Victim of Gawker barbs says the site is 'all tone, no content'

Slate.com

After being called "a big immature baby" by Gawker in a 2007 post, journalist Katie Roiphe was surprised to receive a book-blurb request from a Gawker writer who was "a big fan" of her work. That had Roiphe wondering if she misunderstood the site:

If you are pumping out autopilot schadenfreude all day long, maybe there is nothing personal in it. The rage, the dissociated nastiness, floats through the ether and attaches itself fleetingly to a subject, but really, taking it personally is like being annoyed at the wind for messing up your hair.

Her problem with Nick Denton's site is that "it's all tone, no content, and the tone itself is monotonously unvaried -- namely the sneer. ...The highest form of keeping people honest demands more wit, more precision, more specificity, more sharpness. If you make fun of everyone in the same register, in the same tone, it begins to be a little generic."

What Gawker staffers saying about her screed:

* Investigative reporter John Cook tweeted: "My mom tells me "you're no Nabokov" enough as it is. Now I have to hear it from Katie Roiphe?"

* Media writer Hamilton Nolan's tweet: "Hahahahahahahahahaha." (He wrote a post headlined "Shut Up, Katie Rophie" earlier this year. (I've asked Nick Denton for his reaction, and will post it if it comes in.)

> Roiphe has never used Twitter, although she says her daughter set up an account to give herself a follower

> Earlier: "We don't seek to do good" at Gawker Media, says Denton

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.

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