Fired Gawker Editor Torches The Site On His Way Out

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Gawker’s fired national security editor William Arkin set fire to the news site’s “external shitstorm” and internal dysfunction on his way out the door in an email posted Monday to the archive site Cryptome.

Arkin, who launched the site’s Phase Zero vertical to cover national security in April 2015, wrote that he was told on Friday to take a buyout as the site relaunches in an attempt to become “20 percent nicer.”

Arkin’s parting email described Gawker as a “miserable place, so driven by its own feverish pursuit that it has no clue what kind of world it inhabits and thus helps build.”

The site came under fire by journalists and its own reporters earlier this month for an article about a media executive’s failed rendezvous with a male escort, who then apparently tried to blackmail the executive. The post was eventually removed and two top editors resigned.

“The external shitstorm, the resignations, and then the internal drama left the staff in the lurch and without leadership and without even a clear mission. And just let me say: Though almost every article I have read since has captured Gawker’s rapid meltdown, I haven’t really seen one that captures fully what happened and why,” Arkin wrote in the email.

Arkin also tweeted about his departure.

“I hate to be hyperbolic, but want to understand ISIS or the Tea Party or Occupy or Charleston or Dylan?” Arkin wrote in the email. “Look no further than Gawker and its ilk, which means look no further than twitter or your own so-called smartphone: We are making the world a miserable place. I’m glad I can withdraw and think about it.”

Read the full email on Cryptome.

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Notable Replies

  1. Well, this sounds like a gentleman who will have no trouble whatsoever finding new work. Who wouldn’t want an employee who turns on you publicly in a New York minute?

  2. Arkin is pretty much universally hated by Gawker readers (and most of Gawker employees). It seems like Gawker is cleaning house and Arkin is the logical first place to start out with. His psychotic rant shows that.

  3. Sorry, but this whole story seems like the mythical ouroboros snake, swallowing its own tail. Yes, there was some small reason to be interested in an outed corporate exec. But then the story is how Gawker pulled it, and then how Gawker staff reacted to that, and then how Gawker owners reacted to that, etc. By now, only 20 or so people in the world even care.

  4. Is it me or do journalists nowadays go out of their way to proclaim their own self-importance? Just do good work. Don’t get out a megaphone and shout to the world about how important your work is, how well you do it and how you’re unappreciated. The soapbox is crowded and their work product continues to diminish in value.

  5. Shame to see this total clusterfuck of an implosion like, what, a week after the staff voted to unionize? And I really can’t think of any other media brouhaha where it’s the staff, not management, that’s come out of it looking like ass, but here we are.

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