Last night I had a dream about Nikki Finke-just in passing. Like, she was at a party or something, and we had a conversation about toast. She looked great! But I awoke with a strange sympathy for her. In particular, I am thinking of some recent Gawker posts about her-some of which don't add up entirely.
Yesterday's rather funny screenshot of radical changes in one of her recent posts was fair game, for sure. (She published and then reversed opinion on the numbers for "This Is It.") When Gawker called her, she said: "You're full of shit. Gawker doesn't practice journalism and lives to impugn those who do." This is a pretty wonderful thing to say, just in terms of fun, though it has little to do with the issue at hand. (Though what question or statement prompted her to say "You're full of shit"? We aren't told; I suspect it was a statement about the purpose of the call, so it's actually not a non sequitur response, except it doesn't make sense to say someone's not practicing journalism when you are calling them to discuss what you are going to write.)
But there's something else in here. One thing is that: how many Gawker writers has Nikki seen come and gone while she's been plugging away. A dozen? Two dozen? Somewhere I have awesome emails from 2003 from her, making fun of me at Gawker. And all the while, while we've all come and gone, she's been at her desk. Except when she's not, as Gawker pointed out last month, when they rounded up all her sick-day and out-of-office posts, going back to 2006.
That takes a lot of nerve, coming from someone who started at Gawker just back in March. That's John Cook. Last September, he was already out on paternity leave from his job at Radar. While he was away, he was laid off (so were all of us here at The Awl!). He got both severance and unemployment. After six months of not working-though somewhere in there he wrote a book! Buy it here!-he started this job at Gawker, a job which has an average employee-sorry, permalancer!-shelf life of like, what, nine months? Or slightly longer, on average, if you are a man, at least.