Sad news for anyone who has spent hours on Gawker watching Bernie Bros and Trump Trolls fight in the comments section; apparently the tag-team of Peter Thiel and Hulk Hogan was too much, as Gawker Media has filed for bankruptcy.
This is on the heels of Gawker losing a lawsuit filed by Hulk Hogan over coverage of Hogan’s sex tape. It was revealed later that Hogan’s legal team was funded by Peter Thiel, who has held a grudge against Gawker media for years, ever since Valleywag revealed Thiel is gay. It’s unclear what will happen to the various sites under the Gawker brand, and whether or not they’ll find a buyer or sell off each site separately. Personally, I would miss iO9 and Jalopnik if the whole thing implodes, but somehow I can’t imagine Gawker declaring bankruptcy without having a survival plan in place. Gizmodo alone is like a cockroach, surviving everything from being banned from CES to the deep wrath of Steve Jobs.
There’s two important lessons here, though I doubt Gawker will have learned anything. One is to not run around outing people. It’s just not cool to turn someone’s personal life into salacious gossip, especially if the gossip is as simple as “so and so is dating someone of the same sex!” The second lesson is clearly that you should never, ever mess with Peter Thiel; somewhere, an elementary school classmate of his is remembering the time he tripped a young Peter on the playground, and wondering when the Wrath of Thiel will come for him!
We’ll see what happens with Gawker Media, though in a slightly ironic twist, the site that reports every agonizing moment of even the most minor scandals is silent on this news. I assume their lawyers are physically restraining the editors, but I’m sure we’ll see a suitably snarky post from them eventually!