Bryan Goldberg is the 30 year-old founder of Bleacher Report, an enormously popular sports site written by and for idiots. His new project is Bustle.com, a website for women. Bryan Goldberg is not a smart man. He mocks himself far better than his critics ever could.
Bleacher Report, which Goldberg sold for $200 million, is little more than a deluge of barely-literate clickbait crapola written by poorly compensated schlubs. (Not to be confused with Gawker Media, where we are fairly compensated.) It was one thing for a dude like Goldberg to get rich off of a shitty sports site. It's another for him to have raised more than $6 million for a women's site. That really pissed people off, for a few reasons: 1) Bryan Goldberg is not a woman, 2) Bryan Goldberg does not seem to have any particular insight into women (a polite way of saying he is not a smart man), and 3) Bryan Goldberg wrote an incredibly patronizing and enraging announcement of his new site, in which he seemed to suggest that no one ever in history had considered making a website, with various content, that women might like to read.
Bryan Goldberg was widely mocked on the internet for that. But today, he's been accorded a much greater honor: he is mocked at great length by The New Yorker. Lizzie Widdicombe's profile of Goldberg and Bustle today is, by New Yorker standards, a scathing takedown. It is—and we say this more in admiration than in condemnation—downright mean.
Partly because of Widdicombe's cutting descriptions of Goldberg: "Despite having run a sports Web site, he does not look like an athlete...With his puffy face and untrimmed hair, he resembles a giant six-year-old." He wanders the office in "black ankle socks," and shows up to a business meeting in a "baggy suit." Bryan Goldberg: don't look now, but a woman is making fun of you.
The most scathing parts of the story, though, are the declarations that spill forth from Bryan Goldberg's own mouth. Of the name "Bustle," he says “It’s also a type of old-fashioned dress accessory. I did not know that. I know now.” When seeking to come up with an example of an excellent journalist, he says “we don’t need every writer to be David Brooks.” When chatting up a dance critic, he opines "for people who don’t dance well, it’s all pretty good. You’re pretty impressed by all of it." And, best of all, this:
He had a riff that he was delivering to anyone who asked: “If you told nine guys to sit down in a waiting room in a dental office, they’ll probably start talking about sports. For women, there’s twenty things it could be. ‘I like your earrings. Where did you get them?’ Or someone sees a People magazine and talks about Amanda Bynes. It could be—someone mentions Zumba, and ‘Oh, I’ve been thinking of doing that.’ ” Books are a major category on Bustle. “Men, to the best of my knowledge, don’t even read,” Goldberg said. “When’s the last time you heard a man say, ‘I’ve been reading this great book, you’d really like it’? My girlfriend always tells me about these books she’s reading, and I don’t even see her reading the book! Where does this book live?”
Bryan Goldberg, you clueless scamp. Sure, you may be a living example of the tech world's fundamental unfairness to women. But you're great fun when you start talking.