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The Gawker/Christine Quinn Gun Owner Database Debacle

We were a bit afraid that this would become a “thing.”

Two weeks ago, we reported on the Journal News, a newspaper based in White Plains, published the names and addresses of all the gun owners in and around New York City. As a result, readers and media folk alike flipped out, leading one blogger to publish the same information, except this time about the staff of the newspaper. Because two privacy infringements make a right.

Well, it looks like it happened again. Yesterday, Gawker’s John Cook responded to a comment made by the notorious Ann Coulter, who asked to see the documents of all the “rich liberals” in New York that own guns, in the only reasonable way possible: by publishing a 446-page document (1.2 million people are listed) of just that. However, the document strictly states their names and gun license status – it came into Cook’s possession through a Freedom of Information request a few years ago.

Naturally, this is when we tell you that a lot of people are pissed again. The NRA responding harshly is, of course, no surprise: that’s what a gun owners’ lobby is there for. But City Council Speaker Christine Quinn? That’s a different story.

“I think the rules for getting a gun need to be tougher, but if you meet the rules, and you get a license in the legal way, and you have that license, I don’t think that should be printed in the newspaper,” Quinn told WCBS 880.

The view echoes the opinions held by readers of the Journal News. Much in line with her boss, Quinn stands for stricter gun control measures and praised Cuomo’s State of the State address on Wednesday. However, according to her, publishing private information of subjects for simply owning a gun goes beyond civil behavior: “I’m not sure what we gain from putting that kind of information out there,” she continued.

Besides one-upping Ann Coulter (a worthwhile task, nonetheless), she has a point. We may live in a post-WikiLeaks world but, seriously, gun owners are not the same as sexual offenders. Even though fearmongering is for the ignorant, as we said two weeks ago, the possibility of blowback from having this information on the Web proliferates by controversy, even if Gawker’s database only has names and no addresses.

But, unlike Chris Fountain, the blogger that countered Journal News with another database, Quinn is much less likely to hone the Internet’s prying capabilities. Hopefully, a leaked Gawker database is not in the near future. But, on the Web, nothing is absolutely certain, right?

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FOOD ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES

Anthony Bourdain Answers Questions On Gawker, Says Rachael Ray Tells Dirty Jokes

Anthony Bourdain, famed chef behind No Reservations who has recently become a Twitter maven, stopped by Gawker to for an ‘ask me anything’ live Q&A with readers. He revealed that Rachael Ray tells good dirty jokes and answered questions like “Your drunkest episode appeared to be in SF. Would you agree?” to which he replied, “Yup. I was hammered.”

He also gave readers some choice recommendations in NYC. Mission Chinese, John Dory Oyster Bar, and almost nothing on the Upper East Side are among them.

This happened too.

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Hulk Hogan Sues Gawker Over Leaked Sex Tape Co-Starring His Friend’s Wife

Former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan has news for the gossip blogsters over at Gawker: I’m comin’ after you, brother!

But it’s not Hogan and his 24-inch pythons that the gossip site needs to worry about, it’s his attorneys.

Gawker was named in a $100 million lawsuit filed by Hogan — whose real name is Terry Bollea — over a sex tape the Hulkster made with the wife of his best friend, Florida-based DJ “Bubba the Love Sponge.

The tape was “leaked” (read: probably purchased) by Gawker, and published on its website earlier this month.

Also named in the lawsuit are “Sponge,” and his now-ex-wife, Heather Clem.

When asked if the website had any comment about Hogan’s lawsuit, A.J. Daulerio, the bolgger who posted the video, tells the Voice “nada.”

In the post, Daulerio describes — at length — the sexual tryst Hogan had with Clem, focusing primarily on the size of Hogan’s penis.

Daulerio claims the video was delivered to Gawker “anonymously” by someone who wanted “no payment” and “no credit,” which seems extremely unlikely considering the video was being shopped around to other gossip hounds — like TMZ — that have significantly more street cred than Gawker.

In the suit, Hogan claims the leaked video has caused “severe and irreparable injury which cannot be adequately compensated by monetary damages.”

Hogan has acknowledged that the tape was made while he was still married to his now-ex-wife, Linda.

“Mr. Hogan had a reasonable expectation of his privacy, just as all Americans have a reasonable expectation of their privacy in their bedrooms,” attorney Charles Harder reportedly told the media this morning.

Only problem is, it wasn’t Hogan’s bedroom — it was the bedroom of his friend’s wife…whom he was fucking.

