Gawker.com, 2003-2016
August 18, 2016 2:52 PM   Subscribe

"After nearly fourteen years of operation, Gawker.com will be shutting down next week."

Univision, which bought Gawker Media in for $135 million in a bankruptcy auction on Tuesday, will be shutting down the digital group's flagship site to focus on Deadspin, Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Kotaku and Lifehacker. In addition to its Spanish-language network, the media giant already owns Fusion and has a controlling interest in Onion, Inc., which operates The Onion, The AV Club, and Clickhole. Gawker Media filed for bankruptcy earlier this summer after losing a lawsuit filed by pro wrestler Hulk Hogan that was secretly financed by billionaire Peter Thiel, later revealed to have spent millions as part of a personal vendetta against the company.
posted by alexoscar (117 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'll miss Gawker.
posted by E. Whitehall at 2:57 PM on August 18, 2016 [23 favorites]


Wait, what about IO9? It's still finding its feet still Charlie Jane left but damn, there's little like it on the Web.
posted by Ber at 3:00 PM on August 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


Its been part of Gizmodo for a while, so will probably go to whatever fate Gizmodo meets.
posted by Artw at 3:00 PM on August 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


I feel a bit sad. They could definitely be assholes, but also did some good investigations. I've been reading them since the beginning.
posted by Sassenach at 3:01 PM on August 18, 2016 [13 favorites]


@theshrillest has been posting links to some of their best stories.
posted by Artw at 3:03 PM on August 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


What’s crazy to me is that the $140M judgment, from what I’ve read, is acknowledged by all sides to be the product of a runaway jury, and is all but certain to be reduced or reversed on appeal. Yet the damage is already done. What’s the logic in forcing a company out of business based on a verdict that nobody expects to stand?
posted by lurkfirst at 3:05 PM on August 18, 2016 [21 favorites]


Valleywag did important work. It was often terrible but was it really more terrible than the truth? It will be missed.
posted by GuyZero at 3:06 PM on August 18, 2016 [7 favorites]




While there was good stuff amongst the trash, i;m still annoyed at them for the way they went out - not so much that they published something that allowed them to be sued into oblivion, but that what they published to get themselves sued over oblivion over was so fucking dumb. If you're going to take that risk at least take it for something worthwhile.
posted by Artw at 3:12 PM on August 18, 2016 [13 favorites]


Revenge is a dish best served cold, but it provides no nutritional value.
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 3:16 PM on August 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


Is 2016 just the year commercial blogging flat out dies? Weve seen so many other quality blogs die this year even without this kind of self inflicted wound.
posted by Artw at 3:22 PM on August 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Isn't there some connection between Metafilter and Gawker's founding?
posted by octothorpe at 3:23 PM on August 18, 2016


Well, Mathowie posted this earlier.
posted by Artw at 3:28 PM on August 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Isn't there some connection between Metafilter and Gawker's founding?

IIRC, Nick Denton was a member, as were some early Gawker writers.
posted by drezdn at 3:37 PM on August 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


also...
Is Donald Trump’s Hair a $60,000 Weave? A Gawker Investigation [Updated]
This is why it is tragic/scandalous to be losing Gawker before the current electoral sh!tstorm is over. (And it's still unclear whether its archive will survive - and where) But then, it's only the one brand and its domain that are shutting down. The rest of the soon-to-be-renamed-Gawker-network-of-sites will live on, with most of Gawker's gawkish staff 'reassigned', most likely to the equally snarky but proudly feminist Jezebel, which will inevitably become a valuable resource during the Hillary Clinton Administration. Or to Univision's Fusion.net, which has a front page that's as edgy and outspoken as Gawker, but better formatted. The now-formerly-Nick-Denton network of sites has retired names before: Valleywag, where the ultimately-fatal digs at Peter Theil originated - Sploid, which was my entry point to that tangled web - and sold-off names Wonkette and Consumerist, the latter now responsibly run by Consumer Reports.

To find the remains of the Gawker Network co-owned with The Onion? That's almost cool. And Univision's main course is the Spanish-language TV network that was first in line to cut ties with Trump when he started talking walls. The new owner is certainly better than the other bidder, Ziff-Davis:"Leaders in Tech, Gaming, & Men’s Lifestyle" (although their speedtest.net, which I just now learned they owned, is useful).
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:40 PM on August 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


Congratulations to Lifehacker on somehow continuing to exist.
posted by Copronymus at 3:48 PM on August 18, 2016 [14 favorites]


Probably through using a special kind of notebook or a trick with sticky notes or something.
posted by Artw at 3:49 PM on August 18, 2016 [101 favorites]


They used a the tab from a bread bag to keep the site afloat.
posted by drezdn at 3:53 PM on August 18, 2016 [32 favorites]


my morning was spent arguing with a guy on facebook who insisted on the importance of free speech and that's why peter thiel, noted fascist billionaire shithead (my words not his obviously), was perfectly justified in destroying a news outlet and that the case was decided in thiel's favor purely because he was "objectively right"

it went really well as you might guess especially once he started insisting it's unamerican to not have the right to do whatever you want with your money
posted by burgerrr at 3:56 PM on August 18, 2016 [10 favorites]


I'll miss Gawker, but I've been following C.A. Pinkham loyally. He and Off-the-Menu-definitely-not-Behind-Closed-Ovens found a new home at Thrillist. I'll deal with their bullshit membership dialog box for Off the Menu.
posted by infinitewindow at 3:57 PM on August 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


Ziff-Davis:"Leaders in Tech, Gaming, & Men’s Lifestyle"

Might as well be Ziff Davis "Destroyer of worlds". They've bought plenty of web companies in the tech and video game sphere, sucked them dry, and then killed them.
posted by zabuni at 4:04 PM on August 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


It just reminds me (and should you too) that there is not a single definitive source for ANYTHING on the internet. Not even Facebook. ESPECIALLY NOT Facebook. Have I mentioned that Scumbag Peter Thiel owns 10% of Facebook and is on its Board of Directors? When you use Facebook, you're letting HIM control how you use the internet and put $$ in his pocket. No thank you.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:07 PM on August 18, 2016 [10 favorites]


Might as well be Ziff Davis "Destroyer of worlds". They've bought plenty of web companies in the tech and video game sphere, sucked them dry, and then killed them.

