Possible punitive damages come next week
DRUDGE REPORT: Gawker in Hell
Instapundit: Gawker Flashback (with Ted Cruz as the hero of the story)
Reason: We better not celebrate too much. As contemptible as Gawker is, there are first amendment issues at risk here (which should give us all pause). But the reason this case went forward was it was not pled as a first amendment case:
Hogan's lawyer, Charles Harder, a veteran media/entertainment litigator, argues that it's not a First Amendment case at all. Hundreds of articles were written about the sex tape, he says, and Hogan doesn't have a problem with any one of them.
"Nobody is trying to stop the media from reporting news about a sex tape," Hogan's attorney told Reason. "The only problem we have is that Gawker was able to publish the sex tape itself. And it has the potential, if it's not stopped, to allow that sex tape to continue to be played."
It's the video itself, not what was written about it. That's why Hogan is suing, Harder says. For Hogan, the case is about "the right to privacy, and it's a constitutional right," Harder told Reason, saying he realized the First Amendment "is also a constitutional right" but that it "has limitations" imposed on it.
"You can't defame someone if you're a reporter. There's a law against defamation," says Harder. (Gawker is not being accused of defaming Hulk Hogan.) "You can't print child pornography," Harder continuues. (Gawker is not being accused of printing child pornography.) The First Amendment is not unlimited, says Harder. "There's a limitation on privacy—you can't invade someone's privacy in a way that's against the law."
Specifically, Harder insists Gawker broke Florida's laws against video voyeurism, and specifically the law against video voyeurism dissemination, which Florida's statute defines as distributing images secretly recorded of another person dressing, undressing, or privately exposing their body when they had a reasonable expectation of privacy, for the purpose of amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit. (Hogan, whose birth name is Terry Bollea, is a Florida resident, which is the reason the trial is taking place in the Sunshine State.
Hogan sobbed after the jury’s verdict was released. Gawker, not surprisingly, promises to appeal.For the first time in human history, someone can truthfully write "Gawker is appealing"— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) March 19, 2016
.@Popehat while they're awaiting appeal, maybe they can try to hunt down sex tapes of the jury— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) March 18, 2016
AoSHQ: That's gonna leave a markHot Air: Body Slam, Brother
TOM: You are your own problem
DaTechGuy: Gawker is not laughing now
Update: $25 million in punitive damages