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Merv Griffin’s Bodyguard of Lies

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Posted on Aug 27, 2007
Nancy Reagan and Merv Griffin
AP Photo / Craig Molenhouse

Then-first lady Nancy Reagan meets with talk show host Merv Griffin in 1982.

By Larry Gross

(Page 2)

Seventeen years later, the situation is vastly different, but celebrity closets remain dangerous journalistic territory, even when their inhabitants are deceased and therefore immune from being libeled.  The day before Merv Griffin’s funeral, the Hollywood Reporter, one of the industry “bibles” read by everyone in showbiz, ran a front-page story by regular writer Ray Richmond that began, “Merv Griffin was gay.”  Richmond, who had worked for Griffin in the 1980s, went on to note that “Merv’s secret gay life was widely known throughout showbiz culture, if not the wider America.”  Richmond made clear why he thought it important to set the record, um, straight about Griffin’s sexuality:

He certainly didn’t owe us an explanation, but maybe he owed it to himself to remove the suffocating veil he’d been forced to hide behind throughout his adult life.  Then again, Merv carved his niche in the entertainment world at a time when being gay wasn’t OK, when disclosure was unthinkable and the allegation alone could deep-six one’s career.

If you’re Griffin, why would you think a judgmental culture would be any more tolerant as you grew into middle and old age?  Even in the capital of entertainment—in a business where homosexuality isn’t exactly a rare phenomenon—it’s still spoken of in hushed tones or, more often, not at all.  And Merv’s brush with tabloid scandal no doubt only drove him further into the closet.

While it would seem everything has changed today, little actually has.  You can count on the fingers of one hand, or at most two, the number of high-powered stars, executives and public figures who have come out.  Those who don’t can’t really be faulted, as rarely do honesty and full disclosure prove a boon to one’s showbiz livelihood.

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Nonetheless, the elephant that was his sexual orientation never really stopped following Griffin from room to room.  He could duck it for a while, but it would always find him.  It’s disheartening that Merv had to die to shake it for good.

The reaction to Richmond’s article was swift and effective.  Recently appointed editor Elizabeth Guider, a Variety veteran who had taken over The Hollywood Reporter less than a month before, seemingly caved in under pressure from her corporate bosses at Nielsen Business Media or from one of Griffin’s companies, which threatened legal action (although, of course, there was no legal basis for such a threat).  In any event, the article was pulled from the website, but in the age of the Internet, of course, the cat was long out of the bag.  As the story bounced around the blogosphere, it clearly was beyond containment, and THR restored the story, although in a less prominent spot.  As Raymond later wrote on his blog:

Incoming editor Elizabeth Guider opined upon reflection that the column was not “malicious, mendacious or unfair-minded” and therefore [she] was comfortable not merely with its legality but its message as well.  She understood that it’s sometimes the job of columnists to shake up the status quo as well as to “spark more discussion and deal with different viewpoints.  That’s what free speech is about.”

Reuters, however, which had run the story when THR first posted it, took it down and did not put it back.  Reuters explained: “This was a story from The Hollywood Reporter that ran as part of a Reuters news feed.  We have dropped the story from our entertainment news feed, as it did not meet our standards for news.”  Officials of the news service did not explain, however, why the article seemed to meet their standards when they originally ran it (Yahoo News, which picked up the Reuters story, kept it up even after Reuters took it down).

