“Pretty accurate stuff” is how VICE magazine co-founder Gavin McInnes describes this week’s CANADALAND podcast, in an email sent the morning the episode was posted. Still, there are several points he wants to contest. Here they are, along with responses, where appropriate, from those whose comments rankled him:
Fucking over Robbie Dillon
Original VICE editor Robbie Dillon says that the network talk show Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher called VICE to book the author of an article that suggested Jesus Christ was gay. That author was Robbie, but instead of contacting him, Gavin appeared on the show in Robbie’s place and (mis)represented his piece by “drooling all over this woman, getting really drunk, and making a bit of an ass out of himself.”
Gavin denies it:
“They didn’t contact us because of ‘Jesus was a Fag.’ I just happened to mention that thesis on the show. They contacted us because they loved the voice of Vice and I was that voice so I did the show.”
Robbie stands by his account:
“Nonsense. Find the clip (I can’t! Can anyone? -ed.), the segment intros the Jesus Fag article. Also why is Bishop Sprung on the panel? What other Vice subject was mentioned? I’m sure some researcher thought it would be good to get Vice on but my article was the vehicle. Buddy is just way too uptight about his rep. I know exactly why he did it and I’m over it.”
Fucking over Lisa Gabriele
Former VICE writer/columnist Lisa Gabriele states that VICE asked to republish her guide to giving blowjobs and other pieces in The Vice Guide to Sex Drugs and Rock n Roll, but offered no compensation. She said no, and Gavin ran it anyhow: “he took my pseudonym out and basically put his name on it”. Then they fired her and hired Lesley Arfin to write Dear Diary, the column she created.
“As far as Lisa goes, the Free Market had new writers like Lesley Arfin dying for a platform. My real beef with Lisa was when she was doing her book, she asked if she could use some previously published Dear Diary columns. Before I could respond, she got some lawyer on my ass demanding she has the right to use the content. When someone gets a lawyer instead of working it out, I ex them forever. Also, why would I put my name on an article entitled, “How to Give a Blow Job”?”
“Gavin is right, why would he use his own name on an article about how to suck off a guy really well? What does he know about that? But a Google search confirms the name Linda Gondelle, my pseudonym on the original article) was replaced with Christi Bradnox, his pseudonym on subsequent reprints (this checks out. -ed.) So that’s my bad. As for my siccing a lawyer on Vice, he is painting me as the kind of badass I really wish I had been. Instead I stupidly slunk away after my attempts to secure the right to republish my own writing in my own future books.”
Putting words in writer’s mouths
Rupert Bottenberg describes Gavin as “a disaster” of an editor with “piss-poor ethics” for his habit of adding whole paragraphs of copy to his writer’s work (a charge confirmed by Lisa Gabriele).
Gavin denies nothing, but says this:
“Re the “ethics” of me adding paragraphs: We weren’t talking about the war in Iraq. I didn’t change political opinions of journalists. They were unfunny comedy articles by amateurs I was forced to punch up. If they were punched up to the point where my content was way more than the original, well, then, you don’t get to use your alias. It would get a totally different made-up name because I was supposed to be editor but you forced me to into the role of tutor.”
In the episode, I describe Gavin’s current vocation on this show as such: “he operates a small advertising firm in New York”. Later I say, “you’re a dad, you’re on FOX News doing punditry, you do advertising, Internet videos…”. He then describes himself as “having to hustle- I’ve got three kids.”.
Gavin is dissatisfied with this portrayal:
“I’m doing a lot more than running a “small ad agency,” which we recently sold to Havas. I have three movies out this year and am developing TV etc. The show made it sound like I was sequestered in a small office in Lower Manhattan but I’m sprawled across a hundred different vocations.”
Worried about his legacy
Gavin indignantly asks “you think 20-year-olds don’t know who I am?” when I bring up the fact that VICE has erased him from their official history. He also says “you just don’t want anyone else to steal your legacy”, with reference to his claim on inventing hipsters. He is also heard saying “I want my name on this shit, I did it!”, seemingly about his co-founding of VICE.
“You had me saying, “I want my legacy in tact” or something but I was quoting (punk musician/writer) Penny Rimbaud. I do five different Fox shows reaching millions of people a week. If I was truly worried about my legacy being erased, I would let everybody know.”
While several comments of Gavin’s explicitly describe his concerns for his legacy and his disdain for VICE’s “Stalinist Revisionism” in scrubbing his name from their masthead, one specific comment- “I want my name on this shit, I did it!” – was indeed spoken with reference to Rimbaud, a closer listen to the raw tape reveals.
CANADALAND regrets the error.