Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Matt Cherette Is Going To Move To New York City

MattMatt Cherette is 25 and lives in Grand Haven, Michigan, about fifteen minutes from his parents' house. He traveled to New York in the second week of February and while he was here, he signed the paperwork for a job at Gawker.TV. He would be their night coordinator. This was an opportunity to actually get paid for the sort of diligent content repurposing that he's been doing for free, for years, on the LiveJournal-hosted gossip community Oh No They Didn't.

While he was in New York, he came to a party thrown by his new boss, Richard Blakeley, at Destination Bar, on Avenue A. The Tennessee-Vanderbilt game was on the TV at the bar, but no one was watching. Matt showed up at the high point of the party's somewhat limited activity.

"He's my date tonight," said Rachel Sklar, the editor-at-large for The two first met over Tumblr and Twitter and now they had a get-together planned at Mediaite's offices for later in that week. She had convinced Matt to come to the city, even sending him links to flights. "Matt is great. Matt is a juggernaut," she said.

She said that Matt is best known for his freelance coverage of the "late night wars" on Gawker.TV, meaning the period when Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno and their various representatives were struggling over "The Tonight Show" on NBC. "I was doing the same thing at the same time, the same late night shows," she said, "and no matter how you slice it, it's a ton of work. It has to be done first and done well. He just nailed it."

Matt nightly placed clips from these shows, with commentary, on the clip aggregation site. (Gawker.TV, a subdomain of Gawker, began in November 2009.) He accumulated more than 2.5 million pageviews for his posts in the month of January.

Matt's voice is flat and acerbic, tinged with a Midwestern accent. "You haven't known me long enough to like me," he said to Sklar.

"This is the first time we've met IRL," she said.

* * *

Matt is trying to figure out a way to get to New York permanently. "As soon as possible, really," he said. "It's hard because I don't have a full time job in New York, and until I get one, I'm at the point where it's, like, do I try to secure something and move? Or do I go, and figure it out?" He's set for himself the deadline of April 1, though he's not sure what he'll have lined up by then. "I want to do enough planning so I'm not a chicken with my head cut off," he said.

Matt got started in the world of internet gossip as the poster and commenter mattchew03 on Oh No They Didn't, a site that gets, Matt figures, around a million pageviews a day, and which is known for its vocal, active and usually witty commenter base. He came to ONTD in 2005, through Dlisted, a site whose proprietor, "Michael K," is now a friend. (Matt seems to make friends easily, whether online, like FourFour's Rich Juzwiak, or in person, like screenwriter Dustin Lance Black; Matt met him in Michigan when Black was scouting locations for his next film.) In summer 2007, he became an ONTD contributor.

"I liked Us Weekly when I was in high school," he said, "sometimes if I was in an airport." His favorite celebrities include "Gaga, of course," Ina Garten, Tom Hanks, Larry King, Julia Roberts and Don Rickles. His day job doesn't force him to use this enthusiasm. He is a research analyst at his father's real estate development company. Recently, he was responsible for overseeing the opening and initial growth of a coffeeshop at a nearby university, including menu design and marketing. He's close to his parents and he eats lunch at their house most days and dogsits for them. "My dad doesn't really know anything about ONTD," Matt said. "He knows more because he'll read Gawker, and stuff like that. You know how old people are. Well, they're not old old."

"If I have time-I don't know how much I should say," he says, when asked how he manages to have an active internet presence while working in an office daily. "I do have time, even if it's a minute here or five minutes there. I'm on my Twitter a lot, and Tumblr a lot." Approving items submitted to the ONTD queue doesn't take too much time, and he hasn't been contributing as much to the site recently in the face of his responsibilities for Gawker. A recent delay in his scheduled "Best of 2009" post prompted tension between him and another moderator.

ONTD runs as a LiveJournal "community"; a select group of members submit posts, either cited from other news sources or (rarely) original. One example of an original post was the scandal that ONTD dubbed "Spearminated '07." Matt, manually changing the URLs on the OK! site to look at future covers, found that the next cover would be Jamie Lynn Spears admitting her pregnancy. He said that after they published, Perez Hilton then reprinted his scoop without attribution, and the two still have a glancing-and seemingly tense-email relationship. "I guess I see where he's coming from because he wants to act like everything on his site is something he found," said Matt, "but that's not the case on any site. That's why there's sourcing and attribution."

"I will admit most of the stories on ONTD are from other places. Like, 99%," said Liz Carter, an ONTD moderator who goes by ecctv. "It started as a catch-all for celebrity news so people wouldn't have to go to this website, then this website-they can just put ONTD on their friends page on LiveJournal and get updated as things happen. ONTD moderators and maintainers don't get paid, so it isn't really a job where we might get access to things like someone from a big domain-name entertainment site might get." Carter is a student and elementary school volunteer in Kansas, and recently, on a trip to New York, she met another ONTD moderator, who is an employee of the Fifth Avenue Apple Store and Jill Zarin's personal assistant. This fellow had been asked recently to appear on reality TV as well, but chose not to.

* * *

"It's always been sort of happenstance. When I want something, I just go and do it. Usually, I do it well," Matt said. His first real exposure online under his real name, not as mattchew03, came as the proprietor of a fake "Dina Lohan" Twitter, which he still sporadically updates. "I thought it was a good time," he said, of his fictional construction of the celebrity mother. "I paid attention to what I was doing. I won't update from my phone because she only updates from her computer. I would start with a lowercase letter and then put on caps for then letters-then she'd realize caps was on and turn it off," he said.

Gawker wrote an item about this. Matt was embarrassed. So he posted a message on his LiveJournal: "Due to some recent events, I've decided to change viewing access of many of my entries from ‘Public' to ‘Friends Only.' I assume everyone knows what that means."

His LiveJournal was not overly personal. Neither is his current Tumblr. "I was never the type to be like, I had a horrible day, this is who I hung out with, I hate my parents because this," he said. "It wasn't about my privacy as much as other people's privacy. I had pictures of my family. Personal can be a broad spectrum."

And now he works there. "Gawker.TV is the happy version of," Richard Blakeley said. He liked that Matt intuitively understood the commenter-empowering vibe that they hoped to structure the site around. "I like that he basically understands the sense of community. The commenters love him."

* * *

Matt ended a two-year relationship in August. "It made me a lot less productive," he said. He had met his ex-boyfriend over LiveJournal. Matt's ex had relocated from Miami to Michigan in early 2008; their relationship was a trial visit that never ended, until it did. "It was really toxic," Matt said.

Now Matt works at his day job from around 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. At night he sits down in front of the TV. When he was young and lived at home, his bedtime was 11:50 p.m. "Letterman used to do his Top Ten at the end of his monologue. He switched the Top Ten List to after my bedtime, and so after that happened, I switched and did Leno instead," Matt said. "Leno does like a twelve-minute monologue; Letterman takes his first commercial earlier. So I got more TV by watching Leno."

Still, this fondness for Leno does not make his work uncritical of Leno. "Is he a good target? Of course!" Matt said. "Am I going to ignore that? No!" In his work on Gawker.TV, he reappropriated, magpie-like, clips from the shows and then connected the dots into a coherent serial narrative.

In his apartment, but not hung up, is a signed poster of Jay Leno that Matt's father bought for him at a charity auction, back when Matt was a freshman at George Washington, before he transferred to Michigan. There are also some framed prints purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond, but the largest wall decoration is a photograph, taken from the sky, of Manhattan.

