In case you thought the Hulk Hogan/Gawker sex-tape trial was about The Hulkster hot-wifing Bubba the Love Sponge and the dangerousness of content aggregation; nope, it’s about freedom.
Gawker Media founder Nick Denton made an appearance on CNN’s Reliable Sources to defend the story that got them caught up in a $100 million lawsuit from a man allowed to wear one simple bandana during court proceedings. According to Denton:
“This is a case about the freedom of the press, the freedom of the press to report on a story that actually had already been aired by other outlets … and it’s about freedom of expression.”
To put it another way, when it comes crashing down and it hurts inside, you’ve got to take a stand, and it doesn’t help to hide.
“We are a successful small to medium sized online media company. Very few media companies keep $100 million in a war chest for this kind of occasion … we are carrying on on the principle and in the expectation that First Amendment rules in this country, that freedom of the press and freedom of expression is essential to the functioning of a healthy society. Here was a newsworthy story. We dug deeper. We exposed the truth, and we are not embarrassed about it.”
The Wall Street Journal reports Gawker turned a $6.5 million operating profit in 2014 on $44.3 million revenue. The trial, previously scheduled to begin July 6, has been delayed indefinitely.
We’ll try to keep you posted on developments as they happen, to help further define the parameters and consequences of new media, and to screencap the hell out of the “Real American” video.