Week 8: Media Law

Media Law Case: Privacy/Intrusion and First Amendment

Thomas Lin

A retired wrestler Terry G. Bollea (known as Hulk Hogan) won an lawsuit of privacy invasion of $115 million against Gawker.com over the sex tape that Gawker had published in 2012 by the site’s former editor in chief Albert J. Daulerio. However, an person named Kenneth G. Turkel said that the post on Gawker.com was an act of journalism and was protected under the First Amendment. He also said that the editors’ of the site were operating under the professional journalism and they would have warned Mr. Bollea that the site would post his sex tape or asked his permission to post the sex tape on Gawker.com. The argument from Gawker.com is that the sex tape was protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution was Mr. Bollea had given up his privacy and talked about his sex life in the public.

I think regarding to this case, even this former wrestler celebrity talked about his private life in the public; the website Gawker.com cannot post this kind of video without the consent of the former wrestler celebrity first and that guy named Kenneth G. Turkel shouldn’t used the First Amendment as an excuse. I think journalists needs to know when they should draw the line when it’s needed; I understand journalists has the responsibility to report what is the truth and bring it out to each individuals in the public, but publishing something that’s private to anybody without that person’s consent is not acceptable.


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