Hulk Hogan has prevailed against Gawker.com in his invasion of privacy case. A Jury in Florida has awarded Hogan $115 million. Hogan had only sued for $100 million. Gawker, for reasons I still can’t fathom, published a sex tape of Hogan and his girlfriend. They said it was in the public interest. I cannot for any reason understand that. The jury couldn’t either.
Gawker founder Nick Denton and his former editor in chief A.J. Daulerio testified without any contrition. They in fact exemplified not only the Gawker attitude of journalism, but one espoused by blogs for the last ten years. The jury was appalled and rightly so. They listened to people who didn’t care what damage they did to others. Everything was fair game. And now the game is over.
Gawker will appeal the decision, and part of the $115 mil may get cut back. But really, their main defense, again, was that Hulk Hogan was a celebrity so why not humiliate him for no reason? And his girlfriend as well. Readers with long memories will recall Gawker shaming Anderson Cooper until they basically outed him. It went on forever.
There were many other instances in which Gawker gleefully attacked celebrities and journalists and people who weren’t really that famous, all for fun. Not a bit of it was in the public interest. There is absolutely no reason to cry for Gawker. Or to miss them.