In the Utopian Internet Future, Journalists Won’t Have to Worry About Pesky, Outdated Concepts Like Sexual Harassment
Sure, the NYTs and WSJs of the world are nearly extinct dinosaurs that lack the kind of hip, in-your-face journalism that the kids of today want to read. And, yeah, they hire people like David Brooks and Michael Pollan who “play it safe” rather than publish edgy, cutting edge, other-phrases-with-the-word-edge-in-them young writers.
You know what else they don’t do? Publish the works of “journalists” who instant-message women they’re interviewing for research to ask them if they “need a penis for anything in the [near] future.”
As reported on the website Kotaku yesterday, established gaming “journalist” Josh Mattingly went above and way, way, beyond in his attempts to do an off-the-record interview with a female game developer. Mattingly is, I gather, rather well known in the gaming part of the internet, as is his website IndieStatik. It should also be noted that Mattingly does not have a personal relationship with the woman he messaged.
The texts went public when a friend of the harassed developer went on Twitter and published a screenshot of them. (And the internet gaming community being the internet gaming community, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that the tweet was followed by a long line of tweets from men saying it was the woman’s fault for leading him on.)
In all fairness, it should be noted that this gaming “journalist” did promise to be “gentle,” assuring his interviewee that he was well aware of just how many nerve endings a clitoris has. Also, Mattingly has since issued a full apology, noting that rather than feeling disrespect towards his subject, he actually finds her a “positive ray of sunshine.” Plus his brother died a year ago. Also, he was drunk.
If you want to read about the waves of outrage, by the way, you’ll want to stay clear of the gaming community websites. I googled around for a while, but could hardly find find anyone willing to condemn his utter lack of professionalism. (I know, I know — “professionalism” is so print-media!) Even the Kotaku piece doesn’t have anything particularly negative to say about the guy’s actions.
The internet gaming community has seen fit, however, to give Mattingly over $50,000 on Kickstarter to continue his hip, trendy new style of journalism.
(H/T to reader Jessica for forwarding the Kotaku piece.)