How many of the people going to the barricades to defend Gawker Media would do the same for News International if they were being burned to the ground over their Hillsborough lies?
The usual suspects from the left-wing internet media are painting Gawker’s legal defeat at the hands of wrestler Hulk Hogan as a tragedy for press freedom that gives the wealthy the power to shut down any media company they don’t like. It doesn’t seem to matter to them that Gawker broke the law.
You do get the impression that this is tribal thing to them. Gawker Media have a terrible track record of violating privacy and destroying the lives of innocent people; remember Justine Sacco? But Gawker are part of the tribe, and Hulk Hogan and Peter Thiel belong to the enemy tribe, so that dictates the side they must take.
There are valid issues on striking the right balance between press freedom and press responsibility. A free press should not mean a press that acts as though it’s about the law, and the law shouldn’t be something that’s available only to the rich. A situation where the gutter press can destroy the lives of the little people with impunity while the rich and powerful can use the threats of legal action to silence any criticism would be the worst of both worlds.