Peter Thiel and Gawker

This is what happens when people have too much money.

They distort not only the legal system, they tear the basic fabric of our country apart.

We revere the rich, believing they made it upon hard work, but the truth is not only do they have educational and family advantages, they bend the rules repeatedly to win. Meanwhile, they tell everybody else to just pick themselves up by their bootstraps so they too can succeed, which is utter hogwash. If you think Trump made his money by being honest and forthright you have no idea how business works, you can’t handle the truth.

Thiel is a guy who wants to eviscerate college, create a unique layer of super-tech titans, and have you pay fealty all the while. At least, unlike the bankers, his fortune is predicated upon the establishment of useful ventures, but now he wants to wag the tail of the dog, run the rest of us, and that’s not right.

And speaking of fortunes, what is PayPal worth if we don’t use it?

Think about that, we’re sheep headed to slaughter. We protested in the sixties and we’re all about eviscerating unions in the twenty first century. We demonize immigrants, we think everybody’s standing in our way, not knowing the game is rigged and the only way to wield power is to join together, but we’re so busy bullying each other, pushing each other DOWN the greased ladder, desirous of reaching the heights, that we can’t see that there’s a gap in the structure, there are no steps to the top, those who’ve reached the pinnacle have no intention of letting us get there. Whether it’s fat cats in Malibu flaunting a law that gives the public access to their beaches or their brethren avoiding taxes, there’s a giant middle finger pointed at the middle class, meanwhile these “icons” get fawning press and adoration.

That’s what pissed off Peter Thiel, bad press. It’s like the guy never had a loss, like he was entitled to sunshine, lollipops and rainbows till the end of time. But that’s not how life works, you experience the hard knocks and try to cope. And it used to be that money couldn’t help with most of the travails.

But today some people have so much money it’s tilted the playing field. Hell, the Kochs just got a LAW SCHOOL named in their honor. The little people, the academics, raised a ruckus, but they were no match for the cash, which Koch had donated. This serial polluter who has silently financed candidates and made you believe there’s a plethora of tea partiers out there who resent the status quo when the truth is it’s the fat cats who incited the far right.

And for every corporation that refuses to do business in Georgia or North Carolina because of social policy, there are scores who are leaving states based on taxes and fighting regulation tooth and nail. It’s little different from a narco building soccer fields while torching not only his enemies, but the general public caught in the crossfire.

“Gawker” breaks the law, sue ’em. We have a First Amendment, if it’s breached the enterprise is liable. But the law says if someone’s a public figure all is fair game unless it’s printed with malicious aforethought, and truth is an absolute defense. And Peter Thiel IS gay. So there’s nothing to be said, there’s no liability for “Valleywag,” and it’s tough noogies. But it’s not, because this dude needed revenge. As if Nick Denton ran society. Hell, politicos and execs laugh at the “New York Times,” it’s amazing how the Grey Lady can be manipulated, what it doesn’t know, and that’s the most important media outlet in the world! You ignore bad press and let it go. Furthermore, isn’t all press good press?

No one likes Nick Denton. Certainly not before his recent relationship and attendant mellowing. His enterprise is worth many fewer zeros than those of the titans. But he’s got a right to exist, and isn’t it the right, and ultimately the job, of the press to keep the playing field even?

Most people didn’t care that “Valleywag” outed Peter Thiel. But they did care about the Hulk Hogan case, because it was paraded all over the news, especially the trial. Despicable people doing despicable things. But that’s America, where the sideshow is the main show. This case would have gotten no traction without Thiel’s backing. Because that’s how the system works. It’s about deep pockets and access to money and before some had BILLIONS the system worked okay.

But now it’s been distorted. And to see others come out and defend Thiel makes me puke. Is this how far we’ve come? That a “wronged’ guy bends the system to his own will? This is more like Russia than the United States, where oligarchs rule until Putin grabs power and pushes them down.

We’ve all been pushed down in America. Our only hope is the media, artists and us. The media has to keep the transgressors accountable. The artists have to speak the truth. And we have to stand together, with a backbone, for what’s right, knowing without our dollars, without our spending power, the whole system grinds to a halt.

Instead, the press prints glowing reviews of everybody with a buck, they’re the ones who built up not only Trump, but every Silicon Valley “disrupter.” And the artists just want what the billionaires have, meanwhile partaking of their goodies along the way, not only the private plane trips, but the overcompensated private gigs. The fat cats can see every star up close and personal, with only a small circle of friends. You and me can’t get a ticket, because even at the public show these rich bastards buy up all the good seats, they’re the ones driving up the prices. And the artists keep looking for sponsorships and you can’t go to an event that’s not supported by some heinous corporation. Meanwhile, you and me are the enablers. We don’t seek the truth and we never execute our power, we just put our trust in the untrustable.

Hulk Hogan would have sat at home and steamed. People would have forgotten there was a sex tape, if they ever knew at all. At best he would have sued and settled and we all would have moved on.

But NO! Some jerk decided to distort the game, diverting attention from worthy subjects, doing his best to put the perpetrator, in this case “Gawker,” out of business. Drug-taking, fake-wrestling, screwing their friends’ wives athletes get to triumph, but those ferreting out truth under the law are not.

We may not be able to prosecute Peter Thiel, but we can shame him. We can refuse to do business with him. We can mention his shenanigans every time his name comes up.

But we won’t. Because we revere the business titans. They’re stars.

Even though they’re messing up this great nation of ours, even though one of their ilk may very well become President.

This is not change we can believe in.

~~~


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