Free Speech

If a Left-Wing Peter Thiel Sued a Right-Wing Gawker, Liberals Would Cheer. They Said So.

'I think it would be funny as hell if someone sued The Weekly Standard or Commentary into bankruptcy.'

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Peter Thiel
Clodagh Kilcoyne/ZUMA Press/Newscom

A free press is one of the cornerstones of civil society, and many free speech advocates are rightly worried that Peter Thiel's vengeful crusade against Gawker sets a dangerous precedent. But let's not pretend that the left would care about this battle if the partisan affiliations of its combatants were reversed.

If a left-wing version of Peter Thiel was using his billions to fund lawsuits against a right-wing news organization, some liberals wouldn't utter a word of criticism. Worse than that: they would cheer this development.

They're even admitting it.

A few days ago, I made the following observation on Twitter:

My tweet was referenced on a recent episode of the Chapo Trap House podcast, which is apparently a group therapy session for Bernie bros. (If you think Matt Bruenig is some kind of martyr, this is the podcast for you.) It's hosted by Felix Biederman, Matt Christman, and Will Menaker. In direct response to my tweet (right around the 49:30 mark), one of them said the following:

Of course I wouldn't be standing up for the right wing publication. I fucking hope some George Soros bankrupts The Weekly Standard or National Review. I have to balance the overall principle against the world we actually live in. I would much prefer that there weren't billionaires to begin with and no one individual had enough money or power to live out every one of their idiotic fantasies or vendettas against media institutions, but as long as that's the world we live in, I think it would be funny as hell if someone sued The Weekly Standard or Commentary into bankruptcy.

Note that an influential (although not super wealthy, or Thiel-level powerful) leftist actually did try to do just that to National Review.

It's refreshing to see such honesty, I suppose. Libertarians don't believe the legal system should be set up so that rich people can use it to censor speech they dislike—even if that speech is utterly reprehensible, as it is in the case of Gawker. Popehat's Ken White (a Reason contributing editor) states the matter perfectly when he writes, "we shouldn't just assume that crushing bad people is just or defensible. We don't need the 1st Amendment to defend popular speech, we need it to protect unpopular speech; our civic obligations are at their peak precisely when loathsome people are on the line."

But as long as the legal system is flawed, and rich people still have their wealth, some leftists would like to see their ideological opponents crushed by any means necessary. These socialists are so utterly convinced of their own rightness that they are perfectly happy to deny speech protections to people they disagree with. Their version of progressivism gives them license to celebrate the squelching of political dissent, as long as it's not their own views being squelched.

That's not how free speech should work: whether you get to to speak your mind should not be dependent upon whether people sympathetic to you occupy positions of power in business, government, or the courts. The system was designed to be immune to just this sort of one-sidedness. The First Amendment exists as a check against censorship—a guarantee that no matter who is in charge, everybody still gets to criticize them.

So free speech for Gawker, free speech for National Review, and free speech for the pleasant folks at Chapo Trap House—even if they would gleefully applaud the silencing of everyone to their right.

NEXT: Defending Due Process for Pre-Criminals, and Criticizing Mike Rowe's Anti-Passion Absolutism

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  1. Good take on it Robbo. I still am having a hard time believing Gawker publishing a private sex tape is somehow covered under the 1st amendment.

    1. Agreed. Isn’t the Gawker-Hogan issue simply a matter of Gawker invading Hogan’s privacy, and subsequently Hogan suing and winning damages? How is this even tangentially related to the First Amendment?

      I mean, if the Takata company goes out of business because they had to pay astronomical damages for liability due to their exploding airbags, we wouldn’t be decrying that as an affront to free-enterprise, so how is this any different?

      1. Isn’t the Gawker-Hogan issue simply a matter of Gawker invading Hogan’s privacy, and subsequently Hogan suing and winning damages?

        Yes. One might disagree with the particulars of the case, but a jury found that they violated Hogan’s rights by publishing a private sex tape and awarded him damages. Thiel’s involvement is a non-issue as well. He paid for Hogan’s lawyers. That’s it.

        How is this even tangentially related to the First Amendment?

        It isn’t. The government didn’t censor Gawker. They lost a lawsuit and can’t afford to pay the judgment.

        1. It isn’t. The government didn’t censor Gawker. They lost a lawsuit and can’t afford to pay the judgment.

          Exactly this, Gawker has exactly as much speech today as it had yesterday. But hey, Corporations aren’t people and get corporate money out of the media!

          Looks like Hogan took about a hundred million out of the corporate media.

      2. Point is that Hulk Hogan would have settled for a much smaller amount except the lawyers paid by Thiel wouldn’t let him. The real complaint against Gawker is that they outed him for being gay.

