Owen Thomas: "Gimme Some Truth"
This Week's Guest: Owen Thomas
About This Episode
We brought Owen Thomas back for another episode so we could hear his story about Valleywag.com and his now-famous post about Peter Thiel's sexual orientation, which ultimately led to the demise of Gawker.com. Owen weaves an intricate narrative about the players, including Nick Denton, and what he believes are the real reasons that Peter Thiel backed Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker.com.
Owen tells us about the origin of his blog post, how he came to know Nick Denton and become the managing editor of his Silicon Valley gossip site, and their reporting on the inner workings of Facebook and Clarion Capital.
His first-hand anecdotal accounts of how perception is crafted by the power brokers that reign over Silicon Valley is not only eye-opening, but entertaining.
ARTICLES & BOOKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- The original 2007 Gawker article: "Peter Theil is totally gay, people"
- The Washington Post published a good summary of the situation after the judgment: "Peter Thiel had no reason to be angry at Gawker for writing that he's gay"
- Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue by Ryan Holiday, Penguin Books, 2018, tells the story of the aftermath of Owen’s blog post and how Peter Thiel brought down Gawker
- Ryan Mac’s more recent account, “This Man Helped Peter Thiel Demolish Gawker,” talks about how Aron D’Souza helped Thiel bring down Gawker
- Kara Swisher’s interview talking about mirror-ocracy: “Adam [Quinton] made a good point on stage that in Silicon Valley they think it is a meritocracy but in reality, it is a mirror-ocracy. They look at themselves reflected and think their success is earned and they made it on their own, especially for white men...”
MORE ABOUT OWEN THOMAS
Business Editor, The San Francisco Chronicle
Owen Thomas is the business editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. He supervises The Chronicle’s business and technology coverage. Previously, Thomas was the editor-in-chief of ReadWrite, a technology news site. His digital experience includes serving as the West Coast Editor of Business Insider, executive editor at the Daily Dot, and managing editor of Gawker Media's Valleywag. Before that, he served in various roles at Time Inc.'s Business 2.0 magazine, the Red Herring, and Wired.
Thomas has a bachelor's degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago. Find Owen on Twitter, too.