Goodbye to Katie McDonough, Our Very Own Cannibal Witch

Illustration: Elena Scotti (G/O Media)

Katie McDonough, Jezebel Senior Editor and purveyor of blogs both sweet and deranged, is leaving us today: During her tenure at this cursed company, she has worked for three websites and introduced innumerable workers to the concept of the “escalation chart.” We’d like to wish Katie the best at her new venture, but we can’t, because we fucking hate it—which is why we’re roasting her, as is tradition and as she truly deserves.

Hazel Cills, Pop Culture Reporter, Jezebel

I first met Katie years ago, when I was working at a black hole soundtracked to Bruno Mars called MTV News and she was working for an online artisanal candle store named Fusion.* She was really into unionizing and explained to my haggard coworkers and I what a union could do for us. We were like, okay candle bitch, sounds cool, and saved her in our phones as “Katie Fusion” before promptly organizing our newsroom. I referred to her exclusively as “Katie Fusion” until she came to work for Jezebel as a Senior Editor, where I politely addressed her by her full legal name and quickly realized she is a feral child who eats entire avocados as a snack and yet tweets like your 85-year-old aunt Carol:

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It’s hard to roast Katie because, frankly, she is very good. She orchestrated some of our weirdest politics coverage at Jezebel by singlehandedly hiring Cannibal Witch even though none of us have ever seen Cannibal Witch and Katie in the same room together. She watched all of Jersey Shore for blogs in 2018 because…why? Nobody made her. Seriously, don’t even think it was assigned. One time I saw her order eggs in a diner, and she ordered them fried and then proceeded to just… eat the white parts of the fried eggs, neatly stacking the fried yolks on top of one another on the side of her plate like a fucking psycho. I’m glad she’s dead, that shit isn’t normal.

*Sorry, getting word that Fusion was a website, not a candle store.

Joanna Rothkopf, Writer, Last Week Tonight

Sometimes it feels like everyone in the world has polka music playing in their heads at all times. Not so for Katie, a beautiful genius and utter maniac who knows that Chris Cuomo is Andrew Cuomo’s son, who gave birth to iconic Jezebel blogger Cannibal Witch, who has many incorrect and confusing opinions about snacks and yet has never felt ashamed to express them on Twitter. If Katie told me to jump off the Mario Cuomo (Andrew’s father and Chris’s grandfather) Bridge, I would without thinking about it.

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I have known Katie since my first real writing job and since then she has been my truest and dearest intimacy partner. I would include a funny g-chat screenshot, but I don’t have any because we went off the record in 2017.

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If I did, it would just be Katie trying to have a conversation and me saying, “I love you” and the handshake emoji back to her. Just kidding! They are also filled with all of my deepest and most violent secrets.

Megan Greenwell, Editor, Wired.com

I have a horrible secret: I couldn’t tell the difference between Katie and Joanna Rothkopf for, like, a while after I joined the ghost of Gawker Media. Small people, great bangs, it was tough.

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I figured it out eventually, largely by realizing that Katie was the one who kept insisting to me that she was the rightful editor-in-chief and/or deputy editor of Deadspin (which was a good website). It was confusing, because the stories she suggested we splice were always comically poor fits for Deadspin, and the one time I sent her to a sporting event for a story she ended up stranded on the side of the highway somehow. And yet she never failed to remind me that my job actually belonged to her.

Anyway, now neither of us are editor-in-chief of Deadspin (RIP), and neither of us will ever again have reason to go to the Times Square Planet Hollywood. Katie did become a dear friend, so now I guess we’ll have to drink in the many lovely establishments in our own neighborhood instead of in a windowless theme park? Still, I miss her bounding into my office, planting herself on my couch, and yelling about something Barry (correctly) declined to splice. Joanna never did that.

