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Peter Thiel Explains Why He Endorsed Donald Trump

[ 90 ] August 17, 2016 |

Nosferatu-Schreck2

Silicon Valley billionaire and vampire Peter Thiel, as most of you know, is trying to sue Gawker Media into oblivion. His recent New York Times op-ed, has a lot of problems, such as flat-out lying about proposed revenge porn legislation being nicknamed the “Gawker bill.” But the most important part is where he gives away the show:

As the competition for attention was rewarding ever more exploitation, Gawker was leading the way. The site routinely published thinly sourced, nasty articles that attacked and mocked people.

So, rich people should be on the lookout for ways to put media organizations out of business if these organizations write unflattering things about them. This is exactly why Thiel’s series of lawsuits — basically fishing until you get the right state judge, and get a judgment that can cause huge problems for the defendants and their organizations even if the judgment and/or award have no chance of surviving on appeal — is so disturbing.

And as (Gawker editor) Tom Scocca points out, it’s not just Thiel that thinks it’s highly objectionable that Gawker criticizes its social betters:

It would be naive in the extreme to think that this legal war will be a one-shot deal.

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  • Nobdy

    Watch out Scott. Your post libels Thiel. To our knowledge he is only an aspiring vampire.

    LGM may be next on his hit list.

    Also this stuff shows how tone policing and “be civil” culture always benefits the powerful. They get to do what they want with no or mild criticism and in exchange they give up nothing.

    The list of “going for jugular” headlines is also shockingly mild. Oh no, they said a dude had bad tweets!

    I didn’t realize that the princess and the pea was really about thin skinned rich people.

    • IS

      Weak-capillaried rich person, thin skinned rich people, close enough.

    • DAS

      Also this stuff shows how tone policing and “be civil” culture always benefits the powerful

      Somehow that the infamously formerly slave-society and even more recently segregated and highly hierarchical South is famous for its good manners must be relevant here.

      ETA: Shirley you jest. The whole point of the Princess and the Pea is that you can tell a member of the ruling class by how thin skinned they are.

      • rea

        the infamously formerly slave-society and even more recently segregated and highly hierarchical South is famous for its good manners

        They may have raped and flogged other human beings, but they wre always polite about it.

        • Rugosa

          Bless their hearts.

    • I didn’t realize that the princess and the pea was really about thin skinned rich people.

      One thing I’ve learned from watching the Bachelor(ette) is just how insecure the so-called beautiful people are. Really, they have to be the most insecure people on the planet.

    • RIGHT NOW is the time of Gawker to point out that Mr. Thiel is supporting a RACIST, Russian dupe for president.

    • Ahuitzotl

      Watch out Scott. Your post libels Thiel vampires. To our knowledge he is only an aspiring vampire they are only bloodsucking monsters*, beneficient by comparison.

      *sorry, sparkly bloodsucking monsters with immaculate hair

  • Sebastian_h

    Does anyone have a good idea about how to keep people like Thiel from backing lawsuits to support his political goals in ways that wouldn’t interfere with the ACLU or Greenpeace backing lawsuits to support their political goals? I agree that the court system has many flaws, but it is difficult to see an even-handed way of limiting that (without getting into tort reforms like punitive damage caps which rather noticeably have not been well supported in Democratic circles).

    (Two of the worst ‘normal’ abuses are forum shopping and jury tailoring, neither of which appear to be strong factors in the underlying Hulk Hogan case).

    • Nobdy

      Sunshine as a disinfectant would help. Mandate disclosure of the funding of litigation. Wouldn’t prevent it but would disincentize and make it easier for those attacked to raise defense funds from like minded individuals.

      • ThrottleJockey

        Here’s the real question: what disinfectant can we use to rid ourselves of Gawker’s stench?

      • DrDick

        Yeah. The ACLU is completely open and aboveboard about their activities.

      • DAS

        Sunshine only disinfects when the vampire in question is the kind of vampire that is vaporized or burned by the sun. When you have a vampire that sparkles in the sun, the sunlight won’t do anything.

        Does Thiel really care that he is known as a guy who is ready willing and able to use the legal system to bankrupt you if you offend him? I think he wants you to know this, doesn’t he? Heck, he’s not even ashamed of pretty much being a literal (wannabe) vampire. So I fail to see how disclosure would disincentivize what Thiel did. If anything, it might scare away potential donors for the defense who might be afraid of the person funding the other side of the litigation.

