If it loses the lawsuit filed by Hulk Hogan about presenting online video of his sexual activity, it likely cannot afford to continue flying solo. It would need a deep pocket to provide the funding for operations. That would eat into founder Nick Denton's editorial whatever. Gawker, as we have known the naughty tabloid, could vanish.
Now there is a new threat. And it doesn't involve a lawsuit. It's more immediate (lawsuits are slow-moving beasts).
What it consists of could be a global boycott of the site, meaning reduced traffic, by the movers and shakers in myriad different games. With less traffic, there will be less advertising. Actually, advertisers could be part of the boycott. Already heavies in media such as Glenn Greenwald and Kashmir Hill (who learned her trade at Abovethelaw) have registered their disapproval of an article posted yesterday.
In New York Magazine, Jessica Roy reports that Gawker covered, with an e-paper trail, the communications between a Conde Nast executive and a gay escort worker in Chicago. The executive, a married man, sought out the services of the escort. The latter attempted blackmail. No transaction of any kind took place.
The dust hasn't settled. Meanwhile, the backlash has begun.
The reality, perhaps Gawker doesn't realize, is that it doesn't supply unique anything. There are days or even weeks we can go along without checking the site and still be totally up-to-date on everything from breaking news to the continuation of developments in a unfolding scandal.
That kind of unique space has been created by Abovethelaw. There reporters such as Joe Patrice have the sources to provide us information and insight the establishment legal and business media can't. To keep my readers on this blog and my communications blog I have to click on Abovethelaw, as well as its tweets, several times daily.
Things can happen quickly in a turbulent world order. Puff. Gawker could be gonzo. Denton could become a symbol of everything negative about values in 2015. Presidential candidates, both liberal and conversative, can single him out as bad news (pun intended).