Stick With Gossip, Gawker, but Save the Moralizing

Salon's Steve Kornacki: Site tries too hard to justify scoops
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2011 2:52 PM CST
In this Jan. 5, 2011, file photo, Rep. Chris Lee, R-N.Y., places his hand on a Bible held by his wife, Michele, during a mock swearing-in ceremony on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
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(Newser) – When Gawker exposed the Craigslist wanderings of ex-Congressman Chris Lee, it justified the story as newsworthy because Lee's votes on DADT and abortion funding "suggests a certain comfort with publicly scrutinizing others' sex lives." Oh, please, writes Steve Kornacki at Salon, save the false piety. When Gawker runs a salacious story about a famous person's sex life—as it did with Christine O'Donnell and John Travolta—it tries too hard to claim a "moral high ground" for doing so.

"All of this rationalizing seems a bit silly," writes Kornacki. Gawker runs stories like these for one reason: to generate traffic. It should take a page from its sister site, Deadspin, which unapologetically dishes the dirt on sports figures without the attempt at moralizing. "Gawker might try being just as honest with itself," he writes. Click for the full essay.

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