Gawker Fires Back at Finke, Forces ‘Deadline|Hollywood’ Correction

It’s all bad now. The East-West feud between two of the blogosphere’s most powerful forces just got bloodier. Following what looks to be an ill-advised dis by Deadline|Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke, Gawker has hit back — with brass knuckles.

Earlier today, Finke essentially proclaimed herself the Empress of Blogland, saying she’d put up higher traffic numbers than Gawker’s, and done it without stooping to lowly celebrity coverage. (While she was on a roll, she also threw a shot at Mediabistro.)

Gawker responded with a post by investigative reporter John Cook, who sifted through Finke’s numbers and determined Deadline|Hollywood hadn’t beaten Gawker at all. The post is as derisive as one would expect from Gawker, but that’s not all: Finke had to correct her original boastful post.

The Gawker item, titled “Nikki Finke Beats Gawker in Traffic, in Her Own Mind,” skewers the Hollywood scribe for her hubris.

The post that may have put the nail in the coffin, after the jump.

Cook followed up on Finke’s assertion by checking Quantcast himself. A quick glance at the traffic tracker indicated Finke had never passed Gawker in unique visitors. In fact, it wasn’t even close — Gawker’s February high was 4.2 million, vs. Finke’s 2.3 million.

Ah, sweet revenge:

We pointed this out to Nikki, and it turns out the “traffic guy” at her parent company … had made an error in calculating her traffic. … Nikki has corrected her post, deleting the false claim that she beat Gawker in January and adding a note at the bottom saying, “Due to a computation error by a staff member, I was told that Deadline|Hollywood’s Quantcast global uniques were bigger than Gawker’s. That is not the case — yet.”

Finke also responded to Cook by email, striking a tone that stands in stark contrast to her earlier cockiness:

As you can see, John, this wasn’t my fault and this wasn’t intentional. Please don’t humiliate this guy because he’s really valuable to me and Deadline. And don’t humiliate me. Mistakes happen.

But the humility doesn’t last long; Finke followed her supplication by going on the offensive: “I’m still waiting for Gawker to correct its own many errors about Deadline Hollywood’s traffic and also all the inaccurate crap it has posted for months.”

Cook didn’t take the dig lightly. He closes his rebuttal post with a sentence consisting of 24 one-word links to smug Finke articles that ridicule other journalists for their foibles.

Advantage, Gawker.