gawker

I, personally, no longer take part in the ecstatic public condemnation of people unless they’ve committed a transgression that has an actual victim, and even then not as much as I probably should. I miss the fun a little. But it feels like when I became a vegetarian. I missed the steak, although not as much as I’d anticipated, but I could no longer ignore the slaughterhouse.
— 

Jon Ronson, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.

I’ll never forget this story:

Context: It was simply a legal technicality. Something to do with homeowners and legal and medical insurance. The medical insurance wouldn’t pay the bills. So, she sued the nephew for, like, one dollar. The home owners insurance covered all the money.  

She’s still on great terms with her sister and nephew. They laughed about it. “Oh, you sued me. Lol.”

But she still got vilified world-wide because, well, no one bothered to check the real story.

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Nobody Speak - Trailer

Journalists are trained to look for stories behind the stories. The reporters investigating the Hulk Hogan sex tape and the sale of the Las Vegas Journal-Review, however, found something unprecedented: billionaires covertly using their fortunes to silence the media. Nobody Speak explores what Peter Thiel’s financial support of the lawsuit against Gawker and Sheldon Adelson’s shadowy purchase of Nevada’s largest newspaper mean for future of journalism, the First Amendment, and the power of the ultra wealthy.

Coming to Netflix June 23, 2017.

💡 Cool panel and Netflix documentary alert 💡

Hey Tumblr! You’re invited to tune into a panel LIVE (!) on Tumblr’s Instagram (@tumblr) on Thursday, 6/22 at 6:30 pm ET to watch John Cook, formerly of Gawker and Executive Editor of Gizmodo’s Special Projects Desk, Elizabeth Spiers, former Editor-in-Chief of Gawker, and Brian Knappenberger, director, talk about the upcoming Netflix Original Documentary, Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press.

Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press, which airs on 6/23, follows Hulk Hogan’s court against Gakwer and assesses the state of journalism and efforts to stifle America’s free press. 

Submit your questions for the panelists about the film, journalism, or free press in the replies and be sure to tune in tomorrow at 6:30 pm ET. ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️

Billionaire investor Peter Thiel, who was outed as gay by Gawker in 2007, has been secretly funding Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker.

Hulk Hogan had a secret financial backer in his legal fight against Gawker Media for invasion of privacy.

Peter Thiel, a billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist, helped fund the case brought by the wrestler, Terry Gene Bollea, better known as Hulk Hogan, against Gawker, said a person briefed on the arrangement who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Mr. Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and one of the earliest investors in Facebook, privately agreed to help pay the expenses of Mr. Bollea’s legal team, this person said.

A self-described libertarian, Mr. Thiel has a long history with Gawker, which published an article in 2007 outing him as gay. Mr. Thiel, who is now open about his sexual orientation, once described the Gawker-owned site Valleywag as “the Silicon Valley equivalent of Al Qaeda.”

The details of Mr. Thiel’s arrangement to support Mr. Bollea’s case are protected by a confidentiality agreement and could not be learned.

A Florida jury awarded Mr. Bollea $140 million in March over a sex tape Gawker published in 2012.

The revelation of Mr. Thiel’s involvement in Mr. Bollea’s case, which has captured headlines this year for its salacious disclosures, came a day after Nick Denton, Gawker’s founder, was quoted in The New York Times as saying that he believed that Mr. Bollea’s case was being supported by a mysterious third party.

“My own personal hunch is that it’s linked to Silicon Valley,” Mr. Denton said.

Mr. Denton called on Mr. Bollea’s legal team, which refused to comment on the possibility of an outside funder, to disclose the backer.

Mr. Thiel’s identity was first reported late Tuesday by Forbes magazine.

There is nothing illegal about funding such legal cases; there is an entire industry known as litigation finance that often helps invest in and financially support lawyers working on contingency in small and large cases. It is not common for a lawsuit to be backed by a third party that may have other motives.

Questions about the independence of Mr. Bollea, who never mentioned a third-party backer, first emerged when his lawyer removed a claim from his complaint that had the effect of eliminating Gawker’s insurance company from the case. That struck many legal observers as odd, given that most lawyers seeking large payouts want to include claims that are insured against because doing so increases the chances of a settlement.

For the longest time, the free speech activist in me took issue with Gawker’s shutdown at the hands of the Hulk Hogan lawsuit, and I can finally say I’ve tied up all the loose ends and found a single statement that rectifies the situation for me:

Somebody else’s sex tape isn’t your free speech.

A lot of people will probably be, like, “What took you so long? Are you dumb?” But I just hope that helps out other people who still have issues with the whole situation. Especially people who are still somewhat supportive of Gawker, but absolutely hate revenge porn.

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Nobody Speak | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Journalists are trained to look for stories behind the stories. The reporters investigating the Hulk Hogan sex tape and the sale of the Las Vegas Journal-Review, however, found something unprecedented: billionaires covertly using their fortunes to silence the media. Nobody Speak explores what Peter Thiel’s financial support of the lawsuit against Gawker and Sheldon Adelson’s shadowy purchase of Nevada’s largest newspaper mean for future of journalism, the First Amendment, and the power of the ultra wealthy. Now streaming on Netflix.

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P1060408 by Randsom
Via Flickr:
LUKE CAGE, HERO FOR HIRE might very well have been my favorite costume at the NYCC. This totally ripped, 6'6" dynamo was the living embodiment of the character he portrays. “Sweet Christmas!”

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This is the most expensive video I have ever made.

@the-great-mighty-dick, look at my victory~!

This is TV writer and former journalist Cord Jefferson, and tomorrow he’s on the show! Cord’s written for Nightly Show and Master of None, but his most recent gig is on The Good Place, which is just fantastic. Also, Cord’s a really good dude. We talk about his life growing up in Arizona, parents, race and all the usual childhood things you’ve come to love from an episode of Beginnings!