How To Get Everyone Hate You in Three Easy Steps:
1. Get drunk off your ass and get yourself kicked out of a bar by hitting a waiter.
2. Use your insidery media job to write about how the Big Bad Mean Waiter was a fag basher and demand justice, leading well-meaning blogs to defend your honor, thinking you know, that you were the victim of homophobia.
3. Have everyone realize that you’re a liar who cries wolf after video surveillance footage shows that you hit first.
Are we pissed off at Blackbook‘s Nick Haramis for crying wolf about his gay beating at a West Village restaurant only to be disproven by video tape? You bet. It’s hard enough for folks who get fag-bashed to get respect without pissant wannabe media darlings using the cry of “homopobia” to justify their own drunken shenanigans.
But Nick’s not the only media darling trading on his gay status to get ahead, while leaving his fellow fags choking on his dust. Meet the rogues gallery of media gays that are making life miserable for the rest of us.
Yes, I know you love Cooper’s dreamy eyes and silver mane, but he is no friend to the gay community. Ostensibly to protect his status as “journalist,” Anderson Cooper refuses to disclose his sexuality. Fine, whatever. We’re of the opinion that nobody is required to be out, even if it’s the responsible thing to do. However, the Coop’s not not telling us he’s gay because he’s hiding it (do we need to run the clip of Anderson Cooper dressed as a leatherman again?), he’s doing it because he likes the attention. He enjoys the media speculation and encourages it time and time again. Had he just mentioned he was gay (say, during the Prop. 8 coverage he did, or any other time when it would easily fall under the practice of full disclosure), everyone would have moved on by now.
What kind of role model is Anderson? Look, Timmy! If you’re a closeted gay aristocrat, you too can get a job on CNN, make cute jokes with Kathy Griffin, walk around the West Village with 25-year-olds and still sanctimoniously refuse to comment on your personal life! Hurray!
Your editor has, at length, discussed why Perez Hilton is bad for the gay community, and for the most part, these days we try to ignore our former schoolmate and one-time friend, because he is really and truly a children’s cautionary tale come to life. A wannabe actor who longed to be “the gay Oprah,” Mario Lavandeira transformed himself into a mincing self-hating parody of what he thinks a celebrity is. Lucky for him, we live in an age of unbelievable gullibility. Without ever evidencing any particular talent other than self-promotion, Perez has expanded his media empire into books (that don’t sell) and is now a bona-fide musician with his song “The Clap,” which, from the looks of the video, is about gays and all their sexually transmitted diseases.
There’s nothing wrong with being famous – hell, you should all be famous – but as Mario has said time and time again, “Perez” is a character he plays to be famous and, well, it’s sort of sad and awful to see someone skyrocket to fame by playing into America’s worst stereotypes. Perez Hilton might be out and proud, but Mario, by his own design, is still trapped in the closet.
Kirchick is an editor at The New Republic and a frequent contributor to The Advocate, where he regularly defends Rick Warren and John McCain before all but calling Sean Penn a homophobe over his measured support of Cuba. Full disclosure: your editor knows James in real life and considers him a great human being, but his journalistic persona as a self-styled gay, Jewish neo-conservative leaves us constantly flummoxed. He’s also always being accused of intellectual dishonesty, skewing the facts to match his arguments and blaming ‘liberal intolerance’ for his dating troubles.
Former legal analyst and current TMZ impresario Harvey Levin made his name transforming his gossip site into a mini-media empire. But don’t think success has made him happy. As our sister site Jossip points out, Levin’s staffers say “he’s a “tyrant” and a “bully” who’s “forgotten about the people [who helped make his career].” In the place of the old, likable Harvey? An “angry, nasty person,” we’re told. Media watchdog site, Tabloid Baby named him 2007’s Journalist of the Year saying:
“Who did more damage to entertainment reporting in 2007 than Harvey Levin?… he and his gutter operation… almost single-handedly transformed Hollywood entertainment reporting into a gutter-level street battle fueled by self-hatred, jealousy and anger, with no concern for what once determined greatness, excellence or fame…”
What more do you want?
Constantly drunk on fame and frequently drunk on liquor, Nick Denton has admittedly shown a fantastic knack for scooping up blogs and wrenching as much money out of them as humanly possible. The history of how Gawker has single-handedly lowered the cultural discourse of the country is well-documented, as is Denton’s justification that “Everyone does it” and that, basically, it’s cool because it’s the new media taking down the old media. But at some point – we hope soon – the new media is going to have to do something besides whine and bitch about the old media, because let’s face it: there really is no old media to kick around anymore. Snark and cynicism has its place, but the Dentonian world is one terrified of standing for anything meaningful, lest it open itself to ridicule. Which is all well and good when you’re 14, but at some point don’t we all have to grow the fuck up?
Who else belongs on this list? Are there any heroes in the media worth mentioning?