Netflix Documentary: Hulk Hogan, Howard Stern, Donald Trump and Freedom of the Press

Netflix Documentary, NOBODY SPEAK: Trials of the Free Press was just recently released.

In 2015, Hulk Hogan sued the news website Gawker for posting a sex tape featuring him in bed with Heather Clem, then wife of his best friend, Bubba the Love Sponge. The jury awarded Hogan $140 million in damages which forced Gawker to shut down. Last year, Gawker settled with Hulk aka Terry Bollea for $31 million.

Despite the ridiculous elements of the trial — seeing Hulk Hogan on the witness stand, dressed in all black, including his trademark bandana — it turned out to be a tremendously important First Amendment case. The trial was quintessentially American in its mix of absurdity and massive implications.

Details of the Gawker case read like something out of a Saturday Night Live sketch. Hogan reportedly knew he was being filmed, and he later joked about the tape to Howard Stern. Hogan bragged about his sexual performance to Stern but insisted that was a part of the character Hulk Hogan, not the real Terry Bollea, who was personally traumatized by the leak. Hulk was accused of being racist after the audio version of the sex tape came out – which very well may have negatively impacted his life and future employment opportunities.

During the trail, Michael Sullivan, Gawker’s lawyer played an audio clip in which Hogan is discussing the size of his penis while appearing as a guest on The Howard Stern Show.

Sullivan asked if there’s any doubt as to whether Hogan is referring to the length of his manhood.

“Well, it’s not mine, because mine isn’t that size, but we were discussing the length of Hulk Hogan’s.”

An exasperated and dumbfounded Sullivan only responded with one word. “Seriously?”

“No, seriously, I do not have a 10-inch penis. No, I do not. Seriously. Believe that. Seriously,” Hogan responded.

The Hogan trial eventually bankrupted Gawker and its co-founder Nick Denton. So how could the Hulkster, who wasn’t exactly at his peak financially while all this was going down, possibly afford his expensive legal counsel?

Well, it turns out his legal expenses were bankrolled by tech mogul (PayPal founder), billionaire and Trump supporter Peter Thiel, who was outed by Gawker as being gay. Did Thiel use Hogan as revenge against Gawker? The new documentary Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press, currently streaming on Netflix, uses the Gawker lawsuit as its theoretical jumping-off point. It explores how the case is symptomatic of a much larger issue facing journalism. The documentary does cover Donald Trump in a negative light, portraying him as a threat to the status quo of journalism. Lambasting him for repeatedly taking about “fake news” during his rise to the presidency.

When Howard finds out David Lee Roth is replacing him

Gary came in and interrupted saying that their mystery guest had showed up and wanted to come right into the studio. Howard wanted to do a set up and get his glasses on first. Artie wanted to guess who the big guest was. He thinks that it’s Bill Maher. Howard was thinking it was Richard Simmons or Pat Cooper. Gary told him that he shouldn’t be nervous and went out to bring the person in. It turned out to be David Lee Roth. Howard said this is good because he’s rumored to be replacing him when he leaves. Howard said he knew that something was happening today. Howard asked Dave how he was doing and talked about how he will be replacing him. David told Howard that he can’t ”replace” Howard Stern, he’ll just be taking over that spot. Dave told Howard that this is his first and last stop on the show before Christmas. Howard said that if Dave fails it’ll be great because it will drive even more people to satellite radio. Dave said that’s the good part about being friends with Howard, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Dave told Howard that his show won’t be the same type of show that Howard has been doing. He’s seen other talk shows around the country and most of them are scripted while Howard Stern is just being Howard Stern. He talked about his days touring around the country with Van Halen and Infinity is giving him freedom to do whatever he wants to do on his radio show. Howard said he heard that Dave will be making $4 million a year when he starts there. Dave said he doesn’t even need to do a show like that because he can make a lot more than that touring. He’s doing it because it’s been a dream of his to have a radio show like that for years.

Howard asked Dave how Infinity has been able to keep him hidden for so long. Dave told Howard that his father passed away a while a go and he ended up getting involved in the Emergency Medical Technician field for a couple of years. He’s still going out on calls at least once a week in New York City. He said he’s only been recognized 2 or 3 times out of all of the calls he’s been on. He works in the ‘hoods where he doesn’t get recognized all that well.

Howard told Dave about how he created this network of radio stations over years and years of hard work. He begged the company to syndicate his show to Philadelphia and they put up a fight for so long. Dave said that Howard has proven that the local deejay is a thing of the past. Howard told Dave that a local guy can be a force to be reckoned with though and a lot of guys are going to be gunning for him. Dave doesn’t seem to mind that and he’s looking forward to it. Howard asked Dave if it’s true that he was over at Jack FM practicing his show. Dave has a way of avoiding a question and won’t answer it directly so he ended up talking about Howard’s board and how he had it created for himself like a guitar player would have a guitar built for himself.

Dave said that he’s wanted to do this since he was a kid so he’s really looking forward to doing the show. He told Howard that he still sits down once a week and listens to records, one song at a time, just like he did when he was 10 years old. Howard told him that he may have to open up his private life to make for a good radio show and Dave is ready to do that. Howard said Dave has never really opened up before because no one knows what’s going on with his love live. He claims he’s heard that Dave is gay before but Dave thought he was just saying that himself, not hearing it from anyone. Dave said that he has banged many hot chicks that had 2 legs in their pants and people should know that already. Dave said that his show is not a comedy show. He’s not going to have a whole crew working with him but he will be taking over in markets like New York, Boston, Cleveland, West Palm Beach, Pittsburgh and Dallas. Gary said that Adam Carolla will be taking over in markets like L.A., San Diego and Portland among others and Jimmy Kimmel will be a consultant for his show.

