I have to set this up for a minute, so strap in.
Next week, Gawker founder/owner Nick Denton and his partners are selling the site, as a result of the bankruptcy the company was forced into after it lost a lawsuit to Hulk Hogan and ordered to pay the former pro wrestler $140 million for posting Hulk Hogan’s sex tape on the site. Hogan’s lawsuit was one of many funded by Facebook billionaire Peter Thiel, who wanted to destroy the site for a 2007 post titled, “Peter Thiel is totally gay, people.” Denton filed for bankruptcy, and former Gawker editor (and Philadelphia magazine staffer) A.J. Daulerio has had his checking account frozen.
Got that? The important thing to know: This is the last week of Gawker as an independent company — Ziff-Davis has already submitted a bid around $100 million — and, last night, Gawker held an “end of an era” party for current and former staffers.
Then, from outside, Denton was heckled by Pistachio Girl.
New York magazine reported from the party: “During Denton’s remarks, a woman named Emily Youcis, denied entrance to the party, situated herself near the door and heckled the CEO.” She then attempted to interview him as he exited.
The video of the altercation is at the top of this post. Youcis asks Denton if the Hulk Hogan sex tape got him hard, then asked him about naked photos of Vanessa Hudgens taken when she was 17 that were posted on Fleshbot, once a Gawker site. Denton then walked away. She then attempted to find Daulerio, who was not at the party.
For the uninitiated: Youcis is Pistachio Girl. She’s from Pennsylvania and went to Temple’s Tyler School of Art for painting. She works at Citizens Bank Park as a hawker for Aramark. She walks up and down the lower level at Citizens Bank Park, hollering and singing in a distinctive tone. She’s historically hawked pistachios, but has also sold peanuts and Cracker Jack.
“See? I’m beloved,” she told the Inquirer in 2011, when the Phillies were good and her act had more potential customers. She said that pistachios was “a good word to scream … the word is a lot more exciting than peanuts — no offense.” That year, she told the paper she didn’t know anything about baseball and only liked then-Phillies relievers Mike Stutes and Antonio Bastardo. She remains one of the more popular vendors at Citizens Bank Park, despite the team’s declining fortunes.
She broadcast her attempted interview with Denton last night on Periscope. It is now posted on Got News, the site founded by Chuck Johnson — a frequent Gawker foil who sued Gawker but had his case thrown out.
In recent months, Youcis has rebranded as a Trump supporter. She stars in a video from conservative news site Breitbart titled, “Trump Girl Trolls #DemExit Protesters.” After that appearance outside the DNC, she went on Vice cofounder Gavin McInnes’ radio show. She’s also an animator and has a Patreon if you’d like to support her.
Youcis did not return a request for comment from Philadelphia magazine. I’ll speculate here that Youcis could be doing an elaborate art project — trolling Trump supporters for fun and/or profit. (She has no tweets before June of this year.) But, taking her work at her word, she appears to be a true believer.
And an eager one, too. She is now palling around on Twitter with Mike Cernovich, infamous in some circles for his “date rape does not exist” tweet. She has been wearing a “Make the Phillies Great Again” hat at games this season. She is, perhaps, Philadelphia’s most prominent Trump supporter.
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