Two of Gawker's top editors have resigned following a massive media storm that resulted in the outing of a Condé Nast executive and the subsequent removal of a story that received widespread condemnation.
Tommy Craggs, executive editor of the site, and Max Read, editor-in-chief, sent letters to the staff of Gawker.com on Monday expressing their displeasure with a decision made by founder Nick Denton and Gawker's managing partnership to remove the post.
"That this post was deleted at all is an absolute surrender of Gawker’s claim to 'radical transparency'; that non-editorial business executives were given a vote in the decision to remove it is an unacceptable and unprecedented breach of the editorial firewall, and turns Gawker’s claim to be the world’s largest independent media company into, essentially, a joke," Read wrote in his note to the managing partnership of the group, who voted 4-2 to remove the post.
"All I got at the end of the day was a workshopped email from Denton, asking me to stay on and help him unfuck the very thing he’d colluded with the partners to fuck up," Craggs wrote in his email, which you can read in full here.
On Thursday, Gawker published alleged exchanges between a sex worker, who was not named, and a Condé Nast executive. The escort purportedly tried to extort the executive to help him deal with an ongoing housing dispute.
The story received near-universal criticism. The Huffington Post's Gabriel Arana called the story's publication "gay-shaming, not journalism." A Washington Post headline about the piece read, in part, "Gawker is keeping its sleaze game in shape," and Think Progress noted publishing the piece had been an "ethical misstep."
By Friday afternoon, Denton posted a note saying the article would be removed. "It was an editorial call, a close call around which there were more internal disagreements than usual. And it is a decision I regret."