In a recent article titled Gawker challenges Florida jury verdict in Hulk Hogan case, Reuters reported that online outlet Gawker “ filed motions on Monday seeking a new trial, or to reverse or reduce the jury’s decision.” To summarize it, the outlet feels that the jury wasn’t fully informed of the constitutionality of what they consider the standards for newsworthiness and that key evidence was wrongly withheld. This is the same group of people that had their Former editor-in-chief A.J. Daulerio testify that they cutoff for what is newsworthy is a sex tape involving a 4 year old child. The team’s response to why he would say something like that was attributed to sarcasm.
As I mentioned in my last writing, the jury thought that Gawker’s defense of what was newsworthy sounded rather arrogant and pompous. And after reading the exchange between attorneys and the former editor-in-chief, I think it is rather easy to see how the jury could have thought this. At one point the word flippant is used in the Reuters article to describe Daulerio’s tone during the interview. As well, speaking with a tenured college professor on the topic, I got the description that the man was acting as if him and his outlet were untouchable, that they call the shots of what is news and not a jury.
This may be true that the testimony was a jab at being asked the same thing over and over in a different format. The issue with that mentality, is that it’s okay at some point to make an inappropriate joke in a court of law. I personally think though that it’s what got the jury to think they way they did in the end. It’s easy to say that when asked because it is the reason, but there is something just a little deeper. It really shows how much he really thinks he can get away with, point told by acting inappropriate during a court hearing. It’s a sad joke, that even if the Judge had recognized it as such, it would have caused an awkward confrontation. Either admit it’s a joke and possibly be held in contempt of the court, or stick to your guns and possibly sound like a perverted media maniac.
Something else I want to mention in writing, is that there are comparisons being made to the Hogan sex tape. Cracked wrote a bit about it titled 6 Sad Things We Learn About Humanity Through Sex Tape Leaks and the following was stated,
Saying that Hulk Hogan’s sex tape is up for grabs because he uses sex in his persona is like saying that you should be able to legally punch Johnny Knoxville because he gets hurt on camera. It’s like saying you should be able to rape a porn star because they do rough sex scenes (which is something that has actually happened, you guys). It’s insanity when applied to literally any other situation.
And it really is insanity when applied as such. What I wonder now though is if Pamela Anderson had a different persona than the one she was when being herself. A good comparison is Hogan actually being a stage name, a persona for wrestling, but the actual man is Terry Bollea. But the Knoxville point is in a league of its own. You just don’t punch somebody without reason, and I highly doubt anyone would think that reason is because “They’re persona, which is them, is asking for it.” So I end with a question, where do we draw the line of when it’s a person and when it is a separate persona?
Here is a quick slideshow gallery to tell you a short story about the whole debacle, with a few laugh and no legal issues.
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