Daniel D'Addario is a senior at Columbia. He is co-editor of the college gossip site IvyGate.

279 Comments / Post A Comment

Moff (#28)

1,600 words, huh?

PropSword (#2,870)


IBentMyWookie (#133)

"Matt hopes to purchase a chair with his first cheque from Gawker Media"

Moff (#28)

Like those episodes where He-Man and Skeletor teamed up to save Eternia from a greater evil, I can only get 100 percent behind you here.

BadUncle (#153)

Me? I'd be Skeletor, building an empire of ottomans.

jfruh (#713)

I hope to God Sklar said "in real life" rather than "eye are ell". FOR THE LOVE OF GOD THEY HAVE THE SAME NUMBER OF SYLLABLES!

(Also, this was a very nice blost post! But still, IRL?)

Brian (#115)

A dream is a wish your heart makes.

Abe Sauer (#148)

"and which is known for its vocal, active and usually witty commenter base."
…and photos of Pete Wentz's dong.

"His favorite celebrities"??

What am I missing here, guys?

Tulletilsynet (#333)

The people on Gawker have favorite celebrities, the way little girls have favorite colors.

Okay! That explains that.
Please to help me with the rest of it?

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Sorry, that was as far as I got before I ran out of idle curiosity.

Would that I had your self-control, dear.

Fresh meat on the 4th floor.

Abe Sauer (#148)

ALSO: this advertorial is in desperate need of some kind of disclosure statement.

zidaane (#373)

A big shout out to Uncle Nick who paid the office rent this month and bought a 100lbs bag of Deli-Cat.

Wow, I think that's really rude.

IBentMyWookie (#133)


Abe Sauer (#148)

Really? Maybe it is. I've certainly been rude before. To be less rude with the same point: The utter lack of a critical eye in this wet kiss (with tongue) to Gawker, ONTD, Rachel, Matt and characteristic incestuousness of this corner of media is completely suspect when one knows Daniel, as a Columbia senior English major and blog editor, will, in a few months, be looking for just such a paying blog gig. This isn't a "Matt is moving looking to get into NY blogging" piece; it's a "Daniel is looking to get into NY blogging piece."

"'Gawker.TV is the happy version of,' Richard Blakeley said." Are you fucking kidding me?!

zidaane (#373)

I was taking a ridiculous thought and making it stupid. Rude was not my intent. Sorry.

Come on Choire. This was fucking awful and you know it.

spikenard (#3,522)

I think ONTD once crashed the entire LJ server once, which is a pretty big achievement (I think it was when Britney shaved her head – am I wrong? Despite having lived some of my finest moments of teenage angst on El-Jay, I'm too old to know.. I think the average ONTD commenter/contributor is about 14..) I'm always surprised that they haven't found some way to commercialise it as it must take a lot of time and it's insanely popular, and the moderators seem devoted to it.

dailyny (#3,326)

…Ina Garten?

La Cieca (#1,110)

She has a strong low camp value. I watch "Barefoot Contessa" now and then just to heckle her.

I love that chubby old lady and I loved that store she used to have in East Hampton. She fills the void left in my heart after the Two Fat Ladies went off the air.

hugesunglasses (#2,696)

I particularly enjoy cameos from her submissive husband. I shred him to ribbons when given the opportunity.

dailyny (#3,326)

No, I mean. Yes, obviously I love Ina Garten for her amazing, gluttonous, Jabba-the Hut-like sexed up life with her husband in that huge house in East Hampton. I just have to admit, this was an eye-opener.

LolCait (#460)

Oh no you didn't.

bong hitler (#3,233)

Well, I guess it's nice that Dina Lohan finally helped produce a productive member of society.

KarenUhOh (#19)

I wish you hadn't.

Tulletilsynet (#333)


Kudos Matt!

Knock 'em dead in the Big Apple, kid!

mallorykeaton (#2,650)

Yes. My feelings about "What This Post Means" are substantially overshadowed by my feeling that Matt is a good egg and deserves the best.

I like this profile. Matt's a talented guy, and his story's an interesting one.

I'll take a profile subject like Matt any day over the kinds of vapid fameball twits the NY media culture is normally so obsessed with.

mallorykeaton (#2,650)

Again, agreed.

Despite my best intentions, I am a sensitive soul, and I hope that Matt can see that all of this (points up and down) isn't really about him.

permafrost (#2,735)

I agree. I also enjoy Matt's stuff on Gawker. I'm surprised he is only 25 but pleasantly surprised.

C_Webb (#855)

I kept reading that to find out why I should read it, and now I've read it, and I still don't know.

PropSword (#2,870)

"In his work on Gawker.TV, he reappropriated, magpie-like, clips from the shows" … for that line right there.

Moff (#28)

It really highlights how the definition of "news" isn't just "something you didn't know before."

MaggieL (#3,424)

Was it meant to send readers into a tailspin of doubt and confusion about what anything means and why we read anything on the internet at all, and whether we're actually understanding anything we're expected to understand and interpreting points of view other than our own? Because I doubt it, but if so: success.

I'll let you decide that!

BoHan (#29)

He's not ready yet. Give him a few years, then he'll be blowing coke and cum shots like Joel Johnson.

Youch! TOO SOON.

Fredrick (#268)

Ha. Seriously. (Seriously too soon, I mean!)

Flashman (#418)

Will it ever not be Too Soon? I don't think so.

@Flashman: This, also.

superconnected (#1,212)

Seeing as I'm an undergrad Canadian from a low income background with zero connections…

and seeing as I'm increasingly obsessed with the minutiae of the NYC new media world…

this gives me hope that one day I'll get to meet my favourite celebrities: the writers of this website, those namedropped in the article, and the rest of your giant self-referential "elite" clusterfuck.

I know it's cliche and kind of pathetic. That doesn't mean it ain't true, though.

Hamilton (#122)

That is heartbreaking. Email Choire and I guarantee he'll buy you lunch.

superconnected (#1,212)

Whether you're being sarcastic or not, this kind of made my day. (Although I am already regretting the self-pitying overshare and considering making new Awl and Gawker commenter accounts.)

Flashman (#418)

Write well, write funny, find a niche for yourself and it could happen for you too, superconnected. This guy's story is the same as a lot of people who've 'made it' in the insular NYCNMW. Talent counts for a whole lot – even the mighty Richard Lawson was once a lowly Gawker commenter, unstarred even.

C_Webb (#855)

Superconnected, I haz no famis, but if you're named after the Belly song, I'll buy you something too.

katiebakes (#32)

It's going to be impossible to believe that I say this with sincerity, but I really truly do: start a Tumblr!

Flashman, I thought Richard was working in Gawker ad sales at the time.

Flashman (#418)

Well, sure, there's that.

riggssm (#760)

I hope Denton paid cash, in advance, for this info-tisement!

I hate this.

That's interesting! This actually doesn't have anything to do with Nick Denton, nor is his name even mentioned? And it's funny to me to "hate" a profile, though of course you're totally allowed to.


I'm not sure why I reacted so strongly…which is often a sign that something is seriously amiss! Maybe Abe's manning the scandal watchtower earlier in the thread (he started it!) got me going? This subject is also–unusually–bland, and save for his connections, I'm not sure why he's profile-worthy. Awl profile-worthy, that is. Oh wait…

He reminds me of that kid at a college in the mid west who kept everyone guessing his identity as he blogged about NYC socialites. Though the blog name eludes me now.

