On the Gerstmann Thing

by Darius Kazemi on December 4, 2007

in journalism

Here is the only reasoned response I’ve seen to the whole Gerstmann firing.


Andres December 5, 2007 at 3:21 pm

This is why I haven’t written about it. I honestly don’t know what to say. Yes, the senior editor of Gamespot was fired. I don’t know why. I don’t think what I say will prove any more insightful than anyone else, as I know none of the history of Jeff Gerstmann’s work with Gamespot. I only know I don’t read Gamespot anymore because I disagreed with their reviews.
So… yeah. I don’t think there can be people with a much better standing than that.

Unless you know Gerstmann personally. Oh, then go ahead and rant.

supergg2k December 5, 2007 at 4:40 pm

Thanks for the link Darius. I am going to forward a copy of my comment to the poster as well.

The controversy could have been avoided if Jeff’s exit had been handled differently. If CNET/Gamespot had addressed Jeff’s departure as it happened and not 3 days later, I think things would be different. Apparently there are issues internally at the company related to communication as well as the staff there seems to have been blindsided by the news.

It also doesn’t help matters that the review was updated and the video review was taken down just before his exit. This was the what got the rumor mill going to begin with.

This link is unrelated to this story but there are accurate parallels in how an internet mob can form and run with an idea taking it to a very damaging conclusion.


If anything, this whole episode has shown how a company should not handle the termination of a very visible employee.

Ian Schreiber December 7, 2007 at 8:16 am

I think the main reason this blew up so out of proportion is that it started off the same way as Hot Coffee: first total silence, then denial. Back when Rockstar did this, it made them look guilty as hell, even before we found out that they really were.

The moral of the story is, if you’re totally innocent of any wrongdoing, don’t act like Rockstar :)

adam January 10, 2008 at 12:33 pm

That link starts off well, but then gets increasingly unrealistic IMHO.

To argue that it’s inconceivable that a marketing dept of a publisher could influence the firing of an editor is as blindly optimistic as many of the attacks have been blindly aggressive. This kind of thing happens ALL THE TIME in the industry – although IMHO not usually malicious, rather just people trying to do their own jobs as well as they can.

Recall the motto that you should never confuse “malicious intent” with “incompetence” because the symptoms of each are often identical, and the latter is far more common than the former.

Personally, I find it surprising that someone who is / has been a games industry Producer would seriously claimn they’d never seen this happen. Maybe they just never worked that closely with the publisher.

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