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Responding to Gawker’s Christine O’Donnell Hit Piece

Earlier today, Gawker published a piece, deceptively-titled “I Had a One-Night Stand with Christine O’Donnell,” which was theoretically notable because of O’Donnell’s notorious stances on abstinence education and masturbation. The piece, which was paid for by Gawker and published anonymously, details an anticlimactic evening in which O’Donnell attempted to seduce the author, but ended up getting turned down due to the author’s antipathy towards female pubic hair:

Christine was a decent kisser, but as soon as soon as her clothes came off and she was naked in my bed, Christine informed me that she was a virgin. “You’ve got to be kidding,” I said. She didn’t explain at the time that she was a “born-again virgin.” She made it seem like she’d never had sex in her life, which seemed pretty improbable for a woman her age. And she made it clear that she was planning on staying a virgin that night. But there were signs that she wasn’t very experienced sexually. When her underwear came off, I immediately noticed that the waxing trend had completely passed her by. Obviously, that was a big turnoff, and I quickly lost interest. I said goodnight, rolled over, and went to sleep.

Sounds like a classy guy.

Shortly after this piece was published and started racking up what would become half a million page views, the internet exploded. What follows are a couple of pieces I thought to be good responses to this story.

Tracy Clark-Flory captures the general flavor of the internet’s reaction:

Not only is this piece piggish, but it reveals nothing relevant about her politics or character. In fact, if anything it makes her an immensely more relatable and sympathetic character. As a Gawker commenter put it, “To me the only point of this mildly tacky, rather boring story is that Christine O’Donnell comes off as a human being, and even a likable one.” Congrats, Gawker, you’ve accomplished quite a feat.

Alex Pareene has a pretty good explanation of why this piece is reprehensible from a journalistic standpoint over at his Tumblog:

The sad thing (in addition to the existence of people who think and act like Anonymous, which is itself a sad thing) is that a smart editor — or an editor who gave a shit about the integrity of the site in addition to the site’s mission to run stories that will get a lot of attention — could’ve handled this in a way that didn’t end up being both an endorsement of slut-shaming and a promise of salaciousness that the story doesn’t actually contain…But what kills me is you could’ve gotten the uniques cake without eating the justified near-universal condemnation too if you’d just been like “One Douchebag’s Sleepover With Christine O’Donnell” instead of presenting it in the earnest first-person like a “Modern Love” essay from The Magazine.

The Smoking Gun has outed the once-anonymous young man as Dustin Dominiak. Apparently the firestorm of media attention has made it difficult to be Mr. Dominiak, or any of his friends. Undoubtedly he will experience consequences in the dating department from here on out, and potentially in other areas of his life as well.

But by far the best response goes to Foster Kamer over at the Village Voice, for his brilliant parody of the Gawker piece:

What I will say, though, is that her pussy was mangled and that whore ended up blueballing me. Not that I was really “bout it bout it,” because it looked like it was shipped to me straight from the Meekong Delta circa 1968, and hadn’t aged well. But I was willing to take one for the bros and stick it. But then she was like, nah, son, you’re dick’s too good for this business, and also, it’s about nine inches too big.