        So, the real story is that Gawker was bankrupted because they published a true fact that Thiel is gay. Were it not for this tidbit, there is no mega judgment.

        Therefore the question before the peanut gallery is whether Gawker should have been bankrupted for publishing a true fact, even if that fact pissed off Thiel.

        1. Point is that Hulk Hogan would have settled for a much smaller amount except the lawyers paid by Thiel wouldn’t let him.

          Has Hulk Hogan said this? That he specifically demanded to accept a settlement as a final decision, and the lawyers refused and somehow forced him not to?

          I find such a claim incredible. Not impossible, but damn near. Extraordinary claims require some proof.

          1. Come on RC. you know *lawyers*. They never push for ‘more money’ unless there’s some evil capitalist behind the scenes forcing them to do so.

            1. I know litigation. And I know that every case leaves a trail of refused settlement offers.

              Even the ones that settle.

              I also know that there is absolutely nothing lawyers can do to stop their client from settling a case if he wants to. Hell, if Hulk wanted to settle, all he had to do was call Nick Denton directly and tell him “we accept your last offer.”

        2. That may in fact and probably is Thiel’s complaint but it was not the complaint that was evaluated in court. If they just said mean things about Hogan I would support the douche bags over at Gawker. What they in fact did is publish a sex tape distributed without his consent. Nobody was upset when Erin Andrews won her lawsuit. What’s different other than its proggie assholes involved this time?

          1. I have not had to resist any desire to see Hulk’s tape?

        3. “Point is that Hulk Hogan would have settled for a much smaller amount except the lawyers paid by Thiel wouldn’t let him. ”

          Youve been asked sevral times for proof of this, and given none.

          The fact that it is impossible, and you are a liar, has been established.

        4. This is the worst line of reasoning I’ve ever seen. Thiel’s motivations are irrelevant to the law; the jury was deciding on Hogan’s case. End of story. If some lawyer took Hogan’s case pro bono because he hated the views of Gawkers’ editors, and won, it would not be a violation of Gawkers’ rights. The lawyers’ motivations for taking the case does not matter.

    2. I don’t recall a defamation claim in the Hogan lawsuit. I think it went off as an invasion of privacy case.

      That said:

      Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from the consequences of speech.

      If your exercise of your free speech causes compensable damage to someone else, you should compensate them. I don’t think defamation laws are at all inconsistent with freedom of speech.

  2. “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time”

  3. The Weekly Standard or Commentary

    Was Gawker even in this category? And why is Gawker seen as having a political lean at all? Aren’t they a New York Gossip rag, like the Nat’l Enquirer of the web?

    1. Had he said Breibart, he’d have them right on point. Except Gawker is even worse. Because Gawker houses fecal twin spawns of evil, Jezzabel and Kotaku.

  4. Of course I wouldn’t be standing up for the right wing publication. I fucking hope some George Soros bankrupts The Weekly Standard or National Review. I have to balance the overall principle against the world we actually live in. I would much prefer that there weren’t billionaires to begin with and no one individual had enough money or power to live out every one of their idiotic fantasies or vendettas against media institutions, but as long as that’s the world we live in, I think it would be funny as hell if someone sued The Weekly Standard or Commentary into bankruptcy.

    A agree, Robby, it’s refreshing to know that it IS really just rackets.

    1. Principals, not principles.

      1. Thanks. Now I don’t have to say it.

        1. That one seems to have caught on pretty well. You should be proud.

          1. I am. I started a meme.

  5. Mann’s legal bills are being paid for by something calling itself the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund. Every time I hear of them funding a climate scientist’s legal bills, that scientist’s name is Michael Mann.

  6. The short answer is they didn’t steal it: someone leaked it to them, and then they published it. They didn’t commit the crime, the leaker did.

    And it’s not necessarily a private sex tape–Hulk Hogan publicly referenced it.

    That said, I think the legal question is at least a little difficult, because I do think people–even famous people–are owed some measure of privacy when it comes to graphic video depictions of their sex lives.

    1. I made a sex tape with my wife. I’m saying so publicly.

      Does that mean you get to see it? If I’m famous, does that change anything?

      1. At the very least, it’s copyright infringement. So, what are the damages?

        Other celebrities have signed releases for millions of dollars. Hogan obviously didn’t want to do that.

        1. Supposedly Hogan did want to, but Thiel’s lawyers wouldn’t let him.

          This is why third party support for lawyers was banned for hundreds of years.

          1. Link? I’m curious how much the offer was.

            Kim Kardashian got a few million for her awful tape. Her mom brokered the deal.

          2. “Supposedly Hogan did want to, but Thiel’s lawyers wouldn’t let him.”

            Utter nonsense, Thiel’s lawyers get NO say at all. None.

