Anybody been following the Hulk Hogan vs Gawker thing?


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Seems to have come to a head yesterday, with Hogan winning $115 million in damages (and the judge pushing for more in punitive charges).

It seems like Gawker's actions have finally caught up with them, since I'm pretty sure they can't afford to pay that.

Just wondering what everyone's thoughts on the matter might be (though technically I guess this is "old news" since the case springs from a 2012 event).


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I dislike the main Gawker site, but frequent the science fiction subsite of Gawker media io9 (and to a a lesser extent gizmodo and a few others). I kind of hope io9 isn't further impacted by this affair, since the site already took a huge hit when it got folded into gizmodo (less writers, tv show reviews got butchered, and several writers/article series disappeared with little if any explanation.


io9 is part of Gawker too? That's interesting.

I actually kinda like that site too, but I won't cry if it disappears.


Wooooow.

Didn't know he won. Or even what he was suing over.


Back in 2012 Gawker posted a sex tape of him (same video that caught him flak for making racist comments). Judge ordered them to take it down...and they refused. So he sued them.

Throughout the trial the Gawker owner whose name escapes me ATM (Denton? Nelson?) has been anywhere from flippant to downright reprehensible, and it seems the judge took a personal dislike to the man since he not only awarded Hogan the amount he was suing for (and a little extra) he's planning to hit the guy even harder going forward.

That's the Cliff Notes version for now, as I can't post any citations on my phone very well.


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Ah.

Well, while I am thankful for Hogan's bigoted views being revealed, he should have taken the video down.

Scarab Sages

Isn't somebody supposed to go, "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH YYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!"?


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I think the former Gawker editor (Albert J. Daulerio) may have lost the case for them all by himself with his testimony. The idiot basically said any celebrity sex tape is news worthy, unless the person is under the ripe old age of four. Doh!


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Isn't somebody supposed to go, "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH YYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!"?

That was Randy Poffo (Savage) who was 'called upstairs' in order to deliver a flying elbow to whoever it was that was planning Armageddon that week. (He died just before some doomsday group's prediction of the end)


Gawker dug it's own grave on this. Reap what you sow as one says.


Grey Lensman wrote:
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Isn't somebody supposed to go, "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH YYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!"?
That was Randy Poffo (Savage) who was 'called upstairs' in order to deliver a flying elbow to whoever it was that was planning Armageddon that week. (He died just before some doomsday group's prediction of the end)

I so miss him.

Scarab Sages

Grey Lensman wrote:

That was Randy Poffo (Savage) who was 'called upstairs' in order to deliver a flying elbow to whoever it was that was planning Armageddon that week. (He died just before some doomsday group's prediction of the end)

I never cared about or for professional wrestling - but that would be SO COOL if it were true.

"Fight For What's Right," indeed.

Freehold DM wrote:
I so miss him.

Well, at least we still got Jesse "The Body Politic" Ventura, right?

Scarab Sages

Anyway, speaking of which....


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I have only one question for Gawker...

Whatcha gonna do...

When HULKAMANIA...

RUNS WIIIIIILD ON YOUUUUUUUU?!

Scarab Sages

We're about to find out. Because it is.


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From what I understand, Gawker expected to lose this first round, but plans to appeal and believes it had a good chance with said appeal.

I honestly couldn't care less about plaintiff, defendant, or case.

Liberty's Edge

Yeah, my understanding based on the article I read was this is almost certainly going to be reversed on appeal since one of the central claims that was found in Hogan's favor is liable and there's absolutely no liable here.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As someone with strong opinions on both free speech and privacy, I think that this case came to the just conclusion. Gawker has long been the cancer of the internet.

I haven't heard anything about Gawker "expecting" to lose the initial case, but insofar as their appeal goes, Gawker is noting that "the jury was unable to see key evidence and hear testimony from the most important witness." However, this has some complications to it:

Quote:

That was an apparent reference to Mr. Clem. According to documents unsealed on Friday, the radio host initially told federal investigators that Mr. Bollea was aware that his tryst with Mrs. Clem was being recorded. But he later changed that account after Mr. Bollea sued him, saying the former wrestler did not know a camera was present.

Apparently fearing that if he testified in the trial he could be subject to prosecution for giving differing accounts of the events, Mr. Clem invoked his right to not incriminate himself and was not called as a witness.

The plaintiff’s legal team issued its own statement, saying that during the three and a half years since the lawsuit was filed, Mr. Clem had testified only once under oath and had “confirmed that Terry Bollea had no knowledge of being filmed or anything to do with it.”