At least Reddit is still authentically awful.
posted by Artw at 4:09 PM on August 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


I've been reading Gawker for, oh, twelve years (good lord!), and while they've published their share of bad faith junk, creepy takes, and poorly researched crap, they've also published some of the best pieces of writing and humor I've read in my life, introduced me to writers I will follow all over the web (Kiese Laymon! Caity Weaver! Richard Lawson! and so many more), gave birth to Jezebel (which honest to god changed the way I look at my life, my practice of feminism, and my place in the world), and created a space where commenters could gather, that, before I found Metafilter, was unlike anything I'd ever known. Right now I'm sitting here thinking of the summer I spent in very unfamiliar New York City, how google led me to this irreverent, cuss-filled, stalker-ish, snarky blog filled with gossip about people I didn't know anyone even remotely similar to (what was a southern suburbia-bred teenager doing hoovering up publishing industry gossip?!). I don't even follow it closely anymore; I will miss it like hell.
posted by sallybrown at 4:09 PM on August 18, 2016 [25 favorites]


At least Reddit is still authentically awful.

Oops, that's Conde Nast, or parent company thereof.
posted by Artw at 4:11 PM on August 18, 2016


And, I believe Conde Nast reduced their overall share and allows Reddit to operate as an independent company, albeit one that Conde Nast is the largest shareholder in.

Here's an interested read on why shuttering Gawker is probably mostly a business decision based on ad sales.
posted by cell divide at 4:15 PM on August 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


They took down ViolentAcrez, and for that alone, a commutation is deserved.
posted by fatbird at 4:21 PM on August 18, 2016 [27 favorites]


.
posted by the marble index at 4:28 PM on August 18, 2016


my morning was spent arguing with a guy on facebook who insisted on the importance of free speech and that's why peter thiel, noted fascist billionaire shithead (my words not his obviously), was perfectly justified in destroying a news outlet and that the case was decided in thiel's favor purely because he was "objectively right"

The dumbest part of this argument is that people don't quite realize that the courts are the government. It's the government deciding to bankrupt a media organization. Sure, it was decided on by a jury, but without state power, Thiel would not have been able to pull this off. In a perfect Libertarian wonderland, he'd have had to do something else, because the court couldn't enforce the sorts of image rights involved in the case at all!

There's no law against champerty , apparently, so Thiel is within his rights to do it, but he's literally leveraging the existing machinery of the state to damage people he doesn't like. And this is a guy who proposed a floating techno-utopia to get away from pesky government regulation! The two sides of the libertarian coin: heads, no government regulation for me; tails, government regulation for you...
posted by BungaDunga at 4:29 PM on August 18, 2016 [25 favorites]


In a perfect Libertarian wonderland, he'd have had to do something else...

Like send in his hired goons to break Nick Denton's legs. On the other hand, it could that everyone would have been better off in this scenario.
posted by 445supermag at 4:41 PM on August 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


The judgement is still enforced by the state, so I don't think there's a difference that's overridingly important here? It's not like Gawker opted into the court's jurisdiction voluntarily, or signed a contract with Hulk Hogan and reneged. In those cases, sure- that's a valid libertarian use for courts.

But Thiel's behavior is like complaining that your kindergarten teacher is too quick to punish, and then whenever you see your archenemy being mean another student, you sidle up to that student and say "you should tell the teacher and get him punished."
posted by BungaDunga at 5:32 PM on August 18, 2016 [1 favorite]




Wow, 14 years. It had not even shown up on my radar until just a few years ago.
posted by sutt at 5:48 PM on August 18, 2016


Kinda weird that Gawker was destroyed by a billionaire shithead and Trump delegate, then picked up by a company chaired by Clinton's top donor. Or maybe not so weird, it's just ... 2016?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:57 PM on August 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


They threw a lot of shit against the wall, and a good amount was garbage. The work they've been doing on police violence, unemployment (even just publishing unemployment stories), disparity in university salaries for adjunct professors, and just getting the concept of universal guaranteed income into the open for a positive discussion has been amazing.

I'm wondering how Univision will handle this. Part of what made Gawker work was the close connection of the different arms, with regular crossposting. I almost never went to Kotaku or Jezebel directly, but I regularly read posts that were linked from Deadspin, i09, or Gizmodo.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:05 PM on August 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Philip Bump at the Wash. Post wrote a good essay today on how much Gawker influenced Web journalism, and how chilling this entire saga could turn out to be.

To wit:
Gawker's founding legacy was its attitude and its style, which influenced both those who loved it and those who hated it. Its final legacy will be the way in which it was destroyed, by a man with deep pockets and a lengthy grudge who backed not only Hogan's lawsuit but several others, under the theory that if one failed to decapitate the site, another might succeed. For you or me, hiring a lawyer who can defend you in court for months on end is a cost-prohibitive idea. For Thiel and other members of the hyper-wealthy class, it's not. There's always going to be a price for saying something someone else disapproves of. Thiel ensured that the price was as costly as it could possibly be. The smart money says that the verdict against Gawker is overturned on appeal, but, oh well. Overturning capital punishment sentences can be buggy.

It's interesting to consider Gawker's fate today. The Department of Justice announced that it would stop housing federal inmates at for-profit prisons, a decision that many credit to extensive reporting by Mother Jones, which spent hundreds of thousands of dollars revealing how the system worked. Mother Jones, too, was nearly destroyed financially by a billionaire who opposed their coverage, but they won. In the online media world, two makes a trend, and this trend isn't cute.

So that's it. Gawker is broken and scattered. Smarm won; Thiel won. There are so many good writers out there who are better, directly or indirectly, thanks to the site's fearlessness, aggressiveness and attitude. Gawker made its opponents better. Gawker and its writers, despite some steps backward, made the web better. It made the web what it is.
posted by tittergrrl at 6:14 PM on August 18, 2016 [34 favorites]


This is seriously fucking upsetting.
posted by rorgy at 6:14 PM on August 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


When you use Facebook, you're letting HIM control how you use the internet and put $$ in his pocket.

