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Is “Operation Mordor” the secret code name for Peter Thiel’s war against Gawker?

Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

That’s one of the many questions Gawker Media CEO Nick Denton poses in an open letter to the venture capitalist, who admitted this week to funding a lawsuit aimed at bankrupting the media company. “I understand that you give codenames from Tolkien for all your projects,” Denton writes. “What’s this one? (Let me guess: Mordor.)” After accusing Thiel of becoming a “comic-book villain” and running a “twisted” campaign against Gawker and its staff, Denton also challenges Thiel to a “discussion in person with a moderator of your choosing, in front of an audience, under the auspices of the Committee to Protect Journalists, or in a written discussion on some neutral platform such as Medium.” This would be almost as good as Trump vs. Bernie.