Come back, crackphone. We need you now more than ever.
It's been nearly three weeks since Gawker's Crackstarter - the crowd-funding campaign launched to buy the alleged Rob Ford crack-smoking video for $200,000 - reached its goal. After losing contact with the intermediary who first showed Gawker editor John Cook the tape (or alleged tape, or allegedly showed, or both, or whatever doesn't get us sued), Gawker appears to be all-but-giving up on the possibility of procuring the video, which is believed to exist.
"While we're not exactly closing up shop yet here on the Crackstarter, it is time to make preparations for the likelihood that the video eludes our grasp," Cook wrote in a post earlier today. As the people who had the video, and the cell phone that contained, seem to have disappeared, Cook feels less optimistic that Gawker will ever get their mitts on it. (Maybe the cops have it following the huge raid in Etobicoke last week? Maybe it's in Alberta? Maybe there is no tape! Who knows.)
In keeping with the Crackstarter contingency plan, Gawker is soliciting suggestions from "Canadians of Canada" for charities to donate the money to. The Crackstarter funds come out to $184,689.81, after deducting the fees levied by Indiegogo and Paypal. That'd be a healthy infusion for any charity. Cook notes that CAMH and the Toronto Harm Reduction Task Force are current front-runners.
Then get ready for two weeks of pundits weighing the ethical ramifications and blah blah blah of accepting charitable donations drummed up via the Crackstarter. Somebody get Jeffrey Dvorkin on the horn! This knotty moral quagmire demands some references to All The President's Men that have nothing to do with anything.
In related news: Gawker has playfully defaced the Canadian flag by swapping out the anchoring red maple leaf for a crack pipe. Though really, it looks more like a bong. Ha! Uh, just kidding. I mean what would we know about any of that stuff. Alleged stuff. Allegedly.