A New Low for Gawker Media

I’m not going to go into it in detail and I am certainly not going to provide a link, but some asshole named Jordan Sargent just ruined a private citizen’s life for nothing more than revenge and clicks. Basically, a married man (who is wealthy and connected) was attempting to arrange a tryst with a male escort in Chicago. The escort found out who the man was, and then attempted to blackmail the man to apply political pressure on a HUD appeal he was working on regarding his housing situation. The man said he couldn’t help him, backed out of the tryst, paid the escort anyway. The escort then went to Jordan Sargent at Gawker with copies of their text messages, and basically Sargent decided “HELL YEAH I WILL HELP YOU BLACKMAIL HIM.” So now a man has been outed for not acting unethically, his marriage might be ruined (who knows, she may know he is bi and is ok with him doing this when he is out of town), and his kids are going to have this crap thrown at them.

It’s the most disgusting thing I have ever seen on the internet and I read the Daily Caller and have read Chuck Johnson’s GOTNews.

I am now actively rooting for Hulk Hogan to win his lawsuit against Gawker and Nick Denton. Just despicable.






164 replies
  1. 1
    whiskeyjuvenile says:

    yup. I’ll miss deadspin

  2. 2
    Anya says:

    That article is reprehensible & crosses so many lines. Gawker basically aided in extortion. I just can’t believe what the editor who approved this was thinking.

  3. 3
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I saw the expressions of disgust on twitter but wasn’t going to go to Gawker to find out.

    Cole, has Sargent blocked you yet?

  4. 4
    sharl says:

    Damn that’s awful. 1100 comments over at that Gawker post in the (less than) three hours it’s been online, and a quick sampling of those comments indicates much anger directed at their assholish decision to post this.

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    This was so wrong. So wrong.

  6. 6
    Linnaeus says:

    Wow. That’s a really, really shitty thing for Gawker to do.

  7. 7
    satby says:

    Between this post and AL’s below, all I got is WTF is wrong with people?

  8. 8
    cokane says:

    damn that is prty fuct up

  9. 9
    NotMax says:

    It’s the most disgusting thing I have ever seen on the internet

    You must not browse the intertubes very much, then.

  10. 10
    Punchy says:

    @whiskeyjuvenile: whats wrong with Deadspin? Solid website.

  11. 11
    sharl says:

    Gawker is currently the top item on Twitter’s ‘trending’ list. And what an active and angry twitter stream it is too!

    Good job blackmailer facilitator doodz! Clicks are clicks, even if they’re hate clicks, amirite? Of course folks on twitter are listing your advertisers and probably planning other acts of vengeance, so I’m not sure how this is going to work out for you.

    It would take a major effort to make your traditional foes – the slimiest Redditors and MRAs-disguised-as-GamerGaters – feel all smug and superior, but you did it!

    ETA: Gawker editor Max Read, whose work I normally like and respect, is mounting a defense, but people who are his colleagues in the online media biz are mostly not buying it.

  12. 12
    Anya says:

    max read ‏@max_read 2h2 hours ago
    given the chance gawker will always report on married c-suite executives of major media companies fucking around on their wives

    The guy refused to abuse his power even at the risk of blackmail but Gawker outs him anyway. But let’s not kid ourselves, Gawker did this to stick it to a competition. It was about Conde Nast and everyone else who gets hurt be damned.

  13. 13
    anotherMIldred says:

    Anything that happens to a cheater is just too bad. Boo hoo, poor sad cheater got caught out in a public way. My heart is breaking/not.

    Totally classless way to do it, and not about the cheating, obvs., but really, you dabble in sleaze, it’s the Sta-Puft marshmallow for you.

    Cheaters always think the rules don’t apply to them. Too bad; so sad.

    Sorry for the wife and kids, but it’s better to know in the end, than stay stuck with a lying cheater. Cheaters lie; it’s what they do–are their lips moving? They’re lying.

    What a swamp.

  14. 14
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @anotherMIldred: I am sure your life is entirely blameless, right?

  15. 15
    Eric says:

    @whiskeyjuvenile: Jalopnik and Gizmodi are decent sites, too.

  16. 16
    John Cole says:

    @anotherMIldred: Fuck off and die, you horrible person.

  17. 17
    beltane says:

    @anotherMIldred: You must have had lots of partners cheating on you in the past.. I can totally understand why they did what they did.

  18. 18
    eric says:

    @anotherMIldred: It was not simply unfair to the man, but it was brutally unfair to his wife, too. No one is saying that she does not have the right to know, but that does not mean you print it. If you really cared about that, you could send her a lovely letter in the US Mail and get that point across nicely. No. This act humiliates her in ways that she did not deserve at all.

  19. 19
    divF says:

    @John Cole:

    @anotherMIldred: Fuck off and die, you horrible person

    For all of us, thank you Mr. Cole. Subtlety and explanations are wasted on such a person.

  20. 20

    @Anya:

    It was about Conde Nast and everyone else who gets hurt be damned.

    Don’t they own Reddit? Gawker has been after Reddit all week.