I use uBlock on Facebook, so I like to think I'm a net drain on his wallet.
posted by straight at 6:35 PM on August 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't actually agree with the Hulk Hogan verdict (since Hogan did previously publicize his sex life), but Gawker had it coming. I don't blame Peter Thiel for the vendetta. The recent months of constant shrill Bernie spam also make me unsympathetic.
posted by knoyers at 6:51 PM on August 18, 2016


Thanks for for the post and thanks for essay, tittergrrl.

Wikipedia's entry is worth reading...I hadn't sufficiently paid attention to know about the motions that were dismissed or the trial having a 6-person jury. I had caught Daulerio's comment/quote about 4-year olds and celebrity, but interpreted it as a poor argument of principle.

I'm curious about Gawker's claims of key evidence being withheld and inadequate jury instructions.

Sex tapes piss off parents something awful. I wonder how many parents sat on that jury. Parents especially don't like it when their kids find something the parents made, share it with other kids, other parents hear about it and the police have to tease out the story. Most of the time, litigated pay-offs/outs in figures this high are cynically dismissed as part of "the problem". Combined with already seriously rich people being rewarded said figures...something went down in that jury room. Messages in million dollar bottles.

Reading Hogan distinguished his persona from himself in trial would be amusing were it not for the Press' rights at stake. Showmanship is, evidently, a helluva game.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 6:52 PM on August 18, 2016


(since Hogan did previously publicize his sex life)

Consent. You should read about it.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:05 PM on August 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


...but Gawker had it coming.

As cliched and cribbed as it for me to say, "We've all got it coming."
posted by lazycomputerkids at 7:08 PM on August 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


It made the web what it is.

I was wondering who should be held accountable.

Gawker and its writers, despite some steps backward, made the web better.

What's interesting is that depending on how you weigh discrete instances of good and bad in this situation, you give a pass in a way that the other side probably won't receive. If Gawker = bad + more good overall, then they get a moral pass (per the quote above). Thiel makes a bad move (and you side with Gawker's overall positive contributions), nobody is going to be reviewing the utilitarian calculus of Thiel's life, as his bad move was bad enough to outweigh the rest of his contributions. For Thiel, though, he calculated in the other direction based on how bad Gawker's bad made his particular discrete instance feel, so you'll never convince him (and those who agree with the severity of Gawker's bad) that Thiel didn't add more good to the universe overall. He'll always view it (and be viewed as) taking down the abusive individual who was pretty good perhaps most of the time, but that one time, well, you know, did that Really Bad Thing. There generally isn't a movement to give a pass to people who are viewed as only sometimes abusive.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:09 PM on August 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Sex tapes piss off parents something awful. I wonder how many parents sat on that jury. Parents especially don't like it when their kids find something the parents made, share it with other kids, other parents hear about it and the police have to tease out the story. Most of the time, litigated pay-offs/outs in figures this high are cynically dismissed as part of "the problem". Combined with already seriously rich people being rewarded said figures...something went down in that jury room. Messages in million dollar bottles.

Honestly, after Daulerio's deposition came out I was like "Yup, they're losing this one." A jury of twelve random Americans is not going to dig a Gawker editor's snark in the middle of a million dollar trial they are obliged to witness. Like, seriously my jaw hung slack for minutes after reading that thing.

I really hate what the American justice system has allowed Thiel to do, but if your ethos is "Always Be Assholes" there's going to be a time when that's deeply problematic for your fortunes.
posted by selfnoise at 7:14 PM on August 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


Have you seen Thiel's #1 investment: Palantir? Big Data analysis started with CIA money and absurd levels of 'security'. No way anybody in THAT business is NOT an enemy of "freedom of speech", "privacy" or anything else a billionaire can just buy...
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:20 PM on August 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


Your periodic reminder that Gawker's owner and former editor was making casual jokes about child rape in front of the jury at the trial:

On Wednesday, Daulerio, 41, said a celebrity sex tape is not newsworthy only if it involves a child, according to The New York Times. When Hogan's lawyer pressed him on the age of the child, Daulerio responded, "Four." The Times said "a palpable sense of shock rippled through" the courtroom.

The same person who blew off a woman asking that Gawker take down a video of her being raped.

As reprehensible as Thiel's vendetta might be, their casting themselves as the real victim here is galling, and it's easy to see why a judge might not be inclined to give them another kick at the can.
posted by mhoye at 7:24 PM on August 18, 2016 [24 favorites]


Have you seen Thiel's #1 investment: Palantir?

No, I had not. Thank you.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 7:43 PM on August 18, 2016


I feel like naming your data analysis company Palantir is kind of too on the nose. I don't think they're using the name ironically.
posted by Justinian at 7:47 PM on August 18, 2016 [11 favorites]


The same person who blew off a woman asking that Gawker take down a video of her being raped.

Daulerio said, "I’m sure it’s embarrassing but these things do pass, keep your head up.”
That is having it coming.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 7:50 PM on August 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


This makes me sad. Gawker was one of two sites I read daily (Metafilter being the other) and was one of the few where I bothered to read the comments.

Cortex, please don't piss off Peter Thiel.
posted by great_radio at 8:16 PM on August 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


As much as I don't love everything it did in it's 14 years, I will miss Gawker. It filled a role in online media that no one else could or even wanted to.... I'm not sure anyone else will be able to, to be honest. It had a voice of its own and it was willing to burst the bubble of Internet (and especially tech world) optimism and bullshit when necessary.

Here's hoping something takes on that role and does it even better.

Peter Thiel: Fuck you and your vendetta-driven lawsuits. And fuck it even more that it was a success. Not a good sign for the press.
posted by defenestration at 8:21 PM on August 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, the crude, rude Gawker had a better justification for existing than the lying liars at Breitbart, and it's not only continuing to publish, now it's writing speeches for a Presidential Candidate (the one Peter Thiel made a convention speech for). Coincidence?

When the "Culture Wars" are decided by which side billionaires throw money at, we are all losers.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:34 PM on August 18, 2016 [10 favorites]


Interestingly, Thiel accomplished what Trump threatened to do: shut down a media company because you don't like what they have to say.
posted by splitpeasoup at 8:43 PM on August 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Cortex, please don't piss off Peter Thiel.