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Madeleine Davies, Daily Editor, Eater

The way I first encountered Katie was when we were both baby bloggers for different sites, but with similar beats, which meant we were constantly aggregating each other’s articles in the unsatisfying quest for content that would satiate our bosses. But because ours was an online friendship, when we finally met coincidentally at a house party (where, if I remember correctly, two people — neither of them us — had sex in the host’s shower) we spoke for about 10 minutes, really hitting it off, before realizing that we knew each other and were already kind of friends.

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I’m lucky that I got to keep running into Katie over the years and luckier still that I eventually got to work with her. While dealing with various union negotiations, I frequently looked to her as my moral compass, as few are more passionate and motivated than Katie when it comes to labor rights and standing up for those who otherwise don’t have a voice. Whoever she works with in the future, whether they’re being edited by her or having her write and edit for them, will be lucky to have her and I hope they realize it.

I wish I had something meaner to say about her. I really do, but I don’t. I like Katie a lot.

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Frida Garza, Freelance Writer

Katie McDonough famously loves toothpicks, wears cool jackets, and cuts the sleeves off all her shirts. But what isn’t she famous for? So, so much. While others may remember Katie as an excellent reporter and editor, militant union member, and rambunctious fruit lover, I will remember all the dumb things she said in Slack and in person, which of course, only made me love her more. There was the time that the staff of Jezebel went to see A Star Is Born, and Katie admitted afterwards that she thought all actors were frauds, in that you can pretty much always tell they’re acting, and so no actors can really be called good actors. I thought about this statement many times over the next few weeks, unsure of whether I could argue with her logic.

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Katie also don’t get enough credit for committing to bits, like the time she grew borderline comatose before my very eyes just to own Deadspin’s Tom Ley for a blog (I was the only person in the pod that day besides Katie, and every time someone came in to talk to her, it took her a full 20 seconds to look up and acknowledge them). No one blogs like Katie, and no one can down plates of pasta one after the other like Katie either, and that is how I’ll always remember her. Katie forever!

Anne Branigin, Staff Writer, The Root

When I think about Katie McDonough, I think about various dogs. Is it problematic to compare the highly-esteemed politics editor at a preeminent, supposedly feminist website to a dog (or any set of animals)? Perhaps, but if you’ve seen this editor dog (Google informs me this is, in fact, an Afghan Hound), you know this is actually a photo of Kathleen McDonough after a trip to the salon (I, on the other hand, am most definitely an old, lazy pug—just an 80 percent less gassy version). But fabulous hair isn’t the only way Katie is like a good pupper.

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As an editor, she’s diligent as a bloodhound while maintaining the frenetic, focused energy of a poodle. As an adversary—like when she’s questioning assholes in power—she takes on the demeanor of a deranged Pomeranian, unwilling to let her foe go until they submit or pursue other entrepreneurial opportunities. During happier times, she once wore a jaunty little bandana, a good doggo staple. Genius as she may be on the page, Katie was unable to remove said bandana, at which point Clio Chang, Isha Aran and myself were summoned to save her. We did, and there’s a photo that proves it.

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Finally, as a friend and comrade, Katie is most like a border collie—and not just because I asked the internet what the smartest dog was and this was its answer. She is perhaps the most dynamic person I ever met, the kind of woman who raises her hand for everything and actually gets every single item on her to-do list done. She is weird in all the best ways (she gobbles up cheez balls like kibble, it’s true), and unfailingly loyal and attentive. She has been a shepherd to all of us idiots in some way, whether it’s corralling our half-formed theories and loose thoughts into coherent, sharp arguments, or reminding us that we’re part of a collective. It is with the latter, especially, that her impact is most felt throughout these GMG sites: We’re all stronger, smarter and more powerful because she passed through here. As a lover of most dogs, and as a Scorpio woman only capable of professing love through violence, the last thing I’ll say on the matter is this: I would give my life for that little bitch, so help me, God.