      2. Does that mean you get to see it?

        Already seen it. I’d give it a blow-by-blow right here on hit-n-run, but I don’t want to embarrass you.

        1. You pretty much just described it.

          1. OH YEAH BROTHER

      3. *Fd’A looks around. Cautiously picks up Playa’s cell phone and walks slowly from the room*

        1. Go Pro. Cell phones are so amateur.

          1. Yeah, Go Pro makes the best sex-tape platform. You can tape over the little red light if you don’t want your partner to know you’re filming. I mean, or so I’ve heard.

            1. You can configure the GoPro to never turn the little red lights at all.

                1. *furiously taking notes*

                  ew.

      4. Oh god no. Why on earth would we want to see you having sex?

        1. You don’t. His wife, on the other hand…

          1. His wife, on the other hand..

            You misspelled “beard”.

            1. It wasn’t a beard, it was a merkin.

      5. If I’m famous, does that change anything?

        Yes, it does. Celebrities are celebrities because every thing they do is of interest to their fans and that’s something that should be presumed to be known by aspiring celebrities. Most every celebrity out there at one time or another has bemoaned the fact that they no longer have any privacy, they can’t go out in public without being recognized and approached and asked for autographs or pictures or a few words or whatever. That’s the price of being famous. You knew that before you set out to become famous.

        You can argue that it shouldn’t be of public interest, but it is. And once you start deciding some things shouldn’t be of public interest, who decides where to draw the line? Isn’t it simpler to just make a one-time absolute line and leave it at that? You start splitting hairs and making rulings on a case-by-case basis trying for a perfect justice and pretty soon you’ve created a bigger mess and more injustice than you were trying to solve. Leave bad enough alone.

        And if you ever become famous, rest assured there’s going to be nude photos of you on the internet, followed by rumors of you being gay, followed by candid snaps of what an old fat disguting slob you’ve become.

        1. You knew that before you set out to become famous.

          What if you didn’t set out to become famous?

          Not sure I see an absolute line.

          1. Wherever the line is, Hulk is on the other side of it.

            1. Aren’t you that liar who lied about a settlement?

              Die.

          2. An absolute line is hard, but generally speaking even among movie stars you can find a difference between those that seek publicity and those that seek privacy. The ones that publicly flaunt, do lots of stuff to up their image and so-on? They have a much weaker case that anyone is invading their privacy.

            The ones that actively avoid the spotlight (except when on the movie set), don’t use social media and so-on? Tend to have much stronger cases for invasion of privacy.

            It’s similar for people that didn’t necessarily start off seeking celebrity. Generally speaking, you can get launched into the spotlight for 15 minutes, but if you want to stay there longer you have to work at it.

        2. You can argue that it shouldn’t be of public interest, but it is.depends on what the jury decides

          also – just because the public is interested is not the same as “the public interest

      6. I made a sex tape with my wife.

        Who hasn’t?

    2. They didn’t commit the crime, the leaker did.

      So being a fence and reselling stolen property is A-OK. Gotcha, Rico.

      1. So being a fence and reselling stolen property is A-OK. Gotcha, Rico.

        I and most people here believe that republishing leaked confidential government documents is protected speech. Perhaps fewer, but probably still most, believe the same thing about, for example, leaked confidential commercial documents.

        Are we supposed to draw an arbitrary line and say “yeah, OK, but not for sex tapes, because they’re sex tapes”?

        (FWIW, I’m not sure either way; I’m just pointing out that the fence metaphor breaks down pretty quickly when you try to apply it more broadly.)

        1. Government =/= individuals or other private entities.

          1. Perhaps fewer, but probably still most, believe the same thing about, for example, leaked confidential commercial documents.

            1. The line is between private and public entities.

              1. Commercial documents don’t come from private entities?

                1. I think its that youre wrong that ” most, believe the same thing about, for example, leaked confidential commercial documents”, and even more importantly, what others think doesn’t matter.

        2. The government belongs to me. Hulk Hogan’s dick doesn’t.

          1. But is that why leaked public documents are free speech (or press)? I agree with the sentiment, but I’m not sure that’s the legal reasoning behind it.

            1. “But is that why leaked public documents are free speech (or press)? ”

              Yes, and that IS THE legal reasoning behind it.

        3. Perhaps fewer, but probably still most, believe the same thing about, for example, leaked confidential commercial documents.

          Only to the stakeholders. The public-at-large has no right to know the confidential commercial information of a corporation. The only people who have an unreserved right to that information are the owners. Even the customers (past, present, and future) only have a limited right to know things like product defects or misrepresentations.

          That doesn’t mean corporations can’t share information more widely than people have a legal right to know, and of course many do.

        4. I and most people here believe that republishing leaked confidential government documents is protected speech.

          I can see this.

