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Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker Trial (Day 7): Fighting for the rights of every man?

This was the day Nick Denton was forced to read aloud the most explicit excerpts from's Hogan sex tape article, because he had the gall to brand it "sweet" and "sympathetic" in his deposition.

It seems that Nick Denton was on trial today for all the sins of his past.
It seems that Nick Denton was on trial today for all the sins of his past.
Pool/Getty Images

Here is an overview of day 7 of the trial between Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media:

  • Nick Denton claimed that didn't make much money off their Hogan article because they didn't gain a significant number of regular visitors from its publication. Denton claimed that other stories like their exposé on Toronto mayor Rob Ford's crack cocaine addiction was much more successful in that regard.
  • Gawker's attorney Michael Sullivan played parts of Denton's videotaped deposition that Hogan's side hadn't shown in an attempt to demonstrate that their opponent's painted an inaccurate picture of his testimony. In the portion shown today, Denton claimed that he would have taken action if the Hogan story had proven to be false.
  • Denton argued that footage of the sex tape had to be included with their article because online readers expect "proof of what the writer is saying." He added: "People are doubtful until you show them. You can't just tell."
  • Denton's cross-examination by Hogan's lawyer Kenneth Turkel was savage in tone, similar to A.J. Daulerio's line of questioning yesterday by his colleague Shane Vogt.
  • Despite Turkel trying to get Denton to admit that he had spoken to Daulerio before the Hogan article was published, using evidence from his deposition that suggested as much, Denton maintained that he couldn't remember and "If I had spoken to him before, I would have told him my usual mantra: to consult with counsel."
  • Playing the moral outrage card frequently, Turkel brought up how Denton used to own a pornography blog called Fleshbot until he sold it in early 2012. Turkel grilled him on the controversial Gawker Stalker idea, which Denton claimed was "harmless" and no different than celebrity sightings in newspapers. Turkel attempted to paint Denton as a hypocrite for asking his wedding guests to refrain from using their mobile phones, but he joked it off with "We asked them, yes, [but] we didn’t sue people." Turkel called Gizmodo's scoop on the iPhone 4 a story about "stolen property." Turkel even made the ironic insinuation that Denton had bribed Daulerio by investing in his failed site in exchange for his cooperation in this lawsuit, which Denton just chalked up as "a bad investment." But the capper was forcing Denton to read aloud the most explicit excerpts from Daulerio's article, because he had the gall to brand it "sweet" and "sympathetic" to Hogan in his deposition!
  • Denton under fierce pressure maintained that his internal editorial philosophy was "Is it true? Is it interesting? Check with legal." In response Turkel argued that Denton was adding the last clause on the stand in a major trial, which he denied. Remaining consistent, Denton claimed he didn't regret publishing excerpts from Hogan's sex tape and considered Hogan's cease and desist letter when it was sent, but didn't find it persuasive.
  • Sullivan in his redirect, questioned Denton about's third most successful story in 2012 "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" which Hogan's side unsuccessful tried to stop twice with their objections, because they really didn't want Denton to talk about a piece that would reflect positively on his site.
  • From the file marked "some jurors aren't very Internet savvy", the juror questions to Denton included "Were you aware that other sites copied and/or linked to the Hogan video?" and "Were you aware that the article and video were linked by The Google?"
  • Mia Libby, the current SVP of Global Sales & Partnerships at Gawker Media, testified that in 2012's main advertisers were Intel, Samsung, Turner, ABC and Comedy Central, which clearly was to send the message that mainstream brands were happy to be associated with their website. She also explained how Gawker couldn't benefit hugely from the Hogan article as advertising was sold too far in advance.
  • Scott Kidder, Gawker Media's former COO, claimed the company didn't make money from the sex tape due to the lack of advertising on NSFW posts. Indeed, in October 2012, Gawker Media's revenue was a mere $2.7 million, of which accounted for just $54,986. Other statistics he threw out there was that the Hogan article accounted for "one tenth of one percent" of Gawker Media's total page views in 2012 and that of the 5.4 million people clicked the link on that story, only 2.5 million watched the video itself. Under cross-examination, Kidder had to admit that Gawker Media's revenue in 2013 was $35 million, up from $26 million in 2012, which Hogan's side attributed to increased traffic.
  • The day closed with more of the videotaped deposition of TNA's publicist Jules Wortman being shown to the jury. Dixie Carter told Wortman that it was a given that Howard Stern would bring up the sex tape and implored to her that "You’re going to need to make sure no one else [does]." Hogan ignored Wortman's advice to refuse to answer questions about the sex tape. They showed Wortman a clip from the Stern appearance where Hogan talks about not being overly aggressive in bed, which she shook her head at and said "It is what it is." Wortman didn't set up Hogan's interview with TMZ about the sex tape and didn't understand why he would do that. The point of showing this again was that it supports Gawker's argument that Hogan fanned the flames of the controversy to get more publicity on himself and brought attention to his sex tape, making it newsworthy.

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