Some questions for those who are cheering Gawker's demise


Originally published at:


“Similarly, should the New York Times be taken to court and forced into folding for publishing false intelligence that helped lead the United States into the Iraq War?”



I’ve seen so many people happy solely because of Daulerio’s clearly sarcastic joke. “He said he’d post a sex tape of a five year old!” Um, no, he said that sarcastically, which isn’t the same as saying that. They also cheered the lawyer harping on the joke, who asked if Daulerio didn’t take the first amendment seriously because he didn’t take the deposition seriously when he made a sarcastic joke. Making the sarcastic joke is taking the first amendment seriously! It’s using the first amendment to express yourself in the face of an absurd circumstance. Making bad jokes during a deposition is nowhere near grounds for finding a company and its employee liable for that much money, but plenty of people seem to think it is.


Some of us that read BoingBoing work in tech where bully lawsuits are the norm. Lots of promising ideas are killed by aggressive patent litigation. But now that a news outlet has been crushed via the courts, NOW you give a damn?

I know that the news business is still trying to pretend it’s 1985, so all I can really say is “welcome to 2016”.


You haven’t noticed these articles, I assume?


I’m not sure I get what connection Mr. Timm has to those stories? Maybe I’m way off base here.


sure, they may have done a few actual pieces of journalism that are quite exemplary, but the empire was built on a ginormous pile of sleazy practices, and a few good things done isn’t going to wipe away that stain.


[quote]–Does it give you pause that, even if the Hogan post was offensive and should never have been published, that a federal judge and federal appeals court both ruled prior to the jury verdict that the post was “newsworthy” and protected by the First Amendment?[/quote]I think you worded this wrong… you want it to give people pause…


I think the point was that bully lawsuits of all kinds, including (maybe especially) tech patents are a boingboing hobby horse, and the issue of bully lawsuits has not suddenly been noticed by boingboing, but rather has been followed here for years.


I think it was worded as an honest question to which someone could answer yes or no, rather than as a leading question. Does it give you pause? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t.


That makes no sense with the conclusion of the piece.


I might be off base, myself. I was under the impression you were admonishing BoingBoing in general for not caring about things like aggressive patent litigation and such. If your objection is with Mr. Timm and not so much with the BoingBoing staff, then I withdraw my comment, as I’m not familiar at all with his opinions on those matters.


Aha, I see what you are saying.

most notably wrestler Hulk Hogan, who sued over the publication of a portion of his sex tape four years ago.
"Oh, you like it like that, brother? Yeah, take it like you take your vitamins, brother. So whatcha gonna do when the Hulkster runs wild on you? Say your prayers, brother. Who's a naughty girl, brother? Slam me like I slammed Andre, brother!" ~ Hulk Hogan, excerpts from sex tape, maybe


Sure, but I think it makes Timm and his foundation look totally out of touch.

“Hai guise - did you know some deep pocketed litigants are using the courts as a weapon? OMFG!”


[quote]–Do you think it’s fair and just that Gawker – which employees dozens of journalists and staff that had nothing to do with the Hogan story – receive what amounted to the death penalty for one serious lapse in editorial judgement? Similarly, should the New York Times be taken to court and forced into folding for publishing false intelligence that helped lead the United States into the Iraq War? Should the Daily Beast be legally decapitated for its disgusting article from just two weeks ago potentially outed gay Olympians that live in oppressive countries?[/quote]This is the only question I conflict in a big way. If you wrote this question using a different industry you would sound like the craziest of crazy capitalists defending why your corporate enterprise should be unimpeachable because of the workers would be affected.


Okay, I read it more as, “Do you realize that the Hogan/Gawker thing is an example of deep pocketed litigants using the courts as a weapon?”


I suspect they are just spamming this any place that will repost the piece.

BoingBoing (and other outlets like TechDirt) have been reporting on this kind of behavior for years. But now that it’s finally killed a news outlet they wake up. That’s where my “welcome to 2016” comment came from. Rereading it now, I can see why what I wrote was confusing.


Well, I saw the same questions about Volkswagon after the diesel scandal. “The EPA should fine them out of existence” vs. “That would punish thousands of innocent employees” was something people discussed. Of course it’s a little different when it is a private suit vs. a government fine. Maybe I think that award from the suit is ludicrous ($140M?!?) but what if it was totally fair. What if it was a wrongful death suit and it was against a smaller company that would be bankrupted by a $500k award? Would we say that the dozen employees of that company need to be protected against the person who’s family member was killed by negligent company policies? It strikes me as a sort of round-about victim blaming. As if those people would be losing their jobs because the victim decided to sue rather than losing their jobs because of the initial bad action that started the whole chain of events. Like if I needed an organ transplant and you blamed me for killing the next person on the list rather than blaming the disease.


Except that Gawker died because Peter Thiel wanted it dead. Fairness of the lawsuit isn’t really an issue in this case, because he was going to keep bankrolling lawsuits until he got the result he wanted. From what I recall he had something like 5 lawsuits on the go, and there’s no reason to believe he was ever going to stop. That’s very different from the kind of situation you’re describing.