Baroness (#273)

Oh yeah, that Park Avenue Peerage kid. Drove him to the bughouse, he only gets out to lavish attention on Fabiola every 7 months, or the occasional full moon.

(Naught to do with Matt, who seems quite nice and sane.)

ericdeamer (#945)

I agree nice and sane but very very boring, especially for a reader who's also from the midwest.

What? What? I feel like I've been pee'd on. Yes I read this post. No I'm I'm not pround of it. Matt sounds like a nice guy, but what? What? Nothing newsworthy at the fucking health summit follies today? No animals ripping limbs off or reading Moliere at Urth Cafe?

As a quasi-old, I'm not sorry to have learned what I learned by reading this article.

Bittersweet (#765)

As another quasi-old, I'm not really sure what I learned by reading this article, except that I'm fairly old.

Moff (#28)


"My name's not Hurling, it's TerseNursePornstein. Hurling's just a nickname I have. Why? I'm not telling…"*

*Magpied from

Fredrick (#268)



Fredrick (#268)

Well, fuck me.

sargasm (#104)

* Call me

My cousin Rick is going moving to Secaucus. Possibly a job at Home Depot is what I hear.

zidaane (#373)

What kind of lunch table tone does Rick have? In person.

Ooooh! Who are Rick's favorite celebrities, I wonder?

hazmathilda (#839)

Well, I liked it! (and also I like his Little Edie shirt.)

LondonLee (#922)

My main takeaway from this was that I have no clue what the kids are up to these days, these "career" paths are like some alien culture. It just makes me want to turn off my computer and go read a book.

I mean, I'm old but I'm not old old.

I'm twenty-eight and this shit made me feel like a ruined failure (which I am, but STILL).

Fredrick (#268)

Pretty sure old IS old-old. I mean, Lady Gaga is 23. Angelina Jolie is like in her mid-thirties or something.

You have to ask yourself: am I too old to be a successful hooker? If the answer is yes, you're old.

Depends on what reststop you frequent, don't it?

Fredrick (#268)

Both of what ContainsHotLiquid said. Those things.

Thanks Fredrick that is a relief. Though I will prolly have to take more BDSM clients than in my salad days.

Rod T (#33)

You'll have to view source on that one, I guess.

MattP (#475)

What the fuck, and why did I read the whole thing?

Rod T (#33)

I stopped at the mention of Rachel Sklar. Are they fucking?

sixlocal (#296)

That is when I, too, closed tab.

Rod, no, he likes boys.

kitten: So the answer's yes?

DahlELama (#707)

I feel like I just read a letter home to my mom about my new best friend from camp. That said, I think Matt's great on Gawker and his coverage of the Late Night Wars was utterly insane. I'm a big fan, and will definitely be happy to see him get where he's going.

I have no idea what this is about. Except to make me feel old. At least I make a ton more money than the little squirt.

LondonLee (#922)

Thanks for the reminder. I earn lots of money and I own a house! Suck on that, kid! You can have the fucking future, it's going to be shit anyway.

But you'll never repurpose digital content, like you dreamed of as a kid. Rosebud! Photoshop!

Christina Tkacik (#3,723)

Man for a quick second I had the sick feeling this was the Awls way of branching into long-form reportorial blogging, and I was really embarrassed for us all.

Not branching; we always be branching. Heh. And we don't really have rules about format, and actually I think the idea of "format" is sort of out of date. BOY does that sound pretentious of me though, sheesh.

Oh hey Christina!

Christina Tkacik (#3,723)

Oh hey Doree! BTW – so glad Swarvoski's finding a new product to help them brave this harsh economic climate. Every time I walk past that store in the mall, I used to feel sad. Now I'll feel grossed out : )

Flashman (#418)

I just seen what y'all are talking about, and wow (that's a disparaging, exasperated wow):

Alex Balk (#4)

Xtina, ChatRoulette is back up!

ehcotton (#358)

That old grim reaper, baby
Honey, he's a friend of mine
Twenty-seven* years old now, baby
And I don't mind dyin'

souplines (#502)

You're gonna make it after all


Why is everybody being assholes? Am I missing something important?

saythatscool (#101)

It's like 3 Days of the Condor! I trust nobody.

We zig, you zag.

Moff (#28)

I think there are several reasons, some personal? But this is fairly reasonable, and this pretty much sums up my beef.

Screen Name (#2,416)

Look, first things first. Take out the garbage. And fix the goddamn kitchen cabinet door. The hinge probably snapped off because of the overflow where you let the trash pile up. You start hanging bags of garbage off the corner of the door and it weakens the hinge. Guarangoddamntee ya that's how it happened. How far is it to the building's dumpster? 20 yards? 100 yards? It's simple. Bag it up. Take a walk. Throw it out. I know it seems like such a small thing, but when the cabinet door breaks things go off the rails real fast. Believe me. You start doing things like hanging half-filled Styrofoam food containers in their delivery bags off the drawer edges… like the one hanging there behind you under the microwave. Jesus, son, look at it. Just look at it. No big deal? It offsets the rollers and loosens the track! No big deal. Once the hinges fall off and the drawer tracks go off line the whole goddamn cabinet system starts to break down! Then, why even bother with the apartment at all? Move out to the woods across the street. Scavenge for wild berries and eat cans of beans all day, I don't know. They have free wi-fi at every goddamn nickle and dime strip mall store from Grand Haven to Whitehall so it's not like you need a place to "do the Internet." I'm telling you, the kitchen cabinet system is the only thing that separates a man from a masturbating tree monkey. A goddamn disgrace that kitchen is. A god damn disgrace. First, take out the trash. Then we'll talk about moving to New York City.

johnpseudonym (#1,452)

Ohimigod are you my ex-wife??

Flashman (#418)

I do dig that microwave

Um, I would like to see a profile of Screen Name? Preferably autobiographical!

Maevemealone (#968)

Geez, I just figured this out!

BoHan (#29)

Top Something Things I Am No Longer Allowed To Say On The Internets, although I don't think I'm supposed to say internets either. Lord Awl, HIRE THIS GUY.

This has been a preview of the Local: East Village. Thank you for your interest, and your support.

Cajun Boy (#132)

Matt Cherette will always be mattchew03 to me. Also, don't let the bastards get you down Matt.

Hear hear!

reeraw (#2,299)

word. imagine if this was posted yesterday? would be rendered so ~profound~ by everyone's 'are you a millennial?' quiz results.

I did alright. Not that it would have mattered if I hadn't! 'Cause today's lesson was 'Young is the new old.'

BeRightBack (#59)

There is something interesting here, especially regarding the odd, centerless-seeming non-organization of a site like ONTD and the porous relation to cultural influence it seems to signify (also, Matt seems cute and talented).

But man, this article really makes you work to get anything out of it! Why is it so long? Why is it so inane? Why does it have sections if they have no structure to them (their ends have nothing to do with their beginnings!)? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

I agree. I think we need to flip this and make it about the author. Please, 1600 more words in explanation, explication and expiation.

C_Webb (#855)

This. I have nothing against the li'l whippersnapper subject himself at all.

La Cieca (#1,110)


e.g., the graf beginning

"'I will admit most of the stories on ONTD are from other places. Like, 99%," said Liz Carter, an ONTD moderator who goes by ecctv."

It was my fourth pass over this graf that I realized that the "fellow" who was asked to appear on Real Housewives wasn't in fact Matt but just some random other unnamed guy whose only connection to the subject of the profile is that they both are moderators on ONTD. (Do they even know each other?) It sounds like Liz was just babbling on, as interviewees will do, and D'Addario just transcribed everything on the tape.

