Columbia Student Magazine To Gawker: It’s On!


This morning, Gawker’s Rebecca Aronauer wrote a post analyzing Columbia University student publication The Blue & White over their new website, The Bwog. Aronauer received an e-mail from a tipster claming the Bwog had “lost its focus” and proceeded to write about the blog/magazine’s readership as an “elite group of effete students.”

Then we found the following e-mail from Bwog EIC Juli Weiner mysteriously forwarded into our inbox. The original e-mail was sent to Aronauer’s e-mail address, with two internal Blue & White addresses and Gawker editor Nick Denton CC’ed. Here we go:

From: Juli Weiner (

Date: Mon, Mar 10, 2008

Subject: Re: Columbia Reflects New York Media World

To: Rebecca Aronauer (

Cc: BwGossip (, BwEditors (,

Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for you interest in Bwog. Since I was never contacted to comment on your post—which seems odd, given that it is about the blog I run—I’d like to take the opportunity to point out some things. First of all, W.M. Akers is an NYU student that we commission to write pieces for Bwog. He does not write for another publication, as implied in your Julia Allison:Gawker::W.M. Akers:Bwog analogy, and most importantly, we’ve never mocked him. He’s also not a dating columnist at all — he’s our NYU Diarist who happens to have written one post about relationships.

You’ve based your post on one anonymous tipster (who’s actually not so anonymous, and is a former Bwog daily editor who recently quit before she could be fired), whom even you recognize sounds like a “sore loser.” After your attempts to contact Blue and White alums proved fruitless (our EIC two cycles removed was contacted 40 minutes before your posted), it would have sense to hold off posting until you could get some substantive information from someone still associated with Bwog. Especially in the wake of Gawker ME Nick Denton’s credo that “It’s no longer enough to take stories from The New York Times, and add a dash of snark. Gawker needs to break and develop more stories.”

Also, Bwog isn’t a campus blog dedicated to making fun of other publications– though this post certainly delves into that territory. But I understand you’re trying to reach your post-quota and it’s hard when things move faster at Gawker than they did at Jossip.

And while you did feel you owed it to your readers to disclose your past affiliation with the Spectator, you didn’t fill them in on the fact that the Bwog and the Spec are direct competitors, and that the Spec was the campus’s sole source of daily news before Bwog came along. Given the conflicts of interest inherent in this post, I’m surprised you’d be willing to publish a take-down of your old paper’s rival media outlet grounded in one anonymous tip about something “sucking.” (And wasn’t proclaiming suckiness just listed in Gawker’s own list of death row internet cliches?)

In the future, I’m happy to comment on the record concerning Gawker’s coverage of Bwog—I could probably help with some fact-checking, too.

All the best,
Juli Weiner
Barnard c/o 2010
Bwog Editor in Chief

Blue & White vs. Gawker. This is so freakin’ on.