The Day the Media Died

Terry Bolea (Hulk Hogan, left) won damages exceeding $100 million from Gawker and owner Nick Denton (right) [AP]

The successful lawsuit of Terry Bolea, popularly known as Hulk Hogan, against Gawker Media over a sextape scandal has generated plenty of news and even more discussion about the role of the news media in today’s society. Today, Gawker Media and its assets will be sold at auction. While blogs like Gizmodo and Jalopnik will certainly not be shuttered in the coming days, to a regular reader like myself, this likely means the end of the sites as we know them. The spirit, writers, and content will change soon enough with a change in ownership. In the spirit of Gawker, I have no thinkpieces to offer, but a song parody instead. Read this to the tune of Don McLean’s epic “American Pie” (Don’t lie — you only know the chorus and probably didn’t know it was an 8-minute song). A karaoke version is included below. Take it away, Deadspin:

Okay, maybe not.


A long, long time ago
I opened my RSS
To find another tragedy.
Donald Drumpf won another state,
His plot to make this country great
Again, but somehow that wasn’t the lead.
Ol’ Deadspin, bankrupt, and disheartened,
Would be put up for sale at auction.
Their owner lost a lawsuit.
A moment I was awestruck.
I clicked some more only to see
They’d lost to PayPal’s Peter Thiel.
This writer began to cry
The day the media died.

So bye, bye Gawker Media sites,
I’ll miss Deadspin and LifeHacker and (I guess) io9.
You shook up the news, but you flew too high
When you outed a quite powerful guy
Who believes that he may not die.

Remember what you read in youth?
The seeds that caught your mind and grew?
That was (sorta) Drew, Craggs, Ley, and Barry to me.
Raised in quiet Northville, proper and prim,
Where few kids sank when they tried to swim,
And the devil was in the words of rap emcees,
I knew there had to be more than this
Stuffy, white society of pricks;
A dose of tactless and rash.
Deadspin sure as hell brought that.
There is a needed balance to your life,
A time to drink and to be bone dry.
I reached and loosened my necktie
The day the media died.

I started singin’
Bye, bye Gawker Media sites,
I’ll miss Deadspin and LifeHacker and (I guess) io9.
You shook up the news, but you flew too high
When you outed a quite powerful guy
Who believes that he may not die.

Now the free press isn’t just a word,
A fairy tale for boys and girls,
It’s an obligation of democracy.
When they threw that tea and said ‘screw the crown,’
And kicked the Brits out of Beantown,
The words of Thomas Paine rang in their ears.
When his pamphlet spread across the coast,
The case for freedom it endorsed,
We acted on the need
To speak out of the mainstream.
But what if he worked for George’s BBC?
Could he advocate for a new country?
I wonder if we let him down
The day the media died.

And now he’s singin’
Bye, bye Gawker Media sites
I’ll miss Deadspin and LifeHacker and (I guess) io9.
You shook up the news, but you flew too high
When you outed a quite powerful guy
Who believes that he may not die.

Now today’s US is quite a place,
We kill for money, blind to race.
The hate only helps out a small elite.
They buy up blocks of our downtowns
And leverage sports teams for their pound
Of flesh off the backs of you and me.
Poor neighborhoods rolled into dirt,
A land grab from those without a word.
Our neighbor’s who we fear,
But the news can bring us nearer
To the room where policies are made,
The common man’s eminent domain.
The day they left us alone at the wheel
Was the day the media died.

And they were singin’
Bye, bye Gawker Media sites
I’ll miss Deadspin and LifeHacker and (I guess) io9.
You shook up the news, but you flew too high
When you outed a quite powerful guy
Who believes that he may not die.

It wasn’t without real cause
Nick Denton fell into the jaws
Of the broken American legal scheme.
Do you have a right to out gays,
In the name of traffic for your page,
While you write in support of marriage equality?
But Nick wasn’t cut down at the knees
Til that stupid, misadvised release — 
The sextape of a goon — 
Peter had found his boon,
To the chagrin of this youth, bewitched, befogged.
I always pulled for underdogs,
So I set out to write this blog
The day the media died.

I started singin’
Bye, bye Gawker Media sites
I’ll miss Deadspin and LifeHacker and (I guess) io9.
You shook up the news, but you flew too high
When you outed a quite powerful guy
Who believes that he may not die.

I met a few guys on Four North,
And over years we became close.
We’ve left college, to our dismay.
We’re off to prove that we can go
Make our world better than before,
But no one can make an impact in a day.
First you gather all the masses,
Calm the angry, and the asses.
When respectful words are spoken,
Our spitefulness is broken.
When we all in this inky night,
Who gaze upon the stars and stripes,
Decide to take the easy way
Is the day the media dies.

And we’ll be singin’
Bye, bye Gawker Media sites
I’ll miss Deadspin and LifeHacker and (I guess) io9.
You shook up the news, but you flew too high
When you outed a quite powerful guy
Who believes that he may not die.

And we’ll be singin’
Bye, bye Gawker Media sites
I’ll miss Deadspin and LifeHacker and (I guess) io9.
You shook up the news, but you flew too high
When you outed a quite powerful guy.

8/18 Update:: Today, gawker.com, aflagship site of Gawker Media, announced that it would be shut down next week