So, how far have we come in the years between Malcolm Forbes’ and Merv Griffin’s funerals?  Quite a way, to be sure, but at least for many power-wielders, things are much the same.  Hollywood, like its East Coast counterpart in image manipulation, Washington, D.C., is endlessly engaged in the selling of constructed personae on the mainstream media’s pages and screens.  If, as Churchill said, in wartime truth has a bodyguard of lies, then Hollywood’s image factory is always at war.  Its defensive strategy relies heavily on a fifth column within the ranks of the press: gossip writers.  The progeny of Louella Parsons and heirs of Hedda Hopper follow in the footsteps of their infamous ancestors, “two vain and ignorant [columnists who] tyrannized Hollywood” in the 1940s, as they were characterized by historian Otto Freidrich.  Early in the 20th century the component parts of the image-manufacturing complex were firmly in place:  On the one side studio publicists, publicity agents and public relations flacks, and on the other side an array of media writers ranging from freelance stringers to writers working for supermarket tabloids and magazines, whose contemporary counterparts work for mainstream personality gossip magazines like People and US, television programs like Entertainment Tonight, syndicated gossip columnists that reach millions of readers through their local newspapers, and the latest venue, commercial and amateur websites.  But despite the occasional adversarial pretense, these groups really collude in providing the sort of gossip they believe the public wants to know.  Gossip may not have the journalistic respectability of “hard” news, but it is an increasingly visible feature of the media landscape.

It may be a commonplace of journalism courses that the ultimate standard for news media is honesty—never knowingly to report something that is untrue, even if the “whole” truth may not be reportable for a variety of reasons (such as protecting one’s sources).  But when it comes to celebrity gossip, “The standards are different,” said Jerry Nachman, then editor of the New York Post.  “That’s why I always say gossip pages should come with little warning labels:  The rules of regular journalism were not followed in reporting these stories.”


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By james evonecht, September 3, 2007 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Skruff,
I was definitely referring to the period of time before the sun grows past the orbit of Mercury and turns the inner planets to cinders, I think that gives us a long time coming and going.  And in that time frame there is already a very long list of humans who have had a profound and positive impact on generations of all living things that follow them.
Merv Griffin was rewarded in life like he was at the top of that list.  He isn’t on the list and I doubt he knew one existed. He was a pig!
Beg your pardon true swine of the barnyard variety, your quite handsome and valuable in your own right.

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By ProfessorVP, September 2, 2007 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

That reminds me, Rae, of a joke I heard on the Merv Griffin Show, as told by the comic actor Joe Flynn
(a Griffin regular, he was on McHale’s Navy).

“A woman goes to the doctor, and she’s, oh, five-feet-two and weighs three hundred fifty pounds.  She says, ‘Doctor, I don’t know if I’m coming or going.’”

“And so the doctor asks the woman to remove all her clothing, and she does.  Then he takes a pencil and tosses it across the room.  ‘I’d like you to get down on all fours and crawl across the floor and pick up the pencil with your teeth,’ the doctor says.  And the woman does it.  ‘Thank you, now turn around and crawl back to me.’  And the woman does it.  Then the doctor concludes, ‘I don’t know if you’re coming or going either.’”

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By RAE, September 2, 2007 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

Bukko asks “...And just how did you acquire that knowledge??? “

First hand, Bukko… then the other hand. I was young and the surfie was so beautiful… what can I say?

Re “I feel like the meat in a sandwich…”
That’s what I’ve always called it but it’s always a position I’ve tried, at all costs, to avoid. Top or bottom is fine, but that “in-the-middle” position is far too confusing for me… I don’t know whether I’m coming or going half the time.

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By Bukko in Australia, September 2, 2007 at 2:42 am Link to this comment

I am honoured to have my comment appear between those of the distinguished Dr. Knowitall and ProfessorVP. Why, I feel like the meat in a sandwich!

(I think there’s a name for when that happens in a sexual situation, but it slips my mind…)

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By ProfessorVP, September 1, 2007 at 9:59 pm Link to this comment

This is getting ‘way off the topic of Merv Griffin, but it is not uncommon also in Latin culture to, for the sake of pride, assign the word gay (“maricon”) to the one who gives oral sex, and takes it up… uh, takes it up with the manager.  And the other guy can still convince himself he is straight.  This I know for a fact.  I have heard that many black men also often think similarly- since they have wives and children at home, how can they be gay?  The result?  Of course, it is HIV infection.

