When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

22 February 2006

Time for the last post

On a winter-cold morning last autumn, before the leaves could summon up the energy to burn and fall, the barbarians entered the gate. A group of feisty young writers, known only to millions of readers by their blog names - Gawker, Gizmodo, Wonkette and Defamer - were in a soigne studio in New York’s Chelsea district to be photographed for the February issue of Vanity Fair magazine.

They represented the cream of Gawker Media - a mini-empire of clever, gossip-driven blogs launched in 2003 by Nick Denton, a former reporter for the Financial Times. But they were also emissaries from the blogging hordes, a raffish army of citizen journalists bent on overthrowing the old guard of the US media.

The irony was sweet: Gawker was supposed to make fun of this kind of inside-the-establishment posing. But the victory was sweeter: it was a signal moment, a benediction from a magazine that, more than any other, has become the plush chronicler of the celebrity establishment. As Vanity Fair put it in the story that accompanied the photo-spread, “With a combination of smart-ass writing and low subject matter folded into crisply designed sites, the Gawker gang is bringing some wit and nasty fun to a dour decade.” The upstart press of the 21st century seemed to have truly arrived."

Financial Times / Arts & Weekend - Time for the last post
As a friend recently observed to me - "If somebody were going to start up Spy magazine today, they wouldn't. It would be a blog, and in many cases already is."

Which makes this article's appearance in Graydon Carter's Vanity Fair all the more interesting, I suppose.

Hat tip: John deVille.

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