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Why Do People Care? - August 28

This is Jason Block and I really hate when people's memory's gets trashed and tarnished and he or she isn't there to defend it. On August 17th, one of the most vile pieces of so-called journalism polluted the internet. What's more of the shame (and not so much of the shock) is that Reuters published it. After howls of protest, the feed was pulled by Reuters but it is still in circulation in places like the Hollywood Reporter and Editor and Publisher.

The headline read: "Merv Griffin dies a closeted homosexual."

That is an eye catching headline. But the gist of the story/commentary is that Ray Richmond allegedly outs Merv Griffin. He says:

"What a powerful message Griffin might have sent had he squired his male companions around town rather than Eva Gabor, his longtime good friend and platonic public pal. Imagine the amount of good Merv could have done as a well-respected, hugely successful, beloved and uncloseted gay man in embodying a positive image."

Ok, there have been tabloid rumors about Merv's homosexuality for years. There were two suits that were dismissed, one for palimony and one from Deney Terrio of Dance Fever.

But my point is this. Why is it that certain members of the gay entertainment community are looking for someone to be the "spokesperson" or "leader" of that group?

I am not trying to gay bash here. What I am saying is that I am tired of the position some people want entertainers to take and is be a "Gay entertainer" instead entertainers who happen to be homosexual.

I mean look at the position Clay Aiken was put in (and by his behavior put himself in) last year by a man who sold his story to the National Enquirer. If he denied what the man said (and I am not going to repeat these details in a family column), he would look foolish. If he admitted it, he would have been forcibly outed.

But the real point is, who cares really? I certainly don't. What I do care about is negative journalism when a man or woman cannot defend the accusation. Why did Ray Richmond wait until Merv was dead to out him? Low move, Mr. Richmond, low move.

But that's pretty much normal for the case in this celebrity driven culture that we live in. We bring people up on a pedestal and when the time is right...crash and burn until the next one comes along.

This is 2007. I think less and less people care about someone's sexuality then what he/she contributed to the industry. And Mr. Griifin was universally loved and respected, which says a lot about the or not. This article tarnishes the memory of Mr. Griffin and Mr. Richmond as well. He basically used the death of Merv Griffin to push his own agenda.

And that puts respectable journalism in "Jeopardy!".

You agree or disagree? Fire me off a letter at


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