MEDIA

Glenn Greenwald Calls Gawker's Outing Of Condé Nast CFO 'Despicable'

But the site's decision to remove the post raises questions for new media companies.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald joined HuffPost Live Wednesday to weigh in on a controversial Gawker article that outed a married Condé Nast executive, revealing his correspondence with a male escort. The firestorm continued even after the site's governing partnership voted 4-2 to take the piece down, which prompted Editor-in-Chief Max Read and Executive Editor Tommy Craggs to resign in protest yesterday. 

Calling the article "unbelievably despicable," Greenwald, who wrote a piece on the controversy, told HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski that he was surprised so many Gawker editors have defended the article.

"I genuinely don't see how any decent person could believe that [the piece] ought to have been published, and I find it really disturbing that several Gawker writers, including ones I like and respect, continue to defend it on its merits," he said.

But Greenwald also suggested that Gawker's decision to bow to public pressure and remove the post should serve as a warning sign for new media companies as they transition from fearless publishing pioneers to established news organizations.

Gawker used to be this kind of embodiment of new media boldness and audacity and kind of this limitless, controversial, provocative, entity, and it seems pretty clear that the management of Gawker -- in Nick Denton in particular -- want to bring it into a more kind of mainstream direction for financial and corporate reasons, along with changes that they have themselves in what journalism ought to be. That is an important conflict and that can become a serious threat to new media -- that new media can become kind of diluted or even neutered by these financial considerations.

Watch Glenn Greenwald's take on the Gawker firestorm in the video above.

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