Far left “news” site Daily Beast has been served with a lawsuit after publishing allegedly defamatory and untrue assertions about former Gawker 2.0 editor Carson Griffith. Griffith, a former gossip writer for New York Daily News and freelancer for several other publications, had been hired by Gawker to resurrect the site after the Hulk Hogan sex video scandal sunk the first version. Upon discovering that Griffith is a Republican and had interviewed Donald Trump before he ever ran for President, her staff staged a revolt. They tried complaining to the owners of Gawker about her before eventually quitting. They took their triggered tales to The Daily Beast, and that’s when things started getting hairy.
Daily Beast writer Maxwell Tani happened to be friends with Maya Kosoff, the now-former Gawker employee who seemed to have spearheaded all of this. What followed was a bizarre story about Griffith gossiping to colleagues about prominent luminaries’ penis sizes, as well as levying racist remarks and gay slurs.
Griffith denies all of it, and is suing the Daily Beast, Tani, Kosoff, and Daily Beast editor-in-chief Noah Shachtman for defamation.
Her lawsuit alleges that the Daily Beast had “malicious intent” and that “majority of the article was constructed from defamatory and untruthful statements about Ms. Griffith.” The Daily Beast also never went to Griffith for comment. Even Gawker 2.0 chief Bryan Goldberg expressed his concerns with the Daily Beast’s version of the events.
A former Gawker editor has sued the Daily Beast over an explosive exposé last year that portrayed her as racist and homophobic, claiming it destroyed her career and was driven by a reporter’s “personal agenda.”
Carson Griffith — who was tapped in November 2018 to revive Gawker after it was shuttered in 2016 by a defamation lawsuit from Hulk Hogan — allegedly made offensive remarks in the office “about everything from poor people to black writers to her acquaintance’s penis size,” according to the Daily Beast’s story, which was published just a week after she began work, on Jan. 23, 2019.
In a lawsuit filed last month, however, Griffith claims that the story’s author, Maxwell Tani — who admits in the piece that one of the employees who leveled the accusations was a “former colleague and personal friend” — was only reporting “partial sections of Slack conversations and e-mail exchanges” that were taken out of context.
In one example, the Daily Beast article reported that Griffith had “laughed off” a job candidate’s use of “they/them” pronouns, writing, “lol is [name redacted] a girl?”
According to the suit, Griffith was unsure of the candidate’s gender because of an “unusual” name — which was “Pilot” — and “wanted clarification on how to address her.”
As for “penis size” allegation, Griffith says she “never mentioned anyone’s ‘penis’ or ‘penis size’ orally or in writing.” The article, according to the suit, “presumably” referred to an email exchange that Griffith had forwarded that referred to a famous businessman’s genitals.
In that case, Griffith had forwarded the exchange to colleagues “for a future potential article” and “in a work context,” according to the suit.
“It is clear this article, which has destroyed Ms. Griffith’s life, was never fact-checked or thoroughly reported by Mr. Tani or his editor Mr. Shachtman and no one is being held accountable for it,” the suit reads.
Tani didn’t respond to requests for comment. Shachtman told The Post, “This is a well-sourced story, with multiple sources backed up by documentary evidence. Unfortunately, Ms. Griffith’s suit isn’t nearly as solid. We stand by our reporting.”
An outside law firm hired by Gawker’s owner, Bustle Digital Group, to investigate the article’s claims subsequently cleared Griffith of any wrongdoing, a rep for the company told The Post. Neither of Griffith’s accusers in the Daily Beast story — Maya Kosoff and Anna Breslaw — participated in the inquiry even though they were twice asked to do so, according to the suit.
Unfortunately for Griffith, the powerful special interests behind the Daily Beast are able to afford some of the best attorneys money can buy. In fact, SIX high powered attorneys have been hired by the Daily Beast and Kosoff to defend against Griffith’s allegations. Rather odd since the Shachtman is claiming that the suit isn’t solid. These powerful attorneys include Kate Bolger, from law-firm Davis Wright Tremaine, who has previously represented Rolling Stone and Buzzfeed, as well as Christine Walz, from the prestigious firm of Holland & Knight LLP in New York City, and Katie Townsend and Jennifer Nelson of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. That’s right, alleged pro journalism non profit RCFP is providing pro bono attorneys to Maya Kosoff to defend against a lawsuit from a journalist. Because reasons, or, like, something.
With her reputation trashed by an article with false allegations, Griffith has ended up representing herself so far throughout this ordeal.
But she’s hoping that can change now that she’s begun to raise funds. She’s launched the crowdfunding site SueFakeNews.com, which reads, in part:
I am suing the Daily Beast for defamation. I have no choice. I had a promising career as a journalist with a hard-won reputation for professionalism. But now they have both been destroyed. And for the Daily Beast, it was just another day at the office—just another innocent person destroyed for rage clicks.
Maxwell Tani purposefully took comments out of context from emails and Slack conversations in order to paint a false and distorted picture of me as racist and homophobic. And perhaps worst of all: The Daily Beast printed all of this without even contacting me for comment.They never even contacted me for comment before pressing publish.
I am pursuing this lawsuit not just for me—I am pursuing this lawsuit because I can no longer see a line between biased “blogging” and ethical journalism, and it is ruining lives. It has ruined mine.
The Daily Beast took my name and my picture and created a Carson Griffith that’s not me. They have labeled this person a racist; a homophobe; a transphobic unprofessional who doesn’t know how to conduct herself in the workplace. Who is this person? I can’t tell you, and honestly, neither can they. But they need to be held accountable for their actions. We need to hold them accountable for these actions.
If you read the complaint I filed, it can give you a factual history of the situation. The rape and death threats. The stress-induced seizures. And the continuous cyberbullying, online harassment, and doxing. Shorter articles in the New York Post and Fox News discussing my lawsuit can also give you background.
For more than a year, I remained silent. As a private citizen all my life, I enjoyed the luxuries privacy gives you. But The Daily Beast ripped those away as well. Now, I have no choice but to fight. Help me fight; help me win this battle.
Ultimately, this fight isn’t solely about me. There are so many more people whose voices and stories need to be heard, whether it’s about defamation, cyberbullying, or doxing. My lawsuit is a microcosm of a larger, reoccurring issue. But let’s start somewhere. Let’s start together.
While many leftist fake news sites bask in the luxury of rarely facing any pushback when they publish untrue and defamatory articles, Griffith hopes her case can give hope to other people who are vilified and whose lives and careers have been destroyed.