NYT kinda outs Aaron Schock

Well, my good friend Adam lost that bet in a hurry. Adam and I were arguing, friendly-like, on Facebook the other day about whether the New York Times would ever cover the outing of GOP 100%-anti-gay Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) that went wild about a week ago online.

I said I could see the Times covering it as almost a human interest story – not necessarily outing Schock as gay, but rather reporting on all the scuttlebutt about whether Schock is gay.

Adam said no way, the Times would never do that.

John was right. Mostly.

It all began with the 7 gayest Instagram posts

aaron-schock-white-house-clothes

Aaron Schock

It all began with a tongue-in-cheek post I put up two weeks ago titled, “The 7 gayest Aaron Schock Instagram posts of 2013.” The post got a ton of traffic, and helped to jump-start a long-simmering conversation about whether Aaron Schock simply comes across as awfully gay, or whether he actually is.

The next day, journalist Itay Hod writes a rather scathing blind-item on his Facebook page about a hypothetical congressman from Illinois and whether it’s truly inappropriate for the media to out him.  Hod links to my Instagram piece at the bottom of his Facebook post.

After that, things pretty much go nuts for about a week, including the creation of a “Gay Aaron Schock” satire Twitter account:

aaron-schock-twitter-gay-2 adam-schock-twitter-gay

Schock makes no comment, but does “fix” his Instagram account by locking it down and un-following gay Olympic diver Tom Daley, while a Twitter acquaintance of Schock, a gay “trainer” in DC, with a too-good-to-be-true name, and practically no Google footprint, makes private, then deletes, his Twitter account after his Twitter relationship with Schock becomes public.

Fast forward to today.

NYT kinda sorta outs Aaron Schock as gay

aaron-schock-plaid-pants-smalker

Aaron Schock

The NYT has written a story about Itay outing Schock.  But the story doesn’t mention Schock by name.  And before people jump on the Times, Itay’s Facebook post didn’t mention Schock either.  It mentioned a “hypothetical… certain GOP congressman, let’s just say from Illinois.”  And while it linked to my Instagram story, the fact that Itay didn’t name Schock likely means the Times felt they didn’t have to, and likely couldn’t.

But here’s the rub.  The NYT story links to Itay’s Facebook post.  Itay’s Facebook post links to my story about Aaron Schock, and the title of the story, with Aaron Schock’s name, and a photo of Schock, is at the bottom of Itay’s Facebook post.  In addition, the NYT linked to Mike Signorile’s story titled, “Why I Hate ‘Outing’ and How It Lets Aaron Schock Off the Hook.”  So you’d have to be pretty dumb to not figure out who the hypothetical GOP congressman is in today’s NYT story.

That is, unless you read the NYT print edition, then you’d have no idea, because there are no hyperlinks in print.  Then again, the divide between print and online – political people used to want to be in print, being online was only second-best – may now be nonexistent, in terms of impact.

Media reportedly had witness to Schock being gay, refused to run story

And, one more odd thing.  The Times, while refusing to mention Schock by name, including more details of Itay’s allegations against the hypothetical GOP Illinois congressman.  Itay says the journalist who found hypo-congressman in the shower with another man was actually the roommate of the congressman’s shower-buddy.  That journalist went to his boss to report that he had a story, and the boss shut him down:

Aaron Schock's Twitter favorite, a gay "trainer" who locked down, then deleted, his account after his Twitter connection to Schock went public.

Aaron Schock’s Twitter favorite, a gay “trainer” who locked down, then deleted, his account after his Twitter connection to Schock went public.

Mr. Hod says, his friend told him something he hadn’t yet heard: that he’d actually witnessed his “roommate coming out of the shower” with the congressman.

Mr. Hod said he was initially incredulous. “I said, ‘How do you know it was him?’ ” Mr. Hod recounted during a phone interview from Los Angeles this week.

“And he said, ‘Trust me, I’ve done stories on him.’ I said, ‘You didn’t tell anyone?’ ” and he said: ‘I did. I told one of my superiors.’ ” Mr. Hod’s friend was apparently told: “You can’t out anyone. It’s a personal journey.”

Yes, Mary, it is news

So, the NYT just kinda sorta outed Aaron Schock.  Or, rather, they outed the story of his outing, which, as I argued to my friend Adam, is news, at least when the public uproar gets this big.  I got over one million views on my Schock stories in just a handful of days.  And those were just my stories.  That didn’t include Itay’s Facebook post, Mike Signorile’s stories, or all the other reporting, including the typical apologists who felt that Schock was being “bullied,” but who still, by writing about Schock being bullied, outed Schock anyway – or at least outed the possibility of Schock being gay – and managed to grab their share of some of the sure-fire Internet traffic surrounding the issue.  Not that they weren’t perfectly aware of what they were doing.

