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Full video: Gawker's Nick Denton at Code 2016

"They can't expect to hide entirely in the shadows."

Asa Mathat

Peter Thiel says he feels solidarity with Gawker's so-called "victims," and that's why he is financing a number of lawsuits against Gawker Media with the goal of destroying the company.

"Why [does Thiel] believe these people were victims?" Gawker CEO Nick Denton asked onstage at the 2016 Code Conference. "If you start to look at anybody who doesn't like a story as being a victim, and you file a complaint, then there won't be that much independent media left in the country."

In his wide-ranging conversation with Recode Executive Editor Kara Swisher, Denton defended the mission of Gawker Media and talked about the company's fight for its life against Thiel's litigation. You can watch the video of that conversation above, or listen to it here via our podcast Recode Replay:

Denton reaffirmed the company's line that the devastating Hulk Hogan verdict will almost certainly be reversed on appeal. When asked whether he's considering declaring bankruptcy, Denton said that "we're looking at all possible outcomes."

"We've hired [banker] Mark Patricof. Last week, after all the news and Peter Thiel's appearance from backstage, we got a little hope on a bunch of inbound interest."

The Gawker founder also said that the company has changed over time, and that while posts from a decade ago might not pass muster today, it was in service of moving beyond limitations of conventional journalism that worked to the benefit of the rich and powerful. And yes, sometimes there were consequences.

"I feel that we wanted to have a clear focus, a mission to put out stories that were true and interesting and not to be bound by a list, explicit or implicit, because of relationships, business or friends of friends," Denton said. "And we set writers free and yes, I take responsibility for not recognizing what the consequences of that kind of freedom were."

And if Denton could do the Hogan thing all over again, would he hit publish on the post with the ex-wrestler's sex tape?

"I think the story was fine."

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