    This is fucked up, and I hope a few people get canned over this. That being said… I’ll probably still visit Gawker. I’m a bad person, I know.

  21. 21
    Ruckus says:

    @anotherMIldred:
    Do you know he was cheating? JC is right, this is wrong even if he was, but you don’t have the facts from him and his wife. Surly you never will either, but saying that he deserves this because he isn’t fulfilling your idea of a proper spouse is also wrong. Because you just don’t know. Now would most people have this in their relationship? My guess would be no fucking way, but that doesn’t excuse blaming those who do or might have. I’ve known more than one couple with an open relationship, where one of them was bi. But they were the exception, by a very wide margin.

  22. 22
    Wag says:

    @sharl:

    That Twitter feed is a thing of beauty.

    Do you think I would have been so solidly anti-Gawker before the Supremes overturned gay marriage bans? I am seeing a decided (and welcome) shift in tone to a more positive and respectful treatment of LGBT issues. Does anyone else see that?

  23. 23
    whiskeyjuvenile says:

    @Punchy: not going to exist any more after gawker loses the shirts off their back to incoming lawsuits

  24. 24

    @anotherMIldred:

    So blackmail and extortion are A-OK as long as you morally disapprove of the victim?

    You seem nice.

  25. 25
    TriassicSands says:

    It’s the most disgusting thing I have ever seen on the internet

    It’s plenty disgusting, but I assume that stuff this bad goes on all the time. Not millions of times a day, but enough that there is always someone, somewhere getting her or his life damaged by some cretin on the Internet.

    It’s really sad that such a wonderful creation can be used for such odious purposes.l

    There’s no denying it — some people are just scum.

  26. 26
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @anotherMIldred:

    Seriously? SRSLY????

  27. 27
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    You seem nice.

    Now that’s a bit of dry humor. Subtle, very subtle.

  28. 28
    Ruckus says:

    @TriassicSands:
    Some are the scum that lives under scum’s fingernails.

    OK I was going to add where they scratched to get that scum under their nails, but I won’t.

  29. 29

    Glenn Greenwald:

    I’m a fan of Gawker & several of its journalists, but that article is reprehensible beyond belief: it’s deranged to publish that.

    I guess it’s possible to agree with him every now and then

    ETA- looks like Gawker deleted the comments from the article. pretty lame

  30. 30
    Anya says:

    @SatanicPanic: Yeah. Condé Nast Publications acquired Redidt in 06. They never pass a chance to publish anything negative about them.

  31. 31
    cokane says:

    @anotherMIldred: You don’t even know if he was cheating. Shut the fuck up

  32. 32
    jibeaux says:

    @Anya: that’s, like, a written policy of theirs? That’s shitty as hell. It’s not “truth to power” just because one side is “power.”

  33. 33
    Ruckus says:

    @efgoldman:
    Agreed.
    Internets shipped.

  34. 34
    anotherMIldred says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Don’t be obtuse.

    I never have knowingly and deliberately destroyed the life of a person whom I promised to be kind (i.e., partner and other parent to my child.) That by the way, is what cheating does.

    When folks generally don’t get, is that cheating, most especially in a long-term marriage, is a form of domestic psychological abuse, consisting of long-term deliberate misdirections, betrayal, many planned direct denials, and gaslighting. Et cetera.

    I mean, if you were to go on and beat a wife with a baseball bat–far less damaging than cheating, btw–would you just say, “Oh, that’s private business?”. Not so much, anymore. Thanks to feminist awareness.

    Do I think what the escort did was dumb and sleazy–sure absolutely. Is what Gawker did seriously crappy journalism, and void of any perceptible value–yup, you bet.

    But I don’t feel one bit sorry for the asshole cheater. Nope, not one whit. He had a choice not to cheat–nobody has to…. If he hadn’t been a sleazy cheater, none of this would be in play.

  35. 35
    Anya says:

    @jibeaux: everyone is mocking him for the same reason. Sounds like he doesn’t understand what truth to power actually means.

  36. 36
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @anotherMIldred: Do you work for Gawker? Jordan Sargent’s sock puppet maybe? Just speculating. Either that or you are simply a horrible person.

  37. 37
    anotherMIldred says:

    @cokane:

    yes because all happy marriages include trolling the cheerful pages of online escorts. Uh-hun.

    No, you shut the fuck up! (No you…No you…ad infinitum.)

  38. 38
    cokane says:

    @anotherMIldred: dude, shut your goddamned mouth. you don’t even know if he was cheating. this is 2015, plenty of ppl have open marriages

  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: Truth is a defense to any defamation suit. OTOH, there could be some invasion of privacy issues.

  40. 40
    beltane says:

    @anotherMIldred:

    I mean, if you were to go on and beat a wife with a baseball bat–far less damaging than cheating

    If you think infidelity is worse than beating someone with a baseball bat, you really need to seek counseling.

  41. 41
    shortstop says:

    I for one am happy that New Yorkers are finally admitting Chicago escorts are up to par instead of dismissing our sex workers as heartland rubes.

    Kidding. Disgusting action on Gawker’s part, of course.

