Gawker.com will “end all operations” next week after being bought by Univision. This came after billionaire Peter Thiel funded a number of lawsuits against the Internet media titan, including Hulk Hogan’s crippling suit in Florida. Thiel’s vengeful acts came after Gawker outed him as a gay man against his will years ago. Many see Thiel’s brazen legal war against a media company as a threat to the freedom of press.
Whatever you think of Gawker, their demise signals one frightening reality: this is bad news for anyone who wants to watch old professional wrestler have sex.
Who among us hasn’t had a few minutes to kill in between afternoon appointments and thought, “Man, you know what I could go for right now? A grainy video of Diamond Dallas Page balls deep in a lady, recorded against his will.” Now? We’ll never get to see that. I hope you never wondered what the weirdly-tanned, aging ballsacks of Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner look like, because now the world may never know.
For all the talk of bias in media, the truth is that every society benefits from a healthy, free press. We must give our reporters the ability to report the truth, whether that truth is about a presidential candidate’s past or what a the Honky Tonk Man looks like porking his best friend’s wife through nightvision goggles.
It’s a scary time. Imagine someone in the 70’s forcing the Washington Post to shut down because Woodward and Bernstein were getting to close to the truth about Watergate. Sickening, isn’t it? Now replace the Post with “Gawker,” Woodward and Bernstein with “AJ Daulerio,” and Watergate with “revenge porn featuring the villain from 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain.”
We’re living in a dystopia so frightening, Orwell may as well have written it.
The question now: where does society turn to for its news about what old wrestlers look like while they’re having sex? What brave outlet will cover it now? I’m afraid it’s no one. Picture this: a pitch meeting in the news division of a major network. Suddenly a fresh-faced junior producer bolts into the room clutcing a flash drive. “Boss…I’ve got it right here! My source sent me clips of over 30 retired wrestlers having sex in the privacy of their own homes! Honky Tonk Man, Papa Shango, Ric Flair….we’ve even got Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake! All recorded from trees outside their bedroom windows!” The room falls silent. The lead anchor and the executive producer share a knowing look. “I’m sorry kid…we just can’t run it. Can’t deal with the blowback.” The wide-eyed, idealistic kid can’t believe it. “But…but…the people have a right to know! How else are they going to find out if there’s a mole on Hacksaw Jim Duggan’s ass?” The anchor shakes his head. “We can’t put our people’s lives in danger.” The disenfranchised idealist storms out in a huff. He posts the videos to his WordPress blog and is later found dead in a dumpster, murdered by hooligans hired by Peter Thiel.
It’s going to be a tough transition. What do we tell our children and our children’s children when they ask us, innocent and wide-eyed, “What would it look like to see the Nasty Boys Eiffel Tower someone while a DSLR in the corner captures the whole thing unbeknowst to them?” We’ll have to bite our lips and hold back tears as we say, “We don’t know. We’ll never know.”
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