*UPDATE*: a prior version of this post did not include “probably” in the sentence that says “(read: purchased).” Daulerio — following Gawker’s grand tradition of thorough reporting and accuracy — sent us a pissy email insisting that the website didn’t pay for the video.  

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Gawker: Paul Ryan Calls Romney “The Stench.” Only, He Doesn’t. At All

Here’s the latest example of lazy journalism leading to blatant inaccuracies and falsehoods in the blogosphere, compliments of our friends at Gawker — and their incessant crusade to make Mitt Romney look stupid (as if he’s not doing a fine job of that on his own): “Paul Ryan’s Cute Nickname For His Floundering Running Mate: ‘The Stench’ (UPDATE).”

That’s a headline dreamed up by Gawker blogster Cord Jefferson, which currently is featured on the Gawker website and was beamed out to its 209,000 Facebook followers.

It’s that pesky “(UPDATE)” part that’s so perplexing — you see, Ryan doesn’t actually call Romney “the stench.” Not even a little bit. At all. Yet, it’s that claim that’s the basis for Jefferson’s entire post — which he ultimately admits is complete bullshit.

]

Here’s how Jefferson came to his conclusion that Ryan calls Romney “the stench”: someone at Buzzfeed read the New York Times this weekend and noticed an article that quoted Craig Robinson, the former political director for the Republican Party of Iowa, as saying, “I hate to say this, but if Ryan wants to run for national office again, he’ll probably have to wash the stench of Romney off of him.” 

Now, according to Gawker, “Rather than decry Robinson’s comments or reaffirm his commitment to the Romney ticket since the Times story broke, Ryan has been running with it.”

Jefferson based this claim on a Politico blog post by Roger Simon, in which he writes the following: “Though Ryan had already decided to distance himself from the floundering Romney campaign, he now feels totally uninhibited. Reportedly, he has been marching around his campaign bus, saying things like, ‘If Stench calls, take a message’ and ‘Tell Stench I’m having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later.'”

“Marching” around his campaign bus? Finger sandwiches? Seems pretty absurd — possibly
satirical — we know. So absurd, in fact, that you’d probably want to know whom was “reportedly” relaying this information, and perhaps track down a first-hand source before running with the story that the GOP candidate for vice president is calling the man who picked him as his running mate “the stench.”

But there was no link in Simon’s “reportedly,” and nothing explaining where he got this information.

There’s a reason Simon’s claim comes across as absurd and satirical, and that’s because it is — in a clarification to Buzzfeed (not Gawker, which indicates that Jefferson didn’t even bother to get the clarification first-hand) Simon writes that “Some people always don’t get something, but I figured describing PowerPoint as having been invented to euthanize cattle would make the satire clear. I guess people hate PowerPoint more than I thought.”

Just to break this down, this misinformation is the result of a Gawker writer reading Buzzfeed, where a writer read Politico, where a writer read the New York Times.

It’s like a game of telephone — where nobody even bothers to write a damn email.

We sent Gawker an email asking for an explanation of Jefferson’s post. We were told “just do your thing, James.”

Fine by me.

Below is the full text of Gawker’s post — again, based solely on satire and hearsay, but “reported” as fact — just in case it, ya know, mysteriously vanishes from the Internet:

How can you tell when a presidential campaign is not going so well? A
lot of ways, actually, but one way is to listen to the candidate for
vice president’s pet names for his presidential running mate. If one of
those sobriquets is a word normally reserved to describe death, filth,
and feces, chances are that you are looking at a rather unsuccessful
presidential campaign.

In a New York Times piece from Sunday
that examined how Paul Ryan could best be utilized by Mitt Romney,
Craig Robinson, the former political director for the Republican Party
of Iowa, was quoted as saying, “I hate to say this, but if Ryan wants to
run for national office again, he’ll probably have to wash the stench
of Romney off of him.”

Rather than decry Robinson’s comments or reaffirm his commitment to the Romney ticket since the Times story broke, Ryan has been running with the nickname,
according to Politico, telling campaign staffers things like, “If
Stench calls, take a message” and “Tell Stench I’m having finger
sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later.”

“President
Stench” does have a certain ring to it. Alas, something tells me we
won’t have the opportunity to say it anytime soon.

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Gawker, Daily Mail Re-Tell 10-Year-Old Blowjob Story. Yes, Ladies: Blowjobs Will Still Make You Happy

Gentlemen: we all owe State University of New York researcher Gordon Gallup a big-time “thank you” — albeit a decade late.