Dave said that he’s actually shooting for the Rush Limbaugh audience, not even really for Howard’s audience. He’s thinking that he could end up in the same markets as Adam Carolla because they’ll have two different types of shows. Gary told Howard that they have this guy Rover who will be taking over in a few markets like Chicago, Detroit and Memphis. The whole Stern affiliate market is going to be split up with a bunch of these guys. Penn Gillette will also have a 1 hour show in some of the markets. Dave said he doesn’t care who follows him and isn’t even thinking about a Penn Gillette following him. Gary said that they have some tape of what David Lee Roth was doing over at Jack FM but it was actually comedian Billy Mira doing an impression of him.

Howard took a phone call from a guy who told Dave he was already going to change stations to Z-100 when he heard him on the show. Robin asked Howard if he would be a guest on Dave’s show. Howard said he would absolutely do that and Dave thought that would be great. Howard asked Dave what he thinks is going to happen with satellite radio. He had some round about answer about how it all depends on what the companies let their personalities do. Howard said that he needs the freedom to do what he wants on satellite radio and he just doesn’t have the freedom to do it on terrestrial radio anymore. Dave said he supports him on the freedom thing and appreciates the fact that he’s making that move. Howard told Dave that putting together that network of affiliates across the country was one of the greatest things he’s ever done in his life. He wished Dave luck with his show and offered to get up and walk out right now if Dave was ready to take over for him. Dave asked him what he’s been waiting for if that’s the case. Howard said he’s got a contract that he has to honor and he can’t just walk away. He asked Dave if he wanted to take over the show for the rest of the morning but Dave wasn’t interested.

Howard had Tom Chiusano come in to meet his new employee. He also asked Dave if he’s going to keep the studio the same way it is now. Dave said that he wants to lighten it up and have some windows in there. Tom came in and told Howard that they’re going to have Dave working in that studio and they will open it up so he has windows in there. Tom told Howard that he’s excited about the future and he can’t wait to work with him. Howard felt that Dave was being a bit odd with him this morning but Gary and Tom didn’t think that was the case, he was just letting Howard know that he was going to be his own man. Howard doesn’t understand how Tom can just give Dave his own studio to start off with since he had to work so hard to get one himself. Dave said he can do what Howard does so that’s why they’re giving him his own studio. They haven’t set up his whole staff yet so there were a lot of unanswered questions.

Howard took a phone call from a guy who said that he was hoping that Sammy Hagar would take over for Howard. Howard asked Dave if Sammy will take over for him if his show fails. Dave said ”absolutely.” The caller said that Imus has already been talking about how Infinity will have to come to him once David Lee and Adam Carolla’s shows fail. The guys goofed on Imus and pointed out that he’s got some really low ratings and couldn’t fill in for Howard or for Dave. Dave changed subjects and asked Robin about her upcoming TV show and if she was staying with Howard. She said she will be doing the radio show and the TV show at the same time. That’s coming up next fall for those who didn’t know.

Howard asked Artie for his thoughts on David taking over for them. Artie said he had no idea that Dave would be in that realm of taking over so he was a bit surprised. Dave said he thinks that it’s like a lateral move for him from rock star to radio show host. Howard took a call from Ralph who said that they all love Dave but just because he has been a great guest on the show doesn’t mean that he’ll make for a great host. Howard told Ralph that it’s all about Dave keeping people listening to his show. That’s what Ralph said that Howard is great at and that’s why so many people have been listening to his show for so long.

Howard said that maybe he is a little bitter about the industry not backing him up against the FCC and the religious right. He said they could have done it and fought them but the industry didn’t do it, they just caved in. Ralph led the guys into a political discussion about the President and how he isn’t doing this country any good with the FCC. The guys were debating a little bit but Howard told Dave he’ll have all the time in the world to do that stuff on his own show once that starts. He doesn’t know how Dave will do on his show but he predicts that he will do great when he moves to satellite himself. Howard said he’ll be happy once people start to make that move to satellite. He’s wishing everyone luck in their markets but Gary said that he doesn’t wish the guys luck down in Washington DC because the program director down there has been cutting off the show early to get their afternoon guys on instead.

Dave asked Howard about what happens when Howard says certain words on the air and if there’s a list of the stuff they can say and can’t say on the air. Howard told Dave he’s in for a big wake up call and explained to him how there’s a new guy in charge at the FCC and how he’s going to have to really watch himself once he starts his show. He also told Dave that the government is looking to fine individuals for their indecency complains and that law is in the works now. Howard said that they will have to bow down to the FCC and their ridiculous rules, there’s no question about it. He pointed out that Clear Channel’s profits dropped 21 percent recently and he’s so happy about that. Ralph said that all of the terrestrial radio companies are going to be losing money once people move to satellite. Ralph also told Dave that he’s got to watch himself because the FCC and the religious right will have to find another lightning rod to go after and make an example out of. He’s got to watch himself now.

Howard found out that all of these affiliates are going to be going to an all talk format. Tom told Howard that their new Free FM logo is referring to their talk format because every one is free to speak. That got everyone laughing because the jocks won’t be free to speak because the company has to keep everyone restrained so they don’t get fined by the FCC. Ralph told Tom that people get what they pay for… Tom told Ralph to stop because he was basically doing an ad for satellite. Howard said that if he wants him on his radio show, he thinks that the suits at the company won’t allow it and that will be the first time Dave will have to bow down to the company’s rules.

Howard gave Dave a plug for his show which will be starting up on January 3rd, 2006. Howard starts on satellite on January 9th. Gary had a whole list of what will be happening in each market and there are a lot of shows replacing Howard in all of those markets. Tom was looking kind of shaken up according to Howard and Dave. Tom told Howard that they’ve been together so long that it’s going to be quite a change. It’s like he’s losing his family. Howard thanked Dave for coming in and went to break.

via mark