Megan Reynolds, Managing Editor, Jezebel

Father Kathleen McDonough is the only Virgo I have met that I like. As an ally, she is truly the only person you would want in your corner—steadfast, loyal, tenacious like a terrier (a good terrier, not all the bad ones)—and also full of good advice that you would be remiss not to take. She’s sharp and funny and loves citrus in a way that makes me think she had scurvy in a past life and is working tirelessly to course correct in her current. Once I told her she looked like an Upper West Side mother, but a cool one, and I fear she has never forgotten, and will carry it to her grave. This comment, which was true, plus another one about her hair, which I will not reprint here for fear of retribution, are part of the reasons that I will miss her so much: She is a walking contradiction, a Strategist-looking-ass bitch with a deranged mind that is, for many reasons, the reason I fear and respect her.

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She’s great to have on your side, but god bless you and godspeed if this bitch is your enemy. In short, I am terrifically sad that I will not be able to harass her daily, but thank god we’re friends for real now. I have shed one to five tears thinking about her leaving, which is an enormous self-own that I have done in her service. (Ten points to Katie. She wins again.)

Don’t go, skank, but I get it if you must.

Harron Walker, Staff Writer, Vice

I‘ve known Katie since 2015. We worked together on the news desk at Fusion, a joint venture between ABC/Disney and Univision that became a joint venture between Univision and no one that became Splinter when Univision bought all the non-Gawker Gawker Media sites that became the Gizmodo Media Group under Univision’s ownership that became G/O Media under Great Hill Partners’ ownership. Splinter is no more, and now? Neither is Katie, who hopped over to Jezebel somewhere in the middle of all that instead of heeding every warning sign to get the fuck out of media while she still had a chance. And now? After all this? She’s going off to work another media job! If that isn’t the biggest self-own, I don’t know what is. Love you, bitch!!!!

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Ashley Reese, Staff Writer, Jezebel

I don’t know what to say about Katie McDonough, a poseur who—despite whatever punk credibility she reputedly has—not only made the mistake having more than an elementary knowledge of Blink 182, but was also deluded enough to prefer Tom over Mark. I’ve had the honor of having her as my editor for nearly two years now—we both started around the same time!—and I can safely say that she has made me a better writer and thinker. She has helped me interrogate my politics and has pushed me outside my comfort zone as a writer, and for that I am forever in her debt. That’s also is why I am absolutely FURIOUS that this teeny clementine eatin’, green tea drinkin’-ass bitch is abandoning me. This sentient pair of high waist wide leg jeans is leaving and I’m supposed to just go, “OMG I’m so proud of you!” or something? I mean, that is exactly what Esther and I said, but it was accompanied by a hearty “fuck you, Katie.” It’s a sentiment I maintain as I write this roast.

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I’m going to be honest, I don’t know what to clown Katie about other than being short. She’s smart and she’s funny and she has great taste in shoes. It’s not like I can pivot to ageism because 1) she’s not even that much older than me and 2) it took me, like, a year to ask her how old she was anyway because I was weirdly too scared to ask?????? If anyone should be clowned here, it’s me.

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Anyway, I will miss Katie McDonough, a tiny woman with an absolutely insane laugh. A weirdo who brushes her teeth in the office. A maniac who let me sort the 2020 presidential candidates into Hogwarts houses against her better judgment (I hope your new bosses see that and revoke your employment). At least I have her office Sriracha to remember her by.

Emma Roller, Former Splinter Staff Writer

Whatever the opposite of scurvy is, rest assured that Katie McDonough has it. RIP Katie.

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Clio Chang, Perpetually On Tour

I am not sure who ever let Katie write about politics because one time me, her, and Joanna were having dinner and Katie said, “it’s kind of crazy how Chris Cuomo is Andrew Cuomo’s son” and me and Joanna laughed and laughed and laughed until we realized she was serious and then Joanna cut herself off mid-laughter and said “Wait what?” Instead of admitting her mistake, Katie then spent the rest of the dinner making us hold up photos on our phones of Chris Cuomo and Andrew Cuomo side by side, while she screamed “SEE??” and wouldn’t stop until we conceded that they looked like father and son (they don’t).

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Despite this and her many other shortcomings, I’ve been haranguing Katie to join her at every job she moves to with little-to-moderate success.

