Newspaper and magazines are maybe dying because they are simply not as awesome as they used to be. The American Antiquarian Society has put together a book called The Flash Press: Sporting Male Weeklies in 1840s New York, and those sporting male weeklies make our modern-day tabloids and lad mags look like they're put together by a bunch of kittens and marketed to little girls. They are called The Flash Press after The Flash, a weekly founded by a drunk Bostonian named William Snelling. He wrote a poem about how much he hated all the other poets in the nation, then moved to New York to spend more time at brothels. Eventually he founded that four-page weekly paper, dedicated to "Awful Developments, Dreadful Accidents and Unexpected Exposures." Was he the original blogger?!
Peter Walls is the chief executive of a "social housing firm" in the UK. John Finn owns a rival housing firm. One day, Finn started a website called dadsplace.co.uk, and on that website, many anonymous people said many mean, mean things about Walls. They accused Walls of nepotism and sleeping with underlings and other sorts of things like that. Then Walls sued Finn for libel. He just won! He won one hundred thousand pounds, which is around eleventy-billion dollars. Injunctions were filed against two of the anonymous commenters who said these mean things! In other words, being anonymously bitchy on the internet is quite dangerous in England. Which is why there is not really so much of a market for "gossip blogs" there, you see. As Denton just told us, this case "serves as a reminder that the abuse that we take as our god-given right to inflict, or duty to tolerate, is illegal in many places." God bless the U.S.A.. [Guardian]
Yesterday, the British media went wild with accusations that Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster, was "Client 6" in the notorious FBI affidavit that exposed the Emperors' Club VIP prostitution ring. About four hours later, every paper than ran that story took it down. Because Grosvenor is the richest man in the UK, and his rich-people lawyers (or
"barristers" [Denton says these don't count as 'barristers']) threatened all of them with libel suits. Selections from Gawker's own threatening attorney letter and a bit more on Grosvenor's dirty past, after the jump.