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‘Nobody Speak’ addresses reality of money influence on a free press

LOS ANGELES, June 27, 2017 — Netflix’s latest original documentary tackles journalism and free speech by analyzing the Terry Bollea v. Gawker caseNobody Speak: Trials of The Free Press and the overall scope of freedom of the press. The documentary was written and directed by Brian Knappenberger.

The documentary first tackles the Gawker case, which pitted the gossip website Gawker against former wrestler Terry Bollea a.k.a. Hulk Hogan, who sued over the publishing of a sex tape. The end result of the case saw Terry Bollea received a giant payout and causing Gawker to file for bankruptcy.

Gawker founder Nick Denton, is depicted as an attack-dog, whose attacks came back to bite him. The case simply surrounded around the  embarrassment that Bollea received. Bollea’s defense was that it was all done in the guise of a fictional wrestling character. It was later revealed that Bollea’s true reason for wanting to get rid of the tape is because parts of the complete “sex tape” had him uttering racial slurs.

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The film also tells the tale of how big money and President Trump are attempting to silence the power of the press. Knappenberger highlights the rage Donald Trump created when he blasted the media during his time on the campaign trail. Nobody Speak relied more on interviews with NPR’s David Folkenflik and the Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan to highlight the real meaning of the case. The documentary also interviews Gawker executives and editors who continue to defend their coverage of Bollea. Bollea’s case takes a backseat, once Peter Thiel enters the spotlight.

Viewers learn that Peter Thiel donated $10 million backing Bollea’s case against the gossip based website, which had outed him as being gay in 2007. Knappenberger spends a good amount interviewing former reporters from the Las Vegas Review-Journal who broke the story that their own company was purchased by Sheldon Adelson. If money can silence negative media coverage, the film makes you wonder what it means when someone like Donald Trump is the president of the United States. The documentary addresses the public sentiment of the press.

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