Gawker to Vox: Stay off our lawn


Ethan Gach

I write about comics, video games and American politics. I fear death above all things. Just below that is waking up in the morning to go to work. You can follow me on Twitter at @ethangach or at my blog, And though my opinions aren’t for hire, my virtue is.

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43 Responses

  1. Avatar Kim says:

    You didn’t hear about the Civil War down in Mexico, did you? American media doesn’t even bother to report atrocities in other countries half the time. The only reason I know is that a friend of a friend was manning the barricades.Report

  2. Does satire have to be funny?Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Interesting question. Ostensibly no. The purpose of satire doesn’t require it to be remotely funny. All it has to do is point out the problems of something by presenting an exaggerated form of it or taking it to its logical conclusion. Most people expect satire to be funny though.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC says:

      That’s what I was wondering.

      Satire isn’t the same thing as parody, which is a form of humor. Satire is *not* specifically a form of humor. People often confuse parody and satire, and a work can be both, but it doesn’t have to be.

      Satire is simply a criticism of something, crouched in the thing itself. Part of the reason satire works is exaggeration, so people often find it funny, but just because people don’t find it funny doesn’t mean it’s not perfectly good satire.

      It’s easy to read the Vox piece as humorous, and it’s easy enough to read it as trying for humor that failed, and whether or not it is funny is up to individual tastes…but it’s pretty good satire either way.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:

      No, but I, for one, thought Fischer’s piece was pretty fucking hilarious. Dark humor, to be sure, which may be why it went over Ms. Sunshine’s head.Report

      • Avatar Zac says:

        Yeah, I agree with James, I found the article hysterical. I was literally crying laughing while I was reading it out loud to my roommates, we could barely hold it together.Report

      • Avatar Barry says:

        It’s a ‘litmus-test’ piece; those who don’t like it have something wrong with them. I do believe somebody could decently say ‘OK, but not great’, but this points out some serious f-ing problems with the US media.Report

  3. Avatar veronica d says:

    I liked the Vox article. I thought it was on point.

    Regarding the Gawker-sphere, the only site of theirs I read is Valleywag, because one must look in the mirror and laugh.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      Yup. I liked it, too.

      My sweetie suggests always changing the google-news feed to another nationality when hyper-focusing on some event in the US. I think it’s smart, and I’ve begun doing it frequently.

      (Hint: there’s a drop-down menu at the top-left of the news feed — give it a try, good for expanding your horizons.)Report

  4. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Good Lord, do I now have to have an opinion on Gox and Vawker to be one of the cool kids?Report

  5. Avatar DavidTC says:

    I like how _Gawker_ says ‘During a crisis of police brutality and criminal justice there are better points to make than “the U.S. media is out of touch with the rest of the world,” and better qualities to demonstrate than self-satisfied cosmopolitanism.’

    Yeah, thanks for that head up, Gawker. I’m sure your media coverage is…oh, wait, you don’t even *have* media coverage of anything, do you? You’re a blog *covering* the media.

    So I ask this question: Doesn’t *Gawker* have anything better to do with their discussion of how Ferguson is being covered than talk about *this* article? How about *you* try discussing how the news media completely screws up international stories?

    Seriously, this post is right. Gawker’s just pissed that Vox has aimed at the media, and now Gawker might actually have to start living up to their premise instead of posting articles about how Don Draper’s opinions on Ferguson are sorta vague.Report

  6. Avatar Damon says:

    Vox article: Classic.
    Gawker article: WhineReport

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:


    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      The Vox piece was pretty funny but the writing could have been a bit better. Using sectarian group as a replacement for race was a bit awkward. They could have used tribe or clan instead. Both words would have worked better as replacements for race in the satire. Thats my only criticism.

      Ms. Finnegan remained of an incredibly earnest person that can’t find in humor in any situation that she considers incredibly serious. Gallows humor is an important part of surviving a crisis.Report

  7. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Max Fisher used to do this at Slate as well. It is interesting that gawker is complaining now.

    And I agree with Veronica, Valleywag is the only gawker site worth reading. I don’t understand the point of Hamilton Nolan for example.Report

  8. This is a solid post, Ethan. Partially, I enjoy the fact that you are commenting on Gawker commenting (disapprovingly) on Vox commenting on the media commenting about Ferguson.

    And, of course, I’m bumping this up one level.Report

  9. Avatar trizzlor says:

    In our top story today, ongoing unrest in the town of Ferguson, USA has spilled over into digital domain, as so-called “web journalists” struggle to define their voice. As recently as two days ago, media discussions continued to focus on common American values such as the hatred of the police (a common topic of popular music here) and interest in the upcoming presidential referendum (where the wife of one former leader is expected to square off against the brother of another). But that optimism was quickly dashed after a satirical piece by news-summarizer Vox initiated a turf war with rival Gawker, a long-standing media empire that specializes in celebrity shaming and soft-core pornography. Vox, a relative newcomer lead by a charismatic teenage genius, disseminates their stories in the style of PowerPoint presentations, so familiar to the increasingly corporate and ADHD-plagued American public. This clash of old-new-media against new-new-media is just another sectarian fissure that has opened up since the events that transpired in Ferguson last week. Still, some degree of optimism persists in small pockets across the web, summarized by independent watchdog blogger Ethan Gach thus: “Surely … we can still find a way for righteous media provocateurs to live in relative peace and harmony with one another.” as the wail of police sirens and children could be heard through his apartment window. How this conflict will be resolved remains unclear, but it is clear that Americans are still grappling with the complexities of the new media age. Reporting from Ferguson, USA for the World Service.

    And now, turning to a discussion on excessive violence in the recent Cricket Finals…Report

  10. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    From Gawker: “Problem No. 2 is that for a news story parody it’s not even a good fake-serious news story.

    Though in Finnegan’s defense, if there’s anyone that knows good fake news when it sees it, it is Gawker.Report

  11. Avatar Pinky says:

    I always read articles completely before commenting on them. However, I’m commenting to say that I’m not going to read an article about what Gawker thinks of Vox. I don’t know what I’ll spend the next two minutes doing instead, but it’ll be better for me.Report