If that's the central argument that Gawker is using to appeal, I have to wonder how successful they'll be. As a (very general) rule, getting a ruling overturned is more difficult than avoiding the initial conviction, because now you have to demonstrate why another court case was incorrect in how it turned out.


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So the jury has just handed down the punitive damages in this case, bringing the total amount that Gawker has to pay to $140.1 million.


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That's probably going to be greatly reduced by the end, but I hope it'll at least remain high enough to discourage people from posting content they really shouldn't.

In general, I feel that tapes of people having sex should not be made public without the express consent of everyone shown. It's not just about celebrities, either - revenge porn is unfortunately a thing, and knowing there could be serious legal consequences might discourage at least a few people from doing it.


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Whilst I'm by no means a fan of Gawker, I do feel bad for the people who are going to be out of work when Gawker goes under, especially those who had nothing to do with Gawker's shortcomings.

Liberty's Edge

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Depending on how the appeals go, this case could actually set important precedents on the boundaries between 'freedom of the press' and 'personal privacy'.

Personally, I'm hoping that Gawker's 'anything some people will want to know about is inherently "newsworthy" and thus covered by freedom of the press' argument goes down in flames. By that standard, anyone posting 'revenge porn' is a 'journalist' and their 'news' protected.


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One would hope the people in charge of spreading news and information would excessive some degree of self-restraint, but while as a business owner myself I cannot in good conscience celebrate another being brought down due to legal costs (there's always people, families, years of work and sweat, and dreams involved), I do think the result should be positive overall; at the very least, it should scare "journalists" away from destroying people's private lives over petty things (I mean, it not like the Hulkster was revealing secret nuclear codes in his videos).


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Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
as a business owner myself I cannot in good conscience celebrate another being brought down due to legal costs (there's always people, families, years of work and sweat, and dreams involved),

I dunno; in my opinion, it would depend on the business. If your business model hinges on unjustifiably destroying other people's health, happiness, and well-being, then I don't particularly care about your work, sweat, and dreams.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
as a business owner myself I cannot in good conscience celebrate another being brought down due to legal costs (there's always people, families, years of work and sweat, and dreams involved),
I dunno; in my opinion, it would depend on the business. If your business model hinges on destroying other people's health, happiness, and well-being, then I don't particularly care about your work, sweat, and dreams.

Yeah, that argument would seems to apply to anything, no matter how bad.

Even when they bust a mob family, there's "people, families, years of work and sweat, and dreams involved".


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Hey, I'ma legitimate businessman!


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
as a business owner myself I cannot in good conscience celebrate another being brought down due to legal costs (there's always people, families, years of work and sweat, and dreams involved),
I dunno; in my opinion, it would depend on the business. If your business model hinges on unjustifiably destroying other people's health, happiness, and well-being, then I don't particularly care about your work, sweat, and dreams.

"Any contractor working on that Death Star knew the risks involved."


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Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
One would hope the people in charge of spreading news and information would excessive some degree of self-restraint, but while as a business owner myself I cannot in good conscience celebrate another being brought down due to legal costs (there's always people, families, years of work and sweat, and dreams involved), I do think the result should be positive overall; at the very least, it should scare "journalists" away from destroying people's private lives over petty things (I mean, it not like the Hulkster was revealing secret nuclear codes in his videos).

maybe not.

But as a black kid growing up in the 80s, I can't tell you how important hulk hogan was. In more militant families(not many in my neighborhood, but every kid knows at least one) he was the only white guy their parents would let them look up to. He wrestled with Mr. T and Tony Atlas. He was in the second gremlins movie and a host of cheesy movies himself. He was a beloved figure, truly beloved.

Knowing what he really thought about people like me is vital.

He can apologize and attempt to rebuild, but the damage has already been done. Bigotry -or maybe thoughtlessness- of this sort is not okay just because it is hidden.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
as a business owner myself I cannot in good conscience celebrate another being brought down due to legal costs (there's always people, families, years of work and sweat, and dreams involved),
I dunno; in my opinion, it would depend on the business. If your business model hinges on unjustifiably destroying other people's health, happiness, and well-being, then I don't particularly care about your work, sweat, and dreams.

Also worth noting is that the lawsuit was brought on after Gawker had already defied one judicial order to take the material down. So it's not like it's unavoidable.

It's also very likely that the monetary award will be vastly reduced on appeal.


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This is a terrible president for freedom of the press.


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Caineach wrote:
This is a terrible president for freedom of the press.

I know it's popular to blame Obama for everything up to including hurricanes, but I fail to see the applicability here. Gawker made the unethical decision to post publicly a video that should have been left private. They then made the arrogant move of ignoring a judicial order to have them taken down. It wasn't until AFTER that process that Hogan launched his lawsuit.

