Peter Thiel has already admitted to bankrolling lawsuits with the purpose of putting Gawker Media out of business, but the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) wants to know what else the Silicon Valley billionaire is hiding.
“Peter Thiel has all but confessed that his primary objective is Gawker’s demise. Plutocrats already have outsized power in this country, and we cannot allow them to use their vast fortunes to silence media companies,” WGAE said in a statement.
The statement continues: “We cannot let Peter Thiel heedlessly destroy one of the most original, intrepid digital media companies in modern journalism — regardless of whether or not we like everything that gets published there. It is imperative that the public know the extent of his efforts to silence the press. We call upon Peter Thiel to reveal all of the lawsuits he has funded.”
As revealed by Forbes on Tuesday, one of the people that Thiel helped support was Hulk Hogan. The former wrestling star won a stunning $140 million verdict in a defamation suit against Gawker Media after it posted parts of a sex tape showing Hogan with a friend’s wife.
“It’s less about revenge and more about specific deterrence,” Thiel said in an interview with The New York Times the day after he was identified.
Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and one of the earliest investors in Facebook, is known as an Ayn Rand-style libertarian who funds young people who want to skip college and embrace entrepreneurship.
Thiel has been publicly ripping Gawker since a 2007 article that attempted to out him as gay. He famously said Gawker spinoff site Valleyway site, “is the Silicon Valley equivalent of Al Qaeda.”
This morning, the New York Post reported that Gawker founder Nick Denton has begun soliciting bids for the company because the Thiel-funded trial is leaving him strapped for cash.