          Perhaps fewer, but probably still most, believe the same thing about, for example, leaked confidential commercial documents.

          I can even kinda see this.

          What I’m not clear on is how a private sex tape becomes a commercial document. Was Hogan in the process of finding a distributor?

          Or did someone steal the sex tape, ‘give’ it to their buddies at Gawker, and enjoy the money they could not have been paid lest this be a much more heinous crime?

    3. They didn’t commit the crime, the leaker did.

      Since when is trafficking in stolen property not a crime, Robby?

    4. “The short answer is they didn’t steal it: someone leaked it to them, and then they published it. They didn’t commit the crime, the leaker did.”

      Oh cool. I’ll make that argument when I buy a stolen TV. Hey sure I knew it was stolen but it’s all good because someone else actually stole it. Good try Robbie but no.

    5. “And it’s not necessarily a private sex tape–Hulk Hogan publicly referenced it.”

      Good luck with that argument.

  7. Can a leftwing anything get to orbit?

      1. Down to Earth, but quite up and beyond.

  8. It’s hosted by Felix Biederman, Matt Christman, and Will Menaker.

    Without knowing anything about these three, I have some assumptions:

    They all have beards and none of them have a headboard .

    1. What do you need a headboard for?

      1. So Playa can bang his wife’s head against it for dramatic effect in the sex tape he said they made!

      2. I don’t need a headboard.

        1. Well what do they need a headboard for then? Who needs a headboard?!

          1. Who am I, Harry Headboard?

          2. Who needs a headboard?!

            People getting head?

    2. “None of them has a headboard.

      Sorry.

      1. The plurality or lack thereof of “none” is not a settled matter.

        1. it’s short for “not one” or “no one”, so it would be singular.

          1. What it’s short for is irrelevant, especially since it was shortened two languages ago (what are the rules for Old English?). What matters is how people have used it; singular and plural usages both date back hundreds of years.

  9. If a Left-Wing Peter Thiel Sued a Right-Wing Gawker, Liberals Would Cheer. They Said So.

    The fact is that Peter Thiel didn’t sue anyone. And he had no standing to.

    Hulk did, and he had a legitimate case.

    Peter Thiel’s decision to back that suit doesn’t make him “right wing”; i don’t recall anywhere in the “surrepticiously filmed sex-tape” trial where any political issues were raised.

    No “Left Wing” billionaire would be able to sue any publication out of existence just on a whim unless they found a similar case in which the publication had already exposed itself to enormous liability to begin with.

    1. Exactly this point. Of course it’s not in the least surprising that the left’s response to this is to demonize a new boogeyman. It’s what they do. However, every single time they characterize this as Peter Thiel’s doing I want someone like Gilmore here to remind them all that Peter Thiel did not sue Gawker and Pete Thiel did not award the damages. Terry Bollea did that, and a court did that. If you have a problem with the court’s verdict, and I think there’s room for reasonable people to disagree on that verdict, then your issue should be with the court and the laws.

    2. i don’t recall anywhere in the “surrepticiously filmed sex-tape” trial where any political issues were raised.

      Right as he’s about to climax Hogan gives her his legendary running leg-drop, then endorses George W. Bush before he rips off his shirt while screaming “HULKAMANIA!”, and underneath his shirt is an Ayn Rand tattoo.

      1. i just think its silly that they get to pretend that there’s some underlying political motivation to suing the fuck out of Gawker…. for engaging in practices which would get ANY publication its ass sued for.

        Gawker wasn’t sued because they were “left wingers” engaged in political speech
        they were sued because they were fucking idiots.

        And Theil didn’t fund the case against them because he was hoping to repress some important voice in a political debate.

        He funded the case against them because he thought the case had merit. No matter how much money he funded the plaintiff, it was the jury who handed down the penalties. He had nothing to do with “destroying” them.

        1. Well, the other irony is that Gawker’s left-leaning supporters who want to vilify Thiel are apparently perfectly okay with the fact that Gawker outed him publicly as a homosexual, which is what inspired his animosity towards them in the first place. I thought that thing was considered not cool among the hip urban set, but what do I know.

        2. Well, to leftists, people would vote right if it were for the 1% injecting money into the wrong side. This fits the narrative.

        3. He funded the case against them because he thought the case had merit

          I’m pretty sure that it was the he was glad the case had merit and he funded it because he was still chewing nails mad at Gawker for outing him.

          1. he was glad the case had merit and he funded it because he was still chewing nails mad at Gawker for outing him.

            I think you’re reversing the actual logic.

            He could be chewing-nails mad, but his anger wouldn’t do any good if he threw millions behind a shitty, merit-less suit.

            He funded it because there was a good chance it would win *on the merits of the case*

            People seem to pretend that the Jury “Decided Wrongly” when what they’re really complaining about is the size of the damages awarded.