Freedom of the Press is an important ideal, but you're seriously picking both the wrong battlefield, and the wrong side here.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Caineach wrote:
This is a terrible president for freedom of the press.

I know it's popular to blame Obama for everything up to including hurricanes, but I fail to see the applicability here. Gawker made the unethical decision to post publicly a video that should have been left private. They then made the arrogant move of ignoring a judicial order to have them taken down. It wasn't until AFTER that process that Hogan launched his lawsuit.

Freedom of the Press is an important ideal, but you're seriously picking both the wrong battlefield, and the wrong side here.

Judging from the context of Caineach's quote, I'd imagine he meant "precedent" and got sneak-attacked by auto-correct.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Caineach wrote:
This is a terrible president for freedom of the press.

I know it's popular to blame Obama for everything up to including hurricanes, but I fail to see the applicability here. Gawker made the unethical decision to post publicly a video that should have been left private. They then made the arrogant move of ignoring a judicial order to have them taken down. It wasn't until AFTER that process that Hogan launched his lawsuit.

Freedom of the Press is an important ideal, but you're seriously picking both the wrong battlefield, and the wrong side here.

I disagree that the video should have been left private, and the initial judicial order was wrong. Choosing to post a newsworthy video should never put a news organization in the position of defending itself from a lawsuit.


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Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Caineach wrote:
This is a terrible president for freedom of the press.

I know it's popular to blame Obama for everything up to including hurricanes, but I fail to see the applicability here. Gawker made the unethical decision to post publicly a video that should have been left private. They then made the arrogant move of ignoring a judicial order to have them taken down. It wasn't until AFTER that process that Hogan launched his lawsuit.

Freedom of the Press is an important ideal, but you're seriously picking both the wrong battlefield, and the wrong side here.

Judging from the context of Caineach's quote, I'd imagine he meant "precedent" and got sneak-attacked by auto-correct.

That is correct


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Caineach wrote:
This is a terrible president for freedom of the press.

Not really. "Freedom of the press," like any other Constitutional right, has its limits. And in particular, "freedom of the press," like any other Constitutional right, does not apply in disputes between private parties (like this one). The government may or may not have the authority to tell Gawker not to publish something -- even there, there's a lot of case law saying when the government actually does have that authority -- but Hulk Hogan certainly has the right to say to Gawker "you injured me, now make restitution."

Furthermore, Hulk Hogan has the constitutional right to petition the government for redress of this grievance, and the government has not only the right but the duty to consider both sides and render judgment. Which they did. Gawker is in the wrong and owes Hogan $100 million plus. With punitive damages atop that.


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Caineach wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Caineach wrote:
This is a terrible president for freedom of the press.

I know it's popular to blame Obama for everything up to including hurricanes, but I fail to see the applicability here. Gawker made the unethical decision to post publicly a video that should have been left private. They then made the arrogant move of ignoring a judicial order to have them taken down. It wasn't until AFTER that process that Hogan launched his lawsuit.

Freedom of the Press is an important ideal, but you're seriously picking both the wrong battlefield, and the wrong side here.

I disagree that the video should have been left private, and the initial judicial order was wrong. Choosing to post a newsworthy video should never put a news organization in the position of defending itself from a lawsuit.

While you're out there championing the freedom of the press for an organisation that makes the National Enquirer look respectable, maybe you should review the Right to Privacy as well.

You also have some very interesting standards for "newsworthy". For my perspective, I hadn't even heard of the case until the news of this judgement. It certainly would not have been worth my attention save for the magnitude of the penalty.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Caineach wrote:
This is a terrible president for freedom of the press.

I know it's popular to blame Obama for everything up to including hurricanes, but I fail to see the applicability here. Gawker made the unethical decision to post publicly a video that should have been left private. They then made the arrogant move of ignoring a judicial order to have them taken down. It wasn't until AFTER that process that Hogan launched his lawsuit.

Freedom of the Press is an important ideal, but you're seriously picking both the wrong battlefield, and the wrong side here.

I disagree that the video should have been left private, and the initial judicial order was wrong. Choosing to post a newsworthy video should never put a news organization in the position of defending itself from a lawsuit.
While you're out there championing the freedom of the press for an organisation that makes the National Enquirer look respectable, maybe you should review the Right to Privacy as well.

Hulk Hogan brought the conversation into his bedroom when he talked about his junk on Howard Stern. If he wants to boast on national media about his penis size, he has to deal with the fact checkers.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
While you're out there championing the freedom of the press for an organisation that makes the National Enquirer look respectable, maybe you should review the Right to Privacy as well.

