Gawker has been on the pursuit of the hirsute Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, for the past several weeks. And for all the flak old media has been getting the past several years, I can barely remember a reporting job as botched as this. John Cook posted an article in which he stated that he had a contact in Toronto that had a video of the Mayor smoking crack. He then goes on to do what any veteran old school reporter would have never done. Announce a several hundred thousand dollar reward for something that involves drugs and a whole slew of nefarious characters.
Anyone with a single functioning brain cell in their head would have thought out the implications of making just such an announcement to the world. In the meantime, according to the man himself, a couple of people may have been killed and a couple was beaten with steel pipes. Way to go Gawker. The article is accompanied with a smug headshot of the "reporter."
In the old days, journalists went out of their way to keep their sources anonymous. Gawker however gets its sources killed. A note to Mr. Cook: dead men tell no tales. And your sources are as dead as your head. But Nick Denton will continue to delude himself into thinking that they broke some story when all I see are broken bones. There still is no proof that the man smokes crack, and somewhere some dirtbag may just be several hundred thousand dollars richer.
Image courtesy of Daan Berg.