Update: The Gaming Vault, Kyle Gaddo and Connor White Still Don’t Get It

I didn’t really want to look back, but I grew curious when looking at other video games outlets about what was going on at The Gaming Vault, a place where journalistic integrity goes to die, regarding the whole Paul Christoforo and Ocean Marketing debacle. Looking over their alleged last word on the subject, it’s clear these guys still don’t get how they traded their reputations just to feel smugly superior to those they believe were acting smugly superior:

In a recent interview with Paul Christoforo, I took a more sympathetic stance to the man’s instant notoriety. Perhaps too sympathetic, but I will stand by this—everyone involved in this situation is acting the fool, need to take a step back, and quit being such complete twits. Even myself, I’ll admit.

That’s a start. You, the Editor-In-Chief, Kyle Gaddo, was acting the twit for certain. But, it wasn’t “perhaps” too sympathetic. It was out and out campaigning on behalf of the subject. That’s not an opinion on his piece, it was a factual analysis based on multiple examples of clear pandering language in almost each and every paragraph from the writer himself.

In any case, this entire debacle has reached a whole new level of shitstorm. Apparently, this isn’t the first time an episode of poor customer service has aired on this network. Examiner has pretty much all the details in a stream of events from beginning to current.

And he can’t even figure out his tenses, or he legitimately thinks that what he is expressing here is new-ish information. Funny thing, even I knew about this “new level of shitstorm” the day PRIOR to Gaddo posting his interview on December 29th because even clicking on the link he provides, the Examiner story on Paul Christoforo’s prior bad acts was available on December 27th. Consider also, that despite this not-pology and washing of hands, Gaddo in the comments section continues to make excuses for Christoforo in a thread:

Nobody in this situation had tough skin. Paul strikes me as the insecure type, having to boast about his connections and his alleged steroid usage does help that—these are the actions of someone who is uncomfortable with themselves.

Remarkable. Knowing what he apparently only knows NOW about Christoforo treating other customers this way, he also must realize that Christoforo basically STRAIGHT OUT LIED during his interview about never having these issues before. “One” bad day was constantly repeated. His interview subject took advantage of his ignorance and made him look the fool, and Kyle Gaddo still has to double-down on his entrenched stance because it apparently hurts his ego too much to just say, “I was wrong about him, and I was wrong about how I approached this interview”. Also, weird that he should bring up the “alleged steroid abuse” since he has no direct evidence actually tying this guy to steroids aside from the loose connections dug up on the Internet, but in order to make his excuses and defend his point point, Gaddo is willing to assume that Paul is likely committing a felony. Way to take his part!

So everyone is a bad egg, including Gaddo and the Gaming Vault, except, y’know, when the owner of the website, Connor White, essentially retracts the (poor) apology in the comments section below:

Connor White says:
4 January, 2012 at 13:16
Part of me had the nagging feeling that you made the wrong choices in the interview, then everyone started making fellatio jokes and my mind changed very quickly.

Connor White [ 13:34, January 4th, 2012 ]
@Connor White, Which is to say that made me determined that all a large part of the community wanted to see was a crucifixion. Before you guys get any ideas about petty revenge.

No, your EIC admitted, in a roundabout, less than stellar way, that the interview was no good. You admitted in the comments section under the original interview, to me, that Kyle agreed with your own “personal observation that he was editorialising way too much for an interview.” But some folks making fun of your EDITOR-IN-CHIEF made you change your mind? By all means, stick to your guns … it only provides more ammunition for searches on your names to return the blemishes on your reputations.

This whole thing is a mess. Abandon ship, everyone. Just idiotic. The faster we forget about this headache, the better.

Editor’s Note: We will not be touching this subject again on The Gaming Vault.

I’m sure you guys would love that considering you know, regardless of the hurt feelings you seem to have about rough-and-tumble Internet comments, that you were most definitely in the wrong. Not necessarily for the stance you took (though that too was poorly justified), but for how you took it and how you handled the criticism afterwards. Just like Paul Christoforo, I’m sure that there are other opportunities for you guys going forward, but let’s just hope that such opportunities come AFTER you admit to yourselves you still have a great deal to learn from this incident about being responsible journalists.

As of the posting of this, my last comment on that site (I mean it this time) still hasn’t seen a response or been deleted:

And likely my last word on this subject on this blog. Why do I care? Because, I’m passionate about words, writing, journalism, media, etc. etc. etc. There are plenty of real watchdogs that go after really big offenders against language, so I’m merely relaying my bad experience on a website that was claiming to have an interview with the subject of a fast-moving viral Internet story. If  the writers and the proprietor pretend to the role of actual journalists, then they should be scrutinized as any legitimate media outlet: with a harsh, bright light. In the end, it wasn’t their hubris, their incompetence, or their disdain for their audience that offended me. It was their deliberate dishonesty, lack of regard for ethics, and inability to correct their course without lashing out a few more digs at their detractors that led me to drop two lengthy posts on the subject, not so much with any hope these guys apologize or change the way they do things. Rather, so maybe others starting out in trying to create their own media space on the Internet will think about how they run their own organizations and how they treat their own readers.

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2 Responses to Update: The Gaming Vault, Kyle Gaddo and Connor White Still Don’t Get It

  1. Kyle G. says:

    In a moment of vanity, I Googled my own name and stumbled across your entries here regarding the happenings with Christoforo involved.

    You make some valid points in your piece above, and if you’d like to have a private discourse on the matter, I’d be happy to converse with you via email.

    I can and will go on record to say that the only reason I ended up doing that shoddy interview was for hits. I justified it in my head by saying, “Hey, I feel bad for this guy,” but it was all just for hits. That’s shameful, and my ego isn’t too big to admit that.

    • Mike Nam says:

      “I can and will go on record to say that the only reason I ended up doing that shoddy interview was for hits. I justified it in my head by saying, “Hey, I feel bad for this guy,” but it was all just for hits. That’s shameful, and my ego isn’t too big to admit that.” — and I’m not too big an ass reject that as an honest self-rebuke. However, my issue with these interviews wasn’t just the shoddiness of the original interview. While it’s nice of you to explain yourself on my personal blog, it really wasn’t necessary. The public apology should have been done correctly and without caveats or conditional language on your own site since that is where it would have been seen the most.

      Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad you see where a lot of the problems on your end lay. However, my bigger concern was Connor White, the wholesale censoring of your comments section, and his inability to understand what being a professional outlet means.

      It’s not easy starting out as a writer/editor under any circumstances, but you have to develop a sense of professionalism early because one person behaving badly can reflect badly on everyone else. A good set of guidelines I found for young gaming journalists (and really, any young pro) can be found at John Walker’s blog (Eurogamer, The Escapist).


      What my little blog says about The Gaming Vault likely will have small impact on you if you manage to learn something from the incident. Particularly, in light of the fact that people have already moved onto other things. It’s not easy to admit when we make mistakes, but when you do, the least of punishments is always to be vigilant against making them again. I don’t think I have anything to say to you privately, but if you wish to continue the conversation, my email is under the Bio section on the blog.

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