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Why would I want to expose myself to such brutality on a daily basis? To be quite honest, because Katie is one of the few people I’ve ever worked with who has consistently demonstrated what it means to care for each other in this industry. The media community I entered is not the same as the one I exist in now and a huge, unwritten part of that shift is because of Katie. I know I’m not alone in saying that I would be lost without that little tea freak.

Anyways, pour one out for Katie not knowing things. Bye bitch!!!!!

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Molly Osberg, Senior Staff Writer, Jezebel

I have to admit I didn’t much care for Katie when I met her three offices, three websites, two mass layoffs, and one round of buyouts ago: I’m a petty, judgmental person, and the girl wears slim-fit fashion overalls with high-heeled boots. She seemed sort of like I imagined a New York Magazine Girl would be when I was 19: cute handbags, severe bangs, a freakishly clean apartment full of books, an allegedly kind boyfriend who is from so far north he might as well be Canadian. (And who I am still not entirely sure exists.) I can only imagine it was out of desperation for a close friendship with me that she started dropping references to “the labor movement” and her former life as a “Boston punk” while we were working at our first of many doomed enterprises together. I’m sorry to say the ruse worked, and now Katie and I are in a handsome and strong union, and she takes me shopping twice a year when I have to go to a formal event.

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Katie is a freak of a blogger and three rounds of “solidarity forever” squished into the body of a 19th century orphan, a woman of questionable taste both in story framings and snacks. The problem with roasting her is that all of the things that make her ridiculous—her pursuit of justice, her sensitivity, her style choices, her insistence that she once lived in a “punk house” and went to lots of “shows”—are all things that she is actually completely, painfully sincere about. Because she is, unfortunately, a very good person. I’m sure this roast will be full of people writing about Katie’s boundless generosity and emotional maturity, but I’ll never be fooled: She also regularly appears at my apartment, demands my roommate and I make her dinner, and spends the entire evening complaining we don’t have a washer-dryer that she could do her laundry in too.

Anyway, congrats to Katie for fulfilling her destiny and becoming the next CEO of The Wing. Here’s a picture of her sharing a tender moment with my dog:

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Clover Hope, Culture Editor, Jezebel

She’s one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, diligent, determined, and strong-willed. Someone who, if I ever need anyone to stick up for me in a physical, verbal or existential fight, I would turn to, even though I find her appetite for small children a little off-putting. This is for Cannibal Witch right?

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Elena Scotti, Photo Director, G/O Media

Katie is one of the smartest, sweetest, strongest and hardest working women I know. Katie is so much better than I will ever be that the only real thing I can think to roast her about is that she is physically smaller than me.

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Anna Merlan, Features Writer, Vice

I wish I could say that I’m surprised that Katie is leaving to reform the Symbionese Liberation Army and, as she continually says in staff meetings, “do it right this time,” but those bangs were a dead giveaway.

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Lisa Fischer, Video Producer, Jezebel

I used to think I was the freakiest human on planet earth, and then I met Katie McDonough. In the last year, Katie has pushed for my strangest and most batshit assignments—most notably, she is responsible for the series This Week in Meghan McCain, which was obviously an elaborate way for her to troll me into suffering through The View every day. Honestly, a good prank. At first I was offended and threatened by Katie’s weirdness, but I have grown to love and respect her because of it, like a David Lynch movie or a cherished childhood Furby. She’s also an incredibly talented writer and editor, an inspirational union leader, a great friend, and I will miss her dearly.

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Riley MacLeod, Editor-at-Large, Kotaku

One of the traditions at whatever the name of this company is now is roasting people when they leave. Roasting people in general is kind of a daily practice. I don’t like this very much. Part of it is that I’m not clever enough to roast as well as my peers. Another part is that I’m into earnestness in a goofy, sort of religious way. Mostly, though, it’s because I’m a coward; when you’re mean to people, they might be mean back, and I’m not very good at people being mean.

