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

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.