Originally published at Death and Taxes, ed. Brian Abrams, 10 March 2016.
Grateful thanks to the Internet Archive for preserving this work.
Wednesday’s big sensation in the Hulk Hogan/Gawker trial was a much publicized gaffe made in a video deposition by former Gawker editor-in-chief A.J. Daulerio. According to those present, Daulerio’s demeanor in the video testimony, recorded in 2015, was on the truculent side. When asked by one of Hogan’s lawyers if he could imagine a celebrity sex tape that wouldn’t be newsworthy, Daulerio replied that he would not publish a celebrity sex tape involving “a child.” The lawyer pressed on: How young a child? “Four,” Daulerio replied, as one who would say: That is a very stupid question.
Here is an example of an injudicious, unfunny and above all, ill-timed attempt at sarcasm. Nobody with two brain cells to rub together could remotely imagine that Gawker would find newsworthy, let alone publish, a sex tape involving, say, a five-year-old child.
But the cretins of Gamergate, who do not have two brain cells to rub together, wasted no time in deliberately misreading Daulerio’s remarks and piling onto Twitter to howl about how Gawker is a child pornography shop. Far more surprisingly, the New York Times followed suit. Reporter Nick Madigan characterized the remark as “suggesting that almost anything goes when it comes to the newsworthiness of celebrities’ sex videos,” in the bizarrely headlined story, “Gawker Editor’s Testimony Stuns Courtroom.” I, for one, can’t fathom where he got that “suggestion.”