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Posthumous HIV Disclosure Stirs Debate

| 31 Comments
Erik Rhodes, a gay porn star, died June 14 of a heart attack in New York City. He was 30 years old. A June 20 New York Times article reported that he was HIV positive.

In the NYT article by Jacob Bernstein (who recently penned another article on the tragic death of another gay man, Bob Bergeron, a New York City therapist who committed suicide earlier this year), it was clear that Rhodes had led a fast life:

erik_rhodes.jpgHe appeared regularly on Page Six, spent time with the designer Marc Jacobs, was profiled in magazines that had nothing to do with pornography, and shot an ad campaign for Loehmann's.

Over the last few years, he had also been the author of a harrowing (and frequently clever) Tumblr feed, on which he detailed his escapades escorting, his rampant steroid use and his stories of winding up in psychiatric wards after crystal meth binges. (The blog was taken down last weekend, shortly after news of his death ricocheted around the Internet.)

Mr. Rhodes, whose given name was James Naughtin, was signed to Falcon Video in 2004, and became one of a handful of recognizable faces in an era when the industry was going through a painful economic contraction, thanks to online file sharing and free pornography sites like Xtube.
It was a friend of Rhodes who disclosed:

"People faulted him for doing steroids, which was the thing that allowed him to be the ideal they wanted," said Samuel Colt, an actor who appeared with Mr. Rhodes on-screen and was a friend for the last several years of his life. "And people were always trying to push drugs onto him."

Things went from bad to worse. Mr. Rhodes got into fights with boyfriends, and the police would be called. Famous friends like Mr. Jacobs, who did not respond to calls for comment for this article, fell away. Mr. Rhodes went from using steroids to dealing them. And then, a few years ago, he tested positive for H.I.V.

According to Mr. Colt, Mr. Rhodes found this out when he went to shoot a scene for Randy Blue, a company that requires testing. "They said, 'Your test results came back, and you're H.I.V. positive,' " Mr. Colt said. Nevertheless, Randy Blue still managed to get Mr. Rhodes to film a solo scene that day, Mr. Colt said.
There's been a lot of reaction to the death of Rhodes and the range of points being made are numerous. Brett Edward Stout at Advocate.com offers a nice summation of the reactions and adds his perspective:

People have bantered about why we care if a porn star died, have said that he brought this on himself, have locked themselves in rooms in tears, and even been so crass as to say he deserved it. ...

People can judge him for his excesses or his career, but it was us who wanted to see those limits pushed and us who consumed the product he became. While many roll their eyes at porn actors, without an audience they wouldn't exist. ...

And for a moment, and I hope a long moment, we will all judge the extent of our excesses and mitigate the dangers they pose with moderation.
I have to admit that I had never heard of Rhodes before. At 41, it seems my adult film knowledge is more than a bit outdated. When Mason Wyler self disclosed in 2010 he had HIV, I also didn't know him beforehand.

There are several differences between the Rhodes and Wyler cases, but the most relevant to me is that, as far as I can ascertain, Rhodes had never publicly self disclosed he was HIV positive during his lifetime.

That point and others have stirred some debate. A good example of the issues can be found in the June 20 blog post by Zach June at the gay porn blog TheSword.com (site NSFW) and in the comments section.

Here's some of what the blog writer said:

Given the fact that Rhodes is dead, the Times printing his HIV status has no effect on him or his career, and in the context of the article, it was a relevant piece of information. ...

Imagine if, for example, Erik Rhodes' HIV status had been disclosed to one of his less than mentally stable scene partners from the past and how that might have played out, first on the set and then, undoubtedly, in some sort of public meltdown on Twitter. So, once one person finds out, everyone finds out.

There are HIV-positive actors working steadily in gay porn without ever transmitting the virus to scene partners. Identifying them as positive and, what, segregating(?) them from performers who happen to be negative would easily lead to public outings and discrimination, and we've already seen how that plays out.

Furthermore, if you think that this is an industry that is administratively or economically equipped to start self-segregating and/or sorting its performers into positives and negatives without violating HIPAA laws, you're even more delusional ...
And here are some of the scores of comments:

I don't know why Samuel included his HIV status in there. If I die, I don't want every little piece on information revealed about me just because it won't "affect my career". It can affect many other things in his family and friend's lives.

