Before Peter Thiel became infamous for being a thin-skinned scheming billionaire who secretly financed Hulk Hogan's lawsuit in a petty bid for revenge against Gawker for being mean to him, he was infamous for being a California delegate for Donald Trump, who shares his fondness for limiting press-freedom with exercises of coercive power.
Now the two infamous Thiels are one, because Thiel's lawyer is sending letters threatening to sue Gawker for reporting on the company that made Donald Trump's hair.
Thiel's lawyer, Charles J. Harder, has absurdly claimed that copyright prohibits Gawker from republishing his threat, which just shows to go you that you can win a big case against a media organization and still be a colossal ignoramus when it comes to fair use analysis.
More interesting that this legal threat is the accompanying analysis of all the other lawsuits that Harder is pursuing against Gawker, funded by an anonymous party that may or may not be Thiel, though apparently Harder himself doesn't know who he's working for.
But if you were under the impression that praise-worthy journalism is somehow inoculated against campaigns like Thiel's, you'd be mistaken. Last week, Thiel's lawyer-for-hire, Charles J. Harder, sent Gawker a letter on behalf of Ivari International's owner and namesake, Edward Ivari, in which Harder claims that Feinberg's story was "false and defamatory," invaded Ivari's privacy, intentionally inflicted emotional distress, and committed "tortious interference" with Ivari's business relations. Harder enumerates 19 different purportedly defamatory statements—almost all of which were drawn from several publicly available lawsuits filed against Ivari.
Harder's demands included the immediate removal of the story from Gawker, a public apology, the preservation of "all physical and electronic documents, materials and data in your possession" related to the story, and, notably, that we reveal our sources.
Now Peter Thiel's Lawyer Wants to Silence Reporting on Trump's Hair
(Image: Cotton candy Μαλλί της γριάς, FocalPoint, CC-BY-SA)