Websites like Gawker and the Daily Mail are “reporting” today that Gallup has successfully proven what many of us have been telling women since the beginning of time: giving blowjobs will make you happy. Subsequently, they also make men pretty happy, so it’s really a win-win.

Only problem is, Gallup proved this 10 years ago, and it’s been written about — at length — ever since.

Regardless, there’s no sense in not reiterating such a beneficial study — even if our fellow members of the Fourth Estate seem to think this is something new.

So here’s what Gallup found — again, 10 years ago:

According to science, the “mood-altering” qualities of semen can help fight depression in women because semen, it turns out, contains at least three anti-depressants.

Semen, you see, is made up of cortisol, estrone and melatonin, all of which have qualities that will put you in a good mood.

Gallup conducted the study at the University of Albany, where he’s a professor of psychology.

He compared the mental health to the sex lives of 293 women via-an anonymous survey, so the subjects could answer honestly without fear of coming across as slutty.

We sent Gallup an email asking if there’s anything he’d like to say to the millions of men who owe him a debt of gratitude. We haven’t heard back.

So there you have it, ladies — feelin’ down? Depressed? Maybe you just can’t get out of a funk? Well, forget the ice cream and shopping and just get yourself some dude juice.

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Gawker Scribe Drew Magary Suffers Case Of Fussiness While Supporting Mike Bloomberg’s Treating Adults Like Babies

As the rest of us rolled our eyes in disgust Wednesday when Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced his proposal to ban big-kid cups for sugary drinks like soda, Gawker blogger Drew Magary penned a lengthy “rant” about how upset he is that the media isn’t applauding Bloomberg for treating adults like babies. He thinks the mayor’s proposed ban is just fine because we elected him, and America’s not really a free country, and sometimes we “like being nannied,” and “fatsos” need the government to get them to stop being fatsos, and a collection of other asinine reasons why it’s Bloomberg’s job to play food cop.

And if you’re pissed off the mayor thinks it’s his job to tell you what to eat, according to Magary, you’re a “pussy.”

While Magary may want to be treated like a child and “nannied” by a 70-year-old billionaire, most of us don’t — and there’s a reason for that: we’re fucking adults.

That’s right, the majority of us who are offended that the mayor of New York thinks it’s his job to tell us how to eat are grown ups, which means most of us go to work everyday, pay our bills, and are responsible enough to know that occasionally chugging 64 ounces of what essentially is pure sugar (out of a single container (gasp!)) isn’t the end of the world as long as we balance it out with, say, a brisk walk and a salad for dinner instead of a Big Mac (a concept that’s illustrated wonderfully in the weight-loss book Chubster).

]

However, Magary wants those of us who have a little self-control — and are capable of deciding what to eat on our own — to “shut the fuck up” and stop hassling Bloomberg for thinking it’s his job to treat the rest of us like babies.

Magary argues that “if you think that a ban on large sodas is somehow an affront to America freedom, I have news for you: You don’t live in a free country.”

His examples of why we don’t live in a completely free country are as follows (from Magary’s “rant”):

You are not free to murder people in America. You are not free to stand in the middle of an intersection and block traffic like an asshole. You do not have the absolute freedom to do anything you want in America, and that’s a good thing, because living somewhere with absolute freedom means you live in fucking Deadwood. There are a million different laws and rules that come with being an American, and we, as a collective, put all those annoying rules in there of our own accord. Democracy doesn’t mean “Hey you, go do whatever the fuck you want.”

Well, no shit — you’re not free to murder people in America, you’re not free to stand in traffic, and you’re not free to “do whatever the fuck you want.” And, yes, there are rules that come with being an American — however, those rules are in place to protect us from each other, not ourselves.

You can’t murder people, or stand in traffic, because it will fuck up the day of another person. If you want to drink yourself to diabetes with sugary beverages, that’s your problem, not ours (yes, we realize fatsos with no insurance will potentially need publicly funded healthcare, which — while annoying — is something we’re willing to put up with if it means we’re not gonna be treated like children).

The part of “being an American” that Magary overlooks is that whole thing about personal responsibility, which means not being an unhealthy slob whose idea of “health food” is the blue-cheese drenched celery that you snack on after wolfing down two dozen chicken wings.

We were children once, and we remember what it’s like to absolutely love soda, Kool-Aid, and all the other awful shit our parents went to endless lengths to keep from us. We also remember how awesome it was when they weren’t looking, and we were free to sneak as much sugary crap as we could possibly guzzle down.

In college, beer took the place of Kool-Aid, and there was nobody around to tell us to not drink as much of it as humanly possible. So, we drank a shitload of it — and gained a few (20) pounds.