I think the Times should have reported the story.  Not that Schock is gay.  But that the rumors about a very public figure – a sitting member of Congress – being gay, and the brouhaha surrounding those rumors, have reached a very public fever pitch.  And whether you approve of those rumors or not, there’s an argument to be made that the hubbub is press-worthy.  Especially when the public figure has a zero percent voting record on gay rights issues but may himself be gay.

Aaron Schock’s potential hypocrisy isn’t simply titillating.  It’s news.


(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Drew2U

    …Hahaha yeah think Duck Dynasty–the show that premiered with nearly 30 percent of its audience GONE.

  • UncleBucky

    If you look very carefully at Schock’s left triceps, the sell-by date is in 2013….

    The boy’s TOAST!

  • UncleBucky

    Hah. I think that Aaron-boy has more on his dance card than we would imagine…

  • UncleBucky

    Governor? Something like an ice cube’s chances in plain daylight in July…

  • Valerie Steven

    my&nbspbest&nbspfriend’s&nbspstep-mother&nbspΜ­­­­­­а­­­­­­K­­­­­­е­­­­­­ѕ&nbsp$­­­­­­­­­­­­63/hr&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspl­­­­­­а­­­­­­ρ­­­­­­τ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ρ.&nbspShe&nbsphas&nbspbeen&nbspwithout&nbspa&nbspј­­­­­ο­­­­­ƅ&nbspfor&nbsp9&nbspΜ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ­­­­­­ѕ&nbspbut&nbsplast&nbspΜ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ&nbspher&nbspincome&nbspwas&nbsp$­­­­­­­­­­­­14389&nbspjust&nbspW­­­­­­ο­­­­­­r­­­­­­King&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspl­­­­­­а­­­­­­ρ­­­­­­τ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ρ&nbspfor&nbspa&nbspϜ­­­­­­е­­­­­­W&nbspհ­­­­­­ο­­­­­­ս­­­­­­rs.&nbsplook&nbspat&nbspthis&nbspѕ­­­­­­і­­­­­­τ­­­­­­е,…&nbspWW&#87&#46Googleproject2014beautifulmademWq&#46&#113&#114&#x2E&#110&#x65&#x74&#x2F&#x6D&#x4Bl&#x6A/

    ☢☢☢☢ ☢☢☢☢☢ ☢☢☢☢☢☢ ☢☢☢they are not a person i consider worthy of the respect & benefit of the doubt they won’t give everyone else.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    It’s not however helping his chances as a future star of the GOP, and I suspect it’s thrown at least a temporary wrench in his expected run for Illinois governor this year. Just a guess, but Aaron might not be looking forward to be greeted by giant walking three dollar bills at a every campaign stop.

  • woodroad34

    You know, I find it so weird how naïve Schock is. How can he not realize how he comes across? Sure, he’s 30 something, but that’s certainly old enough to be more self-aware. Not only does he come across as gay, but as a total submissive. I’m sure he’s been brow-beaten to vote anti-gay on everything. Sunkist raisins are bigger than his balls.

  • Carring3452

    мʏ ƈօ-աօʀĸɛʀ’ѕ ѕιѕтɛʀ-ιɴ-ʟαա мαĸɛѕ $88 ɛʋɛʀʏ нօυʀ օɴ тнɛ ʟαքтօք. ѕнɛ нαѕ вɛɛɴ ғιʀɛɖ ғօʀ 9 мօɴтнѕ вυт ʟαѕт мօɴтн нɛʀ քαʏƈнɛƈĸ աαѕ $1з947 ʝυѕт աօʀĸιɴɢ օɴ тнɛ ʟαքтօք ғօʀ α ғɛա нօυʀѕ. ʋιѕιт fox800&#46com

  • TampaZeke

    As long as he stays in the closet and continues to vote anti-gay this will only help in with the Republican base. They love to rally around anyone who is anti-gay and being challenged by the gay community. Think Duck Dynasty.

  • Lawerence Collins

    My gaydar is infallible! If this GOP fraud isn’t gay, none of us are!

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    A ‘personal journey’ is when your sexual orientation affects no one but you and your immediate family, acquaintances and friends.

    It becomes a matter of larger concern when you are an elected public official with the power to influence whether or not LGBTs have protected civil rights — and doubly so when you use that power 100% of the time to fight against the rights you yourself enjoy, even if it’s on the down-low.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yeah… Up-voters: Be aware that Tillyosu is an anti-gay troll who shows up here only to spew homophobic bigotry. That entire post up there was sarcasm, as you’ll note if you read the rest of his or her comments.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Aye, and at that point it becomes “the story…or my job.” I can’t blame the source for staying anonymous.

