Thursday, December 07, 2006

National Enquirer does some outing of celebrities

A December 2006 issue of The National Enquirer reads "Who's Gay ... and Who's Not: The ultilmate Hollywood tell-all".

I don't know if this would be libel if the information were untrue about a particular celebrity, but supermarket tabloids have been sued over false outing in the past (especially in Europe). Again, there is an "invasion of privacy" issue, but I don't know if it would apply to celebrities. We've also seen other forced outings, as recently on ABC's The View.

The problem with this is that kids will see these tabloids in supermarkets and convenience stores, and believe that "outing" people is a cool thing to do on Myspace. This has already been an issue for school systems (as on a Dec 6 2006 episode of NBC's Dr. Phil). It's not cool.

Younger celebrities (and even older ones) are often more comfortable being seen in gay surroundings today than in past decades. Nevertheless, I don't publish names associated with specific "glances" or "sightings" unless the particular individual has decided to announce his situation or sexual orientation himself or herself.

There is an blog discussion teachers and this issue here.

The National Enquirer is a publication of American Media, a company (in Florida) that was a target of the 2001 anthrax attacks. Other publications include the black-and-white rag World Weekly News (with all the alien abduction stories that truly are made up), to more upscale publications like Men's Fitness.

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