Modern day robber baron Peter Thiel has confirmed that he has been funding Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea’s lawsuits against Gawker Media. In an interview with The New York Times, Thiel comes off as quite proud of it, too.
Thiel told the Times that Gawker’s posts about him were “very painful and paralyzing” and that funding lawsuits against the site was “less about revenge and more about specific deterrence.”
“I saw Gawker pioneer a unique and incredibly damaging way of getting attention by bullying people even when there was no connection with the public interest,” added Thiel. He even said that funding the Gawker lawsuits was “one of my greater philanthropic things that I’ve done.” Thiel then laughed maniacally, pulled his black cape up to his face and dashed off into the night.
Thiel—someone who has funded the Committee to Protect Journalists—is reveling in his ability to crush free speech. He doesn’t see it that way, of course. Thiel believes that he’s in the right, and besides, it’s only one outlet. He told the Times that other media companies need not worry about his attack, because Gawker was a “singularly terrible bully.”
But what if another outlet comes along and publishes something about him that he doesn’t like? We’re just supposed to believe him that he won’t try to destroy it? What if a different billionaire hears about Thiel’s moves and decides to do the same, simply because he has money and has decided the outlet was in the wrong? Where does it stop?
We’re not defending Gawker; we’re defending free speech. We’re also pointing out that the wealthy and powerful cannot, and should not, go unchecked like this.
Unless Thiel doesn’t agree; then forget it. Right, Peter? Peter! Our boy! Love what you’ve done with your hair. Have you lost weight? Looking fantastic!
Please don’t sue us.