  42. 42
    beltane says:

    Can we get a new troll on here? I’ve only spent a few minutes with this one and I’m already feeling the need to cheat on it.

  43. 43
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @beltane: Ha!

  44. 44
    sharl says:

    {…Quietly writes note to self, to not get on beltane’s bad side…}

  45. 45
    Amir Khalid says:

    Could a third party report Jordan Sargent and/or Gawker to the police for abetting blackmail?

  46. 46
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @efgoldman: Cheating used to be a crime in some places, it’s not anymore.

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Amir Khalid: I would need a lot more facts than we have here to even hazard a guess on that.

  48. 48
    anotherMIldred says:

    So, actually, I was caught in a similar situation, hence my feelings (also, insight…) about it. No, I wasn’t the escort. I was the unknowing partner.

    Clearly, I don’t confine to your tidy groupthink either–been reading for a while and thought you were an open minded bunch.

    Oh well, time for you all to call me a troll, and tell me to fuck off and die and stuff, and I’m horrible, again.
    Blaming the victim feels soo good.

    Ban me or something.

  49. 49
    Cervantes says:

    @anotherMIldred:

    I mean, if you were to go on and beat a wife with a baseball bat–far less damaging than cheating, btw–would you just say, “Oh, that’s private business?”. Not so much, anymore. Thanks to feminist awareness.

    That “btw” is doing an awful lot of work.

    What if an adulterer were to beat his wife into a coma? By your reasoning, would that be an act of mercy?

  50. 50
    srv says:

    Jordan Sargant deserves some quality attention from 4chan.

    And then you will never hear from him again.

  51. 51
  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @anotherMIldred: Nah, I am still going with sock puppet.

  53. 53
    Nom de Plume says:

    Made all the worse by the fact that Gawker regularly lectures the rest of the internet on how scummy they are (Reddit, etc.). They can take their moral rectitude and shove it up their ass.

  54. 54
    Cervantes says:

    @anotherMIldred:

    I figured that was your experience. Sorry you had to go through it and now have to live with it.

    Ignore accusations of “trolling,” if any.

  55. 55
    Mike J says:

    @Nom de Plume: But Reddit actually is that scummy. The largest white supremacist community on the internet.

  56. 56
    beltane says:

    @efgoldman: When the Lewinsky scandal broke, Wolf Blitzer breathlessly asserted that adultery was a felony in the state of Maryland. Maybe it still is. That said, if my husband was unfaithful it may or may not end our marriage. If he beat me with a baseball bat, the marriage would definitely be over and I would press criminal charges.

  57. 57
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: An unfamiliar commenter showing up and taking such a strong line on a story like this makes me think sock puppet. Maybe I am too cynical, but I doubt it.

  58. 58
    KG says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: invasion of privacy, unjust enrichment, depending on gawker’s actions possibly a civil counterpart to extortion, hell give any good lawyer a day or two with the facts and they’ll have 12 causes of action

  59. 59
    beltane says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The claim that physical abuse is preferable to infidelity is the feminist position to take is a sign that we are not dealing with an actual feminist.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @KG: Yeah, I just don’t have enough facts yet to run with anything.

  61. 61
    Cervantes says:

    @beltane:

    In Maryland — why Maryland? — adultery is a misdemeanor, not a felony.

    Whatever Blitzer says, it’s usually safe to conclude something else is true.

  62. 62
    beltane says:

    The wingnut faction on Twitter seems unable to distinguish between private citizens and public figures. I wonder if this fellow also has granite countertops.

  63. 63
    NotMax says:

    Granted it’s a cheap fish (the kind Mrs. Paul puts makes fish sticks of), but found these new patties at Costco and they are darned tasty. Nicely spiced, unbreaded, thick enough to make a satisfying sandwich and have a goodly amount of green onion.

    Caloric data (low!).

  64. 64
    Aqualad08 says:

    @anotherMIldred:

    So, actually, I was caught in a similar situation, hence my feelings (also, insight…) about it. No, I wasn’t the escort. I was the unknowing partner.

    So your “insight” leads you to believe that the party that “cheats” is always 100% in the wrong? People just don’t wake up and cheat; there are hundreds of reasons that don’t qualify them as monsters. I’ve been cheated on, and yeah, it hurt like fuck. But I wasn’t blameless in the matter, I learned from the experience, and I’m happier now than I could ever have been.

    This is shitty malicious muckraking that even the NY Post wouldn’t touch… you’re entitled to your opinion based on your hurt fee-fee’s, but seriously, you’re an asshole…

  65. 65
    Cervantes says:

    @beltane:

    The claim that physical abuse is preferable to infidelity is the feminist position to take

    Was this claim asserted?

  66. 66
    srv says:

    It’s only funny when it happens to Republicans.

  67. 67
    Suzanne says:

    @anotherMIldred: Beating someone with a baseball bat—which can kill you—is worse than cheating? Fo’ realz? Cheating sucks, but it certainly isn’t worse than being physically assaulted to the point that one could lose their life or have lifelong traumatic brain injury or broken bones.

    I have a feeling you’re bitter.

    Sherlock Holmes am I.

