Today’s a sad day for Gawker Media, the place where I got my big break with Deadspin, but it’s not a fatal one. Nick’s going to end up selling, and it’s going to be different, but there are so many talented people, and such a culture of recognizing and rewarding that talent, that it’s going to be fine. I am not worried about Deadspin, or Jezebel, or i09, or any of the great sites there. You shouldn’t be either.
People are constantly asking me what I think of Deadspin, today. I left the place eight years ago, so it’s sort of like asking Craig Kilborn what he thinks of Trevor Noah, but I still always feel obliged to set the record straight. I’ve said this countless times, but today seems like a good day to repeat it. So:
Deadspin is a better site than when I ran it by a factor of about 10,000. If I would have kept running Deadspin, I would have run it into the ground. I am honored and humbled by the work they have done there every day for the last eight years, and flattered that I – undeservedly – still get to have an association with it. They have taken the site in directions I would have never imagined, with ambition and scope and vision and, most of all, a relentless calling of “bullshit” on the people who deserve it. I read the site every day. If you are claiming that the site is better when I ran it – and it is amazing the number of people who make this claim about these alleged glory days but still can’t spell my name right – you are using this as a rhetorical cudgel with which to blindly bludgeon a Deadspin writer for whatever dumbass, half-cocked point you’re trying to make. Deadspin does some things wrong because everybody does some things wrong; they run some things I wouldn’t run, which is totally fine because not all human beings share the same brain. (And just because I might disagree with something doesn’t make me right, another thing we always forget.) Deadspin is a force for good and, for that matter, still goddamned funny. And more necessary than ever. If you are using my name to conjure up some “good old days” bunk, you are not only wrong but, considering how few people actually read the site back then compared to now, probably lying. I’m lucky to call myself the founder of Deadspin, and that’s solely because of the work they do every day. So shut up with the “Deadspin was better back in 2006″ shit. Because it wasn’t. I know. I was there. It was a wonderful time, and I like to think that I helped set down a general template and ethos. But they ran with it and made it so much more. So just stop. Please.