Gawker Seeks Use For Crackstarter Money

Gawker Media and reporter John Cook raised just over $200,000 on Indiegogo for their “Crackstarter” campaign. The goal was to buy a video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack. Now John Cook has announced that the likelihood of actually acquiring said video is low and getting lower by the day, so he has reached out to his readers for a back up plan on where to send the money.

This news comes just about two weeks after the owner of the video reached out to Gawker to let them know the video was gone.

The man claiming to hold the video became perturbed after the story garnered an extreme amount of media attention. Details were leaked by Gawker and the Toronto Star, apparently in enough quantity that some in the community were able to ascertain who the man with the video was. Rob Ford himself told his staff the address where the video could be found.

CBC News reports that police raids last week in Toronto’s west end included 320 Dixon Rd, the very address where the video was suspected to be. More could come out in the court proceedings following those raids.

Where does that leave the Crackstarter campaign? With no video to buy, John Cook has opened the discussion up to Gawker commenters regarding where to send the funds. Early favorites include the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the Toronto Harm Reduction Task Force.

Some–but not all–rewards offered during the campaign hinged on Gawker receiving access to the video itself, so in the absence of a video Cook and company will be left to either think of a different reward to appease those folks or some backers will be left in the dust. Other rewards such as a mention on Gawker’s Twitter account will still be fulfilled.


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