It's not that hard to not be Gawker.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:05 PM on August 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


> Have you seen Thiel's #1 investment: Palantir? Big Data analysis started with CIA money and absurd levels of 'security'. No way anybody in THAT business is NOT an enemy of "freedom of speech", "privacy" or anything else a billionaire can just buy...

Previously.
posted by homunculus at 9:21 PM on August 18, 2016


I'm wondering what or if Elizabeth Spiers, Gawker's first editor (back when it was pretty much nothing but NYC and media inside baseball, and it was glorious, and good lord I am old) will have to say about this. The most recent thing she's said that I am aware of is how on of their writers is still getting screwed by Thiel: http://www.elizabethspiers.com/one-gawker-com-for-sale-slightly-used/
posted by old_growler at 9:25 PM on August 18, 2016 [2 favorites]




I feel like great_radio makes a good point above: Gawker (and the family of sites) was basically the only other place than Metafilter where I, too, would read the comments. Yeah, they were brash and irreverent, to the point of indefensible assholery at times, but there was something threaded through that kept it from descending to reddit levels.
posted by sldownard at 12:41 AM on August 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


Cortex, please don't piss off Peter Thiel.

It's not that hard to not be Gawker.


Hahaha you think he and his ilk are going to stop at the "bad" media hahahasobsobsob...
posted by Etrigan at 1:08 AM on August 19, 2016 [13 favorites]


Am I missing something here? If the website had not published a video of someone having sex without their consent, Peter Thiel would have had no lawsuit to bankroll against them and the site wouldn't be closed down. The whole thing started with them doing something pretty shitty, ie. publishing a video violating someone's privacy and dignity.

I don't agree with billionaires being able to get things closed down through sheer legal weight, but the buck has to stop with whoever at Gawker published the sex video. No video, no lawsuit.
posted by winterhill at 2:02 AM on August 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


the buck has to stop with whoever at Gawker published the sex video.

Or whoever said that someone didn't invent email, or said someone was accused of rape, or or or... The Hogan case was only a straw.
posted by Etrigan at 2:20 AM on August 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


If you print defamatory stuff and invade people's privacy, you get sued. It has always been thus. I find myself unable to shed a tear for a ranting tabloid with a history of publishing questionable material.
posted by winterhill at 2:33 AM on August 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


Whatever Gawker did, they also provided a platform for Tom Scocca's essay "On Smarm," which remains a brilliant and prescient critique of some of our reigning ideas and cultural practices:
What is smarm, exactly? Smarm is a kind of performance—an assumption of the forms of seriousness, of virtue, of constructiveness, without the substance. Smarm is concerned with appropriateness and with tone. Smarm disapproves.

...

Smarm offers a quick schema of superiority. The authority that smarm invokes is an ersatz one, but the appearance of authority is usually enough to get by with. Without that protection, to hold an opinion is to feel bare and alone, one voice among a cacophony of millions.

...

In theory, this might produce a more humane and rounded criticism. In practice, though, [it describes] a ratchet, one which has already been tightening for a while. Sympathy begets sympathy, to the benefit of things that don't deserve to be sympathized with. The ascendant forms of cultural power depend on the esteem of others, on the traffic driven by Facebook, on the nihilistic embrace of being liked and shared.
Full disclosure: I find some of the celebrations of Gawker's demise from an ostensibly liberal perspective, well, smarmy.
posted by Sonny Jim at 3:31 AM on August 19, 2016 [7 favorites]


Gawker's sins came from a long proud tradition of "tabloid journalism", and before the internet, many were sued but few were sued out of existence, not even the longest-running tabloid offender, The National Enquirer (whose publisher, by the way, is a friend of Donald Trump, which is why its front page has been all-Hillary-Clinton-'scandals' for several months and will continue to be until the election).
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:43 AM on August 19, 2016


That is nothing like what I think of when I think of the word "smarmy". I generally think of Ferengi trying to be nice in order to get their way when I think of the word "smarmy": insincere, ingratiating, sleazy, overly flattering, &c. Nothing here fits the common definition of "smarmy", and frankly, feeling superior to a website shutting down because it publicised someone's sex tape seems A-OK to me.
posted by XtinaS at 3:44 AM on August 19, 2016


A lot of sex tapes get made public, but it must really upset some people when the 'victim' is America's Paragon of Virtue, Fake Athlete Terry "I Stole My Professional Name From Marvel Comics" Bollea...
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:51 AM on August 19, 2016


Eh? It mostly seems to have upset the man himself, given it was his lawsuit which crushed Gawker.
posted by Justinian at 4:09 AM on August 19, 2016


Dang, the more I learn about Gawker, the more I'm really super glad that they're shutting down. Posting a possible rape video, being dismissive of requests to have it taken down, outing someone--no, wait, outing someone while assisting with blackmail, how clever of them...

Wait, they also refused a court order to take down Hogan's sex tape? Smooth move, Ex-Lax.

Re "a lot of sex tapes get made public", yeah, and it's terrible when it happens to those folk as well. ?
posted by XtinaS at 4:11 AM on August 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yes, but only Terry Bollea (with Peter Thiel's legal team) could get a $140 MILLION judgement.

But The National Enquirer has done things just as bad, and over 50+ years, so many more times, and they're Donald Trump's example of "not evil" media.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:24 AM on August 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Flashbacks to the demise of Spy Magazine...
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:31 AM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Only the good die young.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:32 AM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised to see so many here praising this shitty heap of a digital rag. Were any of the lawsuits against it unfounded? I'm not saying that I like the idea of the megarich unjustly using courts against media outlets but that's not what's happening here. Gawker took an incredibly private and personal thing that had no journalistic value and splashed it luridly across the front page of the internet for money. Repeatedly! Then went to court and acted like a bunch of assholes. How is this Thiels fault again? Because he made sure a just case had the resources to properly carry itself over the finish line? Gawker set itself up, thought it was too smarmy to fail, and found otherwise. Fuck them.
posted by dozo at 4:46 AM on August 19, 2016 [10 favorites]


I believe Conde Nast reduced their overall share and allows Reddit to operate as an independent company, albeit one that Conde Nast is the largest shareholder in.

