Now it's Gawker that is being gawked at. The world, at least beyond its own editorial room, is looking long and hard at this always naughty and often cruel digital tabloid. We have gone on the record as indicating we don't like what we see.
Many of us have decided Gawker crossed some kind of line in posting a story about a Conde Nast executive's soliciting a gay escort in Chicago. The latter then tried to shake him down. In the end, no transactions took place.
When the world erupted in fury, Gawker founder Nick Denton took the post down. He bluntly said that it was the business side's decision. Then the editorial staff erupted in fury. It contended it represented a legitimate story.
This is a turbulent, hyper-competitive era in which media properties come and go. As Denton noted, times have changed. Therefore, increasingly it will be the business side which has oversight on editorial matters. That story had to go.
What Gawker risked and what it still risks is a global backlash. We will stop reading. Traffic numbers plunge. That in itself could cause advertisers to go away. In addition, though, advertisers could decide it's not in their best branding interests to be associated with Gawker.
With the Chicago story, the business of media trumped the merry pranksters who put together the stories. That's just the way it is in 2015. Denton knows it. If the world allows Gawker to survive, he won't forget it. The Allies defeated Hitler in World War II. We have just brought down the seemingly mindless evil of Gawker journalists.
Journalism, like all human institutions, is man-made. We, mankind, just changed the rules.