Bloomberg via Getty Images
Billionaire Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel tells the New York Times that he secretly bankrolled the lawsuit brought against Gawker Media by Hulk Hogan as a deterrence in the name of the victims — including himself — of Gawker s bullying people even when there was no connection with the public interest.
Reporting on a public figure who has been open to many people as gay, and is out in public as such, is not the equivalent of reporting on private sexual activity, but rather is equivalent to reporting on a characteristic akin to religion or ethnicity, and certainly if someone has not gone to great lengths to hide such facts.
But beyond the legal issues, was it ethically and morally wrong for Thomas to report on Thiel s sexual orientation?
But Valleywag was a gossip blog about Silicon Valley s movers and shakers.
And if you re gossiping about straight public figures and their relationships, and thus their orientation, then gay public figures should be treated equally.
But it should concern you if Hogan s Thiel-backed lawsuit regarding private sexual activity results in hushing writers and reporters from even discussing the sexual orientation of public figures, even in a positive light, and especially when it s journalistically relevant.