Fervor over the GameSpot fracas has pretty much died down. Not unexpected, considering the company line is "there is no spoon" and the other principles involved have signed agreements preventing them from speaking on the matter (revealing so-called company secrets is grounds for dismissal in any corporation, ya know, not to mention nasty legal recourse).
I've seen skeptical forum posts on both sides proclaiming "There's no proof they fired Jeff over advertiser pressure" and "There's no proof they didn't." The fact is there will never be hard proof one way or the other, because Jeff isn't going to sacrifice his severance to talk and management isn't going to fall on a spear just to regain the credibility of a userbase that doesn't make $400,000 ad buys.
All the proof I need is in the way the staff reacted to Jeff's dismissal and to what went on in the closed door meeting that took place on November 30th. I can't reveal exactly what was said, because I don't want to implicate specific staffers, but the bottom line is this: Any staffer that continues to work there once this fervor dies down does so with the fear that, one day, management will ask them to soften up their tone and scores... and they will either have to swallow their integrity and abide, or risk taking a stand and being let go.
This is why there has to be a separation of church and state between marketing and editorial. I know it's "just entertainment coverage," but do you really want to read an evaluation of a $60 game and have to wonder if what you're reading is the honest truth or fluffed up? More to the point, how would you feel to read a review that inspired you to burn sixty bucks, only to bring the game home and find out the review misled you?