Is there some kind of agreement with one-off writers that they don't get edited?

NinetyNine (#98)

Does this mean it's safe to say rude things about Emily again?

Emily (#20)


NinetyNine (#98)

You know, I was going to use Matthew to make this joke. Should have stayed with my instincts. #notalwaysaboutyou

Tulletilsynet (#333)

LOVE <3 <3 <3 color those little-girl red

Emily (#20)

Except with you, it so often is. Or other women. And it's weird, dude. It's just really fucking weird and unfunny and frankly, sometimes a little scary!

Emily (#20)

Fuck you too, you gutless, unfunny cretin. You probably post comments on Reblogging Julia Allison. Get a fucking life, you disgusting moron.

Emily (#20)

That latter comment was directed at "Tulletilsynet," just to be clear.

NinetyNine (#98)

Or other women. PHOTOS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN. I rilly, rilly was going to say Matthew, but he was so touchy all week about his snub, I figured it would end up, well, like this. Since you seem to be tracking my behavior so assiduously, when is the last time it 'was about you?' The las thing I wrote 'about you' referenced something you wrote about me. If you want to see me say nasty things about people that aren't you, just, you know, read my Tumblr.

Emily (#20)

I was thinking specifically about when you shouted "No we don't" when Andrew yelled "We support you Meaghan" at the Tumblr reading. That was straight-up bullying — gross and creepy. Why did you even come there, just to heckle her? You're, what, in your late 30s/early 40s? Stop acting like a child. Spend less time shitting on people who are doing what they love and you might find more time to create something in the world other than ill will and resentment.

Or, you know, keep doing exactly what you're doing. But don't keep acting shocked, SHOCKED! when the people on the receiving end of your unoriginal, knee-jerk insults have a problem with you.

Emily (#20)

And uh, no thanks, I'd rather not read your Tumblr.

NinetyNine (#98)

I didn't go to heckle her and did not. She wasn't at the mike to read at that moment, she was there to introduce my friend (who asked me to be there and that is the whole reason I attended). She made a comment about 'us.' I was just trying to live reblog the situation.

NinetyNine (#98)

Um, where did I ever say I was shocked? Many many people think I'm an asshole (quite a few don't as well — it all comes with the territory). I think you're a poor writer and say that in public — but I generally don't get it saying things like 'your age clearly affects your behavior' or things like that because I don't really know that much about you — except that I don't like your writing/online persona. I expect that you don't like me.

Emily (#20)

Ok, Nic Musolino –

You think I'm a "poor writer" and you "don't like my writing/online persona." You are totally entitled to feel this way, just as am totally entitled to disagree with you about the quality of my writing, and to dislike (what passes for) your writing and what I know of your "persona," online and off.

The thing I'm still confused about, though, is why you keep reading all this writing of mine that you keep disliking so much. I'm not making you read my work, Nic. In fact, I highly encourage you to stop. Please?

NinetyNine (#98)

Emily – congratulations on figuring out my name. For those of you who didn't know it, sorry I haven't told you. I've been hiding from everyone all this time. The link from the YM home page goes to the second link, so I never felt like I was keeping it that much on the DL (the only reason it wasn't linked to my Awl item was it didn't seem worth the effort to ask Choire to edit because I missed an email from him) — that Andrew, Foster and Katie all refer to me as 'Nic' regularly. But everyone else, Hi! (that's a call back Emily – a comedic device). I'll send along a photo or me in a bathing suit shortly.

I don't read your Tumblr or blog. People will send me excerpts or links because they figure it will be good for a laugh when something like this happens.

Emily (#20)

Ok, cool, thanks for clarifying. Meet Nic Musolino: a petty, misogynistic, hate-filled loser whose sole claim to fame is being Elizabeth Spiers' boyfriend for some reason I can't fathom. Welcome, Nic! Feel free to leave another comment — you're more than welcome to have the last word. I'm sure it will be clever and typo-free.

Oh and please spare us the (haha, hilarious three-year-old joke) bathing suit shot, Nic — as those of us lucky enough to have encountered you IRL know, there are lots of great reasons why you'd never pose for one.

NinetyNine (#98)

You're right — I couldn't top typo gotcha in comments.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

This is awesome.

MadrasSoup (#167)

If this little Algonquin session doesn't convince little Matty and Co. to move to New York I don't know what will!

zidaane (#373)

Well, my experience is New Yorkers LOVE people from the Midwest. He'll do just fine if he ever moves there. I think he has places to crash. Insidery places.

Abe Sauer (#148)

I was kinda doubting my earlier assertions on this thread but now am ready to double down… on all of it.

Also: "Many many people think I'm an asshole (quite a few don't as well – it all comes with the territory)." Is the stupidest comment the Internet has produced all week.

NinetyNine (#98)

Dude, I was only clarifying that I know lots of people aren't fond of either me or my writing style (in response to breathless "SHOCKED" comment above), or both. Yes, a painfully obvious thing to say. It's a typical and ineffective rhetorical feint to tell someone 'people don't like you' (about as sharp as saying 'you're ugly!'), but I guess it actually resonates for people who have an endless need to be liked.

How does any of this sub-thread relate to your other assertions? Or, rather, could you assemble those assertions in something that is reasonably comestible? Beyond, say, 'new york media people are petty' (whom I don't count myself as, since I've never worked in a media organization)?

When you aren't preaching to us with your 'you don't understand the midwest' (to a large group of people who hail from there and still have active and strong ties) bit, I do like the writing, but you really don't want to try Politburo-tea leaf commentary on the ex-Gawker universe from a distance. The byways are far too crowded and subtle. And sure, it's a pile of horse-shit at some macro-level, but conspiracy mongering without good fact just looks awful.

Me? I've learned my lesson. I'm going back to using Krucoff as my default punchline.

joeclark (#651)

Shorter Emily/Nic: Nic evanescently uttered something Emily didn't like within earshot of a few people, so Emily took time out of her busy day to engage in personal invective in an infinitely replicable medium.

Matt (#26)

Shorter shorter emily/nic: just trying to live reblog the situation

Tuna Surprise (#573)

When I moved to New York all I got was an egg thrown at me while I was taking my stuff out of the U-Haul and an $85 parking ticket for leaving it on the street overnight (who knew?). Anyway, I disliked this article only because I'm jealous no one unrolled the welcome mat for me.

Welcome to NYC!

missdelite (#625)

He's got that New Car smell about him…

So much for the "New Nice."

It lasted about 48 hours, though, which is about 24 more than I expected.

IBentMyWookie (#133)

you're kissing enough ass for the rest of us combined. Trust.

Wow. You deserve to be unbent for that.

Fredrick (#268)

This post and these comments remind of that scene in the Last Dragon when Eddie Arkadian holds a shivering puppy of a murky fish tank, and the creature inside the tank starts growling and you JUST KNOW it's gonna eat the shit outta that puppy, but Arkadian's just fucking with us, and it's the 80s, so killing puppies on cameras wasn't really a 'thing' yet.

Fredrick (#268)

ew, 'of' is meant to be 'over' but you get it!

Tom Scocca (#48)

OK, this is a familiar routine to people who've worked for the Observer. Readers are angry. They have read a profile. They are angry about the profile…on the basis…of the observations…and quotations….and facts…that the writer…supplied…in the profile…that they are angry about.