        • XTPD

          The idea that sunlight won’t do anything is historically the rule rather than the exception: IIRC the idea that sunlight hurts/kills vampires started with Nosferatu, and only because F.W. Murnau didn’t think of a plausible way to kill Orlok beforehand.

          But seriously though, willingness to publicly throw one’s weight around doesn’t necessarily translate to ability to do so. Remember, Thiel’s confession effectively redirected a lot of the anger at Gawker, so public disclosure would make getting a sympathetic judge & jury for Thiel that much harder.

      • Big media orgs (CNN, NBC, Fox) should stick up for the “little guys”. Gawker is the canary in the coal mine.

        • PhoenixRising

          If only there were an example of the ‘little guy’ publishing something offensive to the thin skin of filthy rich jerks, but acceptable to 12 average Floridans, I bet they would. I would too.

          No one wants this slime-coated hill, stained with the body fluids of possibly consenting private citizens, to be the hill they die on…for some very good reasons.

          I know if my daughter had been assaulted while inebriated, and Nick Denton had taken the high minded position that he had a right to publish film of that assault for money, I would have been delighted to accept the financial support of a thin skinned filthy rich actual vampire to put him out of business.

          It’s really tough to get a jury to agree that destroying this type of publication isn’t a suitable use of punitive damages that more of us should be able to afford. And that is why the assertion that we need legislation to help the little guys like Gawker to avoid a trial with settlements it can afford is…a steep hill to climb.

    • Scott Lemieux

      forum shopping… neither of which appear to be strong factors in the underlying Hulk Hogan case

      Hogan went to state court after dismissing his federal suit after getting an unfavorable ruling. It was highly relevant. In federal court he probably wouldn’t have gotten the judgment and definitely wouldn’t have gotten the ridiculous award.

      • Marc

        I find it truly hard to sympathize with the loathsome Gawker people. It’s possible for people on your side of the red/blue divide to be scum. At the end of the day, they posted a sex tape of someone, one recorded without his consent. You can’t set up a system where that’s OK because the target of it isn’t that sympathetic.

        • tsam

          I know what you mean. Feeling like I should be defending those asshats makes me feel all icky.

        • JMP

          There’s a big difference between saying that they were wrong to post that video and that they deserve a $140 million dollar judgement that will force them out of business.

          • Chetsky

            Oh, idunno. As long as, the next time Peter’s company’s work kills a human, -Peter- is executed, I’m sure it’s all good, right?

            Truly, if corporate homicide entailed the summary execution of the board of directors, they’d be a whole heckuva lot more careful.

          • ThrottleJockey

            Since when has anyone on this blog cared about a company paying a $140M judgment??? Fuh realsies!!!

            Gawker fucked up and then the chickens came home to roost. And who don’t love them some fried chicken? Especially with extra hot sauce?

            • A malicious billionaire destroying a gossip site is NOT “Chickens coming home to roost”. It’s petty, malicious destruction of a journalism site for the sake of petty revenge.

              • PhoenixRising

                Journalism site?

                The problem is that too many decent people have motives aligned with his petty revenge. Which makes Gawker not just hard to feel sorry for, but I’d argue not a loss to be mourned.

                The principle that defendants ought to be able to show juries who is funding the case against them is worth standing up for.

                Be interesting to see what you’d get if the jury had been told WHY these sordid facts were in front of them, instead of settling like all the other cases against Gawker. But I suspect that your assumption that his motives for funding the suit have anything to do with the outcome of the trial is…unfounded. Juries sometimes express the thinking of the community in imposing awards that seem to fit the injury.

                If I were representing Hogan, I’d beat the hell out of the fact that Gawker had settled cases with far more damaging facts simply because they were making so much money being assholes that they could afford to. Civil claim, they don’t have a right to have their history of settling similar stuff excluded–I think it’s irrelevant that Thiel is a vampire to this outcome, except that absent the vampire billionaire no jury ever sees these facts and that is the point.

        • twbb

          “You can’t set up a system where that’s OK because the target of it isn’t that sympathetic”

          Right, Gawker waxes indignant when that kind of thing is done to who they think are the wrong sort of people, namely young white WASPy actresses they like, but it becomes hilarious to them when the person falls outside that narrow demographic.