Not quite. Reddit's largest shareholder is Advance Publications, the owner of Conde Nast.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 5:03 AM on August 19, 2016


What’s the logic in forcing a company out of business based on a verdict that nobody expects to stand?

We're talking about a libertarian billionaire who's angling to be the power behind the head of either a new government or the a new right-wing media empire, either of which would be based on what Trump has explicitly said is "expanding" libel laws to settle scores with news organizations and generally killing off the First Amendment for average citizens.

Were any of the lawsuits against it unfounded?

Yes. Shiva Ayyadurai's "I invented e-mail!" lawsuit is one of them.

I'm not saying that I like the idea of the megarich unjustly using courts against media outlets but that's not what's happening here.

Then why the other lawsuits?

Gawker took an incredibly private and personal thing that had no journalistic value

FWIW, they also were the first ones to report that Bollea repeatedly used racial slurs, which eventually got him fired from the WWE. It's suspected that that is the real reason he went after Gawker, since he lost out on a lot more money from that than any sex tape scandal would have cost him.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:12 AM on August 19, 2016 [8 favorites]


Reddit's largest shareholder is Advance Publications, the owner of Conde Nast.

So Conde Nast (Vanity Fair, The New Yorker) is in one part of the "Advance Publications building" and Reddit is in another. Semi-comparable to the Viacom/CBS and Fox/Newscorp "unmergers" where they are separate companies now, but with the same majority stockholder (only in these two cases, the shareholder is an individual, Sumner Redstone for Viacom & CBS, Rupert Murdoch for Fox & Newscorp)
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:12 AM on August 19, 2016


Related: We Were Sued by a Billionaire Political Donor. We Won. Here's What Happened.
This kind of legal onslaught is enormously taxing. Last spring, Lowell Bergman, the legendary 60 Minutes producer (whose story of exposing Big Tobacco was chronicled in the Oscar-nominated film The Insider), talked about a "chill in the air" as investigative reporters confront billionaires who can hurt a news organization profoundly whether or not they win in court: "There are individuals and institutions with very deep pockets and unaccountable private power who don't like the way we report. One example is a case involving Mother Jones…A superrich plaintiff is spending millions of dollars while he bleeds the magazine and ties up its staff."

Litigation like this, Bergman said, is "being used to tame the press, to cause publishers and broadcasters to decide whether to stand up or stand down, to self-censor."

Over the past three years, we've had to face that decision over and over again. Should we just cave in—retract our article or let VanderSloot get a judgment against us—and make this all go away? It wasn't an easy choice, but we decided to fight back. Because it's not just about us. It's about everyone who relies on Mother Jones to report the facts as we find them. It's about the Fourth Estate's check on those who would use their outsized influence and ability to finance political campaigns to control the direction of the country. It's about making sure that in a time when media is always under pressure to buckle to politicians or big-money interests, you can trust that someone will stand up and go after the truth.

And it's about one more thing. Just a few years ago, no one thought that America could move so far, so fast, toward respecting the rights of gays and lesbians. No one thought that by 2015 same-sex couples would have a constitutional right to marry or, for that matter, that the Boy Scouts would rescind their ban against gay troop leaders and the Mormon Church would back them up. That happened because a lot of people stood up to threats and discrimination. They came out to their families and communities. They declared their love for everyone to see. They didn't let themselves be intimidated. Nor will we.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:15 AM on August 19, 2016 [15 favorites]


I'm just glad that Deadspin and Lifehacker are staying.

I could never for the life of my understand their commenting system. There were many times I wanted to comment on things, but I didn't because of their high standards.
posted by 81818181818181818181 at 5:20 AM on August 19, 2016


Gawker, despicable as it may be(Have been?) was one of the first early publications that refused to remove the Tom Cruise Scientology promotion leak. During the early days of the Chanology protests they were one of the few journalist outfits that could be counted on not to back down to Scientology threats . They were invaluable in getting the suppression techniques of the cult broadcast to the wider world.

I may hate 90% of what they published, but their defeat is not a win for journalism.
posted by Twain Device at 5:33 AM on August 19, 2016 [17 favorites]


SO. This week,

a) an independent media company's major blog has folded & the company has been crushed by Peter Thiel;
b) The New York Times has revealed major revenue problems;
c) and Mother Jones has revealed that a $350,000 story, one that may have inspired yesterday's DOJ announcement that it would no longer contract with private prisons, earned only $5,000 in online ad revenue for it.

All of these things are . . . related.
posted by listen, lady at 5:47 AM on August 19, 2016 [24 favorites]


Free speech does not mean freedom from consequences of said speech.

Free speech/Freedom of the Press does not empower unscruptulus reporters to pry into private details of people. This should be a loud wakeup call to the other Gossip sites (TMZ/Supermarket tabloids/etc) that they should review their stories very carefully (and with a lawyer) to ensure there's no standing for the subject to take down the site with a lawsuit that may be funded by someone who has a grudge against the site.
posted by Hasteur at 6:00 AM on August 19, 2016


The December ‘02 MeFi post announcing Gawker’s arrival is interesting. The first comment: “That weblog is a yuppie disaster.”
posted by misteraitch at 6:20 AM on August 19, 2016 [6 favorites]


Free speech does not mean freedom from consequences of said speech.

Free speech/Freedom of the Press does not empower unscruptulus reporters to pry into private details of people. This should be a loud wakeup call to the other Gossip sites (TMZ/Supermarket tabloids/etc) that they should review their stories very carefully (and with a lawyer) to ensure there's no standing for the subject to take down the site with a lawsuit that may be funded by someone who has a grudge against the site.


oh i'm sure literally no one has thought of this bef--
posted by listen, lady at 6:22 AM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


The New Yorker's A. J. Liebling's most famous quote is: "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." It was expected that The Internet would make that untrue, but, eh, notsomuch.

(His second most famous quote is "People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news.")
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:32 AM on August 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


Free speech does not mean freedom from consequences of said speech.