Please, dear readers: "'This is the first time we've met IRL,' she said. "

You think that is an accident? All of you, at once, in agreement, think that by publishing that quote, the writer is demonstrating the inability to see things that are obvious to you. You, the readers of the site where it was published.

Gah, I can't help myself! Tom, I've re-read this piece a few times as a result of your comment. Okay! But what of the tumblr stuff (niceness, the Internets, blah) then, I wonder?

Matthew, it's nothing to do with you. Sorry you got caught in the crossfire.

itskristina (#1,779)

I'd just like to say that I enjoyed the Dina Lohan twitter account and was pleasantly surprised to learn that the person behind it is the same person who managed that insane coverage of the Late Night Wars. Especially because I live in a country where it's impossible to stream tv clips from legit television streaming places.

Also, I just did a search in gmail for my password for commenting on this site and a whole bunch of daily newsletters came up. I enjoyed those too! I even have a label just for them.

HiredGoons (#603)

I was moving offices in this fucking blizzard all day, what did I miss!?


Tuna Surprise (#573)

Someone should've called you.

HiredGoons (#603)

Mmm, I think I won.

@HiredGoons: Ha, you and me both! I feel totally justified in hastily skimming this article-ette, and then skipping straight to the comments for validation.

wiilliiaamm (#225)

I just want to fuck him.

HiredGoons (#603)

You are not wrong.

josh_speed (#97)

Kind of yes.

Aatom (#74)

I'm gonna go with "he's adorable" and leave it there. There's some sort of third-rail action on this thread.

Tell me about it.

HiredGoons (#603)

^ I'm with him.

lululemming (#409)

"People often ask Dan D'Addario how to make conversation at dinner parties…"

lululemming (#409)

That was excessively catty.

semiserious (#2,430)

As someone who can relate to certain parts of this story a bit more than I'd like to admit, I'm slightly perplexed by the comment controversy.

Then again I guess the reaction comes down to whether or not you find a story about a kid being picked from internet obscurity for a chance at "blog superstardom" uplifting or not.

Though, I wouldn't hold it against you if you didn't.

Vulpes (#946)

I love Matthew; any man with a black pug, an adorable Gaga obsession, and a great wit is tops in my book. Don't listen to the haters, Matt!

I'm not sure anyone's really hating on Matt here?

MaggieL (#3,424)

I haven't been able to stop thinking about this post. I read it, as many did, perplexed. At first glance it seems to violate the Awl's motto of "Be less stupid": a profile of a seemingly nice kid who may or may not move to New York for his media job — why do we care? Then I started doubting myself, convinced that the very smart writers and editors of this site must have some reason for publishing this profile that I do not understand. Are we meant to laugh at Matt? Pity him? Both of those reactions seem out of touch with the generally good-hearted (I know, gag me, but still, that's what I see) and well-intentioned spirit of the site. Perhaps it's not about Matt but about the craft of profile-writing or "celebrity"-watching; perhaps the piece is pointing out how all profiles present a skewed version of reality, and all profiles assume an interest in a person without justifying that interest. At this point my head starts to hurt, but I keep wondering anyway. Is that the point, in the end? To watch us writhe as we try to figure out something that appears on the surface to be nothing at all?

Sprague D (#3,732)

It's a post about how baby stars are made. Very meta.

If the kid has any sense he'll stay the fuck away from Manhattan. This post made me sad. I kept seeing him five years from now, slouched over the bar at Vazac's with the sun pouring in singing "Amazing Grace" to himself.

Gracie (#1,919)

For some reason this post made me register as a commenter for the first time on any site ever…and I have been following Choire, Balk et al forever…
So well done.

Maevemealone (#968)

Anyways, what were you were going to say?

I feel like this should be the start of a New Millennium Choose Your Own Adventure story, and before the next installment we need to choose where Matt will live in NYC (In one of the options he gets bedbugs; in another, he gets a couple living next door that argues loudly in a foreign language, etc).

(Good luck, Matt!)

tigolbitties (#2,150)

a third option: an apartment in one of the tony areas of town but it's really a closet with no kitchen or bathroom, just a sink in the corner.

Ern Malley (#3,733)

Think "Robert Kennedy Saved from Drowning".

God, it's like you're IN MY HEAD.

eggplant (#2,003)

I think maybe the law-school-exam-question style is setting a lot of people's teeth on edge. Also, every paragraph is either too long or too short.

Mount_Prion (#290)

Of course this kind of almost-lukewarm, cloying, awful writing comes from Michigan. How is it even possible to be a Jay Leno fan these days?

Let me be frank–I rarely come here to comment, but I must say the following:

Matt Cherette is completely useless and awful. I hope he moves to New York and my city utterly crushes his ambitions and adorrrrrable pluck. I hope his ego implodes, and maybe even bursts a few key blood vessels in his brain in the process.

Juggernauts are not built of marshmallow fluff.

BadUncle (#153)

Worry not, pooky. New York is the Nightmare Factory. From the first deposit to a landlord wearing no pants for an illegally rented cellar with a toilet in the kitchen, to his last paycheck from Denton when he learns that he's just not working out, New York will crush him like a tiny, midwestern grape, and mirthlessly belch after drinking his soul.

saythatscool (#101)

Any way you cut it, this is gottdamned funny. Well done, both of you.

fek (#93)

154 Comments? Matt, Daniel, you're both right on pace. More like this and you'll be fine. Ignore the noise, barrel on through. Etc. Nice work, both of you.

Except they are not uniques. :P

zidaane (#373)

He might move there. We'll keep everyone posted as things develop.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Just think of the word-count of the profile piece they'll serve up if ACTUALLY DOES MOVE TO NEW YORK !!!

Abe Sauer (#148)

Thinking about tis more, the problem with this piece are three-fold and related.
1. regardless of the intention, and I think there was a genuine one, the fact tat Gawker was heavily involved, in a uncritical way was just tone-deaf for this publication's particular audience. Any other blog or blog network and I bet and the only criticism would have been "I don;t get it."
2. This gawker legacy thing continues into comments which doesn't help, with gawker writers new and old chiming in with support… but some anonymously. this confirms the disclosure problem plaguing this thing.
3. The one that rankles me personally (and kind of confirms my annoyance about the 2 above) is that the author never wades in here to defend himself, which I think would have put a stop to some of the ill will. INSTEAD the whole inside conversation moves on to an insider group on Tumblr (including the author were the piece and the commentors are discussed… again between many current and ex-Gawker authors who all "follow" one another.
Any problem with this really had nothing to do with Matthew, who seems like a second coming of Uncle Grambo I guess. It's with the piece being wildly meta-insidery.

You are all welcome to read this piece as you like. It's the one luxury of being a reader, the ability to interpret and assess!

But it goes without saying, except I guess it doesn't, that there is no "disclosure problem" with this piece. That phrase is a strong one, in my book! So it's worth it for me to say that your allegations of influence or currying of favor are bizarre and invented.

That you think the author should "wade in here" to "defend himself" against these invented, conspiracy-minded charges in what is now apparently a court of reputation–that seems odd to me. As a principle, I've always believed that is the last thing any writer should ever do.

Finally, that you feel that an "inside conversation" is taking place among an "insider group" on Tumblr is, I think, a fundamental misunderstanding of the Internet? You're not excluded from anything. If there were an "inside conversation" going on it would not be conducted on the Internet, in public, which is where people's blogs are located.

(Just as an FYI, I won't be attending to this comments section in the future. I stopped by once last night in my role as co-editor of the site, to try to moderate a little, because I thought the behavior and language in here was outlandish. And I felt moved to comment on this latest now, for better or for worse, because I didn't want to let such things stand unaddressed.

