Media Grinches of Hurricane Sandy: The Liars, The New York Post and Gawker

A natural disaster is a time for class, dignity, exchange of news instead of rumor (ahem, oh well) and a sense of humor where warranted. (Everyone’s mileage will vary on what’s funny and when, of course. One mild ill-timed joke, and you’re the most-hated person on Twitter.) With millions of people without power, low-lying areas flooded and some generally scary stuff going on, it’s a little tense! The good news is, here in New York City most workplaces are being sensible with their employees—I mean, they kind of have to be, given that no one can go anywhere, what with every subway tunnel flooded.

But then there’s bad taste and bad priorities—and ill will.

For starters, there were the rumor-mongers and liars, who got thrills out of spreading disinformation.

And then? This deleted New York Post tweet above, screenshotted here by Bro Pair, certainly takes the stupid cake. (It’s also nonsensical, psycho axe-grinding; likely that’s a picture from the East Village.)

And then there’s Gawker chief Nick Denton, who was among Internet honchos who engages a data center in downtown Manhattan, which, unshockingly to anyone who’s read a weather report in the last five days, didn’t make it. (The rest of us made data center preparations; even then, some of us went down after midnight.) Denton sent an all-staff memo at 9:50 p.m. last night, well after his sites went down, and they remain down: “If you’re working tonight and tomorrow and the sites are still not back: post on Twitter and Facebook. (That is if you still have internet and power yourself.)” Um, why? Why on earth should the staff bother? (One argument: “because they get a paycheck.” One counterargument to that: because they just got hosed on the employee traffic bonus system, during a major news event, due to forces beyond their control.)