paper trail

Gawker heads to the auction block

Nick Denton. Photo: Grace Villamil

Gawker goes on the auction block today, and will sell for at least $90 million (less than half of what owner Nick Denton thinks it’s worth). Possible buyers include Univision, New York magazine, and Vox. Peter Thiel thinks that Gawker is not the last battle in the fight to keep the media out of people’s sex lives. In a New York Times op-ed, he writes about the now-retracted Daily Beast article that outed athletes in Rio, praises Republicans at the RNC for accepting him as a gay man, and promotes the so-called “Gawker Bill,” which would punish third parties for profiting from a sex tape. “As for Gawker, whatever good work it did will continue in the future, and suggesting otherwise would be an insult to its writers and to readers. It is ridiculous to claim that journalism requires indiscriminate access to private people’s sex lives.”

The Times profiles Michael W. Ferro Jr., the elusive chairman of “the company formerly called Tribune Publishing.” Although Ferro was not interviewed, the article goes in-depth into the Tronc chairman’s life: “Once a teenager who outsourced his house-painting jobs to others, Mr. Ferro, 50, has never been afraid to push boundaries.”

TimesColson Whitehead talks to Vulture about his new book, The Underground Railroad. Whitehead found that writing a novel set in the 1850s simplified his writing style: “You know, a sentence that comes easily to me is, ‘The street was busier than a 7-Eleven parking lot on free meth day.’ I could make a weird modern joke, and that’s a long sentence. But when you try to make a simile or a metaphor out of the nouns of 1850s, simplicity and clarity make more sense.”

J. K. Rowling has taken to Twitter to defend her fans after a UK wand shop refused them service for not being “real wizards.”

Anita Thompson, Hunter S. Thompson’s widow, has returned a mounted elk skull with antlers to the Ernest Hemingway estate, which Thompson stole in 1964. Hemingway had died three years prior, but Thompson himself began to feel guilt about his pilfered treasure. In an Instagram post, Anita told the Aspen Times, “Hunter and I planned to take a road trip back to Ketchum and quietly return them. But we never did.”