Wyler shouldn't have a career in porn if he's HIV+ Rhodes shouldn't have either. Either quit doing porn or go to one of those sites that more or less promotes HIV like Treasure Island. Don't continue to do porn and put the lives of non-HIV workers at risk.

HIV status is completely irrelevant to the story and "outing" it served absolutely no purpose. Erik's personal and mental health issues started long before he became HIV positive, that is what is absolutely relevant and the story would have served a greater cause by bringing to light the need for people to have access to better mental health medical care so that things like this don't have to spiral out of control, as they did for Erik.

I think it's for the better that Samuel Colt gave this information. HIV carries more stigma and hurt than necessary- maybe this will add enlighten many people who looked to Erik Rhodes for his godlike status. He was a grieving, hurting, sick, human being. But we still fantasized about him. We still wanted to look like him.

I would be interested to know if Rhodes told his status to his escorting clients.

First, James was not public about his status despite being candid and forth right about most of his life. Second, presumably he shared this with Mr. Colt in confidence with the expectation that he would never share what he was told (a desire that I am sure he intended to survive death). Third, when confronted with a question, the answer to which might cause a person to reveal something that they reasonably believe that they should not, the proper response to decline to answer.


The commentary and comments above should speak for themselves, so I'll leave well enough alone, save the following.

As a gay man with HIV, my first reaction when I read the NYT article was discomfort. It seemed to me that disclosing Rhodes had HIV was unnecessary. Knowing Rhodes had HIV was not necessary for me to understand the extent of his troubles. I thought it was a salacious detail. However, as much as those things are ethically troublesome to me on a personal level, I also think my feelings are irrelevant as far as journalism is concerned. And there's the rub.

Further, there is something to the argument that the discomfort I felt -- and that many, many others felt -- is rooted in stigma and for that reason alone should be challenged. If Colt had said Rhodes had hepatitis C, how would we have felt? Probably less uncomfortable. How about if it was cancer or diabetes? Probably even less uncomfortable. But that's all about personal ethics, not journalistic ethics.

We can't control what is said about us after we're dead, for obvious reasons. Journalists are supposed to be truth tellers, no matter what. I can't fault the NYT or Bernstein for doing journalism. Should Colt have told Bernstein that Rhodes had HIV? That's between Colt and his conscience, but Bernstein was within his rights as a reporter to use the information.


Oriol on:

31 Comments

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Comments on Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr.'s blog entry "Posthumous HIV Disclosure Stirs Debate"

I agree. I think it is unnecessary is that we delude ourselves into believing that HIV is some rare, freakish thing that no one gets. Consequently, its actually noteworthy when a gay, injection drug using, meth abusing porn star/escort is positive, so people actually say he should be segregated from all the "clean" gay, injection drug using, meth abusing porn star/escorts for their protection. The fact that we can't just assume he is poz speaks to how we've started to see HIV as an expression of damnation rather than the result of exposure. Revealing the man's status did more good than harm, so I say bravo.

Strangely, it is as likely or more likely that steroid use contributed to this man's death . . . and infection with HIV, through possible use of shared needles . . . but public stereotypes focus on blame and guilt associated with being gay and doing porn . . . thereby allowing the public to rationalize away risk and continue to endanger itself in self-righteous ignorance.

Rhodes had everything a gay porn star could want, and yet his death leaves me sad. Although, I agree that his steroid use contributed to his death at the young age of 30, I worry about all the other potential "Rhodes" coming up the gay porn ladder. We see buff and muscled hunks all over the gay porn scene. Is the use of steroids, cystal meth, and unsafe sex rampant amoung the gay porn industry in which a little HIV/Drug test could curtail such abuse. I have friends who had idolized Rhodes to the extent they have started using steriods. I keep telling them they won't see past 50 if they continue abusing drugs. "But Eric did it so why can't I" mentality is out there where everyone see's the big and buff guys getting all the attention. You can't go to a party and have a few bodybuilders around. I have had HIV since the 80's and I'm still going strong. Are there bumps in the road, absoutelly, especially my medication routine of 25 different medications a day. But I continue going forward. I went through the young boy faze, to my 30's - 40's and now I'm 57 and proud of it. I have experince where others don't. I'm I not buff nor do I have lots of muscles. I'm I alive today through medication, yes. Just think of the impact it would have had on the gay porn industry is he "self disclosed" his HIV status and his times in a mental ward for using meth. Or did everyone know and didn't try to stop it. It's sad when we lose one of our own, No matter how they died.

