Signorile Denounces ‘Holier Than Thou’ Lectures on Outing and Aaron Schock

Michelangelo Signorile denounces "holier than thou" lectures from some media outlets on the recent Aaron Schock gay rumors:

SchockJournalist Itay Hod wrote on his Facebook page that his friend walked in on a roommate and the congressman in his shower. Hod was inspired to write about that after reading a post on Americablog, "The 7 Gayest Aaron Schock Instagram Posts of 2013," which also noted that the newly-out diving champion Tom Daley was among the 71 people Schock followed.

Is any of that hard evidence? Of course not, and certainly there's no firsthand source by name. But is it interesting information for reporters and pundits to: a) speculate about, discuss, debate, rehash, spin, dig, and make phone calls about, as they do with so many other issues which might be true about public figures — many of which are complete non-stories; and b) ask Aaron Shock about directly as he enters the halls of Congress, heads to the supermarket or turns up at the next cocktail party?

You better believe it.

Instead, we've seen holier-than-thou lectures about stereotyping people as gay, like this one on Buzzfeed, which is in on all the click-bait action — complete with the photo and front-page placement — while positioning itself as above it all. Or Slate's Dave Weigel, disappointingly taking a swipe at "the usual crop of SEO-engine-greasing sites" for covering the story while lauding "more tasteful outlets, like Buzzfeed," under the big photo and headline, "What If a Republican Congressman Got Outed and Nobody Cared?" This was the second time in the past few weeks that Slate ran a piece about an outing that supposedly wasn't really important enough for anyone to care about, but which Slate still had to ask the question about, complete with the photo. The last one was, "Why Did Gawker Out Shepard Smith?" If outing stories are so unimportant and have no effect, or shouldn't be reported, why do they all keep writing about them?

Signorile, who has been reporting on "outing" for two decades also talks about the history of the term and how Schock is getting let off the hook.

Read it here.

Comments

  1. Ben in Oakland says

    It’s called changing the subject. In this case, from the private life of an antigay bigot to outing.

    Outing is the non-controversy of the year. Heterosexuals have been outing gay people for two millennia– we’re the ones that pay the price, not them.

    If you stick your nose outside of the closet and tell another human being, no matter how secretly, that you’re a big ‘ol ‘mo, you take the chance of being outed. That’s just the reality of the situation. There are no rights or wrongs to it, it’s simply a matter of consequences, and nothing else.

    the falseness of the controversy is illustrated by Signorile’s anecdote about William Henry. The privilege of not being outed is simply an example of heterosexual privilege– that is, what alleged heterosexuals do to prevent their lives and lies from being made public.

    Do I think that innocent people who are committing no wrongs against their gay and lesbian sisters and brothers should be outed against their will? No, I don’t. but it is always a possibility, and I’m really not going to lose any sleep over it.

    Do I think that people like Schock, whose actual status is unknown, or people like Mehlman, Henry, Haggard, eddie Long, Lonnie Latham, Schrock, Robert Bauman, cardinal O’Brien, and a host of others, should be outed?

    Absolutely. It’s not a matter of opinion, it’s a matter of facts. Facts are what journalists deal with, at least in theory. If, as so many claim, that it shouldn’t matter, then let’s prove it.

    Out them all, and let’s see what happens.

  2. Pat says

    The ethics of outing aside, practically speaking I can’t understand how, as journalist Itay Hod claims, Aaron Schock regularly “trolls” D.C. gay bars but none of the (one assumes) dozens or hundreds of patrons in those bars, much less those bars’ security cameras, have ever snapped a photo of him? Obviously such a photo would be as valuable to the tabloids as one of a sasquatch bronco-riding the Loch Ness monster. I have no dog in this fight, I just don’t see how it’s possible for a fairly well-known politician to frequent gay bars in the most politically savvy city in the U.S. and not a single iPhone or TMZ/papparazzi photo exists. Rep. Schock is very lucky indeed not to have a single publicity-seeking frenemy, disgruntled staffer, or vindictive ex-lover.

  3. crispy says

    Signorile is wrong about this. Not about outing, which is totally fine when there’s hard evidence (hehe, hard) … he himself acknowledges that is necessary.

    He’s wrong that the media should report what amounts to hearsay from non-credible sources and a “feeling” (and apparently a fancy belt, but really that’s more funny than a legit reason). It’s that type of rampant speculation that has turned the American media into the joke that it is today. As a matter of fact, journalists don’t debate on-air if Angela Merkel used to be a man because they heard it from a friend of friend whose roommate walked in on her peeing standing up.

    If someone would just get a picture of Schock sucking caulk already, we could put an end to all this.

