South Florida Gay News, that scrappy little news organ, broke a (very) minor national scandal late last week, which is making more than one serious journo feel a little sheepish this Monday.
To wit: Week before last, newsfolk looking to fill space began reporting a strange little poll out of Orange County, California, that found that Britney Spears was gays' favorite icon. Jason Parsley, of South Florida Gay News, thought there was something fishy about the poll. (Britney Spears? Seriously?) He tracked news of the poll to its source, which turned out to be, of all things, an article on Examiner.com by a fellow named Fernando Palazzo.
The poll was allegedly conducted by an organization Palazzo called "Orange County's Equality Project." In his digging, Parsley found no evidence of an organization with that exact name; a similarly named organization had no knowledge of the poll or of the spokesperson with whom Palazzo claimed to have spoken, Joel Waddell.
In the Examiner article, the (fictional?) Waddell was quoted as saying: "Britney Spears is a genuine gay icon. She is sincere in her affection for us and doesn't need to exploit us as a marketing like some other current Madonna-like icon."
That "Madonna-like icon" is soon revealed to be Lady Gaga, whom Waddell refers to as a "talentless scam artist" and whom he compares to Adolf Hitler.
This is something of a theme in Palazzo's Examiner.com articles. Waddell, if he exists, has said nasty things about Gaga in at least three of Palazzo's stories. (This reporter could stand to read no more. Cheers to Parsley, who seems to have waded through all of them.)
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Palazzo's seemingly fictionalized ditty about the poll was taken seriously in a fair cross section of important publications, including the Washington Post. Why, I've got no idea -- Examiner.com is a cesspool of misinformation, dumb screeds, and ranting wankery. Anyone can post stories there simply by creating an account and will never pass beneath the gaze of an editor. Kudos to Parsley for being more internet-savvy than establishment newsfolk.
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