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Katie is not a coward. She’s the smartest, bravest, and kindest person I’ve worked with here. As a union colleague, she awes and intimidates me with her refusal to back off when it counts. She’s brilliant at finding creative new avenues when the people we’re up against shut one down. She keeps all of us on track, steps up when no one else does, and is willing to keep going long after I’ve been reduced to vaping in a phone room while sobbing. I’ve stood alongside—or, more often, slightly behind—Katie as we’ve faced a lot of mean people, whether they were mean by nature or by circumstance. She has, in every instance, been so much bigger than any meanness that might be in the room. She’s done this by refusing to accept bullshit, by pressing on in the face of discomfort, and never letting anyone tell her she’s being mean when she’s being right. I will never be half the person she is, and I honestly don’t know what we’ll do without her. Insert clever roast here.

Kelsey McKinney, former Staff Writer, Deadspin

Katie is a terrible person to be friends with because just looking at her convinces you that you can do things that you absolutely cannot do: use your lede as a conclusion, cut off a t-shirt into a sleeveless tank, bangs! In all honesty, though, Katie has been an incredible emotional stronghold for me through not one but TWO complete career disasters at this company. She has fought for this company harder and longer and more passionately than it ever deserved, and the fact that she’s leaving now is a reminder of just how little these owners value the people who have built the company that makes them money. It sucks that I’m writing about workers’ rights instead of how excellent of a reporter, brilliant of an editor, and loving of a friend Katie is, but that’s probably what she would want anyway.

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Kelly Stout, Articles Editor, Esquire.com

I once watched Katie cry during a group rendition of “Solidarity Forever” but don’t let that make you think she’s soft. She is a rare thing in this world: a straight shooter, a wise and trusted friend to me, a true sister who does the most work while demanding the least credit, a deeply generous soul, and also, if push came to shove, a person who could probably do murder. I truly wish her the best in her career pivot to being the boss at a late 19th-century textiles factory!

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Joan Summers, Staff Writer, Jezebel

In my first conversation with Katie, she handed me a complex map that led through spooky dungeons, crumbling archives, and down into the pits of hell itself. She called it my initiation ritual at Jezebel, which at the time I figured was a completely normal hazing experience for young bloggers. When I finally crawled back up from the abyss below, she laughed, and told me I was a maniac for following her instructions. Not only did this experience immediately set the tone for our editor and writer partnership, but her excited voice genuinely terrified me. Could she read my mind? Because I felt the same about her: This lady was a fucking maniac.

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Many moons have passed since, and I feel like I’ve learned some incredibly important details I should share with her future employers. (Mostly out of concern for their safety!)

  • Do not let her size fool you. That one person could host such enormous chaotic energy—enough to topple skyscrapers or level mountains—is frankly ridiculous.
  • She—will—try—and—force—an—em—dash—in—every—headline. Let her, or else!
  • When Jezebel is eventually canceled, it will be for something rude that Katie said.
  • One time Katie locked me in a room and tried to cut my hair into the shape of Ivanka’s bob for a blog. I barely escaped with my life.
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But also, know that you are exceedingly lucky to have stolen Katie from us.

She is one of the most demented journalists I’ve ever encountered, and I’m infinitely lucky to call her a friend. Katie has also taught me to be a better reporter in every way: through compassion, through fearlessness. More importantly, she’s among the funniest women alive; so funny, in fact, that I’ve only lasted in this business by waking up every morning, looking at myself in the mirror, and manifesting that one day I will be funnier than she is. But I will miss her manic energy and her mentorship most. When you’re gone, Katie, I promise that I will continue your legacy of ceaselessly trolling Melania Trump, because the law of internet irony and blogging dictates that all young writers must one day rise up and cannibalize their master’s legacy, growing stronger in the process.

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Oh, and one other thing: When I was down in hell, I ran into Satan. He told me he misses you, and would really like you to text him back eventually.

