Alex Pareene on leaving Gawker: "Gawker isn't taken seriously"
Alex Pareene was blogging prolifically from his NYU dorm before anyone was paying him to do so, often about hating other NYU students and occasionally about his hometown, Minneapolis.
Then like a fairy blogmother, Gawker owner Nick Denton whisked him away to edit his D.C.-based political gossip blog, Wonkette. When Pareene left the company earlier this year, Gawker bid him a teary farewell.
Well, according to a new interview with Pareene in Mpls-St. Paul Magazine, the feeling is not exactly mutual.
Pareene's personal blog Buck Hill caught Denton's eye back in 2004, and two years later Pareene dropped out of NYU to take over the editor's job at Wonkette. He was moved up to the Gawker mothership in New York City a year and a half later. Then, in April, he departed Gawker for Salon.com's political blog, War Room.
Speaking to reporter Steve Marsh about why he left Gawker for Salon, Pareene was blunt.
"They're not exactly taken seriously," he said. "I wanted to write for a site where my posts won't be framed by stories making fun of Brooklyn hipsters."
Ouch. Pareene doesn't seem to regret the comment, as seen in this tweet to Marsh:
@stephenhero My mom sent me a physical copy of the mag. I was surprisingly unmortified by how I came off, actually. So thanks!
He's referring the fact that, especially in Gawker's earlier days, a good deal of the blog's content was made up of long, snarky essays on New York social life, gadflies and gossip -- good fun, but even Pareene saw the writing on the wall and decided his career needed to move to more serious pastures. He now spends his time doing political analysis, with some of that trademark snark still intact, and lamenting the fact that he didn't cash in on his wunderkind status by writing a book when he was still a teenage blogging sensation.
Blog years are a bit like dog years. At 25, he's worried he's completely obsolete.
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