Thursday, March 17, 2016

Globe Gawking At This Trial

I'm not....

"Hulk Hogan’s $100 million sex tape suit against Gawker Media begins" by Yanan Wang The Washington Post News Service  March 02, 2016

Hulk Hogan, known to his fans as the The Super Destroyer, to his Japanese fans as ‘‘Ichiban’’ (“Number One”) and to legal documents as Terry Bollea, appeared in court on Tuesday ready for a fight.

The 62-year-old former professional wrestler entered the St. Petersburg, Fla., Pinellas County courtroom clad in all black, the Associated Press reported, with a cross necklace and bandana. He didn’t make any statements, but his confidence was already apparent from a tweet to his 1.4 million followers earlier that day.

‘‘Time for the real main event!’’ Hogan wrote. ‘‘’I AM’ going to slam another Giant! Hogan vrs. Gawker! Watcha Gonna Do Gawker? Only Justice Brother HH.’’

So began jury selection for the first celebrity sex tape case to ever go to trial.

The match-up, as they say, is formidable. In one corner of the ring, there is the famous Hogan, a six-time WWE heavyweight champion.

In the other corner is Gawker Media, an online news company known for salacious reports on celebrities. While it announced last November that its focus is shifting to politics, Gawker’s slogan remains ‘‘Today’s gossip is tomorrow’s news.’’

The prize to be won (or lost)? $100 million, the amount for which Hogan is suing Gawker after it published a clip from a sex tape featuring him and Heather Clem, ex-wife of Hogan’s ex-friend Todd Alan Clem, known to his fans as the radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.

Hogan claims that the published tape was a violation of his privacy.

We are all having our privacy violated every day by this government.

Gawker, on the other hand, is using the First Amendment to contend that the material was fair game: Hogan had spoken publicly about his sex life before, on Howard Stern’s radio show and other platforms.

‘‘Gawker is allowed to join that very public conversation without getting sued for tens of millions of dollars simply because Hogan didn’t like the way Gawker did so,’’ the company’s attorney, Seth Berlin, told CNNMoney this week. ‘‘Public figures and celebrities don’t get to use the court system to punish speech about them that they don’t like. That’s just not the country we live in.’’

The case has been called a ‘‘moment of truth’’ for Gawker. ‘‘Gawker has been sued plenty of times before; indeed, at any given moment, it’s fighting at least a few lawsuits,’’ reported the New York Times. ‘‘But every other case was either dismissed or settled,’’ the paper noted, adding that ‘‘people at Gawker tend to talk about ‘the Hogan case’ in apocalyptic terms, suggesting that it could very well bring down’’ the entire empire owned by Gawker founder Nick Denton, which includes Deadspin, Jezebel and Gizmodo, among other publications.

The clip on Gawker was one minute and 41 seconds long, and has since been removed from a post called ‘‘Even for a Minute, Watching Hulk Hogan Have Sex in a Canopy Bed is Not Safe For Work but Watch it Anyway.’’

The video was accompanied by a detailing of the full 30-minute tape, filmed in 2006 inside Clem’s house while Heather Clem was still married to Bubba Clem. It had been delivered to Gawker by an anonymous source seeking no payment, according to the publication. As Gawker’s A.J. Daulerio noted in the 2012 post, the footage was rather mundane, exhibiting little of the bravado that one would expect given Hogan’s antics on screen and in the ring.

‘‘Hollywood’’ Hogan, after all, is larger than life. He always wears a colorful bandana and has torn his shirt off his chiseled body countless times, to the delight of uproarious crowds. His signature finishing move involved slamming a leg down onto his opponent’s throat.

But in bed, Hogan was not unlike the rest of us.

‘‘We watch this footage because it’s something we’re not supposed to see (sometimes) but we come away satisfied that when famous people have sex it’s closer to the sex we as civilians have from time to time,’’ Daulerio wrote. ‘‘The normalcy of it is exciting, though.’’

One commenter said they were ‘‘pleasantly (?) surprised to see he appears to have a sort of respectful rapport with the woman.’’

Hogan told Howard Stern that Bubba had given him permission to sleep with Clem, but Hogan claims he did not know the encounter would be taped using Bubba’s home surveillance system.

Hogan blamed Bubba for the leak, telling the New York Daily News, ‘‘Just for the record, Bubba and I are NOT friends and never will be friends, we are NOT friends.’’

