ACTUALLY, IT’S ABOUT ETHICS IN AIDING BLACKMAILERS: “If Gawker is given a choice between aiding someone intent on blackmailing a private figure and not getting clicks, then goddammit, Gawker is going to take the clicks every time!”

Publisher Nick Denton can dissemble after the fact all he wants, but as Salena Zito of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweeted, “You can’t take back the bullets Gawker.”


UPDATE: (From Glenn): A reader emails:

What Gawker just did in very publicly pulling the Geithner blackmail post is VINTAGE Gawker.

Step 1: Post irresponsible article, watch it accumulate 500K visits amid massive backlash that helps drive even more visits.

Step 2: Publish retraction note by Denton on his own “blog” (on Gawker’s content platform), which is itself pulling huge traffic now.

Step 3: Publish another retraction notice on itself (which links to Nick’s post) that will, again, pull massive traffic to Gawker as the retraction becomes its own news story that everyone links to, driving traffic to Gawker.

Step 4: Make sure none of this is really an apology and that you still manage to come across as insufferable, tone-deaf, traffic-mining douchebags above all else.

Mission accomplished! I note, though, that there’d be less outrage elsewhere in the media if the object of Gawker’s misbehavior were a Republican, instead of Tim Geithner’s brother who’s a bigshot at the heavyweight media outfit Conde Nast.