Part of their argument relies on Hogan's claim that he is suing due to damage to his reputation and claims that he had already admitted to being an adulterer in his 2009 autobiography and thus they didn't reveal anything new. Gawker also argues that the sex tape was newsworthy and that as a news source, they had a right to publish it (they point out that they only posted a small portion of it).
The site is also citing journalist laws protecting sources to argue that Hogan's demands to know the identity of the tape leaker violates their journalistic right not to divulge their source.
The following is from TMZ.com:
Hulk Hogan has no right to sue Gawker for ruining his reputation by publishing parts of his sex tape ... because he had already admitted that he's a lying, cheating bastard ... this according to Gawker.
Gawker has filed a response to Hulk's $100,000,000 lawsuit against the website ... begging the judge to throw out the case because they had a journalistic right to publish the 1 minute 41 second clip.
In the docs, Gawker claims Hulk had already admitted he was an adulterer in a book he released in 2009 ... so the video couldn't have caused any more harm to his already sullied reputation.
Gawker also claims the website shouldn't be on the hook for invading Hulk's privacy because it didn't record the tape ... it just distributed a small amount of the footage, which it believed to be newsworthy because Hulk is a world famous celebrity.
Gawker also says it shouldn't have to reveal the identity of the person who leaked the footage to the website -- despite Hulk's demands -- citing laws that protect the news sources.
A judge has yet to rule.