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By Bukko in Australia, September 1, 2007 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

So RAE, you taught me something that I never knew about gay life in Oz. (Never thought to ask any of my gay co-workers, not that the topic would even come up…) And just how did you acquire that knowledge??? wink

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 1, 2007 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

Ed, you can be BI, too. So you can be either straight, gay or bi-.  And I suppose you can be asexual, as well.  I know some people I think have no interest whatsoever in anything sexual in nature.  They’d be neither straight, gay or bi-, but a-.  Then you’ve probably got your pan-sexual people or those who have sex with anything and everything, including themselves.  Actually, the more I think about it, there are any number of sexual classes or genre under which people might fall.  Then, you have to allow for the possiblity of people switching persuasions from time to time so that they’d be erstwhile one thing or another then a neo-something else.  The whole thing can get kind of complicated if you think about it long enough.  Merv did give something to the world that it sorely needed and needs now more than ever and that’s entertainment.  Have you ever stopped to think about how big entertainment is in this country?  It would be gargantuan even if Wheel of Fortune were the only source.  I heard that people of all sexual persuasions have won hundreds of millions on that show in its 25+ years.  Well, I could go on but I need to get back into my therapy session.  I’m considering turning gay.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 1, 2007 at 8:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s amazing: Someone like 1drees can post an inrelevant post calling for a boycott of Israel, but MY challenge to that tangent was censored by this site’s ownership.

Will they post this?  Or would they, like the British tabloids, exploit the death of Merv Griffin, a man who brought SO many people pleasure who watched his shows?  Jeopardy: Which makes you feel stupid because the contestants are SO smart.  Wheel of Fortune: Which makes you feel stupid because YOU are watching it!

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By ProfessorVP, August 31, 2007 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

Your 100% wrong, Boggs.  Merv Griffin, if you are old enough to have watched him, was a public figure who came into millions of homes on television.  He didn’t have to run for public office to be someone people wanted to know about.

You struck out again re: Larry Craig.  If this anti-gay, holier-than-thou legislator had been caught in the presidential suite of the swankiest hotel in bed with another man, people would want to know about it, bigtime.

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By boggs, August 31, 2007 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

Some of you are insisting that this is a necessary conversation, but it’s really not.
Merv never ran for a public office and if he had I don’t think I would care a twit.
This is nothing more then GOSSIP for the sake of gossip.
Let it go!
No one would have cared what L. Craig did if he had not tried to do it in a public place. How disgusting.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, August 31, 2007 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

Skruff, in answer to your question: Wheel of Fortune!

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By RAE, August 30, 2007 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

Bukko writes “Australia is not a stick-up-its-arse kinda place…”

Careful, mate. I lived three wonderful years down under and learned, to my astonishment, that a guy is consider a “poofta” ONLY if (a) he’s giving the BJ or (b) “receiving” from behind, if you know what I mean. The guy getting the BJ or “pitching” doesn’t consider himself gay and doesn’t seem to be considered “gay” by others either!

Oh ya… the BIG no-no is talking about “it” the next day. “Things happen” when “mates” are pissy drunk, the night is hot, and the opportunity arises. Enjoy it. BUT SHUT UP ABOUT IT.

I found this rationalization of the male/male sex roles fascinating and funny as hell.

I agree that during my time in Oz I found attitudes about sex and sexual practices much more mature than in the USA. Overt faggy homos who insisted on flaunting their bizarre behaviors in inappropriate places at inappropriate times usually ran into trouble.

Those who “practised” their sexuality with discretion usually never ran into problems. Although I do remember one occasion in a park loo in Sydney… it was damnable entrapment… imagine using a 20-year-old, built-like-a-brick-shithouse, drop-dead good looking, hunky undercover cop to entrap a fella just looking for a good time!

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By ProfessorVP, August 30, 2007 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

You are absolutely spot on, Bukko, America is at the same time prudish and prurient, which explains the schizophrenia of Fox.  FoxNews is prudish, Fox Network is salacious, with its laugh-tracked sex and potty humor.  Was it Ben Franklin who said, “Humans are the only animals that blush… or need to.”

That said, Merv Griffin did not keep his sexuality private.  He often spoke of his wife Julann and his son Tony, which could be perceived as evidence of straightness, and long after his divorce, spoke of Eva Gabor as his live-in girlfriend.  Therefore, you cannot say that it was the Nosybodies Collective that forced the issue of sexual orientation on Merv Griffin.  Merv Griffin took the initiative to appear straight.  Why?  For one thing, in the entertainment business, it is more profitable.  But when one already has a billion dollars, I ask- rhetorically- how much more profit does one need?

