“The current laws of civility mean that no, it can’t be exactly what it once was” — Gawker editor Leah Finnegan, quoted in Katie Robertson‘s 7.28.21 N.Y Times piece titled “Gawker: The Return.”

The nickname for the revived site, of course, is New Gawker, although it’s using the same old gawker URL.

What Finnegan means by “the current laws of civility” is that if you’re editing or writing a gossip site in mid-2021, you have to be really careful. You have to totally tiptoe around everyone and everything and I mean very daintily, with ballet shoes on. You can’t talk shit (i.e., post snarky or even meanish comments) about anyone except for members of that one ethnic group that anyone can take a dump on any time they want — older white guys.

Otherwise our current wokester laws, edicts and stipulations, taken together, constitute a climate that is dead set against even the slightest scent of irreverence.

Finnegan: “We are here to make you laugh, I hope, and think, and do a spit-take or furrow your brow.”

Spit-takes? As in real spit-takes? Not in this Stalinist climate. Either way you can’t go home again.

Friendo: “I predict New Gawker will become another arm of cancel culture. Another megaphone for people who want to amplify targets. We’ll see if [this prediction] turns out to be right.”

Bustle Digital Group’s Bryan Goldberg, who bought the Gawker name three years ago for $1.35 million, quoted by Robertson: “If there is one website that could get me sued into oblivion, then it is almost certainly Gawker. Let’s face it — do we think that Bustle or Nylon Magazine is going to pick a petty and ill-conceived fight with a deca-billionaire? Probably not.”

“Deca-billionaire” refers to Peter Thiel, the powerful Silicon Valley hotshot who became enraged at Nick Denton‘s previous Gawker for mentioning his sexuality and resultantly funded a Hulk Hogan invasion-of-privacy lawsuit, which shut Gawker down.