          • Juicy_Joel

            “Gawker waxes indignant when that kind of thing is done to who they think are the wrong sort of people, namely young white WASPy actresses they like”

            Wait, what?

            The people in these threads who seem to have the largest dislike of Gawker seem to also be the ones who are least familiar with it.

            • Craigo
              • wjts

                Gawker also seems conspicuously unconcerned with the non-Jennifer Lawrence woman in the “Hulk Hogan” sex tape.

              • Juicy_Joel

                Comparing Jezebel’s coverage of “the fappening” to Gawker’s coverage of the hogan story is disingenuous.

                • XTPD

                  Perhaps, but I have a feeling that Gawker proper took Jezebel’s line on nudehacking and Jezebel may have taken Gawker’s stand on male sex-tapes. (Also, the double standard is not remotely unique to Gawker.com; it’s only grating because of the site’s vocal positions on the subject).

                  ETA: Just did a search for Hulk Hogan on Jezebel, and nothing comes up about mocking the sex tape. So the above Imgur shot is disingenuous, but conducting the comparison with material from Gawker.com would be fair game.

                • twbb

                  I am quite familiar with the Gawker Media blogs and I am absolutely not being disingenuous:

                  1. The blogs are not run independently; they’re the same organization, working out of the same office, their writers are in the same union, the same cubicles, etc.. They’re more akin to different sections of the same paper than separate publications, but it’s not even that distinct because their stories will appear in each other’s sections.

                  2. There is constant cross-posting of Gawker and Jezebel stories, including on both the mass nudehacking and the Hulk Hogan sex tape. Do a google search for the Hogan story adding a “site:jezebel.com” to your search string and it will show which Gawker stories made it to the Jezebel page.

                  3. The managing editor at Gawker during the Hogan tape leak was the editor at Jezebel during the nudehacking.

                  4. The double standard isn’t even just about male vs female, it’s also about race and class. Jezebel, like Gawker, has noticeably less disdain for leaking nudes and sex tapes when it’s a had no problems finding nude leaks and sex tapes amusing when the targets, men or women, are on reality TV or in hip hop.

                • XTPD

                  @twbb (assuming you’re addressing my post):

                  My problem was just that the Imgur post didn’t really prove anything other than ideological sequestration, so 3) provides the full context and shows hypocrisy on their part. I’m aware that 2) and 1) are accurate, but cross-promoting material isn’t necessarily a show of approval (cf. NYMag & Vulture); and 1) doesn’t prove that the whole company is poisoned, only those sections (and at worst that would entail the sections getting purged/put on a tight leash, not the whole company going under). As for 4), targeting reality TV stars isn’t really classism, it’s “anti-reality-TV-star”-ism — still unfair & hypocritical, but not unique to Gawker or Jezebel.

                • farin

                  But it sure was ironic when Gawker ran that article calling for Reddit to be held legally responsible for hosting the stolen photos, huh?

                • twbb

                  It was like rain on your wedding day.

            • XTPD

              Not really. If you’re talking about “the largest dislike of Gawker Media,” you have a point: I’ve noticed that the people who really, really hate Gawker the either don’t know or don’t care that Gawker.com & Gawker Media are two different things – even though out of Gawker Media’s seven sites only Gawker (and perhaps Jezebel) have done anything to really merit dismantling.

              That doesn’t mean criticism of Gawker isn’t merited. IIRC, before the 2010s Gawker.com was rather consistently shitheaded, and spinoffs like Defamer could be mistaken for a good English e-tabloid. From what I can tell, though, Gawker’s actions – i.e., the ones that got them sued by Hogan – don’t reflect an attitude that invasion of privacy only counts for hot white actresses; they reflect the attitude that men are totally chill about their sex lives becoming public; it’s a double standard, but one only recently being questioned by the general public.

              • Juicy_Joel

                “they reflect the attitude that men are totally chill about their sex lives becoming public”

                I don’t think this is true especially in light of the married Condé Nast executive + gay prostitute story published last year.

                If anyone wants to pull out the fainting couch over a story published by Gawker it should be that one.

                • tsam

                  That one should have people blocking their site, not pulling out a fainting couch. They outed a civilian, a relative of a competitor, via a shakedown. That could have been a story line for a shitty television drama.