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By Bukko in Australia, August 30, 2007 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

I never watched Merv’s show, so maybe I missed the episodes where he ranted about how bad homosexuality is while being on the down-low himself. What’s that you say? He DIDN’T make a career of hypocritically criticising publicly that which he did secretly? Then I agree with everyone here who said “Who cares?”

I’m all for outing hypocrites. It’s called “honesty.” I’d feel the same way about someone who was always speechifying about how great it is to be a vegetarian, then went home three nights a week to fry up a pan full of scrambled calf brains.

But if someone likes gay sex and doesn’t make a big deal of how much they hate it, I say let ‘em stay in the closet. (Like a certain U.S. Senator and a state governor from the old Confederacy.) These people are working in government, not acting in sex films. So it’s none of my business how they swing it in private. Unless they’re being grossly hypocritical, of course.

One thing I’ve learned from living outside the United States is what a prurient society America is. The culture is both PRUDISH and PERVERTED. On the whole, Americans (not enlightened TruthDiggers, of course) are shocked, shocked, I tell you! about sex. But it’s always on their minds. It’s like whenever they see someone, they’re thinking “How does that person DO IT?”

Australia is not a stick-up-its-arse kinda place—America was settled by Puritans; Oz by prisoners—but there’s nowhere near the emphasis on private sex lives here as there is in the (original) States. People here don’t spend time talking about their mating habits, even though they call everybody “mate.”

For instance, my boss is gone on maternity leave, but until she started showing, I had no idea whether she was straight or gay, married, partnered or just knocked up. And I didn’t care. Know why? Because she was my BOSS, not someone I would consider sleeping with. Americans should adopt the same attitude. If you don’t want to rub uglies with a person, then who cares how they do it?

Unless it’s Britney, of course. Now I gotta switch sites and find out more!

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By ProfessorVP, August 30, 2007 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

Rae, can you imagine this conversation taking place, while watching the old Merv Griffin Show (which I used to enjoy): “Say, Merv Griffin sure is funny tonight.  He’s divorced, isn’t he?”  “That’s none of our beeswax.”  “Well, he’s still somewhat attractive.  Is he dating?”  “Just enjoy the show, dear, don’t think about who Merv’s dating.”  “I recall he was seeing Eva Gabor.”  “That’s their business, just concentrate on the show.”  “I heard he might be gay.” “That does it, turn the TV off.”

Look, folks, you want total privacy- work as an accountant or whatever in your own office or cubicle, or go into the dry cleaning business.  When you go into millions of people’s homes, or expect people to shell out $9 to see your movie, or you’re running for office, it is childish to say, “Just let me do my job, everything else is private.”  Because an entertainer, a politician, or any public figure is sold as a whole package.  That’s the way it is, and I don’t believe that’s fundamentally wrong.

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By Skruff, August 30, 2007 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

97677 by James Evonecht on 8/30 at 8:53 am

“Name me one thing that this man left behind that has true worth and will be remembered with any value for posterity.”

OK, I turn the challenge around.  what has ANY human being done that will be of benefit to a surviving planet when the human race is gone…

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By James Evonecht, August 30, 2007 at 9:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anyone who thinks they are worth as much money as Merv Griffin was worth, has no rights in my world.  Do what you will with their lives or reputations, dead or alive.  They are the true predators on this planet and until we rid the world of these ego driven fools and their parishioners nothing will work, no economy, political system or religion has a chance against the dollar.  Merv Griffin was a pig as is Nancy Reagan!  Although nonconsequential, if his sexuality does him and his cronies harm, then I say have at it.  He created nothing but drivel, healed nothing, all for hundreds of millions of dollars, more than thousands of us will make in a lifetime.  Name me one thing that this man left behind that has true worth and will be remembered with any value for posterity.

