TSG In Webby, Jerry Brown Snubs
Sure, we were excited to learn that The Smoking Gun had been nominated for a 1998 Webby Award. The competition, sponsored by The Web magazine, honors winners in 19 separate areas (we were cited in the Politics/Law category).
But having already traveled from our New York headquarters to San Francisco for the recent Cool Site of the Year awards (we somehow lost to a dopey computer games site), the HQ brass was hesitant to make another cross-country trip. So, we sent our three West Coast staffers--Bureau Chief Shawn Sires, Operations Director Annette Everhart, and Marketing Manager Joan Erlinger--to the March 6th S.F. bash. With two awards being given in each category (one by a prestigious panel of judges and one via a "People's Choice" online voting system), we were confident of carrying home at least one trophy.
Alas, that's not what happened: AllPolitics swept our category, making a winner again of that hick Ted Turner. We knew the members of the Politics/Law judging panel--U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, ACLU chief Nadine Strossen, kooky pol Jerry Brown, and two other stiffs--would never pick us over The Man's site. But we had more faith in the people.
At the post-show party, TSG's Sires buttonholed Brown, now a candidate for mayor of Oakland (FYI: in the above picture, Sires is the handsome one, while Brown's the creepy, Ray Miland-looking bald guy). What follows is a verbatim account of the duo's conversation.
- Hey, Jerry Brown! You're the man. Mind if I get a picture? I'm a big fan of yours. (Editor's Note: This was a lie.)
- Oh yeah, what do you do?
- I'm with The Smoking Gun, America's most beloved web site. We were nominees.
- Never heard of it. What is it?
- (Visibly stunned, taken aback.) We publish court documents, FBI reports, divorce papers, stuff about celebrities.
- Why would you want to do that? That doesn't seem very nice.
You could imagine how upset TSG reps were when "Judge" Brown, who'd probably make a crappy mayor (we happen to be supporting the other guy), admitted that he never even visited our site. But we're not going to file a lawsuit or anything rash like that. We've just resorted to our handy collection of voodoo dolls and hatpins. We did the same thing after being screwed in the Cool Site of the Year contest. And, frankly, ex-judge Sonny Bono hasn't been the same since.