They Wanted “Overweight, Angry Women:” How Peter Thiel Killed Gawker
Like many here, I have conflicting feelings about the demise of the Gawker Media empire.
On the one hand, Gawker published spiteful, hurtful content, and the founder, Nick Denton, was a cockroach of a man.
On the other: Peter Thiel, the freakazoid right-wing billionaire and close buddy of Trump, was able to use a carefully selected straw man to put a media outlet out of business for daring to report things that Thiel didn’t like.
Not a good precedent to set.
So what actually happened? A new book has emerged about Thiel and his activities, and it all boils down to this:
The legal teams of both Hogan and Gawker tried to maximize their advantages in the jury-selection process—in which each side attempts to impanel the jurors they believe will be sympathetic to their case—and the mock trials had given Hogan’s lawyers concrete guidance.
Quoting “Mr. A,” Holiday writes: “‘It became very clear that the kind of jurors we wanted were overweight women. Most people can’t empathize with a sex tape, but overweight women are sensitive about their bodies and feel like they have been bullied on the internet.’ … Hypothetical Juror #3 might not have been a victim of revenge porn. She might not care about celebrity privacy. [She] might not have known what it feels like to be Hulk Hogan, but she knows what it’s like to have an unflattering picture of herself on the internet. She knows what it feels like to be embarrassed or ashamed. Which is why they would choose her.”