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By RAE, August 30, 2007 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

Well, “Professor,” you could well be correct when you claim “A lot of people care.” But this doesn’t mean it is any of “a lot” people’s business.

My sexual orientation is no more the business of others than is my hair color or height… with the possible exception of those with whom I wish to interact sexually. Heterosexism* is just as odious and unjust and unfair as most other “isms.”

It is nonsense to accept that what a majority of people “think” “feel” “do” is the standard to which everyone should aspire. Humans are not Borgs. “The majority” have OFTEN been 100% DEAD WRONG about “a lot” of things. The task of point that out unfortunately most often falls to the “minorities.”

*BTW, the definition of a “heterosexist” is one who thinks EVERYONE IS STRAIGHT… OR SHOULD BE.

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By Skruff, August 30, 2007 at 6:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

97636 by ProfessorVP on 8/29 at 10:46 pm
  “Because a lot of people care, and a lot of people disapprove.”

...and it’s none-of-your-business unless Merv says it is!

Humans as ass-sniffing dogs!  Disgusting!

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By ProfessorVP, August 29, 2007 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment

Those who utter nonsense like “this is trivial, who cares?” just don’t get it.  Who cares?  A lot of people care.  Most people care about the itsy-bitsy little trivial part of a person’s life- his or her sexuality.  Yes, that little bitty thing that develops around age 12, and influences the course of our lives- whom we are attracted to, whom we date, court, get engaged to, and- when society’s laws permit it- marry.  And have kids.  Yes, that tiny little thing: one’s sexuality.  People like to know about it.

Nancy Reagan, pictured in 1982 in the article, had a husband who didn’t lift a finger in the beginning of the AIDS pandemic.  He didn’t think he knew any gay people.  In fact, the Reagans were good friends with at least one: Merv Griffin.  But they didn’t know it.  Thousands got sick and died, while Reagan primly lectured on the topic of abstinence.  It should be noted that Nancy Reagan, after marrying Ronald, delivered a full term baby after seven months.

It is sad that even a billionaire whom nobody could hurt felt compelled to hide his sexual identity.  Why did he go to such great lengths?  Not because nobody cares.  Because a lot of people care, and a lot of people disapprove.

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By Outraged, August 29, 2007 at 11:19 pm Link to this comment

So America LOVES gay people….I knew that!  They just don’t want to admit it.

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By Henry Ehrlich, August 29, 2007 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I believe in personal privacy, but on this particular issue, hypocrisy is very dangerous.  Would history have been different if Anthony Summers’ book on J. Edgar Hoover had been published before Hoover died?  Very likely.  The closet is a dangerous place for public figures.  Let them out.

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By PatrickHenry, August 29, 2007 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

Simply a distraction from important issues.

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By Dawn Griffin, August 29, 2007 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Salacious gossip should have but a small place here.  Three pages of frenetic gossip mongering should not.  I wonder what straights would do if suddenly they were so negatively defined by what they did in the privacy of their own bedrooms.  See if you don’t become oppressed.  Outing someone, dead or alive, by gays or by straights, is perverse.  I would rather the representatives of the gay community come willingly to the table than be forced into the limelight, not as glimmering stars, but as examples of the ultimate shame, as judged by societal standards.  This is the shame we carry.  And when we try to give it back to you by living lives unhindered by the narrow definition you have accorded us, you’re still out there heaping it on.  No thanks.  Shame on you.

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By boggs, August 29, 2007 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

I can’t imagine why you thought we would be interested in such facts.
Now, if he were holding a Republican Senate seat, I would be delighted…..

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By Susan, August 28, 2007 at 11:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s a sad commentary on our society that this is such a huge issue. I lie for the day when we are ashamed we were ever so ashamed of who we, and others, are.

(Yes, of course the Gonzales story is important - but everyone else is covering that, and no one seems to be covering this at all, or discussing it the way you are.)

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By Frank Cajon, August 28, 2007 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

And, so this dead, rich Hollywood guy was gay. First, what the hell is this story doing on this board; Second, who gives a shit, even when he was alive, which side of the plate some fat cat like Griffin swung from; Third, there are fascists taking over our country and sending our young men and women to die- and both joke parties are presenting Insane Clown Posses of candidates for Top Dog in 1/09 that will keep this going for another 10 years. Maybe that is more pressing???
Bury Griffin and shame on Truthdig.