But this is your show trial of us, or Dan, or Matt, or yourselves, or whoever, so feel free to continue to prosecute it as you see fit.)

Tom Scocca (#48)

Nice try, Comrade Sicha (though I hesitate even to call you "Comrade"). But you have done nothing to address the problem here. We have a dispatch from Barcelona, where the last foothold of the Workers' government is crumbling, and it is hopelessly narrow and uncritical of the Right.

The writer describes Republican troops bleeding and dying, but never once mentions that they are bleeding and dying on behalf of the Masses the world over. The Fascists are overrunning the city's last defenses, the writer says, with no reference to the global program of Fascist and Rightist domination over the Proletariat.

This pro-Fascist enthusiasm is shocking to see in a publication such as this one. I can only conclude that the editors, who were themselves present for the fall of Valencia, came away from that battlefield with a clear love of Franco. To write about Barcelona without mentioning the Masses is a betrayal of the Socialist movement, more devastating than the mere military setback the piece so lovingly describes.

Uncle Grambo (#579)

Thank you (I think?). Good for this guy!

As basically a punkass who knows none of you all, this makes my voyeuristic soul very happy. No, thank you.

libmas (#231)

Your Jedi mind tricks will not work on me, Scocca. Always knew you were a Fascist.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Well, "disclosure problem" was somewhat tongue in cheek. But it demonstrates that, as you've said, sarcasm and tone doesn't always translate on the internet. And "defend" was maybe the wrong word. "Engage" is better. I really think things suffered from the author not going in here and being sincere about the piece. That said: Maybe we've learned something important about the subject "gawker." There is maybe just too much legacy, witches' brew of gakwer-related interests and blog-media insiderness for the awl to touch the subject and not expect some kind of chemical reaction. I mean, I've written a thing or two for his site that have caused personal invective and nobody seemed too concerned abut my well-being (which was fine of course).

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Agree that not having made a comments-section appearance is +1 for the author. For that is the editor's pleasant duty.

La Cieca (#1,110)

This is what we down south used to call a "hissy fit." Aunt Choire has got the pip!

wiilliiaamm (#225)

For chrissakes I just need a shot of his ass.

All this other hoo haa is media playground shit.

And that doesnt help me bust a nut. at least not today.

Vulpes (#946)

Well, you yourself have used personal invective and didn't seem too concerned about anyone's well-being (which was fine of course), so I think it's slightly different.

I really do want to know what Gawker/Tumblr-insidery agenda this piece is supposed to have served. At most, I can see the editors promoting Matthew because they see him hurtling down the same Denton Tunnel of Horror to which they've been subjected and wanting a snapshot of his prelapsidarian innocence.

Also, I love The Awl, but while I don't think it is ALL it is, it is really one big inside conversation among insider groups.

fek (#93)

Some people have this raging vendetta against Gawker Media which they see as inherently evil! It's not. Those people need to get over themselves. They're the only ones left with that problem, which was so two years ago. Maybe Gawker was involved critically but they're too tone-deaf to read it? And does it matter if it was or wasn't involved critically for anybody without their blood vendetta?

Finally, Matthew and Daniel, whatever you do, don't come in here. Let us, the internet, the noise, do the talking for you. If you two can stir up this much shit on one piece alone, I promise, you'll be fine. The reason some people take this silence personally is because they feel like their noise should be dignified! Which, in most cases, it shouldn't.

Hi Abe!

Regarding: "with Gawker writers new and old chiming in with support… but some anonymously."

Where is all this "chiming … support" of which you speak? Other than a small handful of comments from Choire and Foster, and … uh me, I guess? I think you could count those comments on one hand in a thread of over 200 negative ones.

So you're suggesting that those positive comments must be motivated by some desire to give a big blow job to Gawker Media? Not, say, maybe because Matt's a good kid and the young, aspiring writer who wrote this post could maybe used a little support and encouragement for attempting something a little different and then being lambasted here in the comments so mercilessly?

Abe Sauer (#148)

@ Hippity: If you go back and read all the comments here it's hardly 200 negative ones. it's a handful of negative ones and a lot of WTF IF THIS ones and, actually, I think if you read closely, a lot of positive "good for you Matt but I don't understand the pit of this at all" ones. There are almost no really anti-Matt comments here.

This Gawker subject on the the awl is just a bad idea all around and fraught with legacy issues. The awl and gawker have an antagonistic (but I think cordial) relationship. In this comments section alone there are a bunch of gawker writers past and present I know of (and maybe more)… and The Awl has a heap of crossover writers from Katie B to Vargas-Cooper to Foster and Doree. But it's clear a bit of the energy from there has crossed over (unintentionally for sure). Hell, one conversation here is bordering on reliving the whole 6 billion comment Emily thing from years ago. Shit, you want negative comments? Go visit 99. But to me, it's all evidence of something else going on. Maybe for The Awl doing "subtle" things w/r/t Gawker is, as they say, "too soon."

Some (especially early) readers who have commented here probably love the awl in part because it has just enough of the gawker they liked without any of the old drama. This piece, intentionally or not, is just too insidery from the beginning and the editors probably should have suspected that. I mean, look what happened the last time the awl posted a little thing (insidery news?) that Doree and Richard were returning to Gawker? 118 comnents

And as overly sensitive and irrational as some awl readers may be about anything gawker here, gawker writers can be really overly defensive and quick to circle the wagons. The uncritical rah-rahing of the whole thing from the latter doesn't help matters either.

Anyway, I think Moff (more Gawker legacy) summed it up much shorter: "I think some of us expect you guys to be a voice of reason and, more to the point, a place where we can go for incisive yet constructive criticism of the news media and the culture. And we know the Awl's editorial mission is fairly loose (in a good way), and that you're being awesomely generous as an outlet for writers; and we know there are a total of three people trying to make it work; and we know no one's getting paid! But in this case it felt like the writing wasn't strong enough to temper the sort of awkward subject matter."
@fek: The "vendetta" against gawker media is just as manufactured for entertainment as any of your weekly rants against whatever you've decided has personally offended you for 5 minutes.

Moff (#28)

For the record, I am not retracting those statements exactly (because I do think incisive yet constructive criticism, etc., is what a lot of us expect from this place, and so on), but:

Based on some of the comments here from Scocca and TerseNurse, and a quick scan of Daniel D'Addario's other work (which suggests he might know more about structure, etc., than he got credit for), I guess count me among those who now think there was something going on this post that we were supposed to pick up on. Obviously, many of us didn't, which, thank God-my self-esteem doesn't need any more beatings this week.

Or, hey, maybe not. I remain, as usual, confused about nearly everything. (But this I am certain of).

Moff (#28)

(Thank God I wasn't alone in the not picking-up-on, that is.)

Vulpes (#946)

I still don't understand what you and Moff and others have so much against Gawker. Yeah, it's definitely declined in quality, Denton is a total asshat, etc, etc. but why is anything with regards to it "too soon" and an "awkward subject matter"? I don't think you have a "vendetta," I just don't understand.

And, again, I don't know how you can read The Awl and not know that it is inherently "too insidery." That's just the way Choire, especially, rolls.

