This is not an entirely unexpected decision. When Univision acquired the assets of Gawker Media at an auction earlier this week, it was widely rumored that the flagship property, Gawker.com, would be shut down. The Gawker name was becoming toxic even before it was sued into bankruptcy by Hulk Hogan over Gawker posting a video of a sexual encounter between Hogan and the wife of his “friend,” Bubba “the Love Sponge” Clem. Oddly enough, the video did not take place in a trailer park.
Gawker.com, the flagship property of Nick Denton’s Gawker Media, will end operations next week, Gawker’s J.K. Trotter reported Thursday.
The decision comes after Univision won an auction to acquire Gawker Media’s assets earlier this week. Gawker founder Nick Denton told staffers about the decision at a meeting Thursday afternoon. Denton will leave the company after Univision closes its acquisition.
The acquisition agreement is expected to be approved by a bankruptcy judge later today.
I am of a mixed mind on this.
On the one hand, billionaire Peter Thiel’s funding of Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit should scare the living hell out of anyone who is in the business of commentary or criticism. It was petty and vindictive and demonstrates just how dangerous a wealthy guy with a grudge and monomania are to the First Amendment.
On the other hand, Denton and his band of merry sociopaths are some of the most morally stunted, untalented and pathetic excuses for human beings that have ever been attracted to the same small work space. In particular, the cause of the disaster, a cretin named A. J. Daulerio, admitted that he didn’t even care if the man in the sex tape was Hulk Hogan and that he would balk at running a celebrity sex tape if it involved a child under the age of four. The body of work of Gawker indicates this was not flippancy but a bald statement of the newsroom ethos.
While claiming First Amendment martyr status, Gawker stood out as an outlet that made a game out of destroying the lives of random, insignificant individuals simply because it could. It was an enemy of free speech that actually advocated for the prosecution of anyone who opposed the climate change scare mongers. In fact, our own Dan McLaughlin has posted on why there is much more good in the destruction of Gawker than bad.