The wrestler had been the best man at the radio host’s wedding, and was a godfather to Bubba’s son.

Ultimately, the tape proved to be damning for a non-sexual reason.

According to a joint investigation by and the National Enquirer, the pillow talk contained in the full-length clip revealed vulgar and racist language directed towards African Americans.

Hogan’s rant centered on his daughter, Brooke Hogan, who was dating a black man. At one point, he reportedly said that if she was going to ‘‘(expletive) some (expletive),’’ he’d ‘‘rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall (expletive) worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!’’

‘‘I guess we’re all a little racist,’’ he concluded.

Speak for your f***ing self, Hulk!

These declarations ended up costing Hogan his career. Last July, after the comments came to light, WWE terminated the wrestler’s contract and scrubbed him from its website.

‘‘WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide,’’ the entertainment company said in a statement.

That same day, Hogan apologized via People magazine: ‘‘Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it. This is not who I am.’’

I'm not uttering it, but there is a thing called free speech and you are only for it if you defend that which you don't like. 

I don't like the jew$papers, but they have a right to spew their lies. It's up to you, the reader, to discern the truth.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Brooke Hogan defended her father, saying that he was ‘‘nice to everybody’’ and ‘‘doesn’t talk like that.’’

Her father was ‘‘best friends’’ with Mr. T and Dennis Rodman, Hogan said before remarking that racism is rampant because she has been told ‘‘white people smell like bologna.’’

Hogan’s attorney, Charles Harder has likened his case to that of Erin Andrews, a former ESPN sportscaster who testified this week in a lawsuit against the hotel that she says enabled a stalker to secretly film her undressing.


"Cruel skepticism regarding her motives. It does not require a deep dig on Google to find accusations from various corners of the Internet suggesting she was complicit in the filming and release of the video to enhance her career. Apparently, conspiracy theories draw many more page views than a sympathetic perspective would. According to Andrews’s father, his daughter was so shaken by the footage — which she agreed to watch per an FBI request in order to possibly discover clues before Barrett was arrested — that she vomited. Andrews, testifying Monday in between sobs, said it felt like “everyone” believed it was a publicity stunt designed to raise her profile. 

That was the general consensus among my jock friends.

“Probably for like three months, everybody thought it was a publicity stunt. The front page of the New York Post said, ‘ESPN Scandal.’ To Fox News and CBS, everybody put up that I was doing it for publicity and attention, and that ripped me apart.”During the trial this week, the approach of the Marriott’s attorneys has been to suggest that the nude video didn’t negatively affect Andrews’s career. One lawyer pointed out that she had picked up endorsements from Reebok, Degree deodorant, Florida orange juice, and Mountain Dew after it happened. She has also been a contestant, and host, on “Dancing with the Stars.” Andrews acknowledged that her income has increased in the years since the video came out. The video didn’t harm her career. It did something worse. It harmed her. Steve Andrews said that despite her success, his daughter hasn’t been the same since the incident. “She is afraid,’’ he said. “My daughter has been scared for eight years. For eight years she has been terrified that there is something else out there — that there is someone else looking for her,” he said. “She doesn’t trust anymore. She is a shell of the person she was before this happened.” 

And then Richard Sherman is in her face.

She must be very professional because none of this emotional trauma ever came across as lead reporter for Fox.

Erin Andrews said it has affected her relationships. She lives with boyfriend Jarret Stoll, an NHL player with the Minnesota Wild, and says he has been supportive. But she said he doesn’t understand why she remains paranoid and feels guilty at times. It has been beyond jarring to hear Andrews’s testimony, in part because it jostles memories of the creepy and terrifying invasion of privacy she endured on more than one occasion."

Of course, it's okay if government does it, and I'm all done with the sports talk.

The videos were widely shared on the Internet, adding irreparable insult to the already-difficult job of being a female sportscaster.

‘‘Can you imagine if the guy who filmed Erin Andrews cited the First Amendment?’’ Harder told CNNMoney. ‘‘But for some reason, Hulk Hogan gets treated a different way.’’

The difference may be that Hogan has gone on the record about his sex life in the past.

I'm not interested, sorry.

In 2006, he discussed sexual encounters with his wife on Bubba’s show, and after the tape surfaced in 2012, he joked about it on TMZ Live.

After Gawker’s posting, however, Hogan claimed the video began to take a heavy toll. According to court records, Hogan said the video caused him ‘‘substantial emotional distress, anxiety and worry,’’ as all interviews centered on his tryst, and he was approached by people on the street who admitted to having watched it.

