Deadspin.com editor A.J. Daulerio put more than his reputation on the line when he decided to run alleged pictures of Vikings quarterback Brett Favre's penis, along with the story about how he sent lurid texts to sports reporter Jenn Sterger. According to a report by Gabriel Sherman in next month's GQ, Gawker brass made sure he knew if anyone went to jail for covering for his source, it would be him:
Before posting the photos and voice mails, Daulerio argued with Gawker's lawyer and chief operating officer, Gaby Darbyshire, over legal exposure. "She's like, 'You're willing to go to jail for this? It's just a dong shot,' " Daulerio recalls. "And I'm like, 'It's fucking Brett Favre's cock shot.' So yeah. If Brett Favre sued or [the pictures] were subpoenaed—I don't think they'd send me to jail for that, but given the choice, sure." In the end, Daulerio agreed to sign documents assuming responsibility for protecting the source's identity.
Luckily for Daulerio, it didn't come to that. (Although he did have to fly the photos' source to New York and then sketchily hand over an envelope stuffed with $12,000 in $100 bills on the side of the street in Soho.) But it wouldn't have mattered to him if he'd gotten in deeper trouble. "I'd mortgage the site for this," he told Gawker overlord Nick Denton. "This is like Monica Lewinsky's dress for Drudge."