1. says

    Did you just call one of the biggest rock acts of this generation, with almost 20 million albums sold, dozens of sold out arena tours, and Capitol/RCA recording contracts, “indie”? XD Do you know what that word means?

  2. Penn says

    Thanks for the feedback. Shoulda said alt-rock for precision. I should add that alt-rock emerged from the indie music scene, and the Foo Fighters didn’t exactly sell 20 million albums the moment they debuted. It was started as a quasi-anonymous outfit with a limited album run. Anyway, is that really the most important point?

  3. tarraraboomdeeya says

    I admire the intensity whit which you engage in social justice issues, Penn Bullock. They suggest you have a passionate nature, which is also something I admire.

    It’s true to say that FF and Nirvana courted outsider indie status. I remember all the godawful black Levis and plaid shirts and artfully torn sweaters of the early 90’s.

    Gimme me New Wave and New Romantics over them any day.

  4. says

    I’d say the most important point is the atrocious journalistic tendency demonstrated in this post. It’s a tendency which is transforming this blog from the best and brightest into another example of mainstream media more concerned with sensationalized headlines than accurate reporting. I dread weekend posts with irrelevant commentary and quips distracting from the news from which we try to discern relevance.

    As Jesus himself just said, “Thanks for forming an opinion for us.” Did Andy ask you to post news, or run and editorial? No one cares about what you think of it, we just want the story. Maybe for this news blog, consider putting the emphasis on the news aspect instead of the blog. It’s getting harder and harder to take this site seriously, especially when Andy isn’t posting.

  5. Mike in Houston says

    Cole: context is the story here… And while it’s fun to see anyone tweaking WBC’s noses, reminding readers of the FF’s advocacy for AIDS denialists provides much needed color and context.

    Imagine reporting Santorum’s remarks about gays in Iran without noting his own extreme views…

    And if you’re having trouble discerning the ‘news’ from ‘commentary’, I suggest not reading blogs… It’s obviously too difficult for you.

  6. Daniel says

    Really? An act they did 11 years ago, and that has been off their site and have distanced themselves from since 2007? That’s a hard-hitting piece to you?

    Actual HIV/AIDS reporting has enough of a problem with visibility and doesn’t need contrived pieces like this muddying the waters. Thanks again for proving this site really is only worth reading Monday thru Friday.

  7. Artie says

    This post is a mixture of reporting newsworthy events and personal editorial. Westboro Baptist picketed Foo Fighters and the band counterattacked by performing on the street in front of the Westboro people. There is no question that the event was newsworthy since Westboro engages in constant anti-gay activism.

    @ Cole: The headline of the post included the phrase “AIDS-denying Foo Fighters”. If that’s what you meant by “sensationalized headlines”, then yes, you have a valid point. Penn Bullock is editorializing here. The Foo Fighters have not supported AIDS denial since 2004, and their website no longer lists Alive and Well as one of the organizations they support. Have the musicians in Foo Fighters completely changed their minds? I don’t know, but Penn Bullock didn’t include relevant information about Foo Fighters in the editorial part of his post. I still have to give Penn Bullock credit for reporting an event that reasonable people will agree is newsworthy.

  8. calvin says

    Foo Fighters contributed songs to “The Other Side of AIDS” a documentary which place the blame for the AIDS epidemic exclusively on homosexual behavior. Enough said.
    Sorry for my english.

  9. Artie says

    @ Penn Bullock,

    In my comment above, I’m more than will to give you credit for doing your journalistic duty by reporting newsworthy events. As best I remember, you’ve also done that in many of your past posts. As some commenters have mentioned, all blogs are a mixture of news and commentary, and I think any intelligent reader can discern one from the other.

    Some other commenters above have offered a suggestion worth considering. When you include commentary, it’s ideal to acknowledge the other opinion. In this case, that means mentioning that Foo Fighters haven’t supported AIDS denialism since 2004 and no longer mention Alive and Well on their website. On balance, though, your posts are informative.

  10. Penn says

    To those who say the Foo Fighters have repudiated AIDS denialism.

    From the Gay Express, 31 August, 2011:

    “Media personality Steven Gray posted the video on his website this morning, calling the band ‘The Killers’.

    ‘They need to publicly apologise for what they did,’ he says. ‘They got a lot of fan and media attention for an idea that was never proved, is still out there with their names in it, and they have never in the last 11 years set the record ‘straight’ that they were ill-informed.'”

    Also, when they removed the link to the AIDS denialism group Alive and Well from their band website, they made no effort to actually condemn the group.

    If someone can find one statement by the band in which they repudiate their AIDS denialism, I will post that information. The reporting I have read, most recently from two weeks ago, indicates that they have not. And until they do, their past “activism” lends credence to an idea that kills people.

  11. Paul R says

    And to the whiners: this is a blog. It provides news but the authors are also entitled to provide their opinions.

    If you want strictly news and no commentary, go to a newspaper site—but be sure not to read the editorials, since they might offend your tender sensibilities.

  12. jason says

    HIV does not cause AIDS. AIDS does exist but it is due to the decline of the immune system through a combination of venereal diseases and drug use. Therefore, I agree with the Foo Fighters.

    Keep in mind that you don’t need to have HIV in your body in order to have a damaged immune system. Your immune system can be destroyed independent of HIV.

  13. dms says

    Wow, that is not something I’d heard. I’ll have to pay closer attention to their political pov. I do know they are pro gay which is one of the things I like about them. The other is their music which is about 100x better than most of the disco crap that is regularly featured here. I can’t stand lady blah-blah. Yes, she’s pc to a tee, but her music is a disco bore. To me.

  14. says

    To those upset with Penn’s style:

    Do you honestly think a blog about gay issues or about any specific issue could exist without opinions? Towleroad’s existence is an opinion, and every post on it is filtered by its writers’ opinions. Aggregators show opinion by, if nothing else, posting some things and not others.

