The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against
Defamation (GLAAD) on Wednesday said a response from The
Huffington Post over a gay “sugar daddies” story wasn't
GLAAD chided the Post for
publishing an articled 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
“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.