This seems needlessly condescending.

Caineach wrote:
Hulk Hogan brought the conversation into his bedroom when he talked about his junk on Howard Stern. If he wants to boast on national media about his penis size, he has to deal with the fact checkers.

As does this.

Please. Let's keep this civil, yeah?


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Caineach wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Caineach wrote:
This is a terrible president for freedom of the press.

I know it's popular to blame Obama for everything up to including hurricanes, but I fail to see the applicability here. Gawker made the unethical decision to post publicly a video that should have been left private. They then made the arrogant move of ignoring a judicial order to have them taken down. It wasn't until AFTER that process that Hogan launched his lawsuit.

Freedom of the Press is an important ideal, but you're seriously picking both the wrong battlefield, and the wrong side here.

I disagree that the video should have been left private, and the initial judicial order was wrong. Choosing to post a newsworthy video should never put a news organization in the position of defending itself from a lawsuit.

"Hulk Hogan had sex lol" is not newsworthy. And make no mistake: That was the reason they posted it.

Here's the headline.

Putting aside the amazing hypocrisy this shows, people need to learn that just because something EXISTS doesn't make it NEWS, and when you violate someone's privacy and negatively impact their life for something that isn't actual news, you're just a scumbag, not a journalist.

If I went out today and filmed a woman masturbating through her open window and then posted it online calling it "news", would you call to protect my freedom of speech as well?

Whether or not Hogan is a horrible person, the video should never have been released in the first place. The transcripts? Maybe. The transcripts are newsworthy, since they contain insight into his true character.

But not a video of him having sex...and then an article that just mocks him incessantly with no newsworthy aspects.

Gawker isn't even the one who released the transcripts, those were other news sites.


Tacticslion wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
While you're out there championing the freedom of the press for an organisation that makes the National Enquirer look respectable, maybe you should review the Right to Privacy as well.

This seems needlessly condescending.

Caineach wrote:
Hulk Hogan brought the conversation into his bedroom when he talked about his junk on Howard Stern. If he wants to boast on national media about his penis size, he has to deal with the fact checkers.

As does this.

Please. Let's keep this civil, yeah?

You and I have very different definitions of condescending.


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Caineach wrote:
I disagree that the video should have been left private, and the initial judicial order was wrong. Choosing to post a newsworthy video should never put a news organization in the position of defending itself from a lawsuit.

I'm just curious why, exactly, Hogan having sex on-tape is newsworthy?

I mean, I'm not seeing the connection between "Dude has sex." and "It needs to be shared."

Certainly Hogan's racial views are extremely disappointing (I never watched wrestling, but even I was aware of his public personality back then). It's worth clarifying when a hero has failed to live up to our expectations in that regard.

But having sex? No. That's needless.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Caineach wrote:
This is a terrible president for freedom of the press.

Not really. "Freedom of the press," like any other Constitutional right, has its limits. And in particular, "freedom of the press," like any other Constitutional right, does not apply in disputes between private parties (like this one). The government may or may not have the authority to tell Gawker not to publish something -- even there, there's a lot of case law saying when the government actually does have that authority -- but Hulk Hogan certainly has the right to say to Gawker "you injured me, now make restitution."

Furthermore, Hulk Hogan has the constitutional right to petition the government for redress of this grievance, and the government has not only the right but the duty to consider both sides and render judgment. Which they did. Gawker is in the wrong and owes Hogan $100 million plus. With punitive damages atop that.

Just because something is not limited by the government does not mean freedom of the press is not impugned. The government is not the only body that can interrupt the ideal. This verdict will have a chilling effect, as it opens up news organizations to lawsuit for non-libelous behavior.


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Caineach wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Caineach wrote:
This is a terrible president for freedom of the press.

Not really. "Freedom of the press," like any other Constitutional right, has its limits. And in particular, "freedom of the press," like any other Constitutional right, does not apply in disputes between private parties (like this one). The government may or may not have the authority to tell Gawker not to publish something -- even there, there's a lot of case law saying when the government actually does have that authority -- but Hulk Hogan certainly has the right to say to Gawker "you injured me, now make restitution."

Furthermore, Hulk Hogan has the constitutional right to petition the government for redress of this grievance, and the government has not only the right but the duty to consider both sides and render judgment. Which they did. Gawker is in the wrong and owes Hogan $100 million plus. With punitive damages atop that.

Just because something is not limited by the government does not mean freedom of the press is not impugned.

Actually, that's exactly what it does mean.


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Caineach wrote:
This verdict will have a chilling effect, as it opens up news organizations to lawsuit for non-libelous behavior.