Then we grew up, and realized that in addition to potentially killing us, being a fat, drunk slob — more often than not — makes us unattractive to potential candidates for fornication. We then made the proper dietary adjustments to get back down to fightin’ weight — and we didn’t need Mike Bloomberg to tell us to do it.

Maybe Magary wants to be treated like a baby — as you can see in the video embedded below, some people are into that kinda thing (to each his own, we suppose).

If that’s the case, this is New York City — we’re sure Magary won’t have any trouble finding someone willing to give him a nightly bedtime story, an occasional spanking, and cut his food into pieces small enough for him to manage. But he can do it on his own; the rest of us are adults who are capable of making — and dealing with the consequences of — our own decisions.

Magary ended his “rant” by inviting readers to “buy a cold can of Dr. Pepper and jam it up your butt,” which seems to follow the same childish theme that apparently requires Mike Bloomberg to make his dietary decisions for him.

We’ll also invite you to grab a can of Dr. Pepper, but we’ll refrain from suggesting you use it sodomize yourself. Rather, we encourage you to drink it. Fuck it, have two — then just go for a jog. Or don’t — it’s up to you (for now). 

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Are Food Critics Worthless?

Gawker really hates people who care about food! First food threatened music and Hamilton Nolan slammed the whole food-is-the-new-rock thing (Nolan was more articulate about this on WNYC recently, go listen). Today, mayo-hater Drew Magary slams food critics for being elitist, out-of-touch jerks who make “ungodly sums of money,” and don’t even help people find good restaurants (I’ll just point you toward Robert’s awesome lamb roundup to counter that).

What Magary has to say is not particularly clever, and as a person who cares about all this stuff, I wish he’d taken the time to produce something more thoughtful. But, no matter.

Because here’s something I don’t see often: commenters who rushed to defend fine dining and food criticism. Sort of.

Joshua O

So lets just gnaw roots and wear animal pelts. Or maybe we can wear identical jumpsuits and chew protein pills. Life is better because of art and culture, nerd.

Jamesy

How about the fact that regular people *do* go to these restaurants, usually for special occasions, and a food critic can prevent them from wasting a hard-earned few hundred dollars on a shitty place?

Alexish

Food critics basically write novelizations of amateur porn for food nerds, like me. Sometimes, it goes fantastically. Other times, it just isn’t your thing. Sometimes, it just goes all wrong, even from the get go.

Yup, fair enough.

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Fox News Mole Joe Muto: Hero Or D-Bag?

Gawker’s “mole” at Fox News, Joe Muto, was outed less than 24 hours after first publishing a few insignificant yarns from inside the cable news network’s newsroom — and now he claims on Twitter to be in the midst of a “media firestorm.”

The only interview he’s actually given — which he pimps on Twitter as being an “exclusive” — was to CNN’s Howard Kurtz — and we hate to break it you, Fox News foes, but he comes across as a bit of a douchebag (see the video embedded above), inspired more by dollar signs (and a possible book deal) than with exposing any right-wing bias many claim the Roger Ailes-run network has.

]

For starters, he claims his being a “weasel” — as Muto himself puts
it — was just the “primal scream” of a pissed off employee who simply
couldn’t take another election cycle of Fox’s spinning the facts in
favor of Republican candidates.

“I think there is a lot of — as has obviously been stated repeatedly in
the media, there’s a lot of right wing bias at FOX, and the way they’re
slanting the news, I just couldn’t take one more election cycle where
they’re on complete attack mode against the Democratic candidate,” he tells Kurtz.

However, Muto — who was paid $60,000 a year to work as a producer for Bill O’Reilly’s opinion show — refuses to discuss what’s rumored to be $5,000 he was paid by Gawker to act as a double agent in the Fox newsroom.

KURTZ: You also — you also, by the way, accepted $5,000 from Gawker
to serve as the FOX mole. Does that make you look like more of a weasel?

MUTO: I’m not going to comment on any financial arrangements that I
may or may not have had with Gawker. But what this was, Howard — this
was a primal scream from a long-time FOX employee who just couldn’t take
it anymore and could not take it one more day in that place.

As we mentioned, Muto seems to have a book deal in mind.

Muto claims that the insignificant anecdotes — the most (um) damning being some friendly banter between Sean Hannity and Mitt Romney — he posted on Gawker’s
website were just the tip of the iceberg. He claims to have several other stories — that he expects to reveal “at a later time” — that will further illustrate his point that Fox has right-wing bias.