Stern asked Hogan on his show in 2012 whether it was ‘‘at least phenomenal sex,’’ to which Hogan responded: ‘‘Nothing was worth this.’’


So his wee-wee shrink because of the steroids, or.... ?

"Ex-Gawker editor’s testimony stuns Hulk Hogan trial" by Nick Madigan New York Times  March 10, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A palpable sense of shock rippled through a courtroom here Wednesday morning when the former editor-in-chief of was shown in a videotaped deposition suggesting that when it comes to the newsworthiness of celebrities’ sex videos, children more than 4 years old are fair game.

The former editor, Albert J. Daulerio, a defendant in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit brought by retired wrestler Hulk Hogan, made the comment under questioning by a plaintiff’s lawyer, who had asked him where he drew the line when it came to posting videos of people having sex.

“Can you imagine a situation where a celebrity sex tape would not be newsworthy?” asked the lawyer, Douglas E. Mirell.

“If they were a child,” Daulerio replied.

“Under what age?” the lawyer pressed.


Wouldn't that be newsworthy, it being child abuse or something of that sort?

The exchange took place during depositions taken last year in advance of the trial that began Monday in the suit by the retired wrestler, known in the proceedings by his legal name, Terry G. Bollea, against Gawker Media; its founder, Nick Denton; Daulerio; and others.

Bollea is seeking $100 million in damages, saying that amounts to the harm he suffered after Gawker’s posting in 2012 of a secretly recorded video showing him having sex with a friend’s wife.

The case is prompting significant questions about how far First Amendment rights stretch in an era when the unregulated Internet is ripe for abuse by anyone with a computer keyboard.

Oh, this is all about shutting down and censoring the Internet!!!

In addition, testimony this week by Daulerio and other current and former members of Gawker’s staff has raised a curtain on the culture of the website and others like it that traffic in salacious fare in an effort to gain readers.

I no longer put anything remotely sexual up. Not worth the trouble. 

The only pornography you see here is the printed words of the Bo$ton Globe.

Asked whether sex sells, Daulerio replied, “I’m sure.”

In such a culture, he went on, it was “pretty standard operating procedure” to seize upon and publish photographs and videos of celebrities in compromising or intimate situations, regardless of whether the celebrity might object or be embarrassed. Daulerio conceded that no such consideration guided Gawker’s publication of lewd images of the former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre or of photographs of a topless Duchess of Cambridge.

“She’s a public figure, and those pictures were published elsewhere,” Daulerio said, referring to Prince William’s wife. He acknowledged that there had been no discussion in the Gawker newsroom at the time whether the publication of the pictures constituted an invasion of the former Kate Middleton’s privacy.

Similar thinking, Daulerio said, dictated the site’s handling of the video of Hulk Hogan, which he noted had been provided anonymously to him in the mail and for which no money had changed hands.

“I was very enthusiastic about writing about it,” Daulerio said. He explained that he had “enjoyed watching the video” and was eager to attach his commentary alongside it on the site.

“I found it very amusing,” he said. “I thought it was newsworthy.”

In response to a question from Mirell, the defendant said that neither he nor anyone else at Gawker had made any attempt to contact Bollea to ask him whether he was in fact the man in the grainy video, and how he felt about Gawker’s intention of publishing it.

“You didn’t really care, did you?” Mirell suggested.

“No,” Daulerio said.

A moment later, after an objection from a lawyer for Gawker, Mirell persisted. “So it’s fair to say that whether he suffered emotional distress or not, that played no part in your decision whether or what to publish,” he suggested.

“Correct,” Daulerio replied.

Videotaped testimony by his boss, Denton, was also shown to the jury, later in the day, even though both men were sitting behind their lawyers in the courtroom. The plaintiffs’ use of taped depositions at this early stage of the trial seemed intended to stave off cross-examinations by the defense. Both defendants, however, are on their own legal team’s list of witnesses, to be called to the stand when it is the defense’s turn to present evidence.

Under questioning in the deposition, recorded in October 2013, Denton said that, contrary to Daulerio’s feelings, he had not been “very excited” by news that Gawker had received a video showing Hulk Hogan having sex with a woman on a four-poster bed.

“We all have sex,” Denton said, noting that he preferred stories that had “some kind of meaning.”

Do we?