  4. says

    This points out the fact that outing is a dated “tool” utilized by self-hating gays. It is also self-defeating because it seeks to “punish” those who stand accused of this great crime of homosexuality whether they deny it or not, much like the witch hunts of the past. Lastly, it reinforces stereotypes of male behavior that should be left in the dustbins of history. Shame on activists who use hearsay (always from a friend of a friend) to attempt to make a name for themselves by invading the personal lives of those who disagree with them. You are part of the problem.

  5. Steve says

    “Unnamed sources” is just news-speak for conjecture which damned any reputable journalism left in the USA. If you can’t name your sources, you have no business reporting as there is no accountability.

  6. says

    too bad that “newday” is just our resident trolling hack who, for unfathomable reasons, created a webpage with a name similar to my own because…well…he’s bats**t crazy.

    run along, wimp. before someone drops a house on you, too.

  7. JackFknTwist says

    @ NEWDAY :
    What nonsense you write.
    “outing is a dated tool”, “witch hunts”….blah blah blah.

    The truth is that ‘outing ‘ can be exercised in any area……..at the moment it is used to expose those posing as straight but acting against the interests of gays…..it could be used to expose any other form of hypocrisy.

    And let’s give up the pseudo crap of quasi sociological cant as ‘the ethics of outing’.
    It is simply revenge on traitors and it tastes great.

    Schlock voted against gays so any indulgence of his private double life is fair-game.
    Don’t act against us and we won’t act against you.
    And no one is suggesting ‘outing’ anyone other than those who actively seek to do harm to our legitimate struggle for equality……which currently remains a peaceful struggle.

  8. Perry says

    And we should care what this publicity seeking, anti-straight person thinks why again?

    And I love how people are “traitors” if they don’t have the “correct” political belief based solely on their gender, race, or sexual identity. It shows that you lack any intellectual honesty and like the people you claim are the bigots, you do nothing stereotype people.

  9. Mikey says

    It’s still hearsay until there’s actual evidence. It makes Hod look like a gossiper, a petty gay with wishful thinking. I don’t believe him to be, but he has to do better than “an unknown friend told me.”

  10. anon says

    @MIKEY… I agree. Itay Hod was complaining about journalists not being willing to report. But, then he himself wrote a piece that was nothing but gossip couched in “what ifs” all the while claiming he has the evidence. But, just like the journalists he complains about, refuses to produce said evidence. about

  11. CPT_Doom says

    According to Hod, a journalist (friend of his) actually walked in on Schock and the journalist’s roommate in a shower and he claims that TMZ caught Schock outside of some Tampa, FL gay bars. Those are the journalists who should be reporting on their findings – Hod cannot because he doesn’t have the first hand knowledge, or sources willing to go on the record.

    As for “outing,” the minute you put foot into a known gay establishment, or decide to start screwing someone, you have already come out. You cannot and should not expect that the LGBT community is going to keep your secrets just because you’re uncomfortable with that aspect of your personality.

  12. BreckRoy says

    @cpt_doom I agree with everything you say except that setting foot in a known gay establishment means you are gay and shoukd subject you to “outing.” Many straight friends of mine went to gay clubs in Austin with me in college and every now and then one will join me going out in a group here in the DC area. They aren’t famous, so no one cares, but even if they were, they wouldn’t be gay no matter how many pics or outings they were subjected to.

  13. Ben in Oakland says

    Perry, I don’t know any gay person who is anti straight. Whatever argument you might have is negated by that little bit of rightwing nonsense.

  14. jamal49 says

    Unless the person in question has been vehemently anti-gay in public and has actively worked to deny equality to LGBT people, it is none of your goddamned business whether the person is gay or not. Otherwise, get a life.

  15. crispy says

    “he claims that TMZ caught Schock outside of some Tampa, FL gay bars.”

    LOL.

    I initially heard it was a DC gay bar. But more recently, I heard West Hollywood bars.

    The whole thing is a game of telephone at this point.

  16. Sergio says

    Schock is not making any new statements of denial, so I’m guessing he knows the game is up.

    Now we need to set about outing Arkansas Republican congressman Tom Cotton. You heard it here first, folks…

  17. Paul R says

    Wow, Dave, you seem really bright.

    As for Schock, how many times have you suspected that someone was gay and it turned out they weren’t? Even if it took them 20 or 30 years to come out? Probably not many. And Schock’s silence on this story is making it worse, suggesting that someone has evidence and he’s hoping it will magically go away.

  18. Topol says

    Public figures, and private figures, are not required to respond to rumor. Baseless gossip is not “outing.” It’s innuendo.

    Hod doesn’t even have the guts to name the person.

    If Hod had stated facts, names, and at least three (unnamed) sources, we’ll talk about this again.

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