HE WAZ A HOT M.F., LOVED HIS FSTING CNTRAL MOVIES. R.I.P. U WILL BE MISSED

I totally agree with everything you said here. As I was into the drugs back n my 20's and 30's, ever so thankful to be here today to share my experiences and go full force forward. I was relating literally with everything you stated. I haven't any idea who these guys are, it is sad to hear at such a young age yet so much of life they will never experience really saddens me.My prayers are with their families.
Thank you for posting your post. It truly is amazing!
Peace
Doug

I agree with most of what's been said. First, our media is out of control, but, that's the right to free speech we enjoy. Not knowing if his family knew his status, I feel this was intruding on his privacy, even after death. I disclose. It's a personal choice. I have/had not idea who he was, does it matter? I've been against steroid use always. Would I like to be a muscle hunk? Sure. Will it ever happen? NO. DO I care? Nope. I chose to tell all my friends and family. It helped me. My sister, however, chose to tell only me, and it's our secret. Ours for over 15 years now. I keep that secret because it's not mine to tell. The one writer was correct, though. We idolize these men (and women), enjoy seeing them push the limits, and if not for our patronage, would they have "careers"? Ask yourself that before we criticize what they do.

In summation you wrote: "It seemed to me that disclosing Rhodes had HIV was unnecessary. Knowing Rhodes had HIV was not necessary for me to understand the extent of his troubles."

I strongly disagree. It was necessary that Rhodes' HIV status be known because it seems he did not voluntarily disclose it to his sex partners, either on screen or off. Those men deserve to know to what possible virus they may have been exposed. I don't care about Rhodes' steriod or meth usage. To me, those aspects of his habits were unnecessary. If he wanted to destroy his own body and mind, let him have at it. Rhodes did not, however, have the right to jeopardize other gay men's well being or peace of mind.

"Those men deserve to know to what possible virus they may have been exposed"

The fact that this is actually being said on an HIV website speaks volumes about how far we need to go in the discussion about "disclosure". How about a little common sense in your concern for "gay men's well being or peace of mind"?

All respect to Rhodes and all of us who have the disease, but HIV is, in fact, transmitted by a series of very specific behaviors. Rhodes was very public about engaging in nearly all of them, and engaged in them to a much greater extent than virtually anyone I know who is positive in real life. Anyone who was operating under the assumption that Rhodes was negative without being told so was willfully ignorant. The idea that a protective "disclosure" would ever be necessary from him is ludicrous. The only thing a "disclosure" could have done would have been to stigmatize Rhodes for having gotten the test.

Too often, we talk about "(seronegative) gay men's peace of mind" in the disclosure debate. What kind of "peace of mind" do you think they have, knowing that if they do test positive, they'll instantly be relegatd to second class citizens, forced to constantly tell people the obvious for the delusions of those who have not yet tested positive? What kind of motivation does this provide them to watch after their own health, including regularly testing for HIV? Further, don't those of us who are diagnosed deserve any peace of mind? Why should we have to constantly go about "disclosing" so that those who are probably already undiagnosed HIV+ can continue to operate under the delusion that they're fine?

There is so much in this statement that is infuriating. It presumes nondisclosure when we have no evidence of it. It presumes infectiousness when, again, he probably wasn't. It presumes that the burden of protection should be weighed so heavily upon the positive person that the negative should never once have to employ common sense. It is a sort of post-AIDS expression of the warning-label society that we love to lampoon, where we have to be told not to drop toasters in our bathwater or lick the hot coils of stoves. The problem is that people with HIV are not toasters or stove coils, we're human beings, and we deserve a right to privacy and dignity.

There is still production porn companies who uses and shoot what is called RAW sex. If Mr. Rhodes was with a company like Falcon I'm sure he used condoms with every penetration scene. If he died from a heart attack I beleive it was wrong to mention his HIV status if it has not infected anyone.

Very simple. If you are going to have sex with someone -> you tell them. EVEN if the dude has a condom on and the girl has a female condom on with insecticide. You tell them. Any activity that puts someone at .0001% of risk. If you are NOT having sex with them (or donating an organ to them, etc) its none of their business and quite frankly keep it to yourself. No one wants to feel sorry for you. It is very simple. Do what is morally and ethically right.

