Thursday, July 23, 2015

Syndicated columnist - It's OK to commit unconscionable acts as long as it is against people beneath me and my class

From Sensitivity Over at Gawker by Froma Harrop. An interesting article when you read with a jaundiced eye. Harrop covers the current Gawker problems.
Denton recently pulled an item about a married media executive's allegedly seeking the services of a gay porn star, after about a half-million people saw it. He and other moguls in the nastier corners of the Internet are noting that though hits on such stories may reach stratospheric levels, advertisers don't want to get within smelling distance of the reportage.
OK. A trade-off decision. How sleazy are you willing to be in order to generate revenue. This is where cultural values begin to matter as they set up some limiting principle regarding the lengths to which someone will pursue a line of logic. There's lot's of good revenue you can pull in if you are willing to sail safely within the law but outside of morality.

There's definitely a note of schadenfreude in Harrop's piece. I am guessing she is a mainstream media type for whom Gawker represents an unwelcome intrusion into the authority of journalism and into the advertising revenue stream. There isn't much professional courtesy in her account of Gawker's perilous finances.
Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan is suing Gawker for posting a video of the wrestler having sex with someone else's wife. The wronged spouse is Hogan's friend, a shock jock going under the name of Bubba the Love Sponge. (In this world, humiliation is something one inflicts unto others.)

Anyhow, Hogan's lawyers are asking for $100 million, and if they were to get even a small part of it, Denton would be in trouble. He might be forced to sell the company or surrender much of his equity to others. Outside investors are now keeping their distance until the Hogan case is resolved, the Journal reports.
What struck me, though, was the embedded classism. Gawker has revealed private information about two individuals, both with public profiles, one as an entertainer in the sports industry and the other as an executive of a major media company. But they are not equally entitled to privacy in Harrop's mind.
It's one thing for a liberal site such as Gawker to mortify an entertainer in professional wrestling -- home of casual homophobic slurs -- and quite another to out a gay man of high social status. In this case, the victim was media giant Conde Nast's chief financial officer -- a husband, father of three and brother of former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
What Harrop appears to be saying is that it is OK for Gawker to humiliate a public figure if they are a low class athlete with opinions different from her own but it is not OK to do so if they are part of her own social network and class.

Well. Its an opinion that doesn't reflect well on Harrop but at least it is a logically consistent form of bias and discrimination. And at least she is, perhaps unintentionally, open about it.

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