563465606_3591e266c7_o.jpgOur friends at Gawker addressed the newest “City Brights” blog on SFGate way better than we could: “Shut the fuck up. Shut the fuck up with your idle life.”

What SFGate content could raise this kind of ire from notoriously level-headed Hamilton Nolan? What blog from the City Brights set of blogs from “public figures, the recognized experts in their fields (from science to the arts), and local notables” (most of whom we have never heard, but we never claimed to be an expert in the field of City Brights bloggers) made Nolan lose his cool?

OH. Gotcha. It’s “What The Butler Didn’t See,” the Gate’s blog by Peter and Billy Getty, which is apparently intended to answer the question none of us knew we were all wondering: “What’s it like being rich?”

Oh boy, the comments on this one are gonna be GREAT, we thought as we scrolled to the bottom of the blog post. To be greeted by…a plain white page. Nothing.

Just ask Tim Goodman about the extra money the Chronicle pays reporters to blog, in addition to their day jobs of creating a newspaper. Fun fact: not a dime. We reached out to some sources at the Gate, who told us that City Brights authors are offered the option not to be commented on, and that the Gettys chose not to hear Billy Getty was advised not to allow (please see clarification here) reader feedback on their work.

Well, the Gettys and their ilk are blogging for free, the straw man we just created cried out. But, you know what? In a certain sense, so are all those Chronicle reporters working hard in the newsroom. Just ask Tim Goodman about the extra money the Chronicle pays reporters to blog, in addition to their day jobs of creating a newspaper. Fun fact: not a dime.

Gate commenters are bad, blah blah blah, if a reporter doesn’t like the barrage of hateful remarks they get then they should just not read them, we were told. We’ll presume that the Gettys have that same power of “just not read”ing, unless we missed that part in their bios, so why the special treatment?

The message this sends, at least to the newsroom folks we talked to yesterday and today, is that the potential irritation nasty internet comments might bring to the Gate’s cool new rich pals is a bigger concern it is when that same irritation is felt by the loyal employees who have tirelessly shoveled solid content to online as their colleagues quit or were laid off.

Meanwhile, the conversation about the blog continues on Gawker, SFist, and the Guardian, so not only is the Gate giving up the discourse-based traffic (and the money that comes from traffic, if their business model remains ad based) that post could have provided. Sounds like the Gettys aren’t the only folks feeling too rich to be bothered.

Image of the Gettys from SFLuxe.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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