Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue
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A unique account from behind the scenes of the case that rocked the media world - and the billionaire mastermind behind it.
In 2016, one of the giants of modern journalism fell: Gawker Media, infamous for saying what other outlets wouldn't say, was sued for publishing Hulk Hogan's sex tape, lost the case and went bust. After countless other lawsuits it seemed that Gawker had finally run out of luck. But luck had nothing to do with it.
Peter Thiel, PayPal founder and billionaire investor, had masterminded the whole thing. Still furious at an article that had outed him ten years previously, and increasingly disgusted at Gawker's unscrupulous reporting methods, Thiel had spent nearly a decade meticulously plotting a conspiracy that would lead to the demise of Gawker and its founder, Nick Denton. After a multi-year proxy war through the Florida legal system, the settlement of $140million in favour of Hogan ended it.
The verdict would stun the world and so would Peter's ultimate unmasking as the man who had set it all in motion. Why had he done this? How had no one discovered it? What would this mean--for free speech? For privacy? For culture?
In Holiday's masterful telling of this nearly unbelievable conspiracy, informed by exclusive interviews with all the key players, this case transcends the narrative of how one billionaire took down a media empire or the current state of the free press. It's a study in power, strategy, and one of the most wildly ambitious - and successful - secret plots in recent memory.
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I'm Lying; The Obstacle Is the Way; Ego Is the Enemy; and other books about marketing, culture and the human condition. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as multi-platinum musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.
Media & communication studies
Press & journalism