            I never saw Gawker even make an attempt at meeting the “public interest test”. their arguments were effectively “anything can be in the public interest – therefore there should *be no test*

            they were so self-righteous about the latitude they assumed that they basically told the jury that they were unfit to even ask this question of them.

            You don’t win over juries like that.

  10. I would much prefer that there weren’t billionaires to begin with…

    There might be a mindset at work here that you’re not going to be able to influence no matter how logical your argument.

    1. Really? Until recently being a billionaire in Zimbabwe was still pretty poor. What does he have against them?

  11. This just in: Leftists are hypocrites. Film at 11.

  12. Popehat’s Ken White (a Reason contributing editor) states the matter perfectly .”

    Ken White’s piece does absolutely nothing to say why what Theil himself did was wrong.

    He more or less just says that “civil courts suck”.

    e.g.

    when a jury verdict bankrupts a media company for what it has published, we ought to examine meticulously whether the company received due process, whether the court applied the correct 1st Amendment principles, whether the verdict was based on mere antipathy rather than law and fact, and whether the damages are proportionate to the alleged wrongdoing. The 1st Amendment does not allow courts to craft new ad hoc exceptions to free-speech principles when speech is sufficiently upsetting. Rather, courts must carefully determine whether particular speech falls into well-defined exceptions to the 1st Amendment, such as obscenity or fraud.

    None of which has anything to do with Theil.

    All his piece really says is, “Hire me the next time your publication gets sued!”

    1. Pretty sure he’s just asking that we apply rigorous skepticism in defense of Gawker, just as we would apply rigorous skepticism in defense of the WSJ, WaPo, Reason, etc.

      Your knee jerk “everything robby says is wrong because [insert incoherent rationalization here]” stance is getting pretty tiresome

      1. Pretty sure he’s just asking that we apply rigorous skepticism in defense of Gawker,

        I reviewed the case. Gawker completely fucked themselves by giving statements on the record which no lawyer should have ever let them give.

        Those statements (*some of which are noted above) were damning and suggested that the publishers had effectively zero standards for considering what merited publication, and demonstrated sociopathic-levels of unconcern for who might be harmed in their quest-for-clicks.

        Having applied my rigorous skepticism, i have concluded that they were morons and no one should be surprised that a jury took them to the fucking cleaners.

        Your knee jerk “everything robby says is wrong because [insert incoherent rationalization here]” stance is getting pretty tiresome

        1) nothing i said here was about robby. I was pointing out that Ken White’s piece said absolutely nothing about Theil *(despite that being the headline claim); he basically says, “people with lots of money can use it to sue”. Which i am guessing isn’t a surprise to anyone.

        2) if something i’ve ever said was incoherent, i don’t recall you ever pointing it out. and i don’t see you doing that here.

        1. i have concluded that they were morons and no one should be surprised that a jury took them to the fucking cleaners.

          Isn’t that Ken’s point? That juries might decide out of distaste for the defendant, rather than a proper reading of the law and the facts of the case?

          1. And tell me how that is different from any jury trial since the dawn of time?

            and why we should hate peter theil because of that?

            1. Because Gawker can no longer Gawk!

          2. The jury appears to have clearly understood the law and the facts.

            Where they perhaps erred is in their valuation of Hogan’s ostensible privacy.

      2. I can’t speak for everyone, but if Reason or WaPo or The Wall Street Journal publishes a Ric Flair sex tape and gets sued for violating his privacy and loses, I’ll give exactly as much of a fuck as I do about Gawker.

        1. Me either. The media really is loathsome

      3. Your knee jerk “everything robby says is wrong because [insert incoherent rationalization here]” stance is getting pretty tiresome

        I applaud Robby for calling out hypocrisy, but GILMORE? is right that Robby is missing the point of the case, and in so doing ceding ground.

        The case against Gawker is solid. Thiel’s funding of Bollea’s lawyers doesn’t affect the legitimacy of the verdict on its own merits. Nor do all of the people enjoying schadenfreude at Gawker’s expense. Robby is confusing distinct aspects of the matter.

        However, I also think Ken Schultz (from another thread) has a point that this is a straight-up example of maintenance although AFAIK it is no longer tortuous to maintain a case.

    2. we ought to examine meticulously whether the company received due process, whether the court applied the correct 1st Amendment principles, whether the verdict was based on mere antipathy rather than law and fact, and whether the damages are proportionate to the alleged wrongdoing.

      IOW, Gawker should appeal. And indeed they should. They may have a case on appeal.

      The 1st Amendment does not allow courts to craft new ad hoc exceptions to free-speech principles when speech is sufficiently upsetting.

