

“As a longtime Gawker Media employee since 2005, I’m hugely dismayed that Daulerio hasn’t respected my privacy or the confidentiality expected in this situation. I’m further troubled that a meeting was called to discuss my termination with other employees of Gawker Media, and that Mr. Daulerio confirmed the termination with The New York Observer and The Wrap, during which he divulged — incorrectly — the alleged contents of a private professional conversation.”

The Gawker tagline states “Today’s gossip is tomorrow’s news“. Only gossip is free speech without restraint. Is that Gawker..?

Posted: 11th, January 2012 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink