Sladdernettstedet Gawker legger ned etter at de måtte betale 140 millioner dollar i erstatning til Hulk Hogan for å ha lekket en sex-video med bryteren.
Tony Ortega drøfter hvilken effekt Gawker og videoen de lekket av en lettere rabiat Tom Cruise i 2008 har hatt på scientologiorganisasjonen:
We learned yesterday that next week, Gawker will shut down. For some of us who toiled in the trenches of New York journalism of a certain era, the news is hard to believe. Gawker had a big effect on the way online journalism is done (not all of it positive, some will tell you), and it certainly changed the way we think about writing and reporting.
You will no doubt be seeing a lot of obituaries written about Gawker over the next week now that Univision is shutting it down after buying all of Gawker Media’s websites in a fire sale. You can read plenty more about how Gawker’s fate was sealed when a billionaire, Peter Thiel, took revenge for being outed by the site by funding Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea’s lawsuit against Gawker over a sex tape. You probably already know the tale, and we won’t go into it except to say, as someone who has been targeted by a couple of different billionaires we’ve written about, it’s a really fucked up hazard of the occupation. Anyway, relevant to our interests here at the Underground Bunker we wanted to commemorate one Gawker achievement in particular that forever changed the way Scientology is perceived by the public.
We’re talking about the shock to the system when a 9-minute interview of Tom Cruise appeared online early in 2008, and Gawker, more than any other website, made sure that the interview remained public for all to see.
You probably know what interview we’re talking about. It was actually a small part of a larger celebration of Tom Cruise that occurred at the 20th anniversary celebration of the International Association of Scientologists in October 2004. The quick backstory, which even Gawker didn’t know at the time, is that Scientology leader David Miscavige wanted to make a big deal of the fact that he’d managed to lure Tom Cruise back into the fold after Cruise had all but dropped out of Scientology for several years.