News organizations are already "opened up" to lawsuits of this nature. They happen pretty frequently when an organization oversteps their bounds and posts information they have no right to.

Usually, however, this is resolved when a judge says "Remove it" and the organization in question goes "Okay".

This time the judge said "Remove it" and the organization in question said "Screw you man, you can't tell me what to do".

And now we're here.


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Tacticslion wrote:
Caineach wrote:
I disagree that the video should have been left private, and the initial judicial order was wrong. Choosing to post a newsworthy video should never put a news organization in the position of defending itself from a lawsuit.

I'm just curious why, exactly, Hogan having sex on-tape is newsworthy?

I mean, I'm not seeing the connection between "Dude has sex." and "It needs to be shared."

Certainly Hogan's racial views are extremely disappointing (I never watched wrestling, but even I was aware of his public personality back then). It's worth clarifying when a hero has failed to live up to our expectations in that regard.

But having sex? No. That's needless.

You may be using an older definition of "newsworthy".

The current operating one is "Will people come to our site to see this?" By that definition, Hogan's sex tape is definitely newsworthy.

Liberty's Edge

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thejeff wrote:

You may be using an older definition of "newsworthy".

The current operating one is "Will people come to our site to see this?" By that definition, Hogan's sex tape is definitely newsworthy.

Exactly, but if that is allowed to become the legal definition of the term then any video of a famous or attractive person with minimal clothing becomes 'news'. The pervert who stalked and photographed Erin Andrews becomes a 'journalist' and not only can't be sued... but is free to profit off his 'exclusive story'.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Caineach wrote:
This is a terrible president for freedom of the press.

Not really. "Freedom of the press," like any other Constitutional right, has its limits. And in particular, "freedom of the press," like any other Constitutional right, does not apply in disputes between private parties (like this one). The government may or may not have the authority to tell Gawker not to publish something -- even there, there's a lot of case law saying when the government actually does have that authority -- but Hulk Hogan certainly has the right to say to Gawker "you injured me, now make restitution."

Furthermore, Hulk Hogan has the constitutional right to petition the government for redress of this grievance, and the government has not only the right but the duty to consider both sides and render judgment. Which they did. Gawker is in the wrong and owes Hogan $100 million plus. With punitive damages atop that.

Just because something is not limited by the government does not mean freedom of the press is not impugned.
Actually, that's exactly what it does mean.

None of the freedoms granted by the Bill of Rights has ever been considered absolute. Invoking your right to free speech will not protect you from the consequences of either yelling fire in a crowded movie theater or phoning bomb threats to your local high school. Likewise freedom of religion does not absolve you of the legal consequences of performing an animal (or human) sacrifice or performing a disruptive activity in public. Simmilarly the right to a free press can be abridged when it's used for libelous slander or undue invasion of private spaces.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Caineach wrote:
This is a terrible president for freedom of the press.

Not really. "Freedom of the press," like any other Constitutional right, has its limits. And in particular, "freedom of the press," like any other Constitutional right, does not apply in disputes between private parties (like this one). The government may or may not have the authority to tell Gawker not to publish something -- even there, there's a lot of case law saying when the government actually does have that authority -- but Hulk Hogan certainly has the right to say to Gawker "you injured me, now make restitution."

Furthermore, Hulk Hogan has the constitutional right to petition the government for redress of this grievance, and the government has not only the right but the duty to consider both sides and render judgment. Which they did. Gawker is in the wrong and owes Hogan $100 million plus. With punitive damages atop that.

Just because something is not limited by the government does not mean freedom of the press is not impugned.
Actually, that's exactly what it does mean.

It depends on whether you are talking about the ideal or law, since the same term is used interchangeably in different contexts.


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If a journalists mouths off to his editor, he is immune to being fired, because being fired would hinder his ability to report the news.

Is a convenience store owner required to carry copies of a newspaper? Or do they get to select what takes up space in their store... cause not having the newspaper in their store restricts the paper's ability to report the news to the public.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Just because something is not limited by the government does not mean freedom of the press is not impugned.
Actually, that's exactly what it does mean.
None of the freedoms granted by the Bill of Rights has ever been considered absolute.

Yes, but this isn't even a case of absolute rights or not.

The Bill of Rights literally doesn't apply in this case. This is a private dispute between two non-governmental agents. There is no more of a constitutional issue than is the question of whether or not my teenaged daughter may dye her hair purple.

And that's pretty much what's going on here. A newspaper with entitlement issues is b****ing to her Libertarian friends (who also have entitlement issues) about how her constitutional rights have been, like, so violated by, like, her being grounded.

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