      Was there an ad hoc exception here? Or was this the application of an established invasion of privacy tort?

  13. “It would be funny as hell”

    Nope, no sociopath here.

  14. So we get interesting topics like on federalism first thing in the morning when I’m at work and get get into, then when I’m off we get same ole same ole boring shit flying shit.

    1. Gutenberg slaps his inky hands together, and says fuck it.

  15. This case is so easily limited to its facts that concerns about it setting a bad precedent are absurd. The case involved a stolen sex tape that didn’t involve any issue of misconduct reputation or public concern. There isn’t a single example of anything other than rank voyerism that cannot be distinguished from this case.

    It really is just a case of a defendant being that bad.

    1. Shackford is invading your country over at Hot Air John.

      1. I actually don’t read over there much. What is he doing, talking about how Muslim terrorism just points out the intolerance of Christians?

        1. It’s basically a link to a reason article you’ve already seen

  16. When Ken White says “loathsome people” I have to wonder whom he has in mind. I mean, they must be really, *really* bad ass.

    1. Loathsome: The kind of people who would laugh hysterically if you were fed, feet-first, into a woodchipper. You know, my kind of people.

  17. While I’m sure if you dig around you could find more examples, I don’t know if the statement of a single individual rises to the level of “They’re even admitting it.”

    1. There were all kinds of expressions of joy by lefty journolists over the death of Andrew Britbart. If they were happy to see someone die, it is a good bet they would be happy to see someone on the right bankrupted.

      1. I’ve read a all kinds of expressions of joy by right-wingers over the Orlando massacre. Is it really fair for me to generalize that to all right-wingers?

        1. I asked someone for a cite for this last night on another site and got a link to some WBC garbage.

          They were very mad when it was pointed out that not only are the WBC democrats–so was the shooter.

  18. Robby, I’m disappointed you didn’t tie it in to the Citizens United decision and the liberal desire to overturn it. The whole point is to censor dissenting viewpoints.

  19. Most people on this board have at least a working knowledge of firearms I will just leave this here. The comedy speaks for itself

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new…..-1.2673201

    1. The recoil bruised my shoulder.

      Holy tittyfucking Christ what is he the mother of all sissies?

      1. What fucking pussy. An AR-15 has hardly any recoil at all. if it’s bruising your shoulder, you’ve either completed a 10-hour shooting session or you’re holding it completely wrong.

    2. It feels like a bazooka ? and sounds like a cannon.

      …2 other things the author has never actually seen or heard or ‘felt’

      1. Dumbfuck went full retard. A bazooka is a tube that fire a rocket. The recoil is minimal. That was part of the idea.

    3. The writer’s name is GERSH KUNTZMAN. “It feels like a bazooka ? and sounds like a cannon…But mostly, I was just terrified.”

      1. I read that as GASH KUNTMAN, I’m not sure why.

    4. I can understand it if all you’ve ever shot is handguns, and you’ve never had any training or experience with a rifle more powerful than a .22. I’ve only had the opportunity to shoot such firearms in the last couple years, and I was surprised by the kick and the explosion. Though it didn’t scare me or cause PTSD. I was simply surprised. Big boom. Big explosion. That was cool. Now where did the round land? Ha ha! Guess all that practice with the .22 helped, because I’ve got a tighter group than my Marine friend who took me to the range!

      1. If it were a .306 or something sure. But an AR is a pop gun. It has hardly any recoil

        1. He’s writing for an audience who are as clueless as he is. None of them will call him on it, and those pearls won’t clutch themselves.

          1. Yep, an upland game 20 gauge side by side has profoundly more recoil than a .223 rifle.

        2. Compared to a .22 or a handgun, it has plenty of recoil.

          1. stahp. It has almost no recoil.

      2. I’ll invite him to shoot my deer rifle. I’ll show him a bruise.

        1. I shot my coworker’s moose rifle on that outing. That sucker left a mark.

          1. I have a Winchester Model 70 .280 Rem. It’s the lightweight instead of the featherweight, but for some reason, it kicks harder than any other gun I’ve ever shot, to include guns of a much higher caliber. (maybe one of our enthusiasts can explain why?)

            Everytime I check it, I pray to Zod it’s still sighted in, cuz putting more than 4 or 5 rounds through it brings tears to my eyes. This from a guy who shoots hundreds of 12GA rounds every season.

            1. This was a .270 IIRC. Big boom. Small projectile. Big kick.

            2. The recoil pad has a lot to do with it. For instance, if it had an older thin rubber one that’s gotten a bit stiff (phrasing!) over time while your 12 gauge has one of the new super-cushy ones, I can see the .270 feeling a lot worse to shoot. Weight also makes a huge difference; I put a pound or so of birdshot into the stock of my .30-06 when I plan on shooting a lot in order to tame the recoil, and it helps a lot.

