Billion Dollar Idea: Jon Stewart Should Buy Gawker. | Gradient

Billion dollar idea: Jon Stewart should buy Gawker.


Gawker has reportedly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and we at Gradient can’t buy it ($140 million!), but we know who can and should: Jon Stewart.

Gawker’s bankruptcy comes on the heels of a judge ruling that Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit victory would stand and the guerrilla journalism site would be on the hook for $140 million. That case was fueled by Gawker leaking Hogan’s sex tape which — it turned out — was the insidious plan of Silicon Valley billionaire and noted hater of Gawker Peter Thiel all along. It’s pretty complicated, but that’s not why we’re here. We’re here because Jon Stewart can save Gawker and he should.

That the two play into each other’s strengths is obvious. Both specialize in progressive journalism touched with acerbic wit (though Stewart is much funnier, and Gawker is much more boldly journalistic). But less obvious is that they compensate for each other’s weaknesses as well. Stewart was frequently critiqued for blurring the lines between comedy and news reporting, to the point where it wasn’t always clear which was which. Whatever its other faults, Gawker has always been firmly about reporting news, even when its definition of “news” was rocky, which is where Stewart comes in. Few media personalities are more sensitive to bullshit, and Stewart has an excellent standard for sticking to issues of actual importance (as his long battle to get justice for 9/11 first responders shows).

Stewart’s been pretty coy about his future plans so far, although we do know he’s working on a deal with HBO. But there’s no reason he couldn’t purchase Gawker and help right the ship, both financially and in terms of its occasionally queasy-making operations. Sure, it costs $140 million. But this is easily a billion dollar idea.

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New Pod Flow: Sounds Good With Branden Harvey “Jason Russell”


Jason is the cofounder of the iconic non-profit Invisible Children which was founded to increase awareness of the horrendous activities of the LRA in Central Africa. Jason was also the director of the iconic Kony 2012 film that took the world by storm. In this two-part interview Jason and Branden talk about what it means to create a movement, what Jason experienced during his breakdown and subsequent recovery, and Jason’s experience in the world of theater.

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If you have spent any time watching television in the last decade you have most likely heard one of Mattew’s songs on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, One Tree Hill and many others. His insightful writing and voice have drawn comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley, and he is on the short list of songwriters who skillfully weave the deeply philosophical and the vivid utterly human without ever losing sight of either.

To get his new album Cold Answer, (which features the three songs from him you heard on this episode), visit

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This week we reflect on the election and discuss our strategies for staying sane.

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This week we discuss Beyonce’s night at the CMAs, last minute election plans and how SNL might save us all.

Subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher.

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