Book of the Week: Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue.

Gabe of Penny Arcade summed up Ryan Holiday’s Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue as ‘what happens when bad meets evil.’ I was struck enough by that comparison to pick up the book — which, indeed, is about what’s in the title — and it is not dull reading. It’s also not completely comfortable reading, either. Back in the day, I never did anything remotely as awful as the stuff Gawker did, every day. But I watched them do it, didn’t I? And I never lost a night’s sleep over the things that they did.

Continue reading Book of the Week: Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue.

Gawker gets taken to the cleaners.

I’m weeping inside, I truly am: “Weighing free speech against privacy, a Florida jury has decided to uphold the sanctity of the latter by turning in a $115 million verdict against Gawker over its 2012 posting of a Hulk Hogan sex tape.” Not least because this entire episode was cheap, tawdry, reflected well on nobody, and was so easily preventable.  I mean, I can absolutely understand why people might still argue that free speech could legitimately trump privacy, even under circumstances that were this unappealing. But as Dennis Miller once noted about 2 Live Crew and their lawsuit: they were objectively awful.  Couldn’t we have gone to the wall for Layla or Purple Haze?

 




Quote of the Day, Never Forget This About Gawker edition.

Penny Arcade, on the Hulk Hogan / Gawker affair:

I don’t wish ill on anyone who works there, obviously.  I mean, I guess their every action technically does sustain a legitimately evil beast of legend, some Revelations type shit, and they ruin lives for profit whenever they aren’t simply wasting your time.  It’s like, oh, this other Gawker site does that.  That’s not the site I read.  Well, no, it’s all one site.  It’s just the one site.  Oh, but I only detest the mouth of the lion, where its fangs are kept; I do not detest the ear of the lion, nor its tail.  But the ear is how he found your brother, and when he leapt on your sister, the tail kept him straight.

…That last bit is rather good, isn’t it?  If Tycho came up with that, that’s some primo literary stuff, right there. I approve.




Gawker planning to concentrate on sh*tting on American politics in 2016.

This is not exactly bad news for me: they’re unlikely to be sh*tting on behalf of candidates who I like.  Having Gawker on your side in a fight is, thankfully, counter-productive: they have no ethics, which is more important than cynics think.  Also, they bring along a quite impressive stable of enemies, most of whom would cheerfully burn down Gawker’s offices, if they thought that no jury would convict. Still, it’s kind of cheapening the process still further:

 

…I was going to do a quote, but it was all very bizzarely congratulatory over at the Times.  Doesn’t anybody at that paper understand that Gawker is one of the reasons* why print media keeps getting hit in the face?  Apparently not. Continue reading Gawker planning to concentrate on sh*tting on American politics in 2016.




Look, Gawker is porno. That’s all it is. Specialized porno.

Cathy Young points out something rather obvious:

…Gawker inevitably incurred the wrath of the progressives who had been the core of its respectable following—people like journalist Glenn Greenwald, whose tweet condemning the story noted that he was “a fan of Gawker,” or one of Gawker’s own more prominent ex-staffers, Adam Weinstein. But the fact that Gawker was seen as acceptable in polite liberal society until now says a lot about the climate on the cultural left.

Continue reading Look, Gawker is porno. That’s all it is. Specialized porno.




I almost want to encase Gawker in lucite.

‘Almost’ because that’d kill the people working there, and that would be wicked*. But that media group really does serve as this Horrible Example for the rest of us.  Watch out, it silently tells us. We are the last stop on a very dark road.

A few months ago, the Gawker staff announced it had elected to form a union — quite an unusual, and perhaps hostile or passive-aggressive collective act.

I can hardly imagine who might hire someone from Gawker, or who would not recoil at the cruelty, obscenity and logorrhea of a Gawker writer’s clips. Gawker staffers needed a union to protect the only job they might ever have in journalism. They were perhaps protecting too their right to cruelty and obscenity and to be unedited, now expressed in the brutal exposure of the private, unexceptional, if salacious details of a quite unpublic man’s life far from the public interest.

Continue reading I almost want to encase Gawker in lucite.




@Gawker can go urinate up a rope.

This is a two-way street, bub.

Gawker Media honcho Nick Denton Thursday told an editor (and careful Gawker readers) that he knows the company’s audience leans left and wants its journalism to reach more conservatives…

…Amazingly, I find that not being reached by Gawker is not even remotely a hardship.  It’s a media empire full of spite and bad decisions, with a side order of casual bigotry.  I have better things to do with my time, and so do you. Continue reading @Gawker can go urinate up a rope.