  68. 68
  69. 69

    @beltane: then again maybe Freddie deBoer decided to reappear and then all bets are off on what a real feminist is

  70. 70
    beltane says:

    @Cervantes: Blitzer was obviously hoping that Clinton’s encounters with Lewinsky occurred in Maryland and were felony offenses. That way, Clinton could be impeached, removed from office, and sent to state prison. Just imagine how happy this scenario would have made the Villagers if it ever came to pass.

  71. 71
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    Obviously not gonna win any typing awards today.

    Bad linky in #74.

    Here’s the correct link to the picture.

  72. 72
    beltane says:

    @Cervantes: Yes, look at the block quote in one of my previous comments. Very offensive to any woman who has ever had a hand raised against her.

  73. 73
    Steeplejack says:

    @beltane:

    Unless you pay me $10,000, I am going to tell A Guy and BiP that you are cheating on them.

    ETA: Bitcoin accepted preferred.

  74. 74
    KG says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: just read the story. Just from what was published there is definitely enough to cause gawker’s attorneys to suggest a very large settlement and apology ASAP

  75. 75
    beltane says:

    @Steeplejack: I will confess, TACO and I did have a certain chemistry. Take it to the bank.

  76. 76
    Cervantes says:

    @beltane:

    Pointless expecting better from Blitzer, I know, but even an intern at CNN should have known that felony is neither necessary nor sufficient to justify impeachment of the President. The notion in the Constitution of “high crimes and misdemeanors” is a little more complicated than that.

  77. 77
    Steeplejack says:

    @NotMax:

    Epic link fail (first one). You fix.

    ETFA: The cleanup is almost as bad as the original problem. But you did get a valid link in there eventually.

  78. 78
    mclaren says:

    Welcome to that idiot David Brin’s The Transparent Society. This is going to cause so much havoc with so many peoples’ lives, the English language does not contain words adequate to describe the chaos and frenzy and mass lunacy.

    At some point, laws will have to be passed to ban the endless expansion of data collection. Just stop it. Period.

    Nobody is a completely nice person if you know all their most intimate secrets. Society was not meant to function that way. People can’t function that way. Knowing every little ugly picayune bit of minutia about everyone is an unworkable way to run a culture. At some point, we just need to stop, and say “There are things I don’t need or want to know about my [fill in the blank: coworkers, friends, girlfriend/boyfriend, wife/husband, relatives].”

  79. 79
    beltane says:

    @Cervantes: But Blitzer was so excited. You’d have to be a real meanie to take away his dream like that.

    1999 was about the time I gave up on cable news altogether.

  80. 80
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: Yes, “high crimes and misdemeanors” is a legal term of art. There is a metric shit ton of scholarship on the topic. Villagers ignored all of it.

  81. 81
    Suzanne says:

    @mclaren: Shit, I’m not a nice person at all, even if you don’t know my secrets.

  82. 82
    Mandalay says:

    @anotherMIldred:

    been reading for a while and thought you were an open minded bunch

    DougJ?…

  83. 83
    Cervantes says:

    @beltane:

    Yes, look at the block quote in one of my previous comments.

    Looked but did not see. Hence the question.

    Anyhow, don’t sweat it. I must retire now in any event.

    Very offensive to any woman who has ever had a hand raised against her.

    Needless to say.

  84. 84
    anotherMIldred says:

    @beltane:

    Been on the recieving end of both.

    Cheating is worse.

    Worked in a battered womens’ shelter (woo woo feminist cred.)

    Cheating is worse.

    Know why? It fucks with your mind, and destroys your sense of trust. (Kind of germain to the point of all the hubble bubble.) The cruelty is inside your head, from a person who swears to love you, with the outside. It’s a mindfuck.

    And, ps. this has nothing to do with open marriages, and yes, the guy in question may have one. D’oh.

    No, I’m not a sock puppet…I’ve even commented here before, yet not controversially enough to catch your lordly eyes.

    As a lefty, all I can say is, Yeesh what a bunch of self-regarding, preening lefties. Does it ever end? The place of women in the revolution is prone (and agreeing with all my ideas.).

  85. 85
    NotMax says:

    @Steeplejack

    Yeah, some days the fingers have little tiny insidious minds of their own. :)

  86. 86
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @anotherMIldred: Okay, you have commented before. Multiple times. I retract the sock puppet accusation. I stay with the rest.

  87. 87
    Mandalay says:

    There may be a silver lining to this cloud:
    #1 Conde Nast back Geithner, he keeps his job, and his wife stands by him.
    #2 Jordan Sergeant is fired by Gawker.
    #3 The identity of the blackmailer is revealed.

    I’m not too optimistic on #1 and #2, but #3 seems very likely.

  88. 88
    Nom de Plume says:

    @Mandalay:

    #3 The identity of the blackmailer is revealed.

    Already happened, in the Gawker comments. C’mon, he’s a gay porn star and he posted a picture of his dick. It was literally a matter of seconds before a match was made.

