You know what hasn’t been talked about enough? The Hulk Hogan trial. I just read Denton’s open letter to Peter Thiel, and of course, I have big important thoughts:
1) A few years back, during one of Gawker’s semi-annual complete overhauls of their editorial and commenting policies, I had a brief back-and-forth with Denton about that change. His argument then, if I recall correctly, was something along the lines of “We’re moving away from transparent sausage-making writing, even though that’s what most of our idiot commenters seem to like, because it’s boring.” [Editor’s note: Since they have gone back and forth on this one so many times, it’s entirely possible that the argument at the time was the exact opposite.]
I wasn’t around at the beginning, but it seems like Gawker was always about sausage-making, at least historically. The open letter, I would argue, is a good advertisement for getting back to that. Whatever issues I have with Denton as a person on most days, I thought it was a pretty good discussion of the issue.
2) I never thought I’d find myself defending Daulerio and Biddle, but Denton makes a good point on their behalf as well. It’s one thing to say, “I don’t like this person.” It’s one thing to say, “I think this person probably shouldn’t have their job.” It’s quite another thing to say, “I don’t like this person, therefore they are my enemy, therefore I want to see them destroyed.” The first is entirely defensible, the second is, depending on their actions, perhaps defensible, the third is lunacy.
3) I generally dislike the “Let’s solve this with a public appearance” move (except when it’s a challenge to a duel), but “We, and those you have sent into battle against us, have been stripped naked, our texts, online chats and finances revealed through the press and the courts; in the next phase, you too will be subject to a dose of transparency. However philanthropic your intention, and careful the planning, the details of your involvement will be gruesome” does make me want to get some popcorn.