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By spidey, August 28, 2007 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

How about replacing this one with the Larry Craig story. Now that’s news!

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By cram namron, August 28, 2007 at 10:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This was a great, relevant article.  The title of the site is truth dig! It’s an article about how news sources hide the facts and lie.  It seems trivial, but it is extremely relevant.  It directly relates to the way politicians can gay bash with impunity.  Think Rick Santorum and his comments.  Think of the growing list of politicians and preachers exposed for their hypocracy, trawling for boys while passing legislation against equal rights for gays. It’s sinister and what makes it more relevant than Gonzoles or other articles is complicity at every level of the process, including the posters above. If only Mark Foley and Larry Craig had been outed earlier….

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By mike, August 28, 2007 at 10:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WHO THE F@CKS CARES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I logg into this site for news   If I want gossip about peoples personel lives that have nothing to do with anything important I will got entertainment tonite !

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By -V-, August 28, 2007 at 1:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

where is the LAME button here?

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By nonsequitor, August 27, 2007 at 11:28 pm Link to this comment

this is bulls**t.

the world is falling apart and this is news.

goodbye.

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By Gilbert Lagac, August 27, 2007 at 9:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Alberto Gonzolez resigns and this deserves a bigger heading? That’s very FOX news corp of truth dig. I’m switching to the Huffington post.

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By JMTAC, August 27, 2007 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

Truthdig,
This is one of the front story’s today????!!!!!! Truthdig, how disappointing…and hypocritical.  Did you not read the very story below this article???... “You have no rights.”  That story talks about the right to privacy.  Of which this country is extremely lacking.  Mr.Griffin obviously wanted his PRIVATE life private and he had every right to protect it from the public. Just because he was famous doesn’t mean he owed ANYONE IN THE PUBLIC the details of his life.  And neither should any other person for that matter!
In the future, please keep this kind of crap “so called news” out of this web site, please.

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By driving bear, August 27, 2007 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment

So what if anything this proves that republican are not the Homophobes as the media and the libs claim.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, August 27, 2007 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

Yada, Yada, Yada, Blah, Blah, Penis, Blah, Anus, Blah, Yada, Blah, Blah, Tee Hee, Blah, Anus, Penis, Penis, Anus, Blah, Blah! You don’t say!!!!  Tee Hee Hee. Sex, sex, penis, mouth, blah, penis, sex, sex, sex, blah, blah, yada.

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By Patti, August 27, 2007 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think it is extremely arrogant as well as disrespectful to “out” somebody, living or dead, against their wishes.  People have privates lives, and this should be respected. What business or right does anyone have to judge that a person needs to be ‘outed’?  I believe our country has guaranteed a “right to privacy.”  Most people are disturbed by possible privacy violations of the Patriot Act. I feel this outing others business is just as disturbing.

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By Jimbobman2, August 27, 2007 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think, historically, it would be helpful to know a person’s sexual slant. It would add insight to motives, actions, and dispel rumors and historical inaccuracies.

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By steve, August 27, 2007 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please stick to the more important news of the day and leave this kind of crap to the men and women who do it best: the proud news reporters from Fox.

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By Ed, August 27, 2007 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Since Truthdig is now reporting on the private lives of public personalities, please publish something about Britney Spears lesbianism (preferably with pictures). She’s a full-blown lesbian now, right? People are either gay or straight, right? We need to know which side they’re on.

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By Scott, August 27, 2007 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

Only Ghouls would bring up such crap about a dead man!

As long as there is a demand for such crap there will also be a supply.

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By Susan B., August 27, 2007 at 11:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I couldn’t give a rat’s ass if someone is gay or straight. It is nobody’s business.

If a person is gay,and they are not comfortable with it being known, they have every right to “stay in the closet.”

It infuriates me that some one thinks they have the right to “out” some body. I don’t care if the person is alive or dead. No one has the right to do that to another person. Private lives are just that, private!

