Blog Post

Gawker’s plan to buy crack video goes up in smoke

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Gawker’s strange experiment in crowd-funded journalism has come to an end. No one, it turns out, was willing to come forward to collect $200,000 in exchange for a video of Toronto’s mayor smoking crack cocaine.

The tabloid website, which raised the money through a crowd-funding project known as the “Rob Ford Crackstarter Fund,” will distribute the money to a Canadian charity now that a 30 day window to collect the money has expired.

“I’m presently reaching out to potential recipients to find a good home for the money. Hope to have something to announce soon,” Gawker editor, John Cook, wrote in reply to an email query.

Gawker launched the crowd-funding project after men in Toronto showed him a cell phone video depicting the mayor sucking on a crack pipe and calling the leader of Canada’s liberal party a “fag.” Veteran reporters at the country’s largest newspaper also saw the video but did not report it until Gawker did — Cook has since called Canada’s media “timid.”

The Gawker project resulted in a political firestorm and international embarrassment for Toronto, which is trying to reconcile its self-perception as a cosmopolitan city with the ongoing presence of a buffoonish, crack-smoking mayor.

The video’s fate is unknown. Cook earlier wrote that it may be “gone” and one of the men connected to the video has been shot dead. Meanwhile, a company has released out “Stay Mayor,” a video game  in which a Ford character “dodges the media and crack pipes while collecting money to buy a video “before “The Gawker” does.”

2 Responses to “Gawker’s plan to buy crack video goes up in smoke”