We can mourn the success of an unscrupulous, unjust tactic without abandoning the principles under which it hides, or condoning the victim's behaviour that caused it.

no standing for the subject to take down the site with a lawsuit

Except that this was basically part of a financial denial-of-service attack where a well-financed legal team was able to make basic defence against lawsuits a steady, punitive cost. Winning with Bollea just accomplished more quickly what Thiel was ready to do slowly and steadily. A lack of standing for plaintiffs, or a virtuous defendant, is no guarantee that you're not going to be bled dry anyway, or just become self-censoring out of fear of triggering a wealthy sociopath.
posted by fatbird at 6:49 AM on August 19, 2016 [12 favorites]


> If you print defamatory stuff and invade people's privacy, you get sued. It has always been thus. I find myself unable to shed a tear for a ranting tabloid with a history of publishing questionable material.

This seems to be a common sentiment, but lest we forget, the lawsuit was slated to be a fairly typical one until Thiel's interference.

"Hollywood Hulk Hogan" would have likely settled out of court for a much lower amount, but he was suddenly advised to drop the "emotional distress" claim in his original suit, and this allowed Gawker to be sued for an amount that would put them out of business rather than just an amount that would have sufficiently lined Hogan's pockets.

I don't think anyone in defense of Gawker is particularly in defense of their invasions of privacy, but that a single individual with enough wealth and power should not be allowed to remove an entire multifaceted press organization as a personal decision.
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 7:19 AM on August 19, 2016 [14 favorites]


Especially when the verdict is clearly in conflict with existing jurisprudence. If Gawker had published some random person's sex tape, someone who was not a public figure, that would have been actionable. They didn't (at least not in the case at bar). They published a sex tape involving a public figure, someone who intentionally inserted themselves into the public eye.

Under Supreme Court precedent, if it is factual you can publish whatever the fuck you want about a public figure. Should they have? I don't think so, but they can. That's what is so galling to me about the whole thing. They have been issued a corporate death penalty for conduct that is very clearly protected speech. Even if the Supreme Court eventually overturns itself, that isn't OK to me since they were relying on what has been settled law for 40 years. I have this odd conception that one should be on notice that given conduct is proscribed before the ultimate penalty is applied.
posted by wierdo at 7:29 AM on August 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Okay, again I'm not a lawyer or an accountant and it's going to show, but correct me if I'm wrong here. This looks like a bit of a bookkeeping shell game. From what I can see, Univision purchased all of Gawker Media's assets and agreed to take on all their employees. Then they exercised the option to "sell back" Gawker.com to Gawker Media with all its related debt (namely the money owed to Bollea). Univision is keeping all the subsites like Jezebel, Lifehacker, Deadspin, and Kotaku and all the Gawker employees.

I wouldn't be surprised if Univision doesn't announce a "new" hub site for all the former Gawker subsites that doesn't oh-so-coincidentally feature the same staff.
posted by dances with hamsters at 7:46 AM on August 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


I am simultaneously sad, angry, and worried by this. Gawker was often awful, but I really liked it.
posted by bluejayway at 8:25 AM on August 19, 2016


Your periodic reminder that Gawker's owner and former editor was making casual jokes about child rape in front of the jury at the trial:

If you're curious how this all turned out for AJ Daulerio , he was determined to be jointly liable for the $140 million as well as Hulk Hogan's legal fees, so all of his assets have been frozen, he is jobless, soon to be homeless, and unable to access legal counsel.
posted by Copronymus at 8:32 AM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]



I wouldn't be surprised if Univision doesn't announce a "new" hub site for all the former Gawker subsites that doesn't oh-so-coincidentally feature the same staff.


Yeah but I'd like to see the business plan for launching a Gawker-nouveau site in 2016 without benefit of its past SEO. Getting enough traffic to it to be able to continue to pay that staff could be a challenge without the longtail stuff. That said, maybe there is a brilliant plan for it leveraging all the other sites.
posted by warriorqueen at 9:31 AM on August 19, 2016


Your periodic reminder that Gawker's owner and former editor was making casual jokes about child rape in front of the jury at the trial:

And your periodic reminder that the legal system is about adjudicating violations of the law, not punishing loathesome people for being so. Alas.
posted by listen, lady at 9:47 AM on August 19, 2016 [17 favorites]


As someone who didn't read Gawker much, I found this article from a former editor(Max Read) quite interesting. One of the takeaways: according to him, Denton had actually been pushing against the site's tradition of wanton cruelty for a while. Also, the extent of Gamergate's damage to Kotaku.
posted by selfnoise at 10:36 AM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]




Never mind next week; Gawker.com hasn't updated since yesterday's announcement.
posted by KingEdRa at 11:06 AM on August 19, 2016


Gawker.com hasn't updated since yesterday's announcement.

The only staffers who aren't nursing massive hangovers are still drunk.
posted by Etrigan at 11:10 AM on August 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah but I'd like to see the business plan for launching a Gawker-nouveau site in 2016 without benefit of its past SEO. Getting enough traffic to it to be able to continue to pay that staff could be a challenge without the longtail stuff. That said, maybe there is a brilliant plan for it leveraging all the other sites.

Leveraging all the other sites is exactly what I suspect that it will involve. Since all the associate sites will be/are still active they'll just start displaying links back to the new main page just as they currently do. I predict that we'll hear plenty about the new site even before it launches.
posted by dances with hamsters at 11:46 AM on August 19, 2016


I think they will use fusion.net as the new "main" site.

That is probably the main reason why they bought the gawker sites, is to prop that property up.

Just a shot in the dark.
posted by 81818181818181818181 at 11:59 AM on August 19, 2016


I'm reminded of the McDonald's Hot Coffee lawsuit, where the common perception of the merits of case turned out to be because a number of very large companies found it worth their while to push the idea that lawsuits against them were frequently frivolous and without merit, and so tort reform became a big issue.

Like most things that spark outrage online, the Gawker lawsuit involves a lot of deeper issues and is more nuanced than 'bad people do bad thing, get punished', but actually finding that out is a chore.

They were far from perfect, but I'll definitely miss them.
posted by gadge emeritus at 12:14 PM on August 19, 2016 [8 favorites]


Yeah, this was never about a violation of Hogan's privacy because of the leak of the sex tape.

First of all, as others have mentioned, Thiel is generously bankrolling about 4 other lawsuits against Gawker from such meritorious plaintiffs as the scam artist who has been lying for a long time about being the inventor of email and baselessly (until now) threatening anyone who dared tell the truth. Many sites have written about this story before, but Gawker's the only one he's sued over it. Hmm!

Second of all, Nick Denton blogged right after the verdict with a lot of information that has never really caught on in the public conventional wisdom about the trial. Including:
  • It wasn't about a sex tape violating Hogan's privacy. It was about him not wanting people to know that he'd been using racial slurs. "...Hogan himself put it in a text message to his best friend, the radio shock-jock Bubba Clem, days after we published our story: “We know there’s more than one tape out there and a one that has several racist slurs were told. I have a [pay-per-view special] and I am not waiting for anymore surprises….” ...it is now clear that Hogan’s lawsuit was a calculated attempt to prevent Gawker, or anyone else who might obtain evidence of his racism, from publishing a truth more interesting and more damaging than a revelation about his sex life."
  • The claim that he didn't know he was being filmed was bullshit: "From the documents released by the appellate court, it is now clear that this is contradicted by multiple statements Bubba made to FBI agents asserting that Hogan knew full well that Bubba had wired his bedroom for video and was filming. We were barred from presenting that crucial evidence to the jury, or asking Bubba how much his most intimate friend knew about the couple’s sexual practices."
  • Gawker was barred from presenting the jury with evidence of lots of seemingly relevant information, such as the above that HH was aware of the filming, the fact that Hogan and his attorneys had seen the other tapes including the racial slurs (which they claimed they hadn't), that existing state and federal courts had already ruled that the video and accompanying story were newsworthy, etc.
The Hulk sex vid post wasn't a great act of journalism. A.J. Daulerio is a fucking idiot and he gave one of the worst depositions of all time. Neither of those facts means that Gawker should have been driven bankrupt and eventually shuttered. And it seems especially unjust that it happened because of a wild-ass state jury award that has 0.000001% chance of holding up on appeal. But it's too late - Thiel won, they're gone. It's like when the MPAA sued Veoh and lost, but drove them out of business anyway. It sucks, Gawker was a source of much more good than bad, and this wasn't right.
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 12:30 PM on August 19, 2016 [15 favorites]


It should be noted that the racist slurs that got him fired from WWE were 'pillow talk' with Heather Clem on the same sex tape.

“I don’t know if Brooke was f*cking the black guy’s son,” Hulk raved, the sources add.

“I mean, I don’t have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, f*cking n*ggers. But then when it comes to nice people and sh*t, and whatever.”

According to sources, he said: “I mean, I’d rather if she was going to f*ck some n*gger, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n*gger worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!

“I guess we’re all a little racist. Fucking n*gger.”

posted by IanMorr at 12:48 PM on August 19, 2016


The claim that he didn't know he was being filmed was bullshit: "From the documents released by the appellate court, it is now clear that this is contradicted by multiple statements Bubba made to FBI agents asserting that Hogan knew full well that Bubba had wired his bedroom for video and was filming. We were barred from presenting that crucial evidence to the jury, or asking Bubba how much his most intimate friend knew about the couple’s sexual practices."

This one wasn't the slam dunk that Denton thinks, though - any halfway competent lawyer would easily point out that Clem telling the FBI that Hogan was unaware of the recording gear would be admitting to violations of laws regarding recording individuals.
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:01 PM on August 19, 2016


Gawker was a source of much more good than bad

I only wreck people's lives for money sometimes.
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:03 PM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


I had been meaning to post a Ask about this -- does anyone have any suggestions for a replacement for IO9? I know they are technically still around but I don't expect them to last long in the current form. Anyone have any other SF/geek breaking news sources that don't tolerate Gamergate bullshit and have a feminist attitude (preferably with a lot of women writing for them), without the creepy ideological points-scoring of something like Shakesville? I wouldn't mind suggestions for Jez and main Gawker either, but IO9 is the one that will really tear a gap in my reading. Especially since I gave up RPG.net forums due to getting a little nauseated at their coddling of gunnuts.
posted by tavella at 2:26 PM on August 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


:(
posted by krinklyfig at 3:01 PM on August 19, 2016


> MeFi's own lizs reveals MeFi's key role as catalyst to Gawker's conception in vintage tell-all comment!

She talks about it more here: A eulogy for Gawker.com from its first editor, Elizabeth Spiers. Plus: What it’s like working for Donald Trump’s son-in-law.
posted by homunculus at 3:13 PM on August 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


I only wreck people's lives for money sometimes.

So if you're talking about "wrecking one's life" in the sense that Bollea's life was wrecked--i.e., he lost his high-paying job because people found out he's personally racist--how do you distinguish that from other cases like reporting on other famous people being racist, like Donald Sterling or Paula Deen? Or causing other people to lose their jobs as a result of being personally shitty, like Anthony Weiner, or Corey Lewandowski, or whatever? Or maybe if they don't lose a job but just get embarrassed by public awareness of their actions, like the Justine Sacco or the girl who faked getting attacked by Obama stans in 08 by carving a backward B into her cheek in the mirror?

Is it wrong for any journalist who works for money, i.e. who gets paid for their job, to write about these kinds of things? Is it wrong for any media outlet in business for money, i.e. who sells subscriptions or ads, to publish these kinds of stories? Is there only room in the media for stories that don't expose anything ugly about anyone?
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 3:15 PM on August 19, 2016 [7 favorites]


does anyone have any suggestions for a replacement for IO9?

I don't but I wish I did. It hasn't been as good since they gutted most of the writers, but it's the only site in the Gawker stable that I read.
posted by Squeak Attack at 5:18 PM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


A lot of the things that people find objectionable about gawker can pretty much be laid at the feet of Daulerio. I didn't like how deadspin changed when he was EIC there, and when he was promoted to overall EIC at Gawker, it got uglier. It's like he's some incredibly loathesome human being who found a way to cloak all of his childish whims under freedom of the press so that he could get away with giving into urges to mock, bully, and so on. Things were much better after he was gone.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:02 PM on August 19, 2016 [2 favorites]




Please don't piss off Peter Thiel said unironically in this very thread highlights the problem.

