Gawker. Hulk Hogan. Sex Tape. Freedom of the Press.
A billionaire ruined Gawker – Did he ruin the First Amendment as well?
Trials of the Free Press”
and conversation with Director
& James Goodale
former Vice Chair/General Counsel for the New York Times.
Tuesday, July 11th
Fourth Estate Under Siege?
The Common Good a screening of ‘Nobody Speak: The Trials of the Free Press’, with director Brian Knappenberger who effectively used the bizarre court case involving a sex tape, larger-than-life wrestler Hulk Hogan, Bubba the Love Sponge, newsite Gawker, and billionaire Peter Thiel to show how the wealthy can control the content of news media.
A lively discussion on threats to freedom of the press. followed with director Brian Knappenberger and legendary first amendment defender, James Goodale. best known for his courageous and brilliant leadership role in the Pentagon Papers, developing protections for reporters and their sources, as well as National Security Act limits,
“The part that disturbs me is that Gawker ceases to exist. That they essentially get the death penalty for this. And the part about Peter Thiel that I find disturbing, maybe the most disturbing of the whole story, is that it’s secretive. It’s done in secret. That it’s a secretive use of behind the scenes, kind of way that he was able to move the pieces around in a chess board in a way that no one had ever quite seen before. And that that could be used—there’s no reason that can’t be used against any other news organization,” said Knappenberger.
On the impact Peter Thiel’s lawsuit could have, Goodale warned, “We’ve always worried about this type of case, because if it went to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court would find, finally, there is a right of privacy. And that would be very, very bad for the 1st Amendment, and for all of us, I would argue. Because once the Supreme Court finds something to work with, the way it works, it’ll go on and on and on and on, and the amendment could be really damaged.”
The filmmaker and our many very distinguished guests from the world of journalism, the Internet and the law provided a cautionary perspective on threats to a free press and our First Amendment rights.
About the film:
Today’s struggle—between those who defend the press and those who believe that today’s media has lost its impartiality—is laid bare in Brian Knappenberger’s film “Nobody Speak.”
The news site Gawker published a sex tape of former wrestler Hulk Hogan and was financially ruined by the resulting lawsuit, shuttering their doors after 14 years of operation.
Brian Knappenberger’s film examines the role of wealthy and powerful individuals in the saga and what it may portend for freedom of the press.
Award-winning director Brian Knappenberger is a documentary filmmaker and writer known for The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (2014), We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists (2012), and Truth and Power (2016).