Jack Shafer Welcomes Gawker to the ‘Freak Show’

Columnist connects the site's political rebranding to a word coined in 1884.

A few years ago, TMZ very seriously looked into starting a Washington, D.C.-focused Web spinoff. In the end, Harvey Levin decided not to go down that path, choosing to expand instead into the world of professional sports scandals.

Into that same political breach has now stepped Gawker. In response, Politico’s Jack Shafer frames Nick Denton’s move as a continuation of the long journalistic tradition of filtering politics through a tabloid sensibility. He also connects the Wonkette dots:

One way to look at Gawker’s move, perhaps, is as Gawker Media’s return to its decade-old old franchise, Wonkette. Launched in 2004, it hosed the political space with writer Ana Marie Cox’s pith. This was politics for laughs and for outrage. Later, none other than Alex Pareene helmed Wonkette, after which it was sold by Gawker in 2008. Like the new Gawker.com, Wonkette served insight and entertainment as it punctured pompous and the hypocritical politicians with an adolescent’s vengeance.

Speaking of Wonkette and connecting the dots, Evan Hurst has a fun item today getting to the bottom of a Honeymooners-worthy Donald Trump declaration. The Wonkette writer moonwalks from Crooks and Liars, to Mother Jones, to Yahoo and finally to NBC to get to the bottom of it all. With a parting shot aimed at you-know-who:

Gawker didn’t get in on this particular game of telephone. They f*cked it up all by theirselves, directly from Yahoo

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.