Moff (#28)

I don't have anything against Gawker! They deposit money in my checking account every month, and I really appreciate it. There is, nonetheless, a frenemy-ish relationship between Gawker and the Awl that "added a weird layer to the proceedings"-which was the best way I could articulate a sentiment I don't quite understand either but that is quite evidently present, given the reaction to this post.

libmas (#231)

Holy crap, this is an insane thread. So much so that I've lost my nerve, and feel compelled to note that I'm just kidding here, and only spoke up because I thought Scocca's comment was funny. (Not that anyone cared.)

1600 words? I hearby identify and name a new neurological disorder, John McPhee's Disease.

What can you do with, say, carp, Daniel?

C_Webb (#855)

Or maybe granite?

I liked the carp story! It was sad!

KarenUhOh (#19)


Was any of this worth it?

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Worth it?

Did you miss that part where She Who Must Not Be Named revealed herself in torments, spewing threats and curses from the center of a flaming chariot drawn by dragons? As soon as NineyNine casually took her name in vain?

Joe Mac Leod (#3,401)

I don't know anything about anything here, like "inside." I saw the little picture with this item, and I read the hedline and I thought "Bleah, I'm not reading this one," because this was gonna be a deal where somebody makes fun of this guy, like with that chick from England or Britain or whatever who was ready to have a show on MTV, I think, and then like a few months later she was gone. Or it was gonna be like something from The Onion, which is also too smart for me to enjoy without sounding out the comedy-math on every equation-gag. That's all on me, the Onion is funny, OK? It just makes me tired to read it sometimes. So I wasn't gonna read this piece until I saw how many comments it had, holy crap! Look at how many comments, so I gotta reasd this shit. And then all the comments, bleah. Look, I am way Less Intelligent and Sophisticated than the average Awl reader, and the only thing that really stood out was when that lady said "IRL." It took me a minute to unpack that one and then I wondered if people really talk like that. They must, right? It made me feel judgmental about people who speak like that. The facts presented in this piece are Interesting to me, and I am generally not interested in crap like this. Reading about this person and his new job of aggregating teevee stuff and making comments about it was Interesting to me. The background information about his life was like, "wow, this kid is fucking MOTIVATED, man, fucking total Coffee Achiever." The quote about how his personal relationship got in the way of his work was kinda sad, but I don't feel sorry for this guy. He is a Go-Getter, Doing Things. I don't look at GAWKER TV because I am too busy watching teevee, and I thought maybe this would make me interested in looking at GAWKER TV, but I'm not and I probably won't. I am in no position to judge anyone's writing about anything, but I would just like to say I thought this was interesting to read, and if you give people facts, they get to make up their own minds. Thank you.

Cliff Spab (#84)

This guy. This guy right here.

katiebakes (#32)


mle (#1,292)

"if you give people facts, they get to make up their own minds"
This is the thing here, I think. I read this yesterday and then again today when I saw the comment craziness, and I kept thinking why is this so odd and angering to people? Because at face value it's really just what it is and that's it, which is, a bunch of facts presented without comment, nothing at all like what goes on over at ivygate. Sort of like how if you take all the adjectives and metaphors and whatever else out of a thing, then everyone makes up their own mind and the story you thought was really uplifting is really depressing to someone else. All these facts presented without opinion leading everyone to speculate and making a mess, i guess.

saythatscool (#101)

I like the part where the guy did the thing.

In a world in which everyone is "connected", the word media modified by the word "social", press releases turned into blog posts, and an internet rapidly devolving into a mutual admiration dystopia, is it that difficult to understand why/how it is that readers have come to question why/how "facts" are being presented in a piece?

Let's stop being disingenuous.

The Awl asks us to join it in thinking critically, in every post. (That's but one of a million reasons why it's the best site out there!) This one was extremely subtle, however, and though many of us failed the second jump, I think we cleared the first.

As for myself, sincere apologies to the editors. My comments imply that I doubted them. Never!

BoHan (#29)

Also. And ALSO.

belltolls (#184)

Matt watches TV so I don't have to. By the way, Matt is great.

KarenUhOh (#19)

I'm very confused.

I pronounce this piece a wild success.

zidaane (#373)

The Awl Weekend Style section where Rachel Sklar is profiled about her side gig as a travel agent has been sadly canceled.

@zidaane: Really? I would think the wild success of this would make that one a definite go!

zidaane (#373)

Replaced by 'The Meta Editors' I'm hoping.

BoHan (#29)

Oh me with no cultural education, I finally sort've get it. First, it may be all very meta, but if all these smart people who read the Awl don't get it (I not being one of those smart people), then it did not serve its purpose. And claiming the point was to provoke anger, hence the number of comments, is a post-posting back-ass justification. I prefer to think of it as that famous blank white (or maybe it was black or maybe it was red or maybe there are several?)canvas hanging in some museum. I mean I totally get the point, but why, and I can sit here and say that even though I get the point, the point was stupid to begin with. Now I'm confusing myself. Back to drafting contracts for the sale of polluted REO.

Moff (#28)

Could you explain it, then? Seriously.

BoHan (#29)

Actually, my true opinion, when I'm not frustrated with the phone ringing and the secretaries gossiping, and I'm watching 4 man bobsled all at the same time, all of which makes me feel all gooey inside, is that the author just followed the BUTT style manual, which is this gay magazine published from Holland that is (soon to be was) all the rage. These guys interview all sorts of interesting artists, writers and oddities who have interesting gay angles and fetishes. BUTT because the publishers don't understand (or choose not to understand, understandably) American sarcasm, they write it with this sort've factual understatement, and with perfect grammar and seemingly normal. Thus it leaves me feeling really prejudiced and inadequate because I end up feeling really feel bad for not sleeping with the guy who has not taken a bath in 5 years or the guy who has never cut his toenails in 35 years . And it's really interesting in that respect or also when the interviewee is this week's BUTT calendar shot, which OMG. This guy Matt seems cool. He'll rock NYC. But he needs to be working on the side as a Grand Rapids gogo dancer who only dates indigenous Guatemalans to make this type of piece really work. There is probably some sort of odd fetish here that would make this really work were it disclosed, but as it is, he's just some sort of blogger who will work really hard and be very punctual and make lots of money and bang lots of hot guys. More power to him. But as for the text itself, it's late 70s Interview Magazine, combined with the BUTT, trying to make really interesting people seem bland and undistinguished. The new kid in town deserves better.

zidaane (#373)

hmm… This has some possibilities- like explains 90% of it.

I offer the final 10% solution. This is a meta-drama.
Like a crime drama but no one cares or dies.

You need to look at the facts, like a detective:
Matt's a good guy.
Loves his parents.
Works hard.
Has had some success with blogging.
Left his boyfriend to be more sucessful.
Makes many friends online with his work.
One of those friends was Richard Blakely.
One of those friends was Rachel Sklar.
One of those friends had another friend who had another friend.
This part is murky…
Somehow Choire- who must know one these people (certainly not the author), says he'll publish the profile
because Matt is a great guy and this is a friend- no one really thinks it's because the profile is good or that Choire needs an Ivy League connection?
So- a site, which is known for de-constructing essays and whatnot from other sites via 'The Shadow Editors'
puts something out there from a new author that has no pretext or grounding and is just plain meta or wierd or empty or profound (your choice).
And then slightly freaks (or shuts down) when it's commentators implode.
There's a crime here- but, it's not the freaked out audience perpetrating it, and it has little to do with Matt or the author for that matter.
It's not the fact the profile was bad (highly arguable as Tom says- he seems to like it?) – it's just that it wasn't honest. I think Abe nailed that.
I mean- myself, I didn't HATE it. Was I left wondering WTF? Yes. Was I disappointed the Awl didn't really have a clear position here?
I think everyone who cares about the Awl feels that.
Explain it better- defend it. Put it in context. If you want a stupid audience, I hear is not too taxing on the brian.
There's this new buck there tearing it up.

doubled277 (#2,783)

For what it's worth, I did not hate this.