FYI - there is no such thing as a "Steroid Den" People who are juiced up, go to Walgreens Pharmacy, buy their pins, use them and throw them out. It's not like they were jonsing for Deka so bad they performed sexual acts to get their "fix" and picked up a rusty needle off the floor. Diet and a regimented gym schedule and discipline are needed along with the gear to get the desired effect. If you just gear-up without a good workout and diet hard, you pods it all out and get fat.

I've had HIV for a long time now. I look and am healthier than most people my age or younger. No one knows I have it except for the Poz girls I hook up with. Work is good and so is my sex life. Take my advice.

How is that "ethically right"? If the rate of transmission is .0001%, then it isn't higher than amongst people who think they're "negative", so you're not reducing the number of infections. What right does someone have to know about a "risk" that, for all intents and purposes, isn't there? Should people also be made aware of "risks" like possible car malfunctions? Oh, yeah, thats great idea. How about we have to talk about the fact that our wheels could fall off every single time we drive someone somewhere, or that we could be in an accident, even if we haven't? This disclosure BS isn't about anyone's "right to choose", its the love child of serophobia and an overlawyered society.

The problem with WhatsRight's comment above is that it ignores reality. I agree 100% with Andy, who posted earlier that, especially today, you have to be willfully ignorant to have sex with someone you don't know, claim to care about whether the person has HIV (or not), and then engage in sex without taking steps to protect yourself! It's totally disingenuous to be indignant after you've talked yourself into thinking this really horny hot guy is telling you factual personal medical data prior to sex! Stop looking to scapegoat everybody (and anybody) else for not taking the responsibility to protect YOURSELF.

I agree with Whatsright 100%. We have a moral obligation to let our sex partner know we are HIV+ AND if we are HIV+ a moral obligation to humanity to ALWAYS wear a condom when with a HIV- sex partner. Even if your neg sex partner is insane and doesn't care or even tells you not too. If everyone who was poz did that, we wouldn't be on this site.

Andy - yes, if you buy a car or whatever, that car dealer SHOULD tell you if the wheels are going to drop off! Morally the right thing to do. Will they tell you, they are putting you in a lemon? Probably not...but how does that make it the right thing to do?!?!?!?!

I always disclose and always wear a condom...I try to take the moral high road whenever I can. What's the law has nothing to do with it, its about preventing what someone did to you, to someone else. If you don't care about spreading HIV you probably have bigger issues.

Saying steroid users share needles is just ignorant reporting. Steroids can even be prescribed. That's the same as saying a diabetic Gay DP Bareback Pornstar must have gotten AIDS from sharing insulin shots! Um, probably not.

Our potential sexual partners do indeed have an ethical and moral right to know our HIV-positive status before sex...however the broad social consensus that supports that right is based on Society experiencing a level of risk from these encounters that vastly exceeded the ".0001%"-level so blithely described by someone who also blithely names themselves "WhatsRight".

i suspect there is more than a .0001% chance that "WhatsRight" will spontaneously combust (from volatile self-righteousness) in a crowded public space and endanger many...i still think that chance is probably small enough that he/she need not bellow a warning about that while he/she walks thru a crowd, even tho one could certainly argue that the crowd has "a right to know".

the responsibility for prevention of HIV infection in a sero-discordant encounter generally does fall more heavily on the HIV+ partner...it's NOT "50/50" and all of the sound n fury HIV-dom can muster will NEVER get society to agree to that. it's both heroic, pathetic and delusional that some of our community hope to establish such a consensus...especially given that the topic of "50/50" is generally raised as a defense of non-disclosure.

some people just have no idea how sociopathic that sounds...but the broader political process will teach them eventually. hopefully, without decimating the political concerns of HIV+ ppl in the process.

anyway, i dont personally offer a magic formula describing exactly how these responsibilities break down...it may not be 50/50 but it's also certainly not "99.9999 / .0001" !

i guess i should thank "whatsright" for offering that reductio ad absurdum argument...and adding the laughably serophobic tidbit about "keep ur status to urself if ur not fucking, no one wants to feel sorry for u"!

at least the part about how steroid use still requires massive amounts of hard work and disciplined diet was accurate. lipstick on a pig and all that...

Question for BillyBob: Since people do NOT, in reality, disclose and you say it is a moral obligation, why not just tattoo a biohazard symbol on the foreheads of those with HIV? Or, segregate them into camps? Seems to me that's the logical end to the "morality argument" ...and also why it falls flat.

You're proud of the fact that "you always [100% of the time, without exception, ever] disclose and you always [100% of the time, without exception, ever] wear a condom." While I applaud your self-confidence and ability to adapt to a condom-world, not everyone has an "in-your-face" personality and some loathe condoms.