Libby Watson, Staff Writer, The New Republic

When we worked together at Splinter, Katie was not my editor, but I very much felt like she was my boss anyway. If I were the type of feminist to describe other successful women as Totally Badass and a Boss Bitch, I guess I’d call her that, but I’m not and I won’t. She was just clearly a few levels above me, in talent and intellect, in her capacity for hard work. She has the righteous fury that distinguishes good journalists from the boiled eggs who crave nothing but acclaim and access. She is a tireless unionist. And she let me and Emma Roller stay in her nice apartment when the company was too fuckin’ cheap to pay for us to come to New York for the holiday party. It is another sad mark of what A Bunch of Men Who Could Be Described As a Certain Type of Plant have done to this company that she is leaving, because she has the rare and precious spirit of GMG and Rude Blogs in her.

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The important thing, though, is that I beat her at Mario Kart. A game for children. That I won.

Rafi Schwarz, former Senior Writer, Splinter

Despite being nine or ten times larger than her, I would never want to get into a physical altercation with Katie, because I am absolutely certain she would have no compunction about fighting dirty. Who knows what sort of bladed weapons and fortifying tinctures she keeps stashed in her overalls? Honestly, she terrifies me—not just as a fiercely talented writer, but as a human being. We once worked on a blog about Glenn Danzig together, and the whole time she kept telling me I wasn’t “punk enough,” and threatened my very life with different kinds of citric fruits. Is this the behavior of a well adjusted member of society? I say: It is not. Nevertheless, the blog did pretty well, and I can only assume it’s because Katie personally threatened each and every reader to refresh the page multiple times. My god, what sort of nefarious antics will she foist on the unassuming public next? I can’t wait to find out.

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Isha Aran, Former Staff Writer, Splinter

Katie McDonough, a sentient Black Flag tee, was a good woman. A survivor of the long and arduous journey from Fusion Dot Net to Kinja Dot Fusion Dot Com to Splinternews Dot Com, she earned a reputation as a grifter trying to pass clementines off as a real snack. She was finally thwarted when she tied a bandana too tight around her own neck.

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Katie died the way she lived: with the grace of a baby bird and the gravitas of a recently blow-dried cow. May she find in the afterlife the only thing that truly made her happy in this life, which is definitely being serenaded by someone down on one knee playing acoustic guitar. If you see her you must serenade her, it’s in the constitution.

McDonough is survived by her only child, the eagle blog.

Ellie Shechet, graduate student

Katie is so kind, intelligent, thoughtful, funny and tirelessly involved in bettering our society that sometimes I want to die when I think about it. Will I ever be good like Katie? Will anyone? Probably not. One time Katie, then my editor, sat in with me on a phone call while I got yelled at off the record by a lawyer. I am bad at getting yelled at, and Katie was not even a little bit hesitant to swoop in and support me. Though she is tiny like a bird or salamander, Katie is the kind of editor who truly feels like a safety net and I look forward to joining her holacratic earth cult upstate in a few years.

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Kelly Faircloth, Senior Writer, Jezebel

In the interests of brevity, I’ll just say that I’m proud and indeed honored to have worked so closely as a union comrade with Jezebel’s first really, truly, 100% feral staffer. We’ve had some wild ones, but I fully believe that Katie would gnaw off somebody’s hand in a fight, if the cause was just. Which is the important part! Please note that I initially tried to write this joke by googling, “feral vicious animal that eats citrus,” which took me to this page about “citrus pests,” but none of the examples was quite as evocative as I needed to fully convey the extent to which Katie will chew your face off—if you are wrong and bad, only.

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Megan McRobert, Organizer, Writers Guild of America East

I met Katie at one of the first meetings to organize a union at Fusion.net (rip). I emailed her to follow up and got a reply back saying that I had the wrong Katie McDonough. I was convinced that she was actually management’s mole sent to destroy me slowly. For some reason her co-workers kept inviting her to meetings and when I compared the sign-in sheets, I realized that she had MISSPELLED her OWN EMAIL ADDRESS on the first union meeting sign-in sheet! She has continued to disappoint and embarrass me ever since.

