'Huffington Post' response over gay 'sugar daddies' piece fails to mollify GLAAD
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) on Wednesday said a response from The Huffington Post over a gay "sugar daddies" story wasn't enough.
GLAAD chided the Post for publishing an article
written by Amanda Fairbanks titled Sex For Tuition: Gay Students Using 'Sugar Daddies' To Pay Off Loan Debt
The group blasted Fairbanks for propping up stereotypes about the LGBT community by not challenging statements from subjects saying the gay community is more accepting of one-night stands and "it was the first to embrace the sugar lifestyle," and writing that escorting is "accepted, even applauded" in the gay community.
"With the Huffington Post editorial team standing behind an article riddled with such shoddy journalism and tired old stereotypes, it is clear that actual reporting comes second to exploiting ploys the intent of which seems to be a cheap effort to boost traffic numbers," said GLAAD Senior Director of Programs Herndon Graddick.
"Arianna Huffington once envisioned her site as the newspaper of the future. With sensationalist work like this, one wonders if the new incarnation of the Huffington Post has the journalistic legs to sustain itself in the long run, or maybe that's just not part of their equation anymore," he added, referring to AOL, the site's new owner.
The Huffington Post defended the article's content.
"Our coverage of students who sell themselves to manage their college debt has aimed to be sympathetic to their plight – not sensationalistic. But based on our reporting, we found that young women and young gays are part of communities that often view the matter differently. We found that for many gay men, the use of escort services and the exchange of money for sex appear to carry less of a stigma, according to extensive interviews with gay escorts and members of the gay community," Mario Ruiz, AOL Huffington Post VP of Communications, wrote in a email to the group.
"The Huffington Post's response is insufficient and does not adequately address the clear problems we highlighted with the article," Graddick added.
Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine