Gawker under fire for ‘outing’ Conde Nast CFO

The US gossip website Gawker has come in for considerable criticism after publishing an article that effectively ’outed’ the Chief Financial Officer of US publishing giant, Conde Nast.

Gawker under fire for ‘outing’ Conde Nast CFO

The piece uploaded to the site last night alleged that David Geithner, a married father-of-three, had solicited sex from a former gay porn star named only as Ryan.

As well as being Conde Nast's CFO, Geithner is also the brother of former US Treasurer Secretary, Timothy Geithner.

In the article, Gawker published a string of texts purported to have been exchanged by Geithner and the escort between July 4 and 6 in which he arranges to pay Ryan $2,500 for a meet-up in a Chicago hotel.

Although David Geithner didn't use his full name, the escort figured out who he was and tried to get Geithner to use his political ties to intervene in a housing dispute.

In the article by Jordan Sargent, it is claimed that once Geithner found out Ryan had then gone to the press, he promised to bring his complaint to President Obama if Gawker killed the story.

In a statement to Gawker, Geithner strenuously denied their version of events, saying that this was part of 'a shakedown'.

"I don't know who this individual is. This is a shakedown. I have never had a text exchange with this individual. He clearly has an ulterior motive that has nothing to do with me."

Well-used to generating controversy on their site - their motto is "today's gossip is tomorrow's news" - Gawker has been inundated with an unprecedented level of criticism on social media with public figures such as former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald and celebrity blogger (and no stranger to controversy himself) Perez Hilton slamming their decision to publish it.

But the website remains unrepentant with editor Max Read defending the piece as in the public interest.

But it seems not many people agree that they were justified in so publically invading the privacy of a man and his family who, up until now, not many people would have heard of.

While others were not at all surprised at Gawker's decision.

Gawker media - which also owns sites such as Jezebel and Deadspin - is currently being sued by Hulk Hogan after they posted part of a secretly recorded sex tape of Hogan and his best-friend's ex-wife.

And after today's events, many online are hoping that Hulk Hogan ends up taking out Gawker for good.


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