                • XTPD

                  That was unambiguously shitty, although I think said attitude was what led Jordan Sargent (who published the piece) to think publishing it in the first place was a good idea.

                • JonH

                  “That was unambiguously shitty, although I think said attitude was what led Jordan Sargent (who published the piece) to think publishing it in the first place was a good idea.”

                  I think the attitude that led Sargent to publish the piece was the combination of animus toward the Gawker media competitor, with animus toward corporate execs in general, multiplied by the competitor executive being related to a former US Treasury Secretary with Wall Street connections (and now, high-placed investment bank job). And Wall Street is one of Gawker’s long-standing betes noir. *Plus* Gawker’s odd predilection for gay scandal.

                • tsam

                  Actually, the worst part of it was after Denton told them to take the story down. They refused to admit anything was wrong with it. Pretty sure it was John Cook who wrote the response, which sounded like a 12 year old mad at his mom for not getting batteries for his XBox controller fast enough.

            • ThrottleJockey

              Puh-leeze Gawker is so That it makes the National Enquirer seem respectable.

              • farin

                Is the missing part of that sentence “left-leaning”?

      • Sebastian_h

        The federal court ruling was on an injunction barring distribution of the sex tape. My federal practice experience isn’t deep, but the privacy action would always want to be filed in state court if possible because Florida has strong privacy laws and Florida is the residence state of the plaintiff (which is pretty much the simplest non-forum shopping venue). Selecting federal vs. state isn’t what most people mean by forum shopping–and in any case doesn’t represent the truly slimy kind of forum shopping we should be worrying about (like having one particularly friendly Texas county judge look at all the black lung cases or whatever).

        Again, the most obvious curb for this kind of cases would involve a limit on punitive damages–which is precisely the kind of tort reform that Democrats have been against for decades. So we can support it now if we want, it really is a good idea. But barring that, is there any really good idea that doesn’t mess with the ACLU and the Sierra Club? I haven’t heard it. Though in theory i’m not against mandating funding disclosures. Even that could have had bad ramifications for things like defending McCarthy victims though…

        • Snarki, child of Loki

          “Again, the most obvious curb for this kind of cases would involve a limit on punitive damages–which is precisely the kind of tort reform that Democrats have been against for decades.”

          IIRC, the real problem was that while the $140M award was likely to be (greatly) reduced on appeal, the FL state law required Gawker to put the entire amount (or most?) in escrow before pursuing the appeal, and THAT is what was killing Gawker.

          • lunaticllama

            It’s entirely normal that an appellant (if a party with a judgment against them) will have to put the judgment amount in escrow before pursuing the appeal. Otherwise, everyone would appeal adverse judgments and leave successful claimants without financial recourse after the appeal is resolved, typically year(s) after the trial. There are bond companies that will finance these escrow payments where you don’t have to have the cash available if you have collateral. Most likely, Gawker ran into financing problems due to either the amount of judgment or something unique to their circumstances (maybe lack of collateral.)

      • ThrottleJockey

        What Marc said. If Breitbart had published that tape you’d be complaining about them until Judgement Day.

        Gawker is getting what it deserves and we should have all the sympathy for them that we have for used Charmin after I visit an All You Can Eat Burrito Bar.

        At least there’s a use for Charmin.

        • brad

          But how will you dismiss news you don’t want to hear without them having linked to someone else’s reporting of it?

          • ThrottleJockey

            Like I’m doing to you now: Flush-whoosh! :-D

            • brad

              So you’ll stop pretending to have cause and just be ignorant, gotcha.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            forget it, brad, he’s on a roll

        • “if…Breitfart”… complaining, yes, but NOT suing in order to destroy them completely. Gawker isn’t 1/100th as bad, as damaging to humanity, as Fox news. Sleazy tabloids have always been with us; Gawker was just a higher-tech one.

    • snarkout

      Federal anti-SLAPP legislation, possibly based on California’s anti-SLAPP laws, which they’ve been tweaking since 1992?

