BY Lux Alptraum
January 12, 2008
Fleshbot: The Site That Must Not Be Named

Like most blog-obsessed New Yorkers, Boinkology has more than a passing interest in Gawker Media (not the least because we work for them: Richard does Gawker’s videos, Lux contributes to Fleshbot). So when we saw this piece in The New York Times, we couldn’t not read it, right?

The article reads like a pretty standard write up of the current state of Gawker — has Gawker jumped the shark? Is their traffic falling? OMG, staff people are leaving and commenters are mad! — but about a third of the way down the second page, we ran across a paragraph that piqued our interest.

Gawker Media now runs 15 Web properties, including io9, a science fiction blog that made its debut this month. Gizmodo, about technology, and a site that is about pornography draw far more traffic than Gawker.

“A site that is about pornography”? Why, what could that be? It’s a good thing that the Times didn’t outright tell me the name of the site — why, then my twelve-year-old daughter might run out and become a porn fiend!

It can be hard for porn (or, in this case, porn-related media) to get respect out in the mainstream world. Advertisers avoid you, other bloggers won’t always link to you — hell, you can’t even post to Digg. But to refuse to even name Fleshbot — in the midst of crediting it for its success, no less — is the ultimate in disrespect.

We expected better of the Gray Lady — but maybe that was a mistake.

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FILED UNDER : Fleshbot, , New York Times


  • RD says :

    I do think it’s shameful to not mention Fleshbot in the NYT article. Fleshbot is so much more than pornography and it’s one of the older Gawker Media blogs. It deserves respect.

  • The Scoot says :

    The New York Times is… sometimes schizophrenic in its news coverage. It is noted for its liberal or at least administration-critical slant, and yet its business model is decades or perhaps centuries old, which… encourages conservative thought processes.

    After all, a 157 year old institution has a legacy that is approaching that of religious institutions. It cannot afford to offend its readers, yet it cannot afford to coddle them.

    This is the tightrope of the established brand. Let us pray that Gawker will one day have the same problem.

  • Lux Alptraum says :


    Agreed. If they can’t bear to mention the site’s name, they just shouldn’t mention it at all, in my opinion. Being half assed about is just stupid AND disrespectful.

  • A says :

    It’s time to start a campaign to refer to the Times as ’some paper in New York.’

    Something tells me they won’t care all that much, though.

  • RKB says :

    What’s quite strange about it is that “Fleshbot” is not dirty in and of itself. I think the word “pornography” is more “racy” than “Fleshbot.” They are notorious for this word foolishness, though; they refused to print that Jennifer Shahade wrote the book Chess Bitch, even though they had commissioned an op-ed from her, and even though they’ve used the word “bitch” plenty of times. Maybe they’d just rather have people searching for Gawker + pornography instead (I love that this post comes up third!).

  • sarahmeyers says :

    I agree that was a low blow. They should give credit and link.

  • Richard Blakeley says :

    See this is why nobody knows what Fleshbot is…

  • ATA says :

    Jeez, considering how Brian Lam has been running Gizmodo lately you would think THAT would be the site that shall not be named. First plastering tubgirl on Kotaku, then that “prank” at CES. At least Fleshbot’s editors are acting with class when covering porn.

    Seriously Lux, if you see Denton anytime soon please tell him to have a “chat” with Lam. If anyone at Gawker Media deserves to get shit-canned it would be him.

  • Richard Blakeley says :

    ATA: Kiss my ass

  • Lux Alptraum says :


    Maybe not the best idea to come to the site co-run by the guy behind the CES prank and start shit talking it.

    Just sayin’.

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Lux Alptraum
Monica Shores