Washington, D.C. — New York gossip rag Gawker ceased operations yesterday following owner Nick Denton’s inability to unload the property at auction, prompting a seemingly endless flow of sentimental essays, whiny laments about the power of the wealthy, and treacly thinkpieces about the demise of the once-proud website.
Visitors to the site in its final 24 hours were treated to a string of essays by Denton and his underlings with titles such as "What Was Gawker," "Gawker Was Murdered by Gaslight," "How Guilty Should I Feel?", "Mission Demolished," and "Fuck It." However, those in the orbit of the popular revenge porn website—mostly New Yorkers who never quite made it and liberal journalists on Twitter—have been lamenting its demise for weeks now.
Denton himself summarized the website’s fate succinctly in an email acquired by Politico. "As the short-lived killer android is told in Blade Runner: ‘The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you have burned so very very brightly.’" Longtime observers of the site thought the quote particularly apt, given that it’s uttered about a murderous android struggling with his sense of his own humanity, or lack thereof, right before he kills his own creator.
Like Blade Runner’s Roy Batty, Gawker has killed Denton—or at least his bank account. Following the publication of a sex tape of American hero Hulk Hogan obtained under questionable circumstances that was published over the objections of both participants in said tape, Denton and then-editor A.J. Daulerio were driven into bankruptcy.
Daulerio is perhaps best known for saying that he would publish the sex tape of a celebrity age four and up and responding "blah, blah, blah" in an email to a woman who "objected to the release of video that may show her being raped," according to the New York Post.
Gawker employees aren’t the only ones who are going to miss Gawker, of course. A number of their fellow monsters throughout history chimed in with kind wishes and thoughtful takes about the website’s impact over these last 13 years or so.
"At its best, Gawker was this lightning war of snark and righteous fury, totally coopting the rest of the ‘polite' media's stories," said Adolf Hitler, former chancellor of Germany and architect of the Holocaust. "If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed—and no lie was bigger than the idea that Gawker was a net good for society. It’s important to hammer that home in these final days."
Hitler’s thoughts were echoed by his World War Two contemporary, Josef Stalin.
"The outing of one executive in the furtherance of a blackmail scheme is a tragedy," the Russian leader responsible for the starvation of millions of Ukrainians said in an email when reached in Hell for comment. "The outing of a million executives in the furtherance of a blackmail scheme is a statistic."
When asked to clarify the cryptic statement, Stalin did not respond. However, he seems to be referring to Gawker’s story about a New York businessman who the website outed for no reasons other than shits and giggles and clicks.
Clicks were always easy to come by for Gawker, which was happy to pay sources for stories in violation of the most basic journalistic ethical standards, and that success was what Benito Mussolini remembered most about the site.
"Blood alone moves the traffic of websites, and Gawker got more traffic than anyone," said the former Italian leader whose corpse was strung up in a public square by his fellow countrymen.
Other world monsters were heartened by the success of the website and its legacy of pushing its reporters into the mainstream media.
"Let a hundred Biddles bloom," said Chairman Mao, the Chinese communist whose economic reforms led to the starvation of at least 30 million of his own people. The comment likely refers to Sam Biddle, a former Gawker employee who helped ruin the life of a woman for tweeting a bad joke in order to generate traffic for his garbage website.
The remembrances have been so heartfelt and so endearing that some observers of Gawker wish there was a way for them to go on forever.
"Somebody should step in to save Gawker on condition that they only publish self-pitying eulogies," tweeted Michael Goldfarb, whose crimes against humanity include founding the Washington Free Beacon.