Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, filed a frivolous lawsuit against Gawker for running content that was indisputably authentic but embarrassing to him (video of Bollea having sex someone else’s wife).
Peter Thiel maliciously funded that lawsuit because Gawker had previously published a claim that was true but that he didn’t want published (that Thiel is a gay man).
Bollea won his frivolous lawsuit, achieving Thiel’s malicious objective of bankrupting a publication that neither of them liked.
For more on the above, see the excellent documentary Nobody Speak (here’s a Garrison Center column on the topic).
Now Thiel is throwing a courtroom tantrum of his own because Gawker’s bankruptcy administrator has apparently excluded him as the prospective buyer of Gawker proper (most of the company’s other assets were sold to Univision).
Two likely reasons why Thiel might want to buy Gawker:
1) Gawker is pursuing legal claims against Thiel for his malicious role in Bollea’s frivolous lawsuit, and a judge has given the green light to discovery in the matter. Which means Thiel has a legal colonoscopy coming. As law school professors teach their students, “discovery is a bitch.” Once the plaintiffs start deposing Thiel and the people around him, they can ask all sorts of embarrassing questions that will have to be answered for the public record. If Thiel bought Gawker, he would then be suing himself, and could stop doing so.
2) If he buys Gawker, he owns its content and can do whatever he likes with it. Like deleting true stories, the telling of which he objects to.
The main reason I can think of why the administrator might want to exclude Thiel is financial. The possibility of winning a big judgment versus Thiel is an asset that makes Gawker more valuable.
Presumably Thiel thinks he can pay less to buy Gawker now than he might be required to pay Gawker later. And presumably he would like to preemptively shut down that lawsuit because even if he wins it he’ll likely come out of it with a bunch more embarrassing information about him getting spread around.
I don’t know whether or not he has a legal leg to stand on here, and I don’t particularly care. For me, this is just another opportunity to point out that Terry Bollea and Peter Thiel did an evil, evil thing. While they will probably never have their millions (Bollea) and billions (Thiel) ripped from them entirely and will likely live out their lives in material comfort, they deserve maximum negative social preferencing. They shouldn’t be invited to parties. They shouldn’t be able to get served in restaurants and bars. No organization should want them as speakers at its events.
Also, anyone who is still calling Thiel a “libertarian” needs to take a closer look. His malicious participation in Bollea’s frivolous lawsuit was an initiation of force, using the state to punish the exercise of free speech and to chill the proceedings of a free press. While he made his first bundle as a co-founder of PayPal, these days he’s a welfare queen, keeping his teeth firmly clamped on the taxpayer teat as chairman of Palantir, a company with a business plan that boils down to “powering the surveillance state.” He was a Trump delegate to, and a featured speaker at, the 2016 Republican National Convention. If he ever was a “libertarian,” he clearly stopped being one long, long ago.
IPR note: The author has run for office several times as a Libertarian Party candidate and served multiple terms on LP exec comms at various levels.