They forgot to include article on drunk college woman having sex in bathroom and refusing to take down article despite repeated pleas because the woman could be identified. That must have been in the public interest as well.
I think they have a fairly strong case that there’s been some good pieces of journalism out of Gawker. But being good 95% of the time doesn’t excuse shitty conduct the other 5% of the time. It’s the whole “I only beat my wife when I’m drunk” defense.
Well, no. Journalism serves a public good, and it has strong constitutional protections. Drunks beating their wives don’t fit into that category.
I’m still stuck on the ridiculous verdict. When journalists screw up, and it certainly looks like Gawker did, some punishment seems justified. But secret billionaires with a grudge and crazy ass jury verdicts mean the punishment is to put them out of business. That’s the sort of thing that can have a serious chilling effect.
Gawker was bad enough that for many folks, it was the first time they ever wanted Hogan to win anything.
Gawker did not just “screw up” though. They openly defied a court order. I mean, that’s the sort of thing that gets people thrown in jail. You cannot purport to run a journalism outfit in need of first amendment protection (trumping other people’s privacy rights) and at the same time declare the rule of law doesn’t apply to you.
I hope it does have a serious chilling effect on people publishing the sort of invasions of privacy that Gawker made it’s name doing.
I think it’s a fairly strong analogy actually. Individual freedom serves a public good and has strong constitutional protections after all.
A guy who spends 95% of his time caring for sick orphans and 5% of his time beating his wife still needs to go to jail. Even if he was doing a lot of public good.
The secret billionaire with a grudge is a fun piece of color for the story but completely a red herring in terms of the outcomes here. The funding for the lawsuit didn’t impact the merits of the lawsuit or the verdict.
I agree the verdict would have a chilling effect, but sharing private sex tapes and defying court orders is EXACTLY the kind of behavior that ought to be chilled. So this is a good thing.
The court order they defied, they did partly so. They removed the video, but they didn’t take down the article, which they felt overstepped first amendment rights.
he court order they defied, they did partly so. They removed the video, but they didn’t take down the article, which they felt overstepped first amendment rights.
Which they were perfectly free to argue on appeal, or indeed to get a stay of the order pending appeal, which they asked for and were refused. They weren’t free not to comply with the order.
I know it’s not illegal to be a jerk but I can’t feel sorry for Gawker as I feel that many of their articles are just written by an ass. I still check in from time to time, guess I’m part of the problem for that, but it seems like each of their sites has a front page article written in a mean-spirited way. Titles like “What the FUCK is going on at Disney HQ”. I just made that up as an example but is it necessary to f-bomb the title like that? I could even live with it, assuming that Disney HQ sanctioned the rape of a bunch of kids or something, it would deserve that title! But it ends up being something minor.
Jeepers I just checked Gizmodo to test my theory and the top left article is “Just in Case You Thought that Giant Fucking Gator was Fake”. With the F-word another 6 or so times in the article.
Maybe, probably those writers are nice people in the real world, but something about Gawker makes it into mean-spirited sleaze journalism… just my .02.
People up in arms about the demise of Gawker are like animals rights activists protesting that smallpox is about to become extinct.
Gawker filing for bankruptcy. Looking for buyers.
Gawker delenda est
So that’s it. Hulkamania ran wild on them.
And Hogan buries another heel, only this time the dudebros are cheering for Hogan.
100 million ish bid from Ziff Davis.
Seems likely that the sites will continue to exist.
I am sure Patrick Klepek is thrilled to return to Ziff Davis.
Whatever they receive for these publications goes to Hogan right? I read in that article there will be an auction, so it’s not a done deal. It could get higher.
I believe Hogan is currently an unsecured creditor. Generally secured creditors will receive any proceeds from bankruptcy proceedings first, but I’m not sure if it works the same way in the US - particularly if the bankruptcy seems intended in part to yet again circumvent a court decision.
Popehat saying what I was saying better than I did.
I think that it is a great opinion piece and he is so talented at distilling complex legal and ethical issues and explaining them in a straight forward way. I agree with his piece entirely.
We entirely should treat free speech issues very thoughtfully and protect unpopular speech.
He does not, for this specific cases, seem to provide a reason why the results of this specific case is wrong. Perhaps he is saying that the damages are too high? He doesn’t actually say that and at the same time damages have to be high for companies to care. These could be reduced on appeal.
I don’t see him make any argument that the video at heart of the case should be protected speech. He seems to just add more questionable examples. Has he made that argument somewhere that I missed? I would love to hear his take.
It does seem like the non-awful parts of the Gawker Empire take some splash damage (all seem like they will survive) but they pretty much all (as far as I know) seem to get the awful privacy invading clickbait stories linked into their story streams. As Ken points out in the article they actively decided to work with people who take part in the actions they decry in their own writing. I can’t find sympathy for that coming back around on them.
All of the examples of the good journalism that they have done aren’t being stopped. All the good reporters are not being punished personally. Plenty of companies have imploded more quickly and completely leaving employees owed back pay. None of them have lost their jobs at least for a while and who hasn’t had a job with company health risks? I have never had one without.