Well any large case such as this will set precedence for future cases.It's not illegal, but you can't help but feel that there's a slippery slope hiding somewhere in the midst of all of this.
Like you, I don't like Gawker. Think they're a bunch of scumbags. But there are so many ifs, ands, and buts to this case, I find it hard to take any one side. I'm not sorry to see they've been sued, even less sorry to see they've lost. What they did was pretty reprehensible on all levels.
But scummy bastards though they are, they are the media. The idea that billionaires can use their resources to silence voices they dislike doesn't sit particularly comfortably with me. With Thiel involved behind the scenes, it feels like a SLAPP suit by proxy.
I wouldn't outright say I don't like Gawker. I simply don't like gossip sites masquerading as media sites. Calling Gawker a media site that delivers news, IMO, is the equivalent of stating Globe magazine is a legitimate news source.
Today's media has zero class. Gawker truly knows they did something bad to Thiel then and Hogan now, and they know they're going to pay for their mistake. However, companies and even simple individuals now can go to great lengths to silence others. You may not need as much money as in the aforementioned case, but it isn't impossible.