Yes, tell yourself this was all about one particular asshole and there's no collateral damage possible to freedom of the press or freedom of speech.
You intend as sarcasm, but that's entirely correct.
Peter Thiel is straight up evil. By all means, sue gawker for invasion of your privacy, outing a billionaire is not very nice I suppose. Billionaire responding by funding lawsuits against the news organization until it shuts down is censorship by any useful meaning of the word though.
Thiel did nothing more than exactly the same thing that's done by the EFF and the ACLU: supporting somebody who has a grievance, but lacks the money to pay for lengthy litigation.
I would have agreed with you if Thiel was supporting completely unfounded lawsuits that had no other purpose than making Gawker lose money by paying for lawyers. But that wasn't the case, Bollea had a very genuine grievance with Gawker, and all Thiel did was contributing money to it. It's not any different than when people fund litigation through aligned organizations (EFF, ACLU), friends and family, or crowdfunding. There's nothing illegal or immoral about it.
Furthermore what is actually disturbing is the implication that money makes right, and the right situation is where one loses a lawsuit not due to lack of merit, but due to the lack of funding, and that there's something wrong with a third party counteracting this.