Gawker lawyer cross-examines media professor in Hogan trial

AP News
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Posted: Mar 10, 2016 2:54 PM
Gawker lawyer cross-examines media professor in Hogan trial

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A lawyer for the Gawker gossip website grilled a journalism professor Thursday about news articles that are covered under the First Amendment, even though they contain lurid content.

As testimony continued for a fourth day in wrestler Hulk Hogan's lawsuit over a sex video, attorney Michael Sullivan cross-examined University of Florida journalism professor Mike Foley, about multiple news articles — many of them with racy content about strippers, nudity and at one point, toe-sucking.

Although some publications don't meet Foley's standards for "good" journalism, he asked, "Are all of those publishers guaranteed the rights of the First Amendment?"

Foley said that in his mind, if a publication were to focus on, say, child pornography, then no. Otherwise, he said, "I believe they all operate under the freedom of the press."

Foley, who was called as an expert witness by Hogan's team on Wednesday, questioned Gawker's decision not to contact Hogan, the woman in the video or the woman's husband when it posted the sex video.

He added that in his opinion, the sex video was an example of "undue intrusiveness."

Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, is suing Gawker Media for $100 million for posting the edited video showing him having sex with his then-best friend's wife. The former wrestler has said he didn't know he was being filmed when the video was made.