The law has become a weapon of asymmetrical warfare.
posted by But tomorrow is another day... at 4:50 AM on August 21, 2016 [4 favorites]


The final post to the Gawker blog sums it all up "Fuck It" (with a long list of previous posts that used The F Word in their titles). As of this moment, it has been at the top of the home page for 6 hours without being taken down. We'll see.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:55 AM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is it wrong for any media outlet in business for money, i.e. who sells subscriptions or ads, to publish these kinds of stories?

I was referring to whatever you put into the "bad" category of "more good than bad." I do think Gawker did things that were "bad" that had little integrity or value from a news perspective, and I'm not sure this is much up for discussion. I think they crossed the line, I think they knew they crossed the line, and I think Denton was trying to walk it back a bit in his later years with the company as he started to grow something of a conscience.

Assuming that is the case (some good happened, some bad happened), "bad" journalism, which violates the privacy and lives of others about things that are not genuinely newsworthy (and we all know it's happened) is not automatically offset by the good. It's like saying an abusive individual is good most of the time, and only is a damaging asshole 1% of the time. That person might be fun at a party, but we'd rightly cut ties with those people in our private lives, and I'm happy cutting ties with them in their public lives, as well, to prevent that 1% from continuing to happen. They don't get a pass based on some utilitarian calculus of their overall efforts, because that is not the way we evaluate people who abuse others whom we know, either.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:39 AM on August 22, 2016


It is now Monday afternoon and I still haven't been able to retrain my fingers to type something other than "g-a-w" every time I open a new tab. RIP.
posted by theraflu at 10:56 AM on August 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


Well, that's going out with a bang...

Gawker Was Murdered by Gaslight
posted by Artw at 1:54 PM on August 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


And, the final post:

How Things Work

For all the things Nick Denton mentions here—and, God, is it satisfying to see what a mature thinker he's become, after the decade–plus of work he put into becoming the person who he is—the line that stuck out to me was this one:
Peter Thiel’s lawyers have been scouring the sites on a daily basis for at least four years for stories to sue over. There are few lawsuits but for those filed by Charles Harder, Thiel’s lawyer. He has represented both Hogan and the other two plaintiffs in suits filed against the company, not to mention the legal threats issued on behalf of clients as varied as Lena Dunham, Donald Trump’s alleged hair guru, and a sports-betting entrepreneur.
I don't have the energy in me tonight to get into a whole thought–spree about neoliberalism and the ways in which American culture operates independently of the left/right dynamic, but that Thiel's libertarian–ass cause involved collaborating with Lena Dunham, who spoke at Hillary Clinton's DNC and is seen often as a symbol of millennial culture as a whole, says volumes to me. Without getting into the controversies surrounding Dunham in particular, the fact that this attack against Gawker crossed political lines suggests that the buttons it pushed reached deeper than the political, into the purely cultural. Time and again, it published things that media decorum said weren't fair game.

Some of those things were fairly trivial, some of them were gross, some of them were genuinely transformative or revolutionary. But what's significant, more than anything, is the ethos which led Gawker to break the rules. That attitude that the culture we're shown is manufactured, and that the people who manufacture it consider themselves to be above their own modes of investigation, discussion, and publishing. That the public image they present ought to be their only image, because they decree it so. Whether it's Lena Dunham's untouched photoshoot, Peter Thiel's sexual identity, or Bill Cosby's being a rapist, what lies beneath the curtain ought to remain beneath the curtain. Gawker's ethos of "fuck the curtain" breached decorum and good taste countless times, but they inarguably believed that the curtain itself presented a major obstacle to social progress.

That their demise has been portrayed as either related to a sex tape leak, or as a response to their bullying a wounded billionaire, proves that the forces they fought against remain very prominent, and very powerful. How many institutions, other than Gawker itself, pointed out that Hogan sued not over the sex tape, but over the insanely racist remarks he was filmed saying? The cause of the public image remains strong. Worryingly so.

2016 is a year in which decorum has been challenged on many, many fronts. Witness NPR, among other organizations, trying hard to make Donald Trump seem like something other than the horrorshow that he is. Because that's the way reporting is done. Meanwhile, the right wing attempts to fabricate reality wholesale—our choices, as media consumers, is between a false political equivalency, or an outright fantasy created by people who don't believe in the value of truth to begin with.

Gawker represented a third way. A highly–problematic way, but an important, noble way. Much of what's working well in the media these days stems from their being enormously influential for over a decade. They've nurtured a cadre of brilliant writers, and helped form a counter–culture that does fantastic amounts of good, in between a lot of whimsy and a decent amount of shittiness that shouldn't be ignored.

Has there been a more important media institution since the Internet began? None immediately jump to mind. You can tell how dearly Gawker mattered by the fact that, even now as it shutters, people who ought to know better are furiously condemning it. It was the kind of noble, controversial cause that people tell themselves they'd support if they ever got the chance, if they had lived in some previous historic time whose strangenesses have been defanged by decades of perspective. Watching people spit on its grave tells you all you need to know about why those controversies exist in the first place.

I thought that a lot of what it did was despicable, though its ratio of wonderful to shit got ever–better over time. I also fully support its right to do those despicable things, and don't think they could have been what they were had they operated any other way. A more "well–meaning" Gawker would have succumbed to all the baggage "well–meaning" brings along with it. I'll miss them tremendously, and eagerly await the next incarnation of their cause. In the meantime, an Ashley Feinberg–fueled Deadspin is going to be a publication not to miss.
posted by rorgy at 5:50 PM on August 22, 2016 [8 favorites]


Gawker, 2002–2016
Gawker published a lot of garbage, and the strident defense of that garbage by the people who worked at Gawker was all the proof you need that everyone is captured in their own web of dishonesty eventually; Gawker’s biggest lies were the ones it told about itself. But these errors were small in scale when measured up against the pervasive duplicity offered by the other publications Gawker was established to counter. (It is no accident that many of the most heartfelt cheers for Gawker’s demise came from those in the press who had been stung by its appraisals; there is nothing more wounding to someone who has surrendered his critical faculties in exchange for admission to the system than to be reminded of his complicity in its fraudulence.) Gawker was stupid, loud, bullying and ill-informed, and most days it was the only honest thing you could read.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:15 PM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Peter Thiel Is Backing a Start-Up to Fund Other Lawsuits

Start-Up? More like a Shut-Up.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:32 PM on August 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


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