This week’s New York magazine attempts a psycho-social analysis-cum-hit job on Nick Denton‘s addictive blog Gawker (where I was once guest-editor). What’s missing is any attempt to explain its considerable appeal to those who are not members of the striving media underclass. Gawker’s voice is indeed often bilious, immature, belittling, disrespectful and critical-to-a-fault, and it is also wildly uneven, but it fills a gaping void in the media universe that once was a crowded niche. As glossy magazines have sold their souls to the powers-that-be and even the powers-that-wannabe, the desire for a rude, uncontrolled, unafraid voice like Gawker’s became an imperative. Media culture and its denizens often deserve to be slapped. Gawker provides that service with a snarky smile.