MUTO: But the original plan was to sort of leak it out in driblets and
maybe eventually I would — some of the more interesting stuff I know
would come out later. So —

KURTZ: So, what have you not revealed that you would like to reveal now?

MUTO: That’s going to have to come at a later time.

KURTZ: Is that because you’re saving it for a book deal or something like that?

MUTO: I don’t — I don’t know what I’m going to do next, Howard. I’m still weighing a lot of options. You know — that’s — I have seen it speculated in the press that that’s what I was doing from the beginning. That’s — that was not the plan from the beginning.

Muto’s response of having “a lot of options” doesn’t exactly jibe with his claim that he’s been trying to find a job at other networks for years but has been unsuccessful because he’s been blacklisted in the media industry for working at Fox — which may or may not be true. Regardless, his response seems like code for “I’m going to write a book — that’s currently my only option — thanks for all the free publicity, sucka.”

While Muto claims to be so outraged by his now-former employer that he was forced to betray his corporate bosses, he worked there for eight years. In other words, if he was so morally opposed to what was going on at Fox, he could have simply left.

Muto seems like more of a left-wing opportunist than the left-wing folk hero Gawker probably had anticipated he would become.

We want to know what you think, though — Joe Muto: hero or douchebag?

Cast your vote below.


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Gawker’s “Anonymous” Fox News “Mole” Identified As Joe Muto

Well, that didn’t take long — Fox News has identified the “mole” Gawker had in its newsroom: according to the network, the culprit is a man named Joe Muto.

A Fox News spokesperson sent us the following email:

“Joe Muto is fired effective April 12. Once the network determined that Mr. Muto was the main culprit in less than 24 hours, he was suspended late today while we pursued concurrent avenues. We are continuing to explore legal recourse against Mr. Muto and possibly others.”

Gawker, as we mentioned yesterday, sucks at anonymity, which is why — within 24 hours — we know the identity of its “anonymous” source in the Fox newsroom.

]

We’ve reached out to Mr. Muto. He hasn’t gotten back to us yet (it’s 1
a.m. — he gets a pass…for now). However, he got a little cocky this afternoon,
posting the following on Gawker’s website:

So Fox’s PR team has been telling people that they have “found” me
and are presently “exploring legal options.” If Fox has smoked me out,
it’s news to me. I’m still here. Back to work.

Sorry, “mole” — you’ve apparently been outed (and fired).

We’ll let you know if Muto gets back to us. Check back for updates.

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Fox News Claims It Identified Gawker Mole; Alleged Mole Denies It. Either Way, Gawker Sucks At Anonymity

The thing about anonymity is that to remain anonymous it helps when people don’t know who you are — a concept that the blogsters over at Gawker apparently have a hard time understanding.

Gawker has a bit of a history when it comes to promising anonymity to people who contribute fantastical, often reckless stories to its site — only to have the identity of these sources outed shortly after. The latest “anonymous” Gawker blogger who’s likely to soon lose his anonymity is a “mole” inside Fox News who’s using his job at the network to tell unflattering, but ultimately irrelevant, stories — and it took Fox less than 24 hours to figure out who he is (according to Fox, anyway).

Fox confirms to the Voice what Mediaite — which actually asked readers to guess how long it would take for the mole to be outed — reported earlier: that the mole has been made and the cable news behemoth is “exploring legal options.”  

]
However, after hearing that the jig was up, “the mole” published the following post on the Gawker website:

So Fox’s PR team has been telling people that they have “found” me
and are presently “exploring legal options.” If Fox has smoked me out,
it’s news to me. I’m still here. Back to work.

Don’t get so cocky, “mole,” Fox News responded to the post by reiterating its initial statement and saying “we know who it is.” The mole, it seems, just hasn’t been confronted by management…yet.

Let’s assume for a minute that Gawker isn’t completely full of shit,
and that Fox News didn’t really find the mole — if Gawker’s history
tells anything, the mole will eventually be outed, and probably lose his
job with the network. Just ask Dustin Dominiak.

Dominiak was an anonymous blogger for Gawker who attempted to slime
Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell with a story about a
one-night stand and a ladybug Halloween costume. About five hours later,
the anonymous blogger was anonymous no more — former Voice blogger
Foster Kamer figured out who he is and published his identity in a post
you can see here.

And lest we forget the secretive “Mike’s Apartment.”

Point is, Gawker does a poor job at protecting its sources and fact-check its
information — maybe because it doesn’t know how, or maybe because it
just doesn’t care. Either way, we’re willing to wager a testicle that
the Fox News mole will be identified sooner rather than later.