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By 1drees, August 27, 2007 at 10:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I completely fail to understand as to why now, in this era full of important issues, are people still fanatically curious about someone’s sexlife or someone else’s haircut or some celebrity’s drunk driving. I mean there is definately better things to give time and space to in the media, like certain issues that concern a threat to some parts of the humanity. Personally for me if Britney Spears wants to be shaved, well i dont want to know unless after that she comes comming over to my place for a one niter.
I dont think that what two consenting adults are doing peacefully is more important than a mass murder that goes unabated since 2003.
I guess this is the Media’s strategy to take the focus off the burning issues and keep the people out in the cold unawareness.
BOYCOTT EVREYTHING ISRAELI & ZIONISTS, STOP SUPPORTING WARMONGERING GENOCIDAL ZIONIST MANIACS.

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By Marjorie L. Swanson, August 27, 2007 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

Why the hell does anyone care? His sex life was his own business. Only Ghouls would bring up such crap about a dead man!

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By Inherit The Wind, August 27, 2007 at 9:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m a big believer in personal privacy.  What consenting adults do in private is generally nobody’s business. 

It only is appropriate to “out” someone if THEY are actively invading other peoples’ privacy—hypocrites like Hazzard attacking gays while practicing it himself.

If Merv Griffin was minding his own business then Who Cares if he was Gay or Straight in his private life?  It’s nobody’s business. People have a right to live their life as they wish, as long as everyone involved is a consenting adult.

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By NancyH, August 27, 2007 at 8:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why does the media focus on gay sexuality.  When a straight person dies, are they identified as, say, Johnny Carson, straight guy?  What’s the big deal with focusing on people’s sex lives??? Why don’t people get a life???

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, August 27, 2007 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

The only problem I’ve ever had on this topic are those who ARE gay, who “practise” in secret, who remain in the closet about it, and who proclaim to all the world that they’re STRAIGHT. That’s bad enough in itself, but when these cowards are the first to trumpet ANTI-GAY legislation or whatever, I want to strangle them. “Outing” them publicly for the frauds they are is justice in my books.

There is NOTHING “wrong” about being gay anymore than there’s something “wrong” about being left-handed. There’s nothing “wrong” about sharing your life, including intimacy, with a same sex partner.

There’s also NOTHING “wrong” about not publicly disclosing one’s sexuality and sexual preferences… or one’s favorite color or flower. There’s no law that says you must answer the “question.”

But there’s a hell of a LOT “wrong” with deliberately lying about it, pretending to be straight when you’re not, and publicly or privately persecuting/discriminating others for being gay. That’s odious hypocrisy no matter who it comes from.

Most people will ASSUME you to be straight because that’s what most people are. Letting people live with their assumptions is the “grey area” in this whole issue.

It’s my view that letting those who don’t matter to you assume whatever they want is OK - you’ve gotta pick your battles in this life. But knowing that parents, siblings, friends, etc., are ASSUMING you to be straight when you KNOW you are not, is a form of LYING by omission.

It’s also VERY disrespectful. In my experience, most of the “hurt” experienced when you “find out” that a parent, brother, sister, friend is “gay” comes from the realization that they’ve been LYING TO YOU ALL THIS TIME, not from the fact that they’re gay!

As the saying goes… “The TRUTH will set you free… but sometimes it will hurt first.”

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By TomChicago, August 27, 2007 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

I’ll miss Merv and hope he’s found the peace the closet never gave him.  It’s a place of fear, shame and violence.

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By spidey, August 27, 2007 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

So What?  Do you “freedom” people have censorship problems? At least wait until you take over before the commisars/gauleiters start to work.

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By spidey, August 27, 2007 at 6:58 am Link to this comment

So What?

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By spidey, August 27, 2007 at 6:58 am Link to this comment

So What?

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By spidey, August 27, 2007 at 6:58 am Link to this comment

So What?

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By diogenes, August 27, 2007 at 6:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yawn…and your point is?

Besides censorship, truthdig loves the gossip!

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