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Against all my union bureaucrat training, she insisted we use Slack as the primary communication tool for the Fusion organizing campaign. I will literally never forgive her for bringing Slack into my life. My suspicions of her dictatorial ambitions were confirmed when she served as one of the first GMG union co-chairs and insisted on doing only the most glamorous tasks like organizing meeting notes and reminding her fellow committee members about their assignments. After years of organizing in this truly godforsaken industry, my hair is going grey at an exponential rate and my gremlin heart has withered and shrunk like an inverse Grinch, yet she has somehow continued to grow and thrive... only confirming my latest theory that she is actually a mutant who will outlive us all.

Esther Wang, Senior Reporter, Jezebel

I’m not embarrassed to admit that I was absolutely terrified of Katie when I first met her. It was the summer of 2018, we were all crammed into what we called a “pod” at the old GMG office (RIP to our good office!!!), and she sat one desk over from me, constantly drinking matcha and eating small fruits. At times she would giggle maniacally to herself. Despite being approximately 1/5 my size, a steeliness in her eyes made me realize she would and could absolutely destroy me if we were to fight. Luckily, we have never fought, physically or with words, unless you count the many times I’ve told her to please die after she sends me a photo of a MATH hat in the wild. Katie is the best editor I’ve ever worked with and makes all of the boring things I write actually good and funny and smart. In sum, FUCK YOU KATIE! We’ll miss you and we love you.

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Haley Mlotek, Freelance Writer

One day, many years from now, my wretched grandchildren will come to visit me. They’ll remove their thigh-high galoshes still wet from wading through the rising sea waters just to be like, grandma, tell us about the movement to unionize digital media that began roughly in the year 2015 though had its roots in the long history of organizing newsrooms and I’ll be like ugh again!?! Don’t you kids ever get sick of that story and they’ll scream no we want it! Because their mother didn’t raise them with any manners.

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I’ll start, as I always do, by telling them that for me, everything that mattered started when I met Katie McDonough, a tiny woman who was always wearing incredible pants, well-crafted clogs, and vintage t-shirts tied up or cut up so expertly Etsy sellers would weep knowing that someone as beautiful as her was purchasing their overpriced vintage, probably. I know it sounds crazy, I’ll say, but even when the industry was so toxic it felt hopeless, and even when the bosses were so stupid they wouldn’t even give us the dignity of a fair fight, and even when we were so tired and unsure anything would work, Katie would always know just what to say or do. And!!!! I’ll keep going, getting into it now, although my foul grandkids are losing interest, not only was she the most hardworking and beloved union rep in my heart, she was a brilliant editor, who made all her writers feel like they could say what they’d been holding back from even thinking; she was a beautiful writer, who did justice to all her subjects and topics with her endless reserves of generosity for their experiences; and she could only drink exactly one alcoholic beverage a night lest she begin to giggle too much, it was so cute, Katie so smol we’d say.

“Grandma, that sounds fake,” they’d probably say, rolling their eyes, and I would be like bitch I know! But that’s really what she was like.

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Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, Editor-in-Chief, Jezebel

On Katie’s first day at Jezebel, she sat at her desk and ate a plain avocado, straight out of the skin, with a spoon. Who the hell, I wondered, was this well-dressed weirdo? Little did I know! Over the last two years I have observed her snack habits with great fascination, which seem to oscillate between the exceedingly healthy (coconut chips???) and utterly disgusting (she makes an incredible buffalo dip, but that shit can’t be good for you). There was also a brief period in which she was singularly obsessed with CBD, convincing the staff to get mildly (MILDLY!) wavy on gummies and the less effective CBD teas. Many will roast Katie for her unflappable union leadership, her wonderful writing, and her fancy footwear, but in my estimation, her most roastable character trait is her snack experimentalism, which verges on the avant-garde. Is her ability to name every niche winter citrus an elaborate performance art project? Only Katie knows, put it in the MOMA next to Cannibal Witch.

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We’re gonna miss this fierce, freaky, teeny queen.

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About the author

Molly Osberg

Molly Osberg is a Senior Reporter with G/O Media.