Investor Peter Thiel spoke at the National Press Club in Washington today and defended his decision to support Donald Trump.
“No matter how crazy this elections seems, it is less crazy than the condition of our country,” Thiel said. He listed statistics suggesting that most Americans were living on the edge of financial collapse. “Not everyone is hurting,” he said adding, “In the wealthy suburbs that ring Washington, DC people are doing just fine.” “Where I work in Silicon Valley, people are doing just great, but most Americans don’t live by the beltway or the San Francisco bay.
“Most Americans haven’t been part of that prosperity. It shouldn’t be surprising to see people vote for Bernie Sanders or for Donald Trump, who is the only outsider left in the race…This election year, both major candidates are imperfect people to say the least. Now I don’t agree with everything Donald Trump has said and done and I don’t think the millions of other people voting for him do either. Nobody thinks his comments about women were acceptable. I agree they were clearly offensive and inappropriate. But I don’t think the voters pull the lever in order to endorse a candidate’s flaws. It’s not a lack of judgment that leads Americans to vote for Trump. We’re voting for Trump because we judge the leadership of our country to have failed.”
Thiel went on to say that those who reach a conclusion different from those in the coastal bubble face scorn and contempt for doing so. “The Advocate, a magazine that once praised me as a gay innovator even published an article saying that as of now I am, and I quote, not a gay man, unquote,” Thiel said. “The lie behind the buzzword of diversity could not be made more clear,” he added.
In the Q&A after his speech, Thiel was asked about his support for the Hulk Hogan lawsuit against Gawker. Politico reports:
Thiel described Gawker as a “singular, sociopathic bully” and lambasted the website as a “bad business” that “lost on the facts.”
“Let’s start with the facts of the case. It involved a sex tape. If you make a sex tape of someone with their permission, you are a pornographer. If you make a sex tape without their permission, we are told now you are a journalist,” Thiel said in a Q&A after a speech at the National Press Club in Washington. What Gawker did, he said, was an “egregious violation of privacy.”
The Hogan lawsuit resulted in a $140 million judgment against Gawker. The company, which includes several other web properties, put itself up for sale in order to pay the judgment and was bought by Univision. Thiel had been outed as gay by Gawker in 2007.