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Could One Blog’s Shadow Cast Fear into the Hearts of Editors?

So far, the wildest rumor floating around Emily Gould‘s collection of autobiographical essays that’s made its way to my inbox is the notion that two editors were interested in what Emily describes in her proposal as “stories about growing up, making mistakes, sometimes learning, [and] sometimes not learning,” but declined to pursue the project “because,” my source suggested, “they were afraid of the Gawker shit storm that would follow publication.”

Granted, the blog’s shown a remarkable tenacity in keeping track of and commenting upon its (and, noting my lack of objectivity here, our) former editor’s personal and professional developments since her departure last year, but it’s unclear to me that anybody in New York, or anybody at all really, takes those posts seriously anymore, if they ever did; even the core audience of Gawker commenters has noted the “same old same old” nature of the recurring updates and openly questioned their motivation. Let’s imagine for a moment that the site’s still sharpening its knives twelve or eighteen or however many months later it takes for Emily’s book to make its way to bookstores: Wouldn’t it make more sense, from a publicity standpoint, to jujitsu that negative coverage into a story of its own? (“Who Is Nick Denton And Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?”)

The more you think about this, the sillier it gets. Do the editors at Sentinel or Threshold ask themselves whether Talking Points Memo and The Daily Kos are going to crush their books with withering scorn? Does Simon Spotlight worry about falling on the wrong side of Perez Hilton‘s wrath? Maybe science fiction publishers live in fear that Boing Boing is going to mock a potential acquisition as technically unsound? Somehow, I just don’t see Gawker as having a power those blogs don’t. But maybe you see it differently? Feel free to comment or email…

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