Just to note: No, I did not forget that Sloane Crosley’s best friend is Elizabeth Spiers, the founding editor of, and first writer for, Gawker. Spiers, I believe, had departed Gawker for bigger and better things long before Emily Gould settled in; nevertheless, it was indeed Spiers (upon the call of founder Nick Denton) who ignited the much followed–and much maligned–inferno of “spiteful” New York socialite gossip blogging/reporting. Spiers, as it turned out, was merely a slice of a paper’s edge as compared to the daggers which were to come. She was honest about her intentions and future goals, and even came to recognize and alter her growing cruelty.
To bash those who have worked, still work and will work for Gawker as charlatan “bright-eyed careerists” is a ridiculously self-righteous and hypocritical assertion. Who out there is not a careerist? Who, especially in New York City, the Mecca of careerism and social and economic hierarchy, is not constantly looking to “move up,” to build upon their portfolio of wealth and acclaim? I know I am. Sure, there are always exceptions to our self-centeredness, but the bigger picture remains forever totemic. It would be rather naive for one to believe that writing and editing at Gawker is the golden ticket. Surely it is an obvious stepping stone for those, like Spiers, truly striving for work at Vanity Fair, Vogue, and the like.
This is, I should note, absolutely nothing against Gawker, of which, as I have stated, I am a fan and supporter. But it is what it is. Nick Denton has built Gawker Media into a relative giant in its own right, but people have to live, and in New York City, people have to live somewhat lavishly. This is not likely to be achieved at Gawker. It will only bring, as has been unfortunately evidenced, massive and unnecessary contempt.
One last bit here on Gould. I listened recently to her interview with Madeleine Brand on NPR. I respect Ms. Brand, but this interview, again, to me glimmered with a glow of animosity towards Gould. At one point, Gould, very timidly, half-jokingly, half-curiously, asked, “Do you think I’m a narcissist?” To this, Brand responds, after an awkward chuckle, “Well, you do have a picture of yourself on the magazine.” Gould, then, surprised, sarcastically retorts, “Of course I specifically asked them to put a picture of me…”
This line by Gould is, I think, pretty conclusive. It would indeed be narcissistic if Gould framed the cover of the magazine and stared at it for four hours everyday, or if it was Gould’s Magazine and she put a picture of herself on the cover of her own magazine. Neither of these was the case. Now, I don’t know if the Times asked for her to write the piece or if she wrote it and shopped it (likely the latter), nevertheless, it could not have been her who asked to be placed on the cover. So everyone who has ever been on the cover of a magazine is narcissistic? Come on, Madeleine, you’re wiser than that.
And then, again, Emily is cutoff without warn after her remarks. This time, however, was tame compared to the lashing she took at the hands of Jimmy Kimmel. For the Kimmel interview, as you can probably tell, Gould was deliberately and maliciously setup to be made an example of. And she took the bait, probably out of naivety. Regardless, Gould has become the unfortunate and unwarranted scapegoat for many people’s resentment and disgust towards a game in which she played merely a supporting role, if even that.