A letter from a lawyer for Bollea, asking Gawker to take down the video shortly after it had been posted, “wasn’t persuasive,” Denton said. “We continued to believe in its newsworthiness.”


Time to back off:

"Former Gawker editor backs off testimony in Hulk Hogan case" by Les Neuhaus New York Times  March 15, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The former editor of the website Gawker testified in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit on Monday that he was not being sincere when he said in a videotaped deposition that children over 4 years old were fair game for sex tapes to be published online.

Under questioning from Gawker’s lawyer, Michael Sullivan, the former editor in chief, Albert J. Daulerio, sought to clarify his comments in the deposition, which was played in court last Wednesday in the $100 million lawsuit brought by the former wrestler Hulk Hogan.

In that testimony, Daulerio was asked by the plaintiff’s lawyer if he could imagine a situation in which a celebrity sex tape would not be newsworthy.

“If they were a child,” Daulerio replied.

“Under what age?” the lawyer asked.


The answer caused a stir in the courtroom at the time, and Gawker issued a statement later that day saying Daulerio was being flippant.

On Monday, speaking from the witness stand and dressed in a light-blue suit, he told Gawker counsel that he was not being serious when he made the comments.

In cross-examination, the legal team for Hulk Hogan, whose legal name is Terry G. Bollea, attacked Daulerio for his seeming insensitivity.

“You think that’s a funny topic to joke about?” asked Shane Vogt, one of the lawyers for the former wrestler.

“No, I don’t,” Daulerio replied.

A few exchanges later, Vogt asked Daulerio, “You were joking about child pornography, were you not?”

Daulerio deflected the question, saying that he was being sarcastic, but that he regretted the response in the video deposition.

But Vogt was dogged, showing both Daulerio’s video deposition on the subject and then introducing a piece of evidence with Daulerio’s signature, confirming his testimony in the videotaped deposition.

Vogt persisted, asking if he hadn’t changed his testimony.

Daulerio said he had not, although he could have.

Daulerio said under questioning that he never sought the permission of Nick Denton, founder of Gawker Media, to publish the Bollea video.

Denton, who was sitting in the courtroom on Monday, is a defendant in the case, along with Gawker and Daulerio.

Vogt then guided Daulerio into some of the more lurid details of the process in which he and others at Gawker edited the video and drafted a story to accompany it, complete with several hyperlinks to posts involving other celebrity sex tapes.

The existence of other sex tapes online was brought up by the defense in the morning as a way to show that Gawker was not alone in posting such videos.

Daulerio noted in testimony that Gawker had posted the video of Bollea several months after TMZ and had broken the story and posted stills from the video.


After giving this a quick glance I would dismiss it.


"Jury awards Hulk Hogan $115 million in Gawker sex tape suit" by Tamara Lush Associated Press  March 19, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — “It’s a huge damage award, and just the idea that a celebrity has a right to privacy that outweighs freedom of the press and the public’s right to know, that’s a huge shift in American free press law,” said Samantha Barbas, a law professor at the University of Buffalo and the author of “The Laws of Image,” which focuses on the history of libel and privacy. “It could potentially be a turning point in law.”

Meaning the elite are pulling the censorship card on any outing of their perverted peccadilloes.

The verdict and the unsealing of hundreds of pages of documents late in the day capped a three-week judicial circus in the sleepy St. Petersburg courtroom. Jurors, media, and thousands who followed the case on Twitter and livestream video were treated to days of details about Hogan’s sex life, body part size, and images of him in thong underwear.

I'm glad I didn't gawk at it.

There was wrestling history, videos of Hogan yukking it up with Howard Stern, and, most notably, how Gawker — a 12-year-old news and gossip website in New York City — does journalism differently from legacy media.

The unsealed documents will undoubtedly be key in Gawker’s appeals process. The evidence was unsealed because a group of media companies, including The Associated Press, sued for access and won.

They sued for this salacious sh**? 

When are they going to sue for important stuff?

The documents outline allegations, facts, and conflicting testimony. Among them: assertions that Hogan filed the lawsuit to hide racist comments made on video, that the woman who Hogan had sex with knew it was being filmed, and that Hogan participated in an FBI investigation and sting because he was being extorted.

Hulk always was an instigator!

The trial lasted two weeks, and Hogan wept as the verdict was read....

I'm told “it represents a statement as to the public’s disgust with the invasion of privacy disguised as journalism.”

For me it is the propaganda.