      • cpinva

        “Federal anti-SLAPP legislation, possibly based on California’s anti-SLAPP laws, which they’ve been tweaking since 1992?”

        that was my first thought when this suit first came to light. the only problem is that this is a bad case for this. Gawker, as I understand it, did in fact do what they were sued for, and I personally don’t feel that the “public person” defense merited much in the way of consideration in this case. it’s one thing to make an erroneous assertion about a “public person” in print, quite another to post a video tape that arguably has zero to do with the reason(s) that person is “public”, it was done purely out of spite. though clearly whatever “damage” was caused to Mr. Hogan’s reputation wasn’t worth anywhere close to $140m. it’s not like they posted a video, and claimed it was him killing someone, or even raping someone, which they knew to not be true, or they thought it was, but could not definitively state as fact.

        what I’d like to see legislated are state versions of the Federal anti-SLAPP statute. that would kill any attempts to squelch negative press, by suing them for libel.

        what I’d like to

        • twbb

          It’s tough to figure out a dollar amount to put on these kinds of things; if you do it purely on the actual damages re reputation you basically make it open season on low-income people.

          Anyway from what I understand his main issue was that he was caught using racial slurs on the tape (I’ve heard; there aren’t words adequately strong enough to express how little I want to watch that) which actually did end up hurting his career. Probably not for $140m worth though.

          • XTPD

            See, that’s Thiel’s problem. Thing is, if he was actually concerned about “invasion of privacy” he would’ve let Hogan take a settlement & use the outcomes other of (presumably non-frivolous) cases to force a change in editorial ethos.

            Thiel, however, did things the Gavin Belson way & not only gloated about bankrolling Hogan & getting him to sue for $140m just to bankrupt Gawker, but did it before Gawker was even conclusively killed*, so as far as I’m concerned, fuck him for being such a colossal dumbass and just, fuck him.

            *That also makes his given motive of “being outed” seem less like n actuala motive & more of a deliberately unverifiable excuse; it’s noteworthy that the post outing Thiel is pretty much the only sympathetic coverage Gawker Media has given him.

          • farin

            The racial slurs were, afaik, part of a video not posted by Gawker, but Hogan presumably would have had to pay his own way to sue over those.

        • ThrottleJockey

          I’ll tell you a great way to legislatively get rid of this problem: legislate out Gawker.

          • Pat

            First Amendment, baby.

            • farin

              C’mon, we all know the Constitution only applies to right-thinking people and organizations.

      • Brett

        I don’t think it would have stopped the Gawker case. Florida already had an Anti-SLAPP law – that’s what makes this different from that billionaire in Idaho (which doesn’t have one) attempting to sue Mother Jones into bankruptcy with nuisance suits.

        • lunaticllama

          Many states have Anti-SLAPP laws; they are pretty common right now. Proving that a lawsuit is SLAPP violation, however, is pretty tough. The lawsuit against Gawker would not have been considered a SLAPP violation, because, as it resulted in a successful verdict, it, by definition, was not frivolous.

      • Craigo

        This was in state court, and Florida has an anti-SLAPP law.

    • vic rattlehead

      But everyone forum shops. I would argue that it’s malpractice not to file in the most favorable forum you can.

      • Craigo

        And, to inject another dose of common sense, filing suit in your state and county of residence is not forum shopping, and it’s fucking asinine to imply otherwise.

        • lunaticllama

          Yes. Also, not filing a plaintiff’s lawsuit in state court (barring unusual circumstances) is generally seen as strategic mistake.

    • DAS

      I cannot think of any reform (e.g. tort reform or preventing third party funding of lawsuits) that would be able to stop someone in Thiel’s position from using their wealth to harass a media organization out of existence without negatively impacting the ability of advocacy organizations to effectively advocate for civil rights and without affecting the ability of people who have been egregiously wronged from getting appropriate damages. I especially feel this way given how legislative sausage making works: what may start out as very selective tort reform will end up being compromised into a bill that prevents injured people from suing big companies but would still allow rich and famous people to sue to become even more rich and famous. Even anti-SLAPP laws can only be applicable to “frivolous” lawsuits … eventually a media organization that pushes the edge enough to really do something to provoke a rich person to go on a legal vendetta against that organization is going to do something that pushes across the edge into actionable territory.

      The real way to stop people like Thiel from throwing a lot of money into litigation is to prevent the concentration of wealth in the first place. Mass concentrations of wealth are inherently distorting in a capitalist, democratic society. If any person or group of people has too much capital, that distorts markets. If anyone has too much money, they can buy too much access into our political and legal system. Unfortunately, even many nominal liberals have something against “wealth redistribution”, so the redistributivist taxes we need to prevent great concentration of wealth are alas not going to happen.