  • cole3244

    of all the msnbc hosts he’s my fav but maybe he’s
    an acquired taste.

  • uhhuhh

    I’m so sick of that “personal journey” bullshit being applied to people like this closet case, whose personal journey has taken him right into a naked shower hookup. If you’re out enough to fuck, you’re out enough to get out of the damn closet.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Stand your clown honey, stand your clown.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Blingo!!!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    ppppfffftttt

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yes, the Schocking developments just keep coming.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Same here!

  • Robrt Seth Vorisek

    closeted cute troll…

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    I liked him back when he was guest hosting Countdown, and watched him for the first few months of his own show, but I got to the point where I couldn’t stand him anymore. I’m not sure if it was specifically him, just the stories he chose to cover, or the way he was covering them, but something really rubbed me the wrong way and now he just makes me angry.

  • Ninong

    Did you check out the initials over Ross Hurston’s heart? Maybe it’s just a coincidence that his last initial is a ‘T’ instead of an ‘H’? All of those online pics and videos are from several years ago.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I don’t think that’s him, Hurston is whiter, for a lack of a better term. Hurston looks like a north European boy with a beard. Thomas is more my people and beyond to the east :)

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    If he’s not actually gay, and has no fear of any scandal being made public, why should he be afraid? If he came out tomorrow, the gay community would most likely do a brief “I told you so, what a hypocrite!” and move on. The same way they have with many other Republicans, like Ken Mehlman. The only thing he has to be afraid of is his own side turning on him. Which there is little doubt that they will. The allegations alone are enough to make his own side distance themselves. Which is what makes it hilarious when bigoted trolls try and turn it around and play the victim.

  • cole3244

    yes that was the group, i just couldn’t feel any sympathy for him and those like him, while they are with the gopers they are enablers of the gop bias, prejudice, & bigotry.

  • cole3244

    i like lawrence and he has more insight into congress than most since he worked on the hill, and he is an unabashed liberal imho!
    ps – yes i’m the one that watches.

  • Ninong

    John, do you remember the pic you posted on “7 Gayest Aaron Schock Instagram Posts of 2013″ that you prefaced with “how ’bout them bears?” It was of Aaron Schock with his new best friend, Ross Thomas. Remember that one? I don’t see it anywhere on Schock’s Facebook page. Just Google Ross Hurston (NSFW), (Very NSFW if you search images or videos).

    http://americablog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/aaron-schock-trainer.jpg

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    I’m totally shocked. You mean someone actually watches Lawrence O’Donnell? :)

    There are a lot of people who at a glance might consider reasonable, intelligent people, who continue to affiliate themselves with the Republican party, despite the Republican party doing everything they can to marginalize them and take away their rights. I’ve listed people like that before. People like Michael Steele, Steve Schmidt, Nicole Wallace. Meghan McCain. They aren’t stupid people. They’re not wingnuts. Yet, for some reason, they can’t bring themselves to break away from a group that hates them. I’m sure there are many people in the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud who fall into that category too. They claim they’re trying to change the party from within, but they have zero influence and their party has steadily drifted away from them and is showing absolutely no signs of ever reversing that trend. They might mean well, but because they have aligned themselves politically against their own interests, and the interests of so many Americans, they’re contemptible people who can’t even garner any sympathy.

  • nicho

    You think? No, you don’t think. That’s your problem. Just a knee jerk homophobic troll.

  • nicho

    He’s probably not willing to become unemployed.

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    On “The Simpsons”, the term “snuggles” seems to a code-word for Marge and Homer having sex. I wonder if that’s the intended meaning?

    Either way, it’s funny.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    It means he’s soooo adorable he can cure their ails with a hug.

  • basenjilover

    In one of satire tweets, what’s does this mean “my snuggles heal veterans” ?

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    So when’s he gonna come out? Or be forcibly outed?

  • emjayay

    Not e e cummings. Also, not gonna read whatever that was.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Civil rights do need to be covered. And gay members of congress who work against their own community, who profess family values that they themselves don’t have, who fight the gay menace and are the gay menace, are news and need to be covered. Perhaps you could enlighten us as to why you think it’s not news? I get the sarcasm, but that’s not really an argument – though it is good cover for someone who doesn’t actually have an argument, an explanation for why they think the way they do. So tell us, why?

    And, in fact we did get the ball rolling on this story and it did end up in the NYT almost two weeks later. I appreciate you pointing that out to folks – helps them know that their donations are going to a good cause :)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    His source tried to go public, and his media bosses shut him down.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yes, he was with the crazy group, GOProud. I’ve met him before, seemingly nice guy, but that group is nuts.