              1. *I guess that should be .280, but there really isn’t a huge difference between the two…

            3. Free recoil energy is a function of a firearm’s weight and the characteristics of the round (bullet weight, powder charge and muzzle velocity). Heavier firearms produce less felt recoil, all else even. Superlight bolt-actions paired with heavy high energy rounds are not fun to shoot.

              Doing the math a featherweight model 70 .270 win chambered with a 150 grain round produces about 21.2 ft. Lbs. Of free recoil energy. Going to the sporter (.5 ounces less) reduces free recoil energy to 19.8.

              1. That’s with a few ounces of added weight and a very high energy round.

                For comparison a DPMS AR-15 with a 55 grain mil-spec round produces around 4.3 ft. Lbs. Of free recoil energy. Even using a ridiculous 80 grain round with max powder load would put out about 5.5 ft. Lbs.

                So I think mathemeatically we can prove Kumtzman is a weiner.

        2. Give him a Holland & Holland Express rifle or Buffalo gun and see him piss himself.

        3. Shot a Ruger No. 1 in .458 Winchester once. Once.

          Made my CZ 550 in .375 H&H feel like a .30-06. Of course the CZ is almost two pounds heavier.

      3. I shot a Barrett .50 when I was 10. I thought it was awesome. Also, I shot the AR-15 when I was 16. The kick on the latter was negligible. And in neither case was I scared or “bruised” (WTF, Cunt Man?).

      4. He must not have shot very big handguns either. I find a magnum revolver or a big auto a lot more of a handful and more painful than an AR-15.

        1. No kidding. My hand was a little sore after shooting a Taurus 357 Magnum revolver; it’s the only gun I’ve shot that’s ever hurt.

    5. Huh? the AR-15 has less recoil than most platforms. You want recoil and noise? How ’bout putting an M1 Garand in the hands of Kuntzman? Hell, it doesn’t even have a pistol grip.

      1. A little girl can fire an AR-15, it’s that gentle.

        1. To be fair, it looks like Kuntzman is shooting at an indoor range. Yes, everything sounds like a cannon when you fire it inside a concrete box.

        2. I know 8 year old girls who can build a custom AR and shoot it well.

    6. Kuntzmann better not try out a .50 cal…

      I was firing an AR-15 and my father brought out the .50 cal.

      That thing sounds like a cannon. My rifle just sounded like ping-ping and the .50 cal sounded like KABOOM over that and made the firing range shake.

      Everyone on the range turned and looked at my father.

      1. That thing sounds like a cannon.

        The .50 BMG is technically an anti-materiel round, so I believe it might actually be artillery.

        1. I think artillery is classed as being anything over 1 inch (or sometimes 20mm, which is a bit less than an inch), so it’s not quite there yet…

    7. Talking about the shooting range owner-“Stelmach is not like many gun lovers. He admires his weaponry, yes, and has difficulty explaining why law-abiding citizens need a gun that can empty a 40-round clip in less than five seconds. But he also hates the idea that “bad people” get a hold of a gun like this and use it to kill without difficulty.”

      Unlike most gun owners who just love the idea of douchebags taking guns and shooting shit up. The NYDN is a boil on the ass of journalism.

      And Kuntzman? I’m not even gonna’ fucking bother.

      1. More like Cuntsman.

      2. That the shooting range owner may well have just put himself out of business.

    8. And he makes it sound like full-auto versions are for sale to the general public. That really is an absurd article.

  20. I think it would be funny as hell if someone sued The Weekly Standard or Commentary into bankruptcy.

    Because what goes around, never comes around.

  21. a 40-round clip in less than five seconds.

    I don’t even….

    1. Oh, that’s all over FB ? the AR-15 (and the like) are designed to fire 800 rounds per minute.

      Stuff like “The Second Amendment was designed to cover muskets that fire 1 round per minute, not the AR-15 assault rifle that fires 800 rounds per minute.”

      1. “The first amendment didn’t anticipate tards being able to post stuff that can be seen by millions of people in just seconds.”

        1. Except they hate the first amendment also.

          1. Aren’t you that liar who lied about Thiel’s lawyers and what they did which was legally impossible?

  22. Somehow I don’t see The Weekly Standard publishing a sex tape and then ignoring a court order to take it down.

    1. Nor NRO. You can’t even say damn or shit in their comments.

  23. I get the point about the First Amendment and the free press, but Gawker was told by a judge to take down the video – A Judge Told Us to Take Down Our Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Post. We Won’t. and instead Gawker argued that their editorial discussion of said tape was protected speech. Any attorney worth his degree would have told Gawker to take the video down but leave the editorial up.

