Peter Thiel, The New York Times:
Last month, I spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland because I believe our country is on the wrong track, and we need to solve real problems instead of fighting fake culture wars. I’m glad that an arena full of Republicans stood up to applaud when I said I was proud to be gay, because gay pride shouldn’t be a partisan issue. All people deserve respect, and nobody’s sexuality should be made a public fixation.
Unfortunately, lurid interest in gay life isn’t a thing of the past. Last week, The Daily Beast published an article that effectively outed gay Olympic athletes, treating their sexuality as a curiosity for the sake of internet clicks. The article endangered the lives of gay men from less tolerant countries, and a public outcry led to its swift retraction. While the article never should have been published, the editors’ prompt response shows how journalistic norms can improve, if the public demands it.
Not mentioned here: The vast databases of private information compiled by business and government in the name of marketing and national security. That kind of information is potentially far more damaging to far more people than sex tapes.
Also, while Thiel is right that even public figures have a right to privacy,I don’t want to live in a world where billionaires decide the boundaries of legitimate journalism. (See also.)