The New York Times has finally discovered the shirtless and casually homoerotic photos GOP Congressman Aaron Schock has been posting on Instagram, and in true Times fashion, is talking about it four weeks after it was an actual story.
Nothing to see here, except for the fact that the Times is once again suggesting that Schock is a closeted homosexual without actually saying it.
In lieu of an actual investigation, the non-story about Schock’s “Popular Instagram Persona” points to several male admirers lusting in the comments section:
The photos of him shirtless have garnered the most attention. Never shy about peeling off his clothes, as he did for Men’s Health a few years back, Mr. Schock has posted shots of himself surfing in Hawaii and sliding down a sand dune on a wooden plank and splashing into the water.
“Ride it, baby,” a man from New York wrote. Another man commented, “Rawr!” Someone with an anonymous profile wrote, “URGH marry me you fiscally conservative stud you.” (Mr. Schock has said that he is not gay.)
Gawker’s J.K. Trotter points out that this isn’t the first time the Times has thrown Schock under the bus without actually doing so, but it is the first speculative article that actually prints his name:
When a former CBS News freelancer alluded to Schock’s sexuality in a January post on Facebook—and the subsequent discussion became too large for the Times to ignore—the paper refused to print Schock’s name. It did, however, describe (without linking to) the very same Instagram account, “which included photos of him lifting weights at the gym and following the newly out diver Tom Daley,” on which today’s report is based.
In the comments section of Gawker’s post, Trotter writes: “Wasn’t saying the Times shouldn’t out Aaron Schock. But if they’re going to write about his sexuality, they should write about his sexuality, instead of waving their hands in its direction with articles based on the testimony of Instagram commenters.”
We’re gonna have to agree with Gawker on this one, and even go a step further to wonder if someone is possibly funding a “Don’t Out Aaron Schock” policy at the Times…