The recently disgraced website Kotaku rolled out a new editorial policy a couple days back. There was no mention of GamerGate, entrenched corruption, or dealing with any of the ethical lapses they’ve had over the last few years. Instead, it’s another classic Grand Gesture from the court jester, Stephen Totilo. He’s somehow convinced that he can re-brand his shit site into something resembling integrity.

As long as he ignores the underlying problems, he’ll never have a chance at that. He may continue to stay afloat, possibly even do well. But, he’ll always be the joke from Kotaku, with a corrupt stable of journalists, and scumbags (Gawker Media) overseeing the whole thing.  Instead of focusing on stuff like blatant conflicts of interest, he chose instead to talk about preview coverage. Who gives a shit about preview coverage?

Ok, I’ll admit: some people do have decent points to make about the impact of previews, and the extent to which they are controlled by the big publishers. But that should be below putting your own house in order, should it not? How can Stephen Totilo still allow people like Patricia Hernandez and Nathan Grayson to remain on staff?

Hernandez pimped out the projects of her friends without telling readers. Not only were they her friends, they were her lovers. She stood to benefit materially from their financial gain. The fact that this person not only is still at Kotaku, but is cited in Totilo’s article the other day, says all you need to know. Also, her actual work sucks. I don’t think too highly of any of their writers, but she is pretty much the absolute worst. So she’s corrupt, and she sucks. Not a very good combination.

Then we have Nathan Grayson. This guy has disgraced Kotaku in one of the worst ways possible: he slept with the subject of his reporting. Everything he’s done is now in doubt. Also, who’s to say this was a one-off? Perhaps he’s had ethical lapses like this in the past? Only Grayson (or Stephen Totilo) can say, and we know he’s not gonna come clean about it.

Kirk Hamilton is Leigh Alexander’s lapdog. Look back through his posting history on the site, and you can see that he never strays too far from his master’s side. I can’t say that he’s outright crooked, but he’s definitely tied in with the Silverstring Agenda types.  The same goes for Jason Schreier. He made a lot of noise at the beginning of GamerGate, and acted sympathetic to our goals. But, at the first sign of heat, he totally bailed on us. Not only that, he lied publicly several times, including in the image below (and also participated in the NeoGAF bullying of Boogie2988):

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How can fixing preview coverage be the mission for Totilo? Shouldn’t it be reigning in his runaway staff? Grayson and Hernandez need to be removed, and the rest need to be whipped into some form of professionalism. In their current state, they are an embarrassment not only to journalism, but even to just blogging. But don’t look for Stephen to fix any of these glaring issues anytime soon. He’s got more empty Grand Gestures to make.

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24 comments
  1. Jenn Frank is one of the most talented writers? I am so happy I was not eating nor drinking when I read that or I probably would need the Heimlich right now. These people are fucking comedians and the sad thing is that they believe their bullshit. That hack Jenn was not quit for long which is pretty much proof that her “quitting” was just a publicity and sympathy stunt.

    1. When they say “talented” they really mean “they’re a close friend of ours”.
      I’m not even kidding.

      1. Ah, no.

        In this specific situation they mean “she’s a close friend of ours, our PR agent is paying her under the table and she’s giving us kickbacks”.

  2. Sorry Ralph, that’s “Reining in”, not “Raining”. Just FYI. 🙂

    As to Totilo’s actions, they strike me as that of trying to pretend to a degree that the Gamergate incident has died down, gone away and it’s ‘back to business’.

    Perhaps the gaming sites in general are trying to do what so many people were telling *us* to do- ‘Just ignore them. Then it won’t bother you.’

    However, Gamergate is NOT going away anytime soon. If Totilo wants to ‘Ostrich’ himself, the consequences are all on him.

  3. i see you’ve got no better writing material than to get on a site’s case for writing a normal fucking post about games instead of catering to your bizarre agenda

    1. Actually it is more about the fact that these people have no code of ethics in regards to their reporting and they refuse to admit that they have done anything wrong. Just like when this all started they wanted to pretend like it was a non issue and we should just shut up and play games. Sorry but we are long past that.

      1. but games are what real gamers care about. gamers have always been the target audience of gaming websites. they don’t have any obligation to write essays to irrelevant people who make baseless accusations, while they DO have an obligation to write posts about video games, and video game news. because that’s what they do, as video game journalists.

        1. So you see no problems at all with a reporter who writes a review for a gaming site having a personal relationship with the developer of that game and also supporting that developer financially as well. You see no problem at all with that?

          1. no problem at all, as long as kotaku’s internal investigation revealed nothing. if kotaku starts to have opinions on games that i overwhelmingly can’t empathize with, then i’ll just listen to other sources. isn’t that the only way any of this could really matter? but even if that happened, it’d be fundamentally no different than if the reviewers just had different taste than me.

          2. Oh, so you’re just another of those selfish ignorant people who only cares about themselves.

            “It doesn’t affect me! I believe I have a choice! There’s no problem!”
            – ghost

          3. Some people prefer to live a life of ignorance. That is their choice and they are more than welcome to it. Don’t complain though when people choose not to be cattle.

        2. Kotaku is part of a cabal that is actively bullying game developers. It’s not baseless accusation, it’s fact and it’s happened many times.

          Are you trying to say that real gamers only care about games and not the game developers? That is ridiculously ignorant.

          Or are you saying they have an obligation to promote their friends and suppress others? Because that is just plain wrong.

          1. no bullying of game developers is being talked about, though. the only things i’ve seen mentioned are “corruption” and “favoritism” which, while serious allegations, warrant none of the dramatic twist you’ve given them. in other words, unless you’re talking about more than that, you are seriously exaggerating.

          2. so this “cabal” is anyone who is anti-gamergate? the claim is that anyone who is against gamergate supports everything done by anyone else who is against gamergate? well, in that case, everyone on either side is just obsessed with harassing women for little to no reason.

            you know, though, that’s probably the expected result, here.

    1. If I recall correctly, he’s the same guy that often cites inaccurately translated sensationalist opinion blog pornsites as reliable Japanese sources.

  4. I’ve been getting pissed off at Patricia in the Kotaku comments for ages now… Pre-GamerGate. For instance one time she said that she watched that video where the cops raided the CS players house a thousand times or something like that and she couldn’t believe that they left grenades on the bed. If you watch it only once you can see that it is just the guys headphones and the cops did not bring any explosives into the house. From that point on I have thought she was a terrible journalist for such false accusations against the professionals in the SWAT team. Turned out I was right once the GamerGate stuff came out. :/

  5. Well, given the fact they’ve most likely been blocked from having any press preview copies and rights to review games early since even publishers are tired of their unprofessionalism, its safe to say no attempt at trying to fix the issue now is going to save Kotaku. They can keep milking clickbait for a while but now that they’re not regarded as a legit gaming site by ANYONE, they’ve crossed the event horizon and are on a one-way course to the black hole of irrelevancy.

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