  89. 89
    Full metal Wingnut says:

    O@anotherMIldred: I’ve worked with domestic violence survivors. I still do pro bono legal work. The fact that you think cheating is worse shows that you: are lying about working at a battered womens’ shelter and are clueless, or just a morally reprehensible person. Good grief.

  90. 90
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Full metal Wingnut: Honestly, my original suspicion of sock puppet would have been better.

  91. 91
    Full metal Wingnut says:

    @anotherMIldred: BJ is pretty mainstream Democratic. Nothing wrong with that, just is. If you think Cole is a leftist you’re dumber than dogshit.

  92. 92

    @anotherMIldred:

    So cheating messes with your head and makes it difficult to trust people, but being beaten with a baseball bat is the kind of pain you forget?

    Yes, most battered women easily leap into new, non-abusive relationships, because being physically abused doesn’t mess with your head at all. It’s a well-known fact, amirite?

  93. 93
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Which is reason #482,238 for my nym.

  94. 94
    cokane says:

    @anotherMIldred: ok ha, you’re a good sport, i take back some of my rage at you. But yeah, the caught dude is obviously at least bisexual, so you have to admit the possibility of some arrangement. So many ppl are loose w/ relationships nowadays

  95. 95
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Give me the radios. I can still call for fire.

  96. 96
    mclaren says:

    @beltane:

    The wingnut faction on Twitter seems unable to distinguish between private citizens and public figures.

    Well, see, this is the big problem I have with that fool David Brin’s enthusiastic boosterism for what he calls “sousveilance” — everybody watching everybody and revealing everyone’s ickiest secrets with data-mining + bot-farming (*cough* for $995 you can buy brain-dead software that will let you automate the most privacy-invasive web spiders you can imagine *cough*) + free downloadable martphone rooters + bittorrentable wifi hacking CD ISOs. This kind of insane data-available-to-everyone society turns everyone into a public figure.

    The 1963 TV show had a great episode that deals with this kind of crazy total data-available-on-everyone-everywhere-all-the-time society: the episode was called O.B.I.T.

    The evil alien in that episode has a great monologue at the end that every stupid technology guru and halfwit national security guru ought to listen to:

    The machines are EVERYWHERE! Oh you’ll find them all, you’re a zealous people. And you’ll make a great show of smashing a few of them, but for every one you destroy hundreds of others will be built. And they will demoralize you, break your spirits, create such rifts and tensions in your society that no one will be able to repair them! Oh, you’re a savage, despairing planet; and when we come here to live, you friendless, demoralized flotsam will fall without even a single shot being fired. Senator, enjoy the few years left you. There is no answer. You’re all of the same dark persuasion! You demand – *insist* on knowing every private thought and hunger of everyone: your families, your neighbors, everyone – but yourselves.

  97. 97

    seriously guys, anotherMildred’s gotta be Freddie. He’s mansplainy, he’s verbose, he’s a “lefty”. It’s got to be him.

  98. 98
    mtiffany says:

    Holy FSM, why does that guy need to hire out? He could find an NSA hookup for free on any number of apps.

  99. 99
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mtiffany: NSA in this context? A little help please.

  100. 100
    Calliope Jane says:

    Ugh. When even Perez Hilton thinks you’ve gone too far. Jeez, Gawker.

  101. 101
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SatanicPanic: I’d hate to have to retract my retraction.

  102. 102
    Suzanne says:

    @SatanicPanic: Freddie? AKA BONERZ?!

    Just typing BONERZ makes me smile. What a glorious ass-kicking that was.

  103. 103
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suzanne: You made me giggle.

  104. 104

    @Omnes Omnibus: is it irresponsible to speculate?

    @Suzanne: I can’t believe he used to be a frontpager here

  105. 105
    Suzanne says:

    @Nom de Plume: Ryan Rose.

  106. 106
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SatanicPanic: Not all of Cole’s experiments yielded positive results.

    @Suzanne: One won’t ask.

  107. 107
    mclaren says:

    Let’s take some concrete brutally specific examples of why collecting data on everyone is crazy and has to stop:

    Abraham Lincoln probably had syphilis, he probably got it from a hooker, and he probably gave it to his wife and she probably died of syphilitic dementia.

    His most troublesome problem was women. The young man who had lost his mother at the age of 9 always felt awkward around them — except for older women. He loved Ann Rutledge, she died and he fell apart. Friends and, in time, work helped Lincoln back from a perhaps suicidal mental breakdown. The depth of his grief suggests to Wilson that Ann’s death challenged the core of his being. His central goal in life, his wish to rise, ”to shape and even to control events,” now seemed ”nothing but foolish vanity.”

    Ambivalence characterized his later courtships and various marriage proposals. A possible reason for this, at least for a period of time, may have been a fear of syphilis — not an unknown disease in his world. Wilson does not credit stories of Lincoln’s possible love children but notes two episodes with prostitutes. If once or twice, why not more often? His longtime law partner, William H. Herndon, thought that ”Lincoln had a strong if not a terrible passion for women: he could hardly keep his hands off.” Nor would he get married until he was 33.

    Source: “Not-So-Honest Abe: Lincoln’s road to success was a lot swampier than legend would have it,” The New York Review of Books, 1998.

