After getting a lot of heat, Gawker takes down a controversial post that embarrassed a rival's CFO


Gawker Nick Denton at Ignition

Business Insider

Gawker CEO Nick Denton.

On Friday, Gawker Media, an online news site that often treads the line between news and gossip, did something it says is unprecedented: It took down a contentious post.


On Thursday night, Gawker writer Jordan Sargent published an exposé about David Geithner, the CFO of media giant Condé Nast's and brother of former Treasury secretary Tim Geithner.

It used an pseudonymous single source to indicate the married media executive was trying to hire a gay escort.

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After the article was published, the company was inundated with dissenting voices. Tweets from former Gawker employees and articles from journalism organizations lambasted the post.

Earlier on Friday afternoon, one of Gawker's former writers, Adam Weinstein, took to his personal blog to criticize the post as well as the organization.


"On the whole, this current Gawker is not an incarnation I can endorse and defend vigorously. It's not a Gawker I've been comfortable contributing to for awhile," Weinstein wrote.

And now Gawker CEO Nick Denton has announced that the site is taking down the post.

"The point of this story was not in my view sufficient to offset the embarrassment to the subject and his family. Accordingly, I have had the post taken down. It is the first time we have removed a significant news story for any reason other than factual error or legal settlement," Denton wrote.

The decision to take down Gawker's story was decided by the heads of the company, Nick Denton, Andrew Gorenstein, Scott Kidder, Erin Pettigrew, Tommy Craggs, and Heather Dietrick.

According to Gawker's executive editor of investigations, John Cook, the vote was either 5-1 or 4-2 in favor of removing the article.


But not all Gawker employees are thrilled with the decision.

Cook tweeted that the article should not have been taken down. And when Gawker first started to get heat for the article, its editor in chief, Max Read, tweeted, "Given the chance gawker will always report on married c-suite executives of major media companies f------ around on their wives."

Gawker is embroiled in a high-profile lawsuit over a separate post it wrote about Hulk Hogan and a sex tape.

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