n+1 on Gawker

Over at n+1, there is a thoughtful essay on the gossip site Gawker, that also captures something about the fate of privacy in a celebrity-mad world:

Taking the form but lacking the content of tabloid magazines and websites, [Gawker editor Jessica] Coen and a succession of guest and co-editors besieged essentially private people, who for the most part did not have the audience or influence of Gawker. Part of this must have been a misunderstanding. Coen had read and written about Nicole Richie, a celebutante who had become known for posing with her father Lionel outside Hollywood clubs. At Gawker, Coen and the other editors delivered the Richie treatment not only to Richie herself but also to Tim Russert’s son, who was a student at Boston College and kept a Facebook.com profile, on which he posted a photograph of himself in a hot tub surrounded by girls in bikinis. Gawker ran the photo and summarized Russert’s profile by saying that he “enjoys Golden Tee, Xbox, and someday hopes to share a plate of buffalo wings with a hot bitch.” Perhaps he deserved this; but it seemed incongruous and cruel, to thousands of adults in New York.

The essay has no permalink of its own and is instead temporaily available on the n+1 home page (from where it should eventually move to the archive).

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