    Lincoln was a railroad lawyer who helped cheat victims out of their land by arguing in favor of railroads’ eminent domain seizures of farmers’ property at far below market value.

    Would Lincoln have been elected president if he’d lived in today’s information-swamp society?

    Honestly…what actual benefit would smartphone-sharing pics of Lincoln’s hookers or ogling online at PDFs of the medical reports on his wife’s syphilis provide for anyone?

    This kind of information sharing is simply toxic. There’s a level of privacy everyone is entitled to. At some point the data collection has to end. If private technology companies won’t stop it, then laws should be passed to ban it.

  108. 108
    Suzanne says:

    @SatanicPanic: I think it was a good idea to have a front pager who is into social justice issues. But not that fucker. He committed the unforgivable sin of Not Being Funny. And also Taking Oneself Too Seriously.

  109. 109
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: With whom are you arguing?

  110. 110

    @mclaren: thanks a lot, you just made me retroactively bummed on Lincoln. Doctor, heal thyself!

  111. 111
    Mandalay says:

    @mclaren:

    There’s a level of privacy everyone is entitled to.

    How about the womanizing of JFK, Clinton et al? Assuming no crime has been committed, do you want the infidelity of our presidents to remain private (as it mostly was for Kennedy while he was alive)?

  112. 112
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: Why is it any of your business?

  113. 113
    ruemara says:

    @anotherMIldred: Sorry you went through it as a spouse. It still doesn’t make your statements any less horrible.

  114. 114
    hamletta says:

    The comments are still up on the Gawker post, you just have to click a link to start them loading. They’re up over 1600 now. When I looked earlier, they were nearly unanimously opposed to the post. Longtime regulars are disgusted.

    The Twitter storm seems to be mostly GamerGaters and gun nuts piling on at this point.

  115. 115
    mtiffany says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Sorry, NSA == No Strings Attached

    IN further reading of the ‘story,’ Sargent drops this little shit-nugget:

    Later, Ryan tells me, Geithner promised him that if he could get Gawker to kill the story, Geithner would bring his HUD complaint to President Obama.

    At this point, it is my sincere wish that Geithner (the victim of Gawker’s hit job) sues the everloving motherfucking shit out of Gawker AND Jordan Sargent. Absent evidence that it is true, that statement is libelous on its face.

  116. 116
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mtiffany: Thanks. It is a language with which I was unfamiliar.

  117. 117
    Howard Beale IV says:

    The Rage Furby has hijacked a Twitter account (@RonReaganLives) and is trying to out-Gawker Gawker.

    I shit you not.

    And the holy hypocrisy of the Rage Furby is breathless:

    No, I Don’t Believe in Extorting Gay People like Gawker

    Even I think what Gawker did today is fucked up. Why out someone just because who their sibling is? And working with male prostitutes to do that? Wow. Just wow.

    That’s why I’m offering $500 for the name of the escort who extorted David Geithner, the CFO of Conde Nast. If you want to donate to increase that amount, go ahead up top.

    Here’s where to report that @RonReganLives is a @ChuckCJohnson sockuppet account and abusing Twitter’s TOS.

    Seriously-everyone here NEEDS to go here and report to shut down the Rage Furby from abusing Twitter for the 8th time.

  118. 118
    mclaren says:

    @Mandalay:

    That’s a serious question. I think if we had today’s information society, JFK would never have been elected. Would the world have been better off if Barry Goldwater had handled the Cuban Missile Crisis?

    (Shudder.)

    So yeah, it seems to me that JFK’s womanizing should have remained his business, as loathsome as it was. But there are no good answers here.

    Eisenhower had an affair with his English driver during his stint overseeing SHAEF in Europe. FDR was wheelchair-bound but the public didn’t realize it because the press refrained from photographing him in his wheelchair. FDR probably couldn’t have been elected if the public had realized he was crippled by polio.

    Examples of this stuff abound.

  119. 119
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: Again, why the fuck do you care?

  120. 120
    mclaren says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    With the Silicon Valley libertarian brigade of the Democratic party who insist that technology will make us free.

    Yeah, free of conscience, apparently. The bogus technodetrerminist argument that we can’t do anything about atrocities like Gawker and should just learn to like it cuts no ice with me. There is such a thing as “too much information” and the technophile libertarian contingent don’t seem to realize that. This is a significant bloc of the Democratic party, thanks to their funding clout, incidentally.

  121. 121
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: Was any of that argued here in this thread?

  122. 122

    @mtiffany:

    Basically, Gawker aided and abetted an attempt at extortion, which is a crime.

  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): Possibly.

  124. 124
    mclaren says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet):

    This is equivalent to the claim that the Ruger firearms company aided and abetted the commission of a robbery by manufacturing the gun that a stickup man used.

    Try again, kiddo.

  125. 125
    mclaren says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Was any of that argued here in this thread?

    It’s something that should be argued. Just sitting back and sucking our thumbs and mumbling “This is the way things are, it’s the technology, we can’t do anything” is learned helplessness. Something all too many Democrats love to degenerate into.

