Gawker executive editor Tommy Craggs and editor-in-chief Max Read have both resigned over the removal of a controversial article outing a Conde Nast executive, saying they could no longer guarantee the site’s editorial integrity.
On July 17, with the internet backlash at its peak, Craggs told the managing partnership that, “If we decide to pull the post, I think I have to quit.” The next day, Read told staffers that if Craggs quit, he would too.
In his statement, Tommy Craggs said the vote on pulling the article came as a surprise to him and he had almost no contact with the managing partners during the decision.
The only reply to my pleading emails about yanking the story was a sneering note from Gorenstein. That is to say, none of the partners in a company that prides itself on its frankness had the decency or intellectual wherewithal to make the case to the executive editor of Gawker Media for undermining (if not immolating) his job, forsaking Gawker’s too-often-stated, too-little-tested principles, and doing the most extreme and self-destructive thing a shop like ours could ever do.
Max Read said in a memo that deleting the article was an “absolute surrender of Gawker’s claim to ‘radical transparency’”.
I am able to do this job to the extent that I can believe that the people in charge are able, when faced with difficult decisions, to back up their stated commitments to transparency, fearlessness, and editorial independence. In the wake of Friday’s decision and Tommy’s resignation I can no longer sustain that belief.
The response from Gawker critics has been less than supportive.