Eric Lieberman on January 4, 2018
Venture capitalist and tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel is reportedly interested in creating a new cable news network, one that would rival Fox News as one of the few with conservative leanings.
Reports of Thiel’s alleged intentions surfaced Wednesday in excerpts of a book by Michael Wolff, who often produces columns springing from his “imagination rather than from actual knowledge of events,” according to the New Republic.
BuzzFeed News, though, says it was able to confirm that Thiel has been exploring the initiative through “two sources familiar with the matter.”
Wolff’s story claims Thiel had been working with former Fox News executive Roger Ailes before his death in the very beginning of the planning. Thiel, according to BuzzFeed News, is continuing to pursue the possibility even after Ailes’ passing, having representatives meet with members of the Mercer’s, a highly wealthy family that financially supports certain right-wing political causes.
Media companies aren’t usually considered the best investment in modern times, however, Thiel’s purported interest in establishing a conservative news network wouldn’t be too surprising. A Facebook board member and cofounder of PayPal, Thiel is one of the few in Silicon Valley that unabashedly supports President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
After originally giving $2 million to a super-PAC supporting then-contender Carly Fiorina’s candidacy in Aug. 2015, he soon switched his allegiance and announced in Oct. 2016 that he planned on donating $1.25 million to Trump, then-Republican presidential nominee. (RELATED: Immigrant-Rich Tech Industry Responds To Trump’s Immigration Ban)
Several weeks after that, Thiel spoke at a press conference in Washington, D.C., to double down on his endorsement of Trump and defend his donation. He also spoke at the Republican National Convention in support of the party and Trump, becoming the first openly gay person to do so at the political event. There were even recent reports of Thiel possibly working in the Trump administration as a top intelligence adviser.
Thiel always seems to be floated in discussions as a possible key backer or contributor for the so-called next big thing.
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