Aside from helping to finance Facebook in its early days, billionaire Peter Thiel is most famous for financially supporting Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Media. The suit resulted in the infamous website’s shuttering and, in a bizarre twist, Thiel’s reportedly looking into buying its archives in what may be an attempt to eradicate them from the internet. Whether or not this proves to be true, one thing is clear — the Libertarian Trump supporter won’t be going away anytime soon, especially if author Michael Wolff’s revelations in Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House prove to be true.
According to a review copy obtained by BuzzFeed News, Thiel was looking into the possibility of starting his own conservative news network to rival Fox News. What’s more, he was discussing the prospect with none other than ousted Fox News founder Roger Ailes:
Wolff writes that on May 12 of last year, Ailes was scheduled to fly from Palm Beach, Florida, to New York to meet with Thiel to discuss the launch of a new cable news network that would compete with Fox News, which Ailes nurtured into a conservative powerhouse before he was ousted in the summer of 2016 in a sexual harassment scandal. Both men […] “worried that Trump could bring Trumpism down.”
The plan, according to Wolff, was that Thiel — a rare tech mogul who openly supported Trump — would pay for the network. Ailes would come along and bring loyal Fox News talent Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, who was forced out at Fox last year following reports about settlements he had reached with multiple women.
Unfortunately, the meeting never took place as Ailes fell down and hit his head two days prior. He subsequently fell into a coma and died, though not before telling his wife “not to reschedule the meeting” with Thiel beforehand. Per BuzzFeed’s own reporting, however, Thiel has advanced the plans on his own. He even reached out to the Mercer family — most famous for funding the likes of Breitbart, Steve Bannon, and Milo Yiannopoulos — for help with funding the project. Even so, another source close to Thiel “said he was not aware of [these] plans” and noted Thiel’s belief that “media companies were traditionally bad investments.”
(Via BuzzFeed News)