  126. 126
    mtiffany says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): And I hope Geithner does sue them. They deserve to get sued, and Sargent deserves to get sued. And why did they need to do this? A married guy wanted to get his rocks off with another man? So! Fucking! What!? Some married guys happen to be bisexual. They’re not emotionally attracted to other men, which is why they have wives and families, but they are sexually attracted to other men, and seriously, if they are open about it with their wives and have an understanding, how is that Gawker’s fucking business?
    For FSM’s sake, when you’re at a wedding the easiest way to tell the difference between a first and second marriage is by paying attention to whether or not “forsaking all others” is part of the fucking vows. To paraphrase the redoubtable Dan Savage: monogamy is fucking hard, and it’s our unrealistic expectations that it’s the default factory setting for human beings is what gets us into trouble.

  127. 127
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: So, your answer is no. Got it. #Fact Based.

  128. 128
    Mandalay says:

    @mclaren:

    But there are no good answers here.

    Pretty much my view as well, and your point about President Goldwater is a good one. It seems reasonable that if any laws are broken as a result of the infidelity (e.g. Petraeus), or the infidelity presents a security risk (e.g. Profumo), then everything must be revealed. But after that it’s hard to make any generalizations on what should happen.

    But it’s all moot – the Villagers don’t give a flying fuck about what should happen anyway. Even when there’s no shit to throw at the fan they’ll still throw some groundless speculation instead. And real life infidelity will always get the spotlight now.

  129. 129
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mtiffany: I will disagree with something you said. Monogamy, for me, is easy. If I am in love, I don’t look around. No matter how slutty I may be at other times.

  130. 130
    mtiffany says:

    @mclaren:Try again, kiddo.
    Sorry, you try again. What Gawker did was accuse this guy of a crime

    “if he could get Gawker to kill the story, Geithner would bring his HUD complaint to President Obama.”

    and if Gawker can’t prove he actually did it commit the crime (trading in influence/influence peddling — a form of corruption of or by a public offical), then yeah, false accusations that someone committed a crime are on their face libel.

  131. 131
    mtiffany says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Monogamy, for me, is easy.

    For you. Monogamy is easy for you. There are seven billion other people living on this rock, and that monogamy is easy for you does not mean that you get to impose your standard of conduct upon others for whom monogamy is NOT easy. (Not that I’m accusing you of doing that.)

  132. 132
    mclaren says:

    @mtiffany:

    No, you try again.

    Libel is a civil tort, not a crime. Learn the difference.

  133. 133
    mtiffany says:

    @mclaren: Reading comprehension check: Sargent in his Gawker article is accusing Geithner of committing a crime: trading in influence. The accusation of criminal activity is libelous if it is false.

  134. 134
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mtiffany: You said it was hard. I offered an a example to the contrary. It is an anecdote anyway.

  135. 135
    mclaren says:

    @mtiffany:

    Get back to us when you pass your IQ test and your Test Of English as a Foreign Language.

    Mnemosyne falsely claimed:

    Basically, Gawker aided and abetted an attempt at extortion, which is a crime.

    No, it’s not a crime, it’s a civil tort at the very most. Case closed. End of discussion.

  136. 136
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: You should step the fuck back from legal interpretation. You are not good at it.

  137. 137
    mtiffany says:

    @mclaren: Then address that to Mnemosyne. You’re refuting Mnemosyne’s arguements, not mine. Way to move the goalpost, bitch. And feel free to beat yourself about the head with that stick after you pull it out of your ass, twatwaffle.

    But hey, while I’m here… Mnemosyne actually raises a good point — falsely accusing someone of a criminal act which exposes that person to criminal prosecution actually is a crime in — let me check — EVERY FUCKING JURISDICTION IN THE FUCKING COUNTRY

  138. 138
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: In which state are you licensed as a lawyer?

  139. 139
    Ruckus says:

    @mtiffany:
    Monogamy isn’t that difficult. It requires that you have a modicum of respect for others and self control. Not a shit ton, just a modicum. Also helps if you understand that you don’t have to do everything your hormones desire. It is one of the supposed traits of a higher form of life. I do understand though that not all humans qualify in that regard.

  140. 140
    mtiffany says:

    @Ruckus: Well, thanks for that, Uncle Ruckus, No Relation. But again, while I admire the self-control, and self-respect, and not being a slave to one’s hormones kind of restraint some people may possess, and blessed art they for tolerating everyone who isn’t them, for they art magnanimous in their restraint, it’s not their place to decide for anyone else how to live their life.

  141. 141
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: @mtiffany: I don’t think you kids are actually fighting.

  142. 142
    mtiffany says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Fuck that noise, I fight with every one.

  143. 143
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mtiffany: Well, shit. Fuck. Okay then.

  144. 144
    mtiffany says:

    Gawker and rentboy criminally conspire to extort former Obama administration relative? I know that’s a question, but is it 140 characters or less? Because asking questions isn’t libel, it’s just a way to get at the truth.

  145. 145
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mtiffany: I was told there would be no math.

  146. 146
    mtiffany says:

    Jordan Sargent criminally conspires with rentboy to extort former Obama administration relative? Again, I’m not making any claims that Sargent broke the law, I’m just asking a question.

