This is a rather sad story, for I used to have some respect for The Huffington Post, but it would seem it has now gone the way of The National Enquirer and can only hope to aspire to the tainted standard of yellow journalism. On August 30, 2011, The Huffington Post ran a story by Amanda Fairbanks titled Sex For Tuition: Gay Students Using ‘Sugar Daddies’ To Pay Off Loan Debt.
As noted by GLAAD, the story is riddled with dangerous stereotypes and shallow assumptions, providing no substantiation for its sweeping generalities. A prime example is this quote from the story:
Unlike in the straight world, many say they find working as an escort on the gay scene to be an accepted, even applauded practice.
provided with no supporting material. GLAAD is asking people to take action:
This level of carelessness is surprising, given the Huffington Post’s track record of commendable coverage of LGBT issues. It feeds into very outdated stereotypes, ignores the broad range of people from our community with many healthy and loving families and uses a few individuals to make sweeping and degrading generalizations about the gay community. It’s shoddy journalism.
Aside from the dangerous backlash this will have on the LGBT community, Fairbanks seems to be the whore here and will publish a story regardless of facts or of how her need to be published will harm gay men. Obviously, this week’s BWA goes to Huffington Post. Thus far, HuffPo has offered only a weak defense of the story, still providing no journalistic evidence to support the wild and damaging claims. Badly done, Huffington Post. Make this right and publish a retraction now!