Gawker founder Nick Denton, took to his personal blog on Monday to pen a personal essay laying out his thoughts on the recent spate of sexual harassment allegations swirling around the political and media firmament over the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and photographer Terry Richardson.
The message delivered: We told you so.
“The stories have been circulating on the industry grapevine, and on blogs and social media, and among women especially, for years,” wrote Denton. “The headlines are shocking – unless you read Gawker before it was shut down, in which case this may feel like a throwback.”
Denton then went on to list — and link to — Gawker Media posts describing transgressions of James Toback, Terry Richardson, Kevin Spacey, Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein and others.
“Those first accounts of sexual harassment – even if anonymous or thinly sourced – give confidence to victims that they are not alone,” he wrote. “Gossip, though it draws those motivated by envy and resentment, is also a tool of the powerless. It’s a mechanism for coordination.”
He also chided mainstream media outlets for being so slow to follow the lead of sites like Gawker.
“They say that news is the first draft of history; well, as we used to say at Gawker, gossip is the first draft of news,” he wrote. “The official channels have long failed those with allegations of harassment; the unofficial channels, largely internet word-of-mouth, have finally prodded news organizations and employers into action.”
Denton, now living in Europe and no longer actively participating in the media business, told TheWrap that he is done with the media industry and praised BuzzFeed for partially filling the void left by Gawker’s demise.
“Of the digital news organizations, Buzzfeed does consistently excellent work,” he told TheWrap. “And they hoist up the pirate flag on occasion — in publishing the piss memo, for instance.