  147. 147
    Jordan Rules says:

    Cheating is worse than beating?!?! What in the holy flying fuck?? That’s one sick fuck.

  148. 148
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I wasn’t.

  149. 149
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: I know.

  150. 150
    Tiny Tim says:

    Significant proportion of married couples (or longterm partner equivalents) I know have open relationships to some degree, or I suspect they do. The effect of this behavior on a marriage is only something the couple can know. The effect of publishing it, however…

  151. 151
    J R in WV says:

    @mclaren:

    Manufacturing a tool later used as a weapon criminally is not the same thing as publishing libelous bullshit, or invading privacy, both of which are actions, as opposed to building a tool someone else acted with.

  152. 152
    kc says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Christ, what an asshole.

  153. 153
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  155. 155
    NobodySpecial says:

    @mtiffany: If monogamy’s not easy for you (the royal you), then why would you enter an institution that not only expects it, but can also penalize you legally for not doing it?

    Bitching about monogamy in marriage and getting caught cheating is like bitching about cops catching you when you do 80 in a 45. All the best fucking wounds are evidently self inflicted.

    (Side note: I’m not siding with mclaren here. She’s batshit crazy too. But your argument is worthless.)

  156. 156
    someofparts says:

    Just deleted Gawker from my bookmarks.
    People can be so dreadful.
    Thank goddess for the sweet consolation of dogs.

  157. 157
    doug says:

    @efgoldman: Well, the author of the “James Franco = Rapist” piece recently tweeted the story was made up out of whole cloth and his editor basically forced him to put it out. I think they’re done.

    Hulk has a solid case, and I think advertisers are going to regard them as toxic, justifiably so.

  158. 158
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @SiubhanDuinne: Coming late to this, but this was the big argument against “outing” back in the 80s. Lots of people got their private lives made suddenly, drastically public, with varying levels of both positive and negative consequences. The logic for outing was that the more visible LGBT people became, the less unacceptable LGBT folk would become – but that meant that anyone downlow was at risk, and the negative consequences often outweighed the positive ones. There was a lot of bad blood between the activists and well-placed LGBT persons who didn’t appreciate the front-page coverage. The worthwhile distinction hits when closeted public figure promotes anti-LGBT policies or programmes (hello, Ted Haggard and Dennis Hastert) while indulging in private. There are plenty of people who can justifiably be publicly shamed in this way. This poor idjit – at least from the available discussions – isn’t one of them.

    AnotherM______ (blanked out of respect for efg’s esteemed relation) may have problems with fidelity, and not entirely without reason; but scarlet letters went out of vogue a couple centuries ago. Shaming someone to this degree just for stepping out on a spouse is so very 1690s. And shaming because unfaithful spouse won’t bend another rule to “help” a hustler with a clearly personal matter crosses over from “outing” to plain old “blackmail”.

  159. 159
  160. 160
    Lee says:

    Yeah, the Gawker “explanation” is abhorrent as well. I always had the impression that Gawker was crappy click-bait, but when you post shit that potentially ruins someone’s life for no real reason, and the best you can say for yourself is it wasn’t “interesting” enough, you can go fuck yourself. There appears to be a number of these stories coming out of Gawker, including some which accuse people of rape based on no evidence. Some of this appears to be motivated by a simple pettiness to embarrass a competitor, which apparently also explains a lot of their anti-reddit hate. They look like a left wing version of Fox News.

    Also, the post directly above this one is an approving post about Gawker, so gg.

  161. 161
    Elizabelle says:

    This was just disgusting. I don’t read Gawker, but they crossed a line, and deserve to be sued out of existence.

    Surprised there weren’t more people on staff to yell “stop — where’s the news value in this?”

    But I guess that’s their business model.

  162. 162
    Lee says:

    I assume this will be the first and last time that I link to Breitbart.com, but this is a nice summary of all the crap that Gawker peddles: http://www.breitbart.com/big-j.....ker-media/

    And also for kicks, one of those assholes was on NOW today, smirking at how disgusting Donald Trump is. Someone should buy that shitbag a mirror.

  163. 163
    sharl says:

    Last night I saw Adam Weinstein tweet out his objection to the now-retracted Gawker post; he got creamed on twitter anyway, by virtue of his association with Gawker.

    Today he posted that he had been fired last month, in a rather quiet way which he says is characteristic of how Gawker does things.

    He spoke highly of the writing staff at Gawker, but said their really weak point is at the editor level – lack of control and leadership from editors, in large part due to lack of support and incentives for editors to do a good, dedicated job. I think I’ve summarized that accurately, but go check out that second link to get it straight from the former Gawker writer.

    I hope Weinstein lands on his feet somewhere; he’s a good writer, IMO. In the meantime, my opinion of that operation sinks even lower…

  164. 164
    DisrespectfulNodder says:

    Please support Operation Baby Seal and voice your displeasure with Gawker’s affiliates and sponsors. More information here: https://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/3dmtfd/operationbabyseal_bgotd_message_all_of_gawkers/

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