1st Amendment fallout from Peter Thiel’s bankrolling of Hogan suit against Gawker

In an interview with Pacific Standard, I discussed the Hulk Hogan lawsuit against Gawker—or more precisely, the role of billionaire Peter Thiel, who financed the litigation even though he was not a party in the case and had no legal standing to be one. From the transcript:

. . . . .  “I’m afraid that the legacy of the Gawker suit will be that journalists everywhere are not quite sure what went wrong in that case, in terms of First Amendment protections, and journalists everywhere will take the lesson that they need to dial back whenever they may be writing something that is critical of outspoken individuals who have huge financial resources. And, for example, that would include writing about Donald Trump:  if Trump loses and people are writing critical post-mortems, will they have to worry that Trump will turn around and sue them? Because of the Gawker trial, I fear that many journalists will wonder, ‘Could that happen to me, even in writing about Trump?’ They will be censoring themselves. That is the worst outcome here, and it’s quite likely.”

Read the full transcript.