My only point is that while you may be the perfect politically correct poster child, many are not... and have no desire to be. So we're really left with two choices: 1) legislate or, 2) adapt. Since "you can't legislate morality" has been drilled into my head many times, I'll go with "adapt."

Adapting means I take responsibility for myself. It means you take responsibility for yourself. The alternative is worse than a world with HIV/AIDS.

At what point does the presumption of seronegativity start being a form of learned helplessness and willfull ignorance? This is a question that we should be asking whenever we talk about disclosure. Keeping with the car analogy, if the wheels are already off the car, the interior is wet with the blood of its last victims and the words "wheels fell off" spraypainted on the side, you've gotten all the warning you need!

People on both sides of the discloure debate act like the expectation of disclosure is always the same in all circumstances. That's absurd, and a standard we'd never apply to any other situation. All respect to the deceased, but we seem to be talking about a porn star's supposed lack of disclosure to random men as if he were someone who entered into a months-long relationship without mentioning his status. What about him would lead someone to believe he was negative? Did he not look sufficiently aidsy while getting fisted in assless leather chaps by another man? Did his escorts really need any sort of further disclosure than his publicised meth and injection habits already told them? Sometimes, I wonder if F. Lee Buckley had gotten his way and tattooed us all, would even that be enough for today's disclosure nazis?

I somewhat concede that Jeton is right. If we try to make a case that mandatory disclosure is wrong, we're setting ourselves up for a losing battle. Straight Middle America will be horrified by the thought that their wives and husbands should be able to withhold information of that magnitude. I'll even go so far as to say that we're morally wrong to make that case. There does come a point, however, when it becomes reasonable to expect that your partner is positive, or when the person who knows they are positive does not pose a greater threat to a partner's health than anyone else the partner has been with. At that point, the disclosure mandate only serves to punish those who took control of their lives and got the test. It furthers the silly denial that persists amongst negative gay men about the extent of the epidemic in their community. Middle America would laugh if it realized that these laws are abused so that gay 28 year olds can pretend that that they and their anonymous bareback hookups are "clean/DDF". It is difficult to say where that line in the sand is, but I think most of us can agree that Erik Rhodes, who made no secret of his high risk behaviors, was well past it.

Disclosing Rhodes' status to normalize HIV and state the obvious is a good thing. It brings the virus out of the darkness, and disabuses gay men of the delusional, stigmatizing notion that you can screw a million people, do a lot of drugs and work in the sex industry while avoiding a virus that more than 1 in 5 of their friends got from considerably less risky behavior. It draws attention to the web of despair and desperation that those who are infected are caught in. Disclosing Rhodes' status to "warn his partners" is silly. It speaks of a learned helplessness that would be considered pathetic, even deserving of the consequences, were it applied to anything else. The question I want to know was what the original author's intention was.

I approve of post-mortem outing, what should we write, that he died with "liver-cancer" (wink, wink)??? We do not need less HIV-visibility, we need MORE! And by morally condemning any post-mortem outing, we are still perpetuating the stigma.


@BillyBob

Hate to bust your dreams, but condoms are not 100% efficient, more like 80-95%. So when you are using condoms all the time, YOU ARE STILL AT RISK. More so if you are having gay sex. So f*ck your "moral obligation to tell", you shouldn't have ever sex if 0,00001% is high enough!!

So inspirational to hear you are going strong...nice to hear the positive side of HIV with all the misconception and personal ethics around us shaping our perception.
However, Efavirenz in Atripla does contribute to 2% of seizures and mental illness...i guess Rhode had these problems long before. I guess we got to stay positive.

I used to go to orgies and swinger parties, have one night stands with whoever and just go bananas with whatever drugs I could get whenever. But I have to agree with those above. We just can't do that stuff anymore. We must wear condoms and disclose. Yes it sucks. But if someone disclosed to me, I wouldn't be so sick. Put yourself in other peoples shoes.

wtf, disclosure from this guy? 20 years ago, the entire country was disgusted at a woman who won money after sticking a cup of hot coffee between her legs and boiling her yoo-hoo. now, erik's johns need some kind of heads up? you've got to be kidding me. anyone who paid him was familiar with him and old enough to know better. gimme a break.