  • cole3244

    i saw a guy on lawrence odonnell’s show last night that was a leader in a gay republican group and he has changed his party designation to he said no party (independent i guess).
    i had no sympathy for him because he was a member for years trying to change the gop attitude but the abuse of other americans must not have concerned him and that alone should have made him change his affiliation, or even better not join or belong to a bigoted party.
    whenever i see a person try to explain the reason they belong to the gop i come to one conclusion, they are not a person i consider worthy of the respect & benefit of the doubt they won’t give everyone else.

  • Jockers

    Interesting that Schock had all the critical comments regarding his voting record and LGBT issues
    removed from his facebook page after this story broke. All gone as of today.

  • Thom Allen

    Tilly only comes out raging about once per month. I guess her hormones get the better of her then for a week or so. The other three weeks she shelters under her rock, like Aaron does.

  • timncguy

    I think it is well past time that Itay Hod’s source reveal himself and confirm the shower story. After all, Hod identified this person as a responsible journalist in his story complaining about how responsible journalists won’t report these things. So, what is wrong with this responsible journalist friend of Hod’s who is acting in just the way Hod complains about?

  • caphillprof

    Schock is simply another Republican anachronism. But his bubble harms people.

  • caphillprof

    You are waging a culture war and we have a right to defend our selves. That includes chasing the son of a bitch done the street.

  • Robert Andrew

    For what it’s worth — it looks like Court Anderson’s twitter profile is back, with many of his tweets deleted. However, he is still following Schock, along with a lot of porn actors. I don’t know if Schock ever followed Anderson, but he doesn’t now.

    It looks like Anderson trolls a lot of gay/male celebrities, looking for attention and followers. Is it possible that this basically sums up the extent of his interaction with Schock — or is there any evidence that they have an offline association as well?

  • dcinsider

    This is so much damn fun!

  • dcinsider

    Closeted troll.

  • bkmn

    The bedroom has nothing to do with it. This is called standing up to the bully.

  • Tillyosu

    Chasing someone down the street until they’re afraid to leave their house is considered self defense?

  • dommyluc

    My values are not defined by what I do in the bedroom. YOUR values are defined by your obsession about what gay people do in the bedroom. Hey, why don’t you go over to the FoxNews website and suck on Bill O’Reilly’s and Sean Hannity’s cocks for a while. That should satisfy your obsession. Oh, and here’s some advice: if you’re going to O’Reilly’s place, bring a loofah and some falafel.

  • http://www.theangryfag.com/ TheAngryFag

    You’re only mad because it turns you on.

  • http://www.theangryfag.com/ TheAngryFag

    Agreed. People like him need to have Obisidian Order level surveillance. He should not be able to sit down to a meal without the contents being duly noted. He enters a gay bar, every cell phone in the place needs to be whipped out and recording.

    “I don’t wanna be the better person. I don’t wanna rise above it. I do wanna sink down to their level. I am not gonna turn the other cheek. “I’mma gonna show you what cheek I’mma turn, OK!” – Margaret Cho

  • sane37

    Self-defense is now considered being militant?

  • gaylib

    You know what you can do in the bedroom? Go fuck yourself, asshole.

  • Tillyosu

    It is always so good to hear some honesty from the militant lgbt community. Clearly, your life and values are defined by what you like to do in the bedroom. I think everyone should be that way.

  • Tillyosu

    I can’t believe you’re so important john. I mean, you were the first one to hit on this majorly important story, and now it’s been picked up by the NEW YORK TIMES! That’s a very serious newspaper which is in no way diminished by running with this story. Thank you for the time and effort you’ve put into this. It was a story that totally needed to be covered.

  • dommyluc

    Schock brought this upon himself. If he hadn’t sponsored and supported such horrific anti-gay policies, being the subservient lapdog of the rabid wingnut majority of the Republican Party, no one would be making a big deal about this, and he could live in his blissful designer closet with nary a worry about his private life being discussed in the national media. But Aaron is fucking me and other gay men over, so we are going to make his life a living hell. I think there should be 10 times the amount of media coverage. I wish gay journalists would chase the motherfucker down the street until he is afraid to leave his house. We’ve had our asses kicked publicly by homophobes on the streets for centuries, and now it’s time to return the favor. And please, no whines about how we must be “better than that” or “we must not sink to their level”. I WANT to sink to their level so I can kick their bigoted asses (take note, you wussies in the Democratic Party). Personally, I want to barbecue his balls on a flaming hibachi – “flaming” being the operative word here.

  • bkmn

    If someone is intentionally working against the interests of the greater LGBT community I have no problem with outing him. You don’t get to have the best of both worlds Aaron.

  • Henry Owen

    What’s that? Is that a denial from Schock I hear? Listen, wait, no, must just be a tumbleweed….

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