    • Does anyone have a good idea about how to keep people like Thiel from backing lawsuits to support his political goals in ways that wouldn’t interfere with the ACLU or Greenpeace backing lawsuits to support their political goals?

      I suggest relieving him of a substantial portion of his disposable income through taxation.

  • Peterr

    Can you say SLAPP? Sure you can.

    • Sebastian_h

      I think a federal anti-SLAPP statute is a great idea, but it has nothing to do with this case because anti-SLAPP statutes are all about stopping frivolous and near-frivolous filings to suppress speech. Hogan’s case wasn’t frivolous (i.e. even if Gawker won an appeal it would be to lower the award. As far as I know Gawker has no likely appeal to reverse the judgment entirely).

      • JonH

        SLAPP is more like what Thiel is doing, although I’m sure it isn’t covered by anti-SLAPP laws, and I’m not sure how you’d write a law to ban it without stopping useful, respectable organizations funding lawsuits with merit beyond “personal pique”.

        But Thiel’s funding is very definitely about supporting strategic lawsuits against public participation.

        • Mellano

          Seems like what Thiel is really doing is maintenance with a SLAPP intention.

          • Sebastian_h

            Trying to get rid of business practices you don’t like through potential bankruptcy inducing lawsuits is not a practice Thiel invented. The earliest ones I can think of were done by the Sierra Club and affiliated groups. You can be against policy-making through bankruptcy threatening lawsuits through a number of obvious and non-obvious means–things like limiting punitive damages, or limiting them to certain types of very egregious activity.

            You can also make a rule saying that no one can pay another person’s legal fees. That kind of rule is going to royally screw over a lot of legitimate small time plaintiffs and make public interest lawsuits by third parties impossible.

            But if you are going to allow third party championing and you are going to allow broad bankruptcy inducing punitive damages you are going to have to understand that sometimes companies you sort of like are going to be bankrupted by people you don’t like.

            There are ways around it, but for various reasons people are very wedded to avoiding the solutions.

  • Thirtyish

    Can’t he go off on his own island already? I suggest Bouvet.*

    *With apologies to Bouvet Island.

    • XTPD

      Ilha da Queimada Grande would be a better fit, with the added benefit of being a family reunion.

      • Karen24

        Pit vipers and birds live on Ilha da Queimada Grande, and they don’t deserve Thiel.

      • JMP
    • tsam

      If he can find a country that doesn’t allow immigrants, he’ll move there.

      • cpinva

        “If he can find a country that doesn’t allow immigrants, he’ll move there.”

        North Korea maybe? seems like a place he’d kind of like.

        • I don’t think they like gay people there.

          • MAJeff

            Neither does he. Only thing he’s ever done is hang out with Ann Coulter at one of those self-loathing GOProud events.

      • wjts

        North Sentinel Island. Suits me, but the Sentinelese might object.

      • tsam

        Read that sentence one more time

        • Pat

          Nobody’s reading that sentence, tsam.

          • tsam

            But it was actually a good joke this time.

    • Aurora Island or Dougherty Island.
      Or Saxemberg Island, for a better climate.

    • Pseudonym

      Why settle for an existing island when you can just build your own?

  • Saskexpat

    I suspect there was some pretty egregious discovery abuse by Hogan and his attorney to hide Thiel’s involvement with the litigation. In every case I litigated, both sides ALWAYS asked questions about third-party communications. Any full and complete answer would require disclose by Hogan that someone had offered to pay his attorney fees. If Hogan’s attorney was the go between on the offer, it would make him a fact witness, and subject to potential disqualification. It would also make Thiel a witness, and his deposition could be taken.
    I think the threat of a deposition of Thiel, on all possible things admissible or reasonably calculated to lead to the discover of admissible evidence, would have some detergent effect on a guy who claims to value his privacy so much.

  • Crusty

    Clearly, tort reform is needed. Lawsuits are killing businesses.

  • The Hogan case is an outlier, and discussions about tort reform (or, I suppose, legal reform generally) that focus on outliers are going to be nearly as unbalanced as the provoking event. It will be interesting to see what the Florida appeals process makes of this record, but I think, at a minimum, that the verdict is likely to be substantially reduced. In any event, this whole thing does not seem to me to be a threat to a free press: the UK manages to operate a pretty lively press with far more dangerous laws concerning defamation

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