Well, as Sullivan points out, “the snarky and risk-taking website” was put out of business last summer after a lawsuit brought by Terry Bollea, also known as Hulk Hogan. The invasion-of-privacy suit was bankrolled by billionaire Peter Thiel, a confidant of President Trump.
We recommend you watch the new Netflix documentary “Nobody Speak,” which takes viewers inside the Hogan trail and the fall of Gawker media, and what this unprecedented lawsuit means for ALL journalists and media personalities.
OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: ‘Black Love’: OWN’s New Docu-Series to Premiere Tuesday, Aug. 29 at 10pm (WATCH)
Meanwhile, Sullivan writes that: “After Jim DeRogatis, the veteran Chicago rock critic, reported for months on a stunning story about R&B singer R. Kelly and the young women said to be under his psychological and sexual control, it came time to get it published.”
“Three separate media organizations were interested but got cold feet at the last minute, DeRogatis said. Each one, after investing months of work, backed away from the story that used named sources and documents to describe how women near Atlanta and Chicago were held as if in a cult, according to what parents and others had told police.”
DeRogatis has pursued the R. Kelly for over a decade. He declined to name the news organizations, out of respect for the editorial colleagues he worked with but they weren’t the ones who pulled the plug on his story.
“ ‘Gawker came up in a lot of those conversations,’ DeRogatis said.“ ‘Nobody wanted to take that risk.’
“ ‘This is a tawdry, sickening tale,’ he told me. In an interview with Vox, he described the ‘rape culture’ he believes is the underlying story.
“Ultimately, DeRogatis turned to a fourth outlet, BuzzFeed, which published the jaw-dropping story this month under the headline ‘Inside the Pied Piper of R&B’s “Cult.” ‘
“ ‘When we pursue a story, our primary concern is whether it’s accurate and newsworthy — not whether the subject is too rich or powerful, be it Russian oligarchs, R. Kelly or the Trump White House,’ said BuzzFeed spokesman Matt Mittenthal.
“But it’s not just a question of having what DeRogatis calls ‘major cojones.’ BuzzFeed’s lawyers managed to make the story bulletproof — there has been no challenge to its facts, not even a request for a minor correction.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty and fear out there, post-Gawker, said Nabiha Syed, BuzzFeed’s assistant general counsel, who vetted the story before publication. . . .”