Mega-Rich v. Free Press

(Pictured above: Screenshot of Peter Thiel, from ‘Nobody Speak’ trailer)

A lawsuit over a Hulk Hogan sex tape exposes the raging battle between billionaires and the first amendment in Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press, a documentary premiering today on NetFlix.

 In addition to pro-wrestling celebrity Hogan, the 90-minute film also focuses on:
  • Nick Denton, founder of the online tabloid Gawker, which loses a $115 million verdict – leading to bankruptcy – when it’s found guilty of violating Hogan’s privacy rights by showing the sex tape
  • Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist, co-founder of PayPal, and openly gay Trump supporter, who secretly funds Hogan’s case nine years after Gawker had outed him
  • Sheldon Adelson, who secretly buys the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which then becomes the only major newspaper to endorse Trump while Adelson is the largest donor to Trump’s campaign
  • President Donald J. Trump (speaking to non-Adelson press): “We’re going to open up those libel laws, and we’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never been sued before.”

The official plot synopsis asks, “Are the very wealthy thwarting the First Amendment to silence critics? In an age of extreme inequality, how vulnerable is a free press that has lost most of its traditional sources of income? Perhaps most frightening, what could a billionaire with the executive branch at his command do to those who have angered him?”

Subscribers can stream Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press at NetFlix.

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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