    Had they taken down the video none of this would’ve happened. Instead they acted like the petulant children they are and are no paying the price for it. I have zero reason to believe this threatens free speech in any way.

    1. issued an order compelling Gawker to remove from the internet a video of Hulk Hogan fucking his friend’s ex-wife, as well as a 1,400-word narrative of the video written by former Gawker editor A.J. Daulerio

      Trying… to not… categorize Gawker as… unserious Journalism not worthy of first amendment protections… trying…

      1. Unserious journalism is entirely deserving of First Amendment protections.

        Violations of privacy? Not so much. Unserious, willful, fuck-you-because-we-can, violations even less so.

    2. I am not going to make a case that the future of the Republic rises or falls on the ability of the general public to watch a video of Hulk Hogan fucking his friend’s ex-wife.

      […]

      but also a lengthy written account from someone who had watched the entirety of that fucking session, is risible and contemptuous of centuries of First Amendment jurisprudence.

    3. editorial discussion of said tape was protected speech

      As protected as any other speech, I suppose. Which mostly means “no prior restraint”, and “the plaintiff has to prove up a case under defamation, invasion of privacy, or the like”.

  24. While I do agree with the object-level principle (free speech), the particular example being argued as a case of free speech (Gawker publishing a sex tape without the participant’s consent) is dubious, at best. You could still make the argument that free speech requires that victims of information theft shouldn’t have recourse against that information’s publication as vital for free speech, I guess. What we can’t do is pretend that this is a straightforward free speech case or that there is viewpoint discrimination going on in coverage of the Gawker case. Weekly Standard has bog-level politics and National Review in the early 2000s was my least favorite periodical published this side of full-on Communism. However, neither one has violated journalistic ethics like Gawker repeatedly has; Gawker’s politics has much less to do with this than its ethics in publishing.

    1. “What we can’t do is pretend that this is a straightforward free speech case or that there is viewpoint discrimination going on in coverage of the Gawker case.”
      The straight forward cases are never the ones where rights/liberties/etc. get chipped away. It’s always the cases that are indefensible that need to be defended because when you let distaste lead to bad precedent, you shrink the area of “straight forward” cases and increase the area of “indefensible” cases.

      Or, to put it in other words… if you only defend Free Speech when it’s easy, you’ll find yourself defending less and less over time.

  25. God, has anyone actually listened to these retards, what a brain trust.

  26. whenever trump, hillary, or some other republican or democrat talks about being high minded or restoring the “noblest profession” to it’s rightful place in the hearts and minds, etc….just remember that they literally couldn’t exist in a political world where integrity and honesty was valued. half the country demands they be lied to and doesn’t think they’re entitled to better anyway. yet we love to criticize politicians for the very behavior many of us encourage. i mean the way both parties are structured, no matter how much of a true believer you are, at least 1/3 of what they say is complete bullshit.

  27. Of course I wouldn’t be standing up for the right wing publication. I fucking hope some George Soros bankrupts The Weekly Standard or National Review. I have to balance the overall principle against the world we actually live in. I would much prefer that there weren’t billionaires to begin with and no one individual had enough money or power to live out every one of their idiotic fantasies or vendettas against media institutions, but as long as that’s the world we live in, I think it would be funny as hell if someone sued The Weekly Standard or Commentary into bankruptcy.

    That’s a long-winded way of saying, “I believe in free speech, but…”

  28. And I rest my case.

  29. “and many free speech advocates are rightly worried that Peter Thiel’s vengeful crusade against Gawker sets a dangerous precedent.”

    I doubt that.

  30. “we shouldn’t just assume that crushing bad people is just or defensible”

    This is fucking stupid and you’re stupid for advancing it as a legitimate argument.

  31. I want lefty billionaires to take down conservative publications

    vs.

    Let’s get all this big money out of politics.

    Doesn’t make sense to us. It doesn’t concern them.

    The left is ultra selective about promoting freedom (usually reserving it for their protected groups). But they sure love to throw “what about gay marriage” at conservatives when they accuse the left of double standards.

    It’s accurate to say that other than gay marriage, the left doesn’t care about 90% of freedoms, especially anyting that theoretically benefit the other side. So if I had an Afro hairstyle or put mayo on Bhan mi sandwhiches, I’m guilty of cultural appropriation. If I put on a dress and call myself a woman then that’s kosher and empowering.

    “Freedom is what we decide it is” that’s literally the DNC motto.

  32. Gawker got shut down because they had a nasty habit of receiving stolen property. Apple should have crushed them like a bug years ago, but better late than never. Thiel has performed a great public service.

    -jcr

  33. Tried listening to the section referencing the tweet. Good lord, it sounded like a parody of Bernie Bros. So cringey, they even had that condescending inflection at the end of every single word, the global trademark? of the left.

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