Scrolling through Twitter this week, Cockburn found himself with a case of deja vu.

The website Gawker recently posted an erroneous story about Thomas Chatterton Williams, a professor at Bard College, going to see the new Alex Jones documentary Alex’s War. The headline of the article was “Thomas Chatterton Williams Pals With Fellow Losers at Alex Jones Premiere."

There was just one problem: the story wasn't true. As Williams posted on Twitter: "This article is insane and just a lie. @gawker has been harassing me for months now and I just ignore it because it’s not real journalism,...

Scrolling through Twitter this week, Cockburn found himself with a case of deja vu.

The website Gawker recently posted an erroneous story about Thomas Chatterton Williams, a professor at Bard College, going to see the new Alex Jones documentary Alex’s War. The headline of the article was “Thomas Chatterton Williams Pals With Fellow Losers at Alex Jones Premiere.”

There was just one problem: the story wasn’t true. As Williams posted on Twitter: “This article is insane and just a lie. @gawker has been harassing me for months now and I just ignore it because it’s not real journalism, but this has to be retracted. I never heard of this movie until now and wasn’t anywhere near Austin at the premiere.”

Gawker first posted a partial correction to the piece, stating merely that “We were tipped off that Thomas Chatterton Williams attended this premier. Unfortunately we were wrong. We apologize for the error.” Then, perhaps after a call with their libel lawyer, they deleted it entirely.

The story a waste of space, though it surely displayed well the character of Gawker — as well as that of the author of the piece, Tarpley Hitt. Her other articles include such thought-provoking gems as “An Exclusive Interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Chat Bot,” “Top 10 Assassinations,” and “Sex Toy Collective Just Wants What’s Best for ‘The Believer.’”

This raises a question: could the shoddy band of irony-slurping hacks known as Gawker get sued out of existence again? Cockburn recalls that Gawker ceased to exist between 2016 and 2021 after it was sued for defamation for publishing Hulk Hogan’s sex tape. You think they would have learned their lesson. As for Cockburn, he mines his gossip much more carefully.