DC Trawler

Whatcha Gonna Do, Gawker, When A Silicon Valley Billionaire Helps Hulk Hogan Run Wild On You?

Hulk Hogan. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

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I always liked Hulk Hogan more as a solo wrestler than as part of a tag team, but in this case I’ll make an exception.

Ryan Mac and Matt Drange, Forbes:

One of Silicon Valley’s best-known investors has been footing a former wrestler’s legal bills in lawsuits against a shared enemy.

Peter Thiel, a PayPal cofounder and one of the earliest backers of Facebook, has been secretly covering the expenses for Hulk Hogan’s lawsuits against online news organization Gawker Media…

It is not illegal for an outside entity to help fund another party’s lawsuit, and the practice, known as “third-party litigation funding” has become increasingly common in the U.S….

Thiel, who is gay, has made no secret of his distaste for Gawker, which attempted to out him in late 2007 before he was open about his sexuality.

This story was delicious enough when it was just Hogan giving Nick Denton a devastating Atomic Leg Drop. Now it turns out he had a deep-pocketed manager in his corner the whole time. Maybe violating people’s privacy for a living wasn’t such a good idea after all, eh, Nick ol’ chap?

Denton and all his scummy fans are trying to turn Gawker into the victim. They’re just trying to speak truth to power, you see. Lawsuits like this will have a “chilling effect on free speech,” doncha know.

For once, Sonny Bunch at the Washington Free Beacon speaks for me:

Frankly, I’m not all that concerned about the chilling effect that Hogan’s suit will have, even if it’s being funded by a guy with a (perfectly reasonable) grudge. Let’s not forget that Gawker got sued for publishing a private sex tape without the permission of the participants. It was pure prurience, with a newsworthiness factor of nil.

Exactly. If Gawker was uncovering some sort of crime, that would be one thing. But with both Hogan and Thiel, Gawker found “newsworthiness” in nothing more than consensual sexual activity between adults. I mean, we’re not supposed to care when a woman accuses Bill Clinton of rape, but we’re supposed to care that Hulk Hogan got his freak on with a woman who was 100% compliant? We’re homophobes if we don’t think gay marriage is a good idea, but we’re supposed to care what a PayPal guy does behind closed doors?

ProTip: If you don’t want to get sued for publishing a celebrity sex tape without the celebrity’s permission, then don’t publish a celebrity sex tape without the celebrity’s permission. That would seem to be obvious to anyone with any sort of moral compass, which is why it’s so bewildering to Nick Denton.

Everybody sing!