First, if someone says their an ex-escort, I wouldn't disparage their credentials but I would say that in the escorting (and ex-escorting) communities, there's probably a wide range of disagreement about disclosure. Some are probably very informed and some are, frankly, very naive.

Ex, whose shoes are you putting yourself in? Or, are we supposed to put ourselves in yours? Do you really think your sero-conversion was because someone didn't disclose to you? I think it's very possible that one of your many clients did not know his status himself.

Orgies, swinger parties, anonymous one-night (and day) stands still (and will) happen, and a plethora of drugs will always be available to those who want them.

Ex, if HIV was ever as important to you as you claim it was now, YOU would have never participated in the group scenes, never have done the drugs, and have always insisted on condoms. The responsibility was never with your partner, or client(s), but ALWAYS rested, and rests, on YOU.

RIP It's always sad when one of our own passes.

BTW -

The most conservative red states in America, are the greatest consumers of online "paid" porn. Such hypocrisy.

FYI - releasing someone's protected health information, even after death, is still illegal and violates HIPAA. doesn't matter what he did in life or who he was. while i agree that we should normalize HIV testing and disclosure and be eradicating stigma, we shouldn't be taking lightly the fact that someone thought it was acceptable to disclose someone's health information just because he died. (& i know this because i work in HIV & in a health dept - i have to know these laws)

Can we clear the air about something? There is a difference between talking about HIV and our status, and "disclosure", the requirement that we tell it to whoever the state deems us to put at risk. The former makes our lives better. The latter is bad science, born of lopsided prevention expectations, stigma and stupidity.

Congrats! The only response (the second "Andy" response) that hits the nail on the head. i hope someone is lucky enough to call you his spouse, partner or friend. Be well.

I KNEW JAMES "ERIK RHODES" VERY WELL. GIVEN THAT HE IS A SEX WORKER, PROSTITUTE, SEX ADDICT, AND HAS HAD SEX PARTNERS IN THE THOUSANDS (IM NOT KIDDING), THE MORE PEOPLE KNOW THAT SUCH A PERSON HAS A COMMUNICABLE DISEASE THE BETTER. MAYBE IT WAS SOMETHING UNNECESSARY TO INCLUDE IN THE ARTICE, BUT IN THE END, IT SERVES A GREATER PURPOSE FOR COMMUNITY SAFETY.

You know what, "anon," the Earth is round and it revolves around the Sun. There's this thing called "gravity" when things drop when you let go of them!

Do you really think ANY supposition of "drug and disease free" should be given to ANYONE you have casual sex with, much less someone you pay to have it with!?

Sometimes "common sense" has to play a role in how we live our lives and whom we hold accountable for our own actions.

To disclose someones HIV status dead or alive is wrong! At the time I found out of James's aka Erik's death, it then raised doubt to my own HIV status as I was one of the "thousand" whom he had slept with. Although we conducted safe sex, the divulging of this information in such a public forum has caused me great anxiety and stress pending the outcome of my results, nearly taking my own life. Respect should not only be paid to the deceased, but to their family and partner and friends. This is a case of social media at its worst and someone should be held accountable to those it has effected.

You're kidding, right? Let me get this straight...you actually thought that a meth addicted gay prostitute was HIV negative, and the revelation of the obvious caused you..."doubt" and anxiety. Consequently, you think that public policy should be altered so that you're never inconvenienced by the reality that HIV exists. Then, you went on an HIV website to voice your opinion that this man's records should be sealed just to protect YOUR emotional well being. Seriously?

I think we just hit a new depth in human arrogance here, even lower than the stupid belief that Eric's status should be publicized to "warn" people. Sometimes, it seems like HIV- gay men on the internet have an endless supply of delusion and narcissism.

Andy, if I were not lready married I would find you and make you mine. Brilliantly stated!!!!

I just ran across this article. For what it's worth the US media has this idea that any fact should be openly publicized in the media. From people dealing with being arrested for some twenty-something stupidness everyone has done at one point or another. Yes we have a freedom of speech and the press. I have stopped watching news that "glorifies" others pain. From Nancy Grace on her bully pulpit to this Times times article bring up his HIV status in a very inappropriate way. Some may say "people should know" and that may be the case, but those that should know are the individuals who had intimate contact with him. Not Millions of readers.

Then I hear the "Kids will never learn." Kids will learn what values their parents instill in them. I get the feeling that some believe that the media is going to instill values in their children. Probably so, if you don't take the responsibility for your offspring.

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