Hipsters down! Gawker, Vice tangle in social street fight

Hipster bible Vice and snark factory Gawker are taking digital potshots at each other, and the media world is picking sides.

Earlier today Gawker published a story taking aim at the payment practices of Vice, which it alleges underpays its employees despite being worth a reported $20 billion. The story by Hamilton Nolan, titled “Working at Vice Media Is Not As Cool As It Seems,” has been viewed 96,245 times so far. (Though, let’s face it, is working anywhere as cool as it seems?) The piece details the struggles of some of  Vice’s unhappy employees, whom Gawker alleges get paid sub-$30,000 salaries in exchange for “the sheer coolness of working for Vice Media.”

“Salaries at Vice Media and the company’s pay rate for contract work were described to us as “a pittance,” “a fucking joke,” and “so low I couldn’t even consider it, it was offensive,” said one Vice employee.

Shortly after, Vice responded, and in the way that only Vice could: “Fuck you and fuck your garbage click-bait journalism,” reads the company’s rebuttal. Calling Gawker a “gossip site that openly traffics in rumor, innuendo, and in many cases straight-up bullshit” Vice denied  Gawker’s claims by pointing to its healthcare benefits, stock-based compensation plan, and entry-level salaries that are “competitive with comparable emerging media companies in the digital space.”

And it wasn’t long before the Gawker-Vice dual became a full-on battle royale. In the hours after the initial Gawker post, media observers, insiders, and employees on both sides into the fray, chiming in defense for both sides.

Vice CEO Shane Smith and Gawker writer Sam Biddle go back and forth.

Gawker writer Adam Weinstein, on the other hand, gives Vice’s staffers some props.

Hamilton Nolan stands by his piece and smacks down Vice’s rebuttal

Some wisdom from Reuters columnist Jack Shafer and BuzzFeed top dog Ben Smith.

Meanwhile, Gawker offers broke Vice employees a job.


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