Owen Thomas, editor of Valleywag, is making some waves today with his brazen posting of a Facebook photo of founder Mark Zuckerberg and his girlfriend. 

A similar use of a Facebook shot got his boss Nick Denton, head of Gawker Media, banned from the social network earlier this week.

Owen challenges Facebook over the treatment of his boss.  And, he argues, that neither of them grabbed the photos from Facebook but got them from other sources. Owen explains that photos on Facebook are easily saved with the right click of a mouse.  There is no hack here. Fair enough.

But, as Owen writes, he’s had run ins with the Facebook over posting member photos.

Here at the Beet.TV, as we cover the emergence of new media, we were pondering the tone and style of Owen and his boss Nick Denton, who heads the hugely successful Gawker Media empire.

For some perspective I asked Jason Pontin, editor and publisher of Technology Review.

(Here are Jason’s comments published earlier this week about Denton, Pontin’s former editor at the Oxford University student magazine.)

Jason hired Owen Thomas back in 1996 when he was Editor in Chief of Red Herring magazine.  Owen was hired as the publication’s first "web reporter."  Jason told me on Tuesday that "Owen is great."

How about that "snarky" tone and gossipy style used so successfully by Denton, I asked Pontin?  Here is what he told me in this in this interview:

"I think he (Thomas) hasn’t achieved that full Dentonian of tone of highly elevated bitchiness….but he’s a bitchy young man himself and he can hope to emulate the master."

Jason might be a little "bitchy" himself with Owen over the Valleywagger’s post about him and his "alleged" use of a Facebook account to gather article ideas?

You can grab Jason’s interview right here.

News Update: Owen Thomas Wants to Leave Valleywag for Business Week, (Fake) Report


At a Macworld party this week in San Francisco, Owen (r) was conspicuously courting Business Week’s Arik Hesseldahl for a job.  Here’s photo of the two in a report by the Fake Steve Jobs.

— Andy Plesser

Disclaimer:  I’ve know Jason for nearly 10 years, beginning with my work as the public relations counsel to Red Herring and later to the Acumen Journal if Science and Technology Review.  We have no business relationship but are friends.