A note on today’s news about Gawker. I’ll be posting more on this soon.
There are some nice people at Gawker and I’m sorry they’re going to be out of work, but there are a lot of assholes there, too, led by Nick Denton. People who think the Gawker case is about free speech — especially people on the left — have no clue what they are talking about.
Hulk Hogan and Peter Thiel may be assholes, but this case is about privacy rights, not the First Amendment. Sympathy for Nick Denton and Gawker is badly, badly misplaced.
I generally hate to see a media outlet go out of business, no matter how good or bad it is, but Gawkerdid a lot of damage over the years. Among other things, it mocked and humiliated a lot of “regular” people who did something embarrassing in public andGawker sought to destroy them for sport and profit.
I love media outlets that target the rich and powerful and Gawker sometimes did that (I wrote for it once myself) but mocking some poor person who got drunk and did something stupid at a supermarket, or that sort of thing, is beneath contempt. And those people had no recourse to do anything about it because they didn’t have the money to go to court. Nick Denton knew that so he could publish that sort of crap with total impunity — or so he thought.
As I said, I’m no fan of Hulk Hogan — a Trump supporter like the hated Tom Brady — or Peter Thiel but the shit they published about Hogan was vile. The jury of “regular” people was appropriately outraged and hit them hard.
Again, this has nothing to do with the First Amendment, Gawker routinely abused people’s privacy for no public purpose, just to make money. As a rule, it had contempt for ordinary people. I won’t say good riddance but I’m not shedding any tears either.