    And if you don’t want Penn’s opinion, imagine how he feels about receiving yours.

  15. jason says

    Nobody is denying that AIDS exists. Compromised immune systems have always been around – in fact, since time began. What is being questioned is the notion that HIV causes AIDS. It’s a valid question.

    The people who want you to believe that HIV causes AIDS are the drug firms that have made billions. The AIDS researchers want you to believe it too because they are funded by these very same firms. This is corruption 101.

  16. tribyen says


    Maybe you should research HIV a bit before spouting off on how you think it works.

    HIV attacks helper T-cells, a vital part of one’s immune system. They do this by attaching to the CD4 receptor and the CCR-5 co-receptor on the outside of T-cells. They then exploit these cells to reproduce more viruses, eventually killing the cells. (I won’t go into the details because I’d be typing for days).

    When a person’s T-cell count drops low enough, their immune system becomes compromised and loses the ability to effectively fight foreign pathogens The preson is then categorized as having an Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome – AIDS.

    There are other things that can cause immune deficiencies, but HIV does lead directly to the development of AIDS by destroying helper t-cell populations until the immune system doesn’t have the ability even to fight off a common cold.

    Do some basic research and you would know this. Advocating contrary information (without solid scientific evidence) can endanger people’s lives.

  17. JeffRob says

    HIV causes AIDS, and to deny that is tantamount to believing the world was created in 6 days and evolution is a sham, because you’re turning your back on decades of valid scientific research and consensus.

    If you’re sexually active, please get tested, and if you’re positive, tell those you care about and that care about you, don’t have unprotected sex, and most importantly GET TREATMENT. It will save your life.

    Jason, stop lying to our community. You could literally kill someone.

  18. Tom says

    @Jason….WTF??!! I look forward to the day you graduate from your right wing Xtian middle school and are allowed to read real newpapers with real facts in them. HIV causes AIDS. It is the only cause of AIDS and the actual (not pseudo) scientific evidence to support that fact is irrefutable and the myth that it is caused by anything else is put forward by the same people who think they can pray the gay away. Please look into real scietific journals (not the bible) and get educated before your ignorance kills you and maybe someone you love. People with Aids are living longer today because of drugs that target and inhibit the HIV virus…fact.

  19. Asher says

    Towlroad is a privately owned blog, not a news agency. The writers here can write about whatever the f**k they want, with or without personal opinions thrown in. If you don’t like what they write, get off the site and read another one, rather than prattling on about the downfall of Towleroad. Seriously, get an effing life.

  20. bobspice says

    Towleroad is a blog – therefore one should expect the addition of personal opinion – news seen through the prism of the author. Otherwise, why not visit a news aggregator? This is still the most intelligent and textured gay blog out there, with a nutritious blend of culture and activism. Not a plant, just a British journo who appreciates a well constructed product. This is one.

  21. justsid says

    Look irregardless of how they feel about HIV vrs AID’s. They are obviously not against LGBTQ’s. Their problem is with a science not the AID’s victim. Are they miss informed? Possibly or maybe not. I have heard many things from both points of view on HIV and AID’s. I am not a scientist so I will defer to their opinion. However, I do know there are doctors out there who do not agree with AZT treatments for AID’s. So if the Foo Fighters got duped into some shoddy science. Then I’m sure they are not the only ones. Especially considering they are not doctors nor scientist’s but singers. You can not deny nor fault a person for their opinion just because they are famous. No one and I mean no ONE can be perfect and knowledgeable on every single subject. So they said they didn’t believe HIV leads to AID’s. Anyone who would listen to a band for their medical advice is suspect of mental impairment anyways in my opinion.

  22. Dev says

    Again, it never ceases to amaze me how conceited some people are. You read something online and that makes you an expert? You watch a documentary and you suddenly believe that you know more than people who actually spent their lives studying the subject? Not one credible medical professional has supported AIDS denialism, and public health researchers in Africa have attributed more than 300,000 additional deaths due to HIV denialists. The cause and effect relationship between HIV and AIDS is NOT a controversy, we know for a fact that HIV causes AIDS, and no scientific studies have ever shown otherwise. Stop spreading lies, your solipsism is killing people.

  23. Dev says

    And to people saying that these are just the band’s opinions, and that they are cannot be experts they’re just singers: EXACTLY. Leave the science to the experts, if you are not an expert on something then SHUT YOUR TRAP ABOUT LIFE-SAVING INTERVENTIONS. Freaking lives are at stake here, you are killing people because of your ignorance. How evil do you have to be in order to be so cavalier about other people’s lives? And NO, there is NO controversy here. Saying that there is is lying, plain and simple. There are NO peer reviewed studies to show that HIV is the cause of AIDS, and there are hundreds of peer reviewed studies that support the scientific consensus. NO physicians have ever supported HIV denialism. Presenting this issue as a controversy is an outright lie.

  24. Dev says

    And foo fighters is not anti-LGBT. In fact during this same concert Grohl announced “God Bless America! It takes all kinds; I don’t care if you’re black or white or purple or green, whether you’re Pennsylvanian or Transylvanian, Lady gaga or Lady Antebellum. Men loving women and women loving men and men loving men and women loving women — you all know we like to watch that. But what I’d like to say is, God Bless America, y’all!” I’ve loved Foo Fighters since I was a teenager, and I wish they would just retract their statements and issue an apology.

  25. DerpFighters says

    They were never “Indie” since the Foo Fighters was the direct descendant of the biggest band of the 90’s and the Alternative Era “Nirvana”. Their first album did sell millions since they were already world famous musicians in a new band. Alt rock sure, indie well that just shows that you have no idea what you are talking about.

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