Gawker fights back with purported DNC hacker story

Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker: A timeline
Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker: A timeline

Gawker has vowed that the crushing legal battle that has resulted in it declaring bankruptcy and offering itself for sale would not affect its aggressive style of reporting.

On Wednesday, that spirit was on display with a classic Gawker story: A post detailing what was purported to be a file stolen from the Democratic National Committee by Russian hackers.

(The Smoking Gun also received the file and posted a story shortly before Gawker.)

Gawker says that the more than 200 page document was forwarded to it by a hacker, and is said to detail the DNC's opposition research into Donald Trump.

"You can't keep a good blogger down," Gawker CEO Nick Denton messaged CNNMoney.

The new files came from someone identified as "Guccifer 2.0," a reference to a Romanian hacker who circulated information on the Bush family and other government officials in 2013 and is now imprisoned in Romania.

Related: Gawker files for bankruptcy and puts itself up for auction

A few hours before the scoop was released, Denton restated his determination in a long post that the site's financial woes will not deter it from aggressively reporting stories.

"The spirit that animates Gawker remains strong," Denton wrote.

Gawker has been ordered to pay a $140 million judgment to ex-wrestler Hulk Hogan for publishing of his sex tape, and the appeal will cost the news site millions.

Gawker Media's editorial leadership has tried to maintain a steely resolve in the wake of last week's revelation that the company had filed for bankruptcy and put itself up for auction.

The digital publisher Ziff Davis placed a bid for around $100 million, but there are questions about the future of Gawker's flagship site.

On Wednesday, Denton wrote that the flagship site "has been a manifestation of the journalist's rebellious id, the impulse to question the authorized version of the news, to puncture hype and mock hypocrisy."


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