I don't hate it either! The Matt/Rachel/Old/New/Media thing he's got going on is actually interesting, once you get your bearings.

doubled277 (#2,783)


sigerson (#179)

I couldn't finish the actual article (I mean, I should give a shit exactly why?) but now I'm curious about the level of interest, vitriol and number of comments. Is this the MOST commented story EVER on the Awl?

If so, kudos to the editors, who know good linkbait when they see it.

KarenUhOh (#19)

I feel compelled to add my two more cents and state again that I really don't get any of it.

Yes and while we're at it, maybe commenters here can rally around and post another 200 comments repeating that they think the piece is really poorly written and topic is boring – and maybe throw in a little more vitriol while we're at it.

Because really, the point just can't be hammered home enough, y'know? Especially since this college senior who wrote the piece really deserves to have his nose rubbed in everyone's contempt because … because … well I'm not sure but a lot of commenters I respect seem to think so why not join in just keep mindless piling on?

Tuna Surprise (#573)

You again? I thought you were already told to take your niceness elsewhere…

Honestly Hip, how come you've appointed yourself Judge Judy & executioner here?

Hi Dorothy! How is expressing an opinion – just like everyone else here is doing – "appointing myself" anything? Because it's not the correct opinion, I guess?

Oh and how are you? It's been a long time …

Hi hi!
I was really just wondering why you were making such a seemingly strong effort to condemn those who, like you, were merely also just expressing their opinions, is all. (Also, I think "mindless piling on" might be a little unfair? In fact, it seems the whole tenor of the "conversation" here has come around to perhaps giving this piece way more thought than actually warranted?)

Dorothy: Oh, now I see what you mean. You raise a good point.

I guess because the author is a young, nonprofessional writer, this made me feel a little protective on his behalf..? And because I like Matthew, who – although he isn't the target of most of the criticism – got kind of caught in the crossfire anyway…?

But you're right, of course. Too much thought here all around. I'm gonna head over to the thread in Katie Bakes' Olympics post. Happy weekend!

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Gawker:Foxymorons::The Awl:This Shit

Too much attention lavished! And yet. At 236 comments, the word count down here is only longer than the original weird post by about a fourth.

zack petrick (#1,335)

Well it should be said that he is way cute!

rula (#3,558)

Well, at least you have better taste in young guys than Dennis Cooper.

I'm going to give a shout-out to Grand Haven, because my family vacationed there every summer when I was growing up-I miss Fricano's pizza and pronto-pups desperately.

Spencer Lund (#2,331)

This post took up 5 hours of my day. I don't regret it. Being a long time Awl reader, and someone that NEVER comments, mainly because 90% of the commentators are smarter than I am, but I just had to chime in. I've met Matt once. He seemed like a nice guy. All the haterade people are drinking IS NOT directed at you Matt. Kudos on not chiming in like I have. I will now continue to read the Awl, and especially the commentators, and laugh my ass off.

bennimaddi (#314)

i have something to say! i have no opinion on any of this! (i leave it to the reader to parse the intent of my exclamation points!)

Finally got a chance to slog through the post and all the comments. For me, this feels like one of those times when you awkwardly stumble into the middle of someone else's family fight.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

This this this! It's like Thanksgiving at your girlfriend's house after her mom stole her grandma's car keys! It's like PLEASE CAN WE JUST EAT SOME TURKEY AND BE FRIENDS AGAIN???

Also apparently we are related? I think you outrank me though.

carpetblogger (#306)

I heart the Awl 90% and dislike 10% — this post and its comments encapsulates that 10%: the occasional (very!) poorly written post about a topic that isn't terribly interesting combined with insidery GawkTawk/Tumblrarity that are of interest to approximately 10 people.

I am pretty certain this post and the manufactured internet outrage it has generated is exceptional, though, and we will soon return to regularly scheduled programming about hilarious bears and clever recipes? Right? Right?

Sprague D (#3,732)

Agog at the mewling and bawling about the nasty comments here from people who used to work at… GAWKER. Suddenly finding your capacity for human empathy must be the hipster version of contrition.

Stop. You're killing me.

Well, I thought YOU all were joking and that WE all were joking. Wasn't this just a white boy version of Foxy Brown?

KarenUhOh (#19)

Nick Denton and Alex Kucyznski purchased a G.E. microwave for the Gawker Media Kitchens from Home Depot during a "Super Secret Girls Play Hooky" shopping day in late 2006, but Nick later exchanged it for a Whirlpool without telling the store he'd used it to cook macaroni and cheese.

He later broke the Whirlpool getting out of it.

Vulpes (#946)

So what have we learned from this experience? Seriously, what have we learned? Matt is cute? We're all a bunch of bitches?

Derek Jenkins (#3,772)

Wonderful. I love love love how this profile and this comments section fold in on each other so beautifully. Oh, Zeitgeist! You blink like a doomed animal!

KarenUhOh (#19)

I am just going to sit here, a fly in the belly of the feral offpsring of a corpulent beast, and wait for flowers and fairydust to filter down around me.

brianvan (#149)

It's still going!

Matt (#26)

Is tit though?

garge (#736)

I was on vacay. #wha'dimiss

GLanyon (#282)

Did it occur to some of you cranks that, rather than writing about Gawker as a favor, The Awl wrote something Gawker-related because readers have asked for it? I know I have – and I have zero connection to New York or media.

I'd read a tell-all, in any format, about Gawker for the same reasons I would read a book about working for Playboy magazine in the 1960s. Can you think of another relevant publication that has nurtured (well, hired and paid) and exposed this much new writing/editing talent in the past decade? Not to mention Gawker's control-freak tendencies when it comes to any coverage it gets. You'd be a damn fool to have a first-hand perspective on the inner workings of a company like Gawker and not utilize it when looking for topics to cover. Especially when you're writing for a blog that covers media. Doy.

Give Awl readers some credit. We all know about 'legacy' issues. Many of us came to the Awl because of them. That's a big part of why many of us love it – and/or why so many of us comment on Gawker-related content. It's fascinating.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

I did once read an insidery who-fvcked-who about the glory days of Gawker. It was called "Gawker."

sunnyciegos (#551)

And you wonder why Denton wasn't interested in keeping the lot of you.

dcincome (#3,870)

Matt Cherette should marry her, get divorce after a month and move to LA next.


Mar (#4,059)


Very interesting article about our illustrious moderators. Congrats on getting out of Michigan, Mattchew!

saythatscool (#101)



saythatscool (#101)

Laste Grande?

tim net (#7,623)

whats the deal in it

Matt (#26)

just trying to live reblog the situation

6h057 (#1,914)

"I'm voting this up on rendit." –Some dudes yelling 'No we don't' in rooms

Matt (#26)

Goddamnit Jay.

saythatscool (#101)

How the hell did I get back here?

bbnet (#10,880)

I found your website perfect for my needs. It contains wonderful and helpful posts. I have read most of them and got a lot from them.
Lai suat|Ty gia

NinetyNine (#98)

@bbnet Agreed.

Matt (#26)

Come, come
Into my bathroom
And become
Compliance's child

NinetyNine (#98)

send out the signals deep and loud

Post a Comment