Did Gawker Have First Amendment Right to Post Hulk Hogan Sex Tape?

Gawker's lawyer cross-examined a journalism professor brought on by the prosecution.
4:05 | 03/11/16

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Transcript for Did Gawker Have First Amendment Right to Post Hulk Hogan Sex Tape?
We begin with the latest in hulk hogan's $100 million legal battle. A small part of that sex tape in question was played in court for the very first time as the website Gawker now grills a journalism expert arguing they had a first amendment right to post it. Linzie Janis has all the latest. Good morning, Linzie. Reporter: Good morning, Amy. That's right. Lawyers for Gawker pointing out that at least one local TV station aired a nonexplicit snippet of that tape in its coverage of this lawsuit claiming that just like that station, its initial posting was newsworthy. In court, two seconds of that infamous private tape at the center of the hulk hogan trial played for the first time. Let us take a look at a clip from an October 15, 2012 ABC action news broadcast. Reporter: This as Gawker tried to body slam one of team hogan's expert witnesses. You were a reporter for only three years. Right. Not been a reporter since 1973, correct? Approximately correct. Reporter: Mike Foley a journalist professor saying Gawker's featuring the sex tape featuring terry bollea, aka hogan wasn't justified and wasn't journalism. The defense hammering his credibility suggesting the professor's views on what is newsworthy is from a bygone era. There was no Facebook, right? That's correct. Okay, there was no youtube, right? That is correct. Reporter: At points the professor even inadvertently seeming to help the other side agreeing that celebrities like Kaitlyn Jenner and Madonna who talk publicly about their sexuality deserve less privacy, also agreeing that just because something may seem unethical to some doesn't mean it is necessarily illegal. Gossip columnists, they too are protected under our first amendment even if you don't think they're doing a good job, right? Freedom of the press. Reporter: But the hulk not breaking a sweat. So many people understand the case now that it's really, really neat that people finally understand why we're here. They tried pretty hard to discredit your witness. If you listen to the questions, everything they were asking him, nothing to do with this case. Reporter: Hogan's lawyers saying they do agree with Gawker on one point, the internet is the wild west when it comes to media but all journalism outlets are bound by the same laws. Amy. Linzie, thanks so much. Joining us is Dan Abrams, and let's talk about that journalism expert after cross-examination did he have any impact? No, it was not effective for hulk hogan's team. Not only was he sort of outdated and not only did he get blasted on cross-examination. Not only did they use his own words against him but keep in mind that hogan's team had previously had a really good day, right? They're coming off of a day where they have the founder of Gawker and editor in Cheever of Gawker seeming callous about the impact of the things they do talking about the fact that they certainly would run stories about pictures of celebrities naked, et cetera. That in and of itself tells the jury what they need to know. You don't need a professor saying and that's not good ethics. You know, it speaks for itself and I think they detracted from some of the progress that they had made. Perhaps some progress that they made, though, calling in that former senior executive at Gawker to talk about whether or not the website profited from the sex tape. This is a critical issue, right? What Gawker's position is there were no ads on this so we effectively didn't make any money and this guy is saying, they were celebrating the fact this tape did so many views, they gave out bonuses and it's not just the number, it's the celebratory nature. And skwors saw a portion of it. That's right for the first time. Very small snippet. Dan Abrams, more to come, thank you. We move on to a terrifying

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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