Delete Your Account is a weekly column that takes the hot air out of celebrities and their social media shenanigans. Every Friday, I will decide whether or not each perpetrator should delete their accounts and never grace the internet again. This week, it's a special Olympics Edition, as everyone reporting on the 2016 Games seems to have lost their collective minds. From misogyny to racism to homophobia, it's been a helluva week.
THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE
The hell is this tweet?! You do know Corey Cogdell has a name, Chicago Tribune? When people talk about newspapers in Chicago, they don't say “The Chicago Sun-Times and that other one,” so why would you go out of your way to disrespect an Olympian like that? Her husband, whatever the hell his name is, has been with the Chicago Bears for all of five seconds, and yet it was SO important to point out to people that this Olympian was the wife of a Chicago Bear.
I don't give a damn if she's related to Smokey the Bear, yo. Unless that bear swam the breaststroke or some shit, keep his name out of your mouth.
Should the Chicago Tribune Delete Its Account? Probably, but also Corey did win her medal for trap shooting, which technically makes her one of those “Second Amendment people,” so IMMA KEEP MY EYE ON HER TOO.
What in the goddamn name of all that is holy and Kelendria Trene Rowland is going on this week? When y'all not just identifying women as "wife," you're busy labeling them "African-American." You could've just called her a n***a and got it over with, Mercury News. The woman in question, Simone Manuel, who deigned to be the FIRST BLACK WOMAN TO WIN AN INDIVIDUAL OLYMPIC TITLE IN SWIMMING, had to have her shine blocked by some hating-ass social-media intern. Do you know how fucking long black people have waited for this? Since fear of water was instilled in slaves when they were dragged across the Atlantic Ocean to America! Since segregation and other racist bullshit kept black children from learning to swim in public pools like white children did! Since Hercules built the goddamn first Olympic stadium for Zeus after completing his 12 Labors! That's how motherfucking long. But just like Valerie Cherish, Simone Manuel GOT IT. And Mercury News was pressed. So pressed that they actually had the nerve, the audacity, and the caucasity to write: "Michael Phelps shares historic night with African-American" on their Twitter page.
How. Dare. You.
How dare you, Mercury News?? We gotta knock Simone over her winning pedestal just because you wanna prop up noted marijuana smoker Michael Phelps? Mercury News should make itself useful by showing photos of Michael Phelps smoking pot to everyone who wants to talk slick about Malia Obama. That's what they can do with their free time. Because their Twitter privileges have been REVOKED.
Should Mercury News Delte its Account? RE. VOKED.
THE DAILY BEAST
I recently quit watching UnREAL because what was initially a satire of The Bachelor became a show about white people engaging in cultural tourism and using black trauma as plot devices for their emotional arcs. The black characters were props for the white characters to experience racism by it happening to someone tangentially related to them, like Sam Smith or any character played by Reese Witherspoon or Sandra Bullock in recent memory. Not only were the story lines beyond offensive, the show just stopped being a satire. Shit like this didn't really happen with journalists and TV producers, so it was no longer satirical, it was just a white guilt fantasy. Or so I thought — until I happened upon the worst thing I've ever read that wasn't a Gawker essay on interracial dating.
Some purported reporter, branding himself the Brenda Starr of our era, flew to Rio to report on the fact that Olympic athletes have ... wait for it ... sex! You mean to tell me that young men and women in the prime of their athletic careers, who are also hot as hell to boot, end up having sex with one another when they're all in one place? I, for one, am shocked. Or rather I would be if news outlets didn't trot out that tired story every damn time the Olympics rolls around. I get it: People have a lot of sex at the Olympics. You know where else people have a lot of sex? College. Music festivals. Anywhere that's not my apartment at the moment. But I digress.
Much like the characters of UnREAL participated in nauseating cultural tourism, so did some straight white male named Nico Hines, who decided that he would win his Pulitzer Prize by writing not just about how much people like having sex at the Olympics, but how much GAY DUDES do.
I'm not sure what happened in Nico's sad, uneventful life to make him decide that the sexual activities between homosexual men titillated him. But what resulted was a piece about how he fired up Grindr, hit on men in Rio, then used their personal information to write a piece of trash for The Daily Beast about how much both out and closeted gay men like to have sex at the Olympics. Not sex in general between athletes. Sex between gay athletes in particular.
First, let's analyze the importance of this piece. It's not news that people have sex at the Olympics, as we've already established, so on that front this story is useless. Second, Nico is not a gay man, so who honestly gives a fuck what he has to say about the sexual habits of gay men? Who gives a fuck how a straight man handles using Grindr when there are literally thousands of homosexuals across the globe who use it just fine without being shocked at what they see like we're in the goddamn Crying Game?
Third, what kind of whack-ass newsroom does The Daily Beast have that anyone gave the OK for this homophobic shit? Was there not one gay person around to be like, "Hey, maybe we shouldn't be outing people in print? Maybe we should treat gay people like human beings? Maybe we should not act like the very idea of having sex while gay is something to be gawked at and demeaned?" Was there no one with a shred of human decency around when they published an article containing personal details that with a simple Google search could turn up the names of closeted gay men from countries where they could be killed for being gay? Was a bunch of clicks worth endangering the lives of Nico's 1950s LIFE Magazine subjects?
After a round of being dragged on social media, The Daily Beast put an editor's note into the article. Hours later, they actually deleted the article — after having gotten enough clicks to justify the deletion to their advertisers, I'm sure. Their response, in truncated form, was this: "We were wrong. We’re sorry. And we apologize to the athletes who may have been inadvertently compromised by our story."
They're sorry, you guys.
This apology is about as useful as Ronald Reagan asking for forgiveness from the gay men of America as they're drenched in the blood of their thousands of friends, brothers, and lovers who died from AIDS while the president did nothing.
Let's get one thing clear: This is a trash apology. And the article itself was more than belittling and offensive — it was flat-out homophobic. I could certainly continue to argue this point, but I'm sure my objections will be as futile as Antigone's pleas to King Creon. Instead, let's take the words of Amini Fonua, an out gay Olympic swimmer from Tonga (where it's still illegal to be gay), who responded to the article last night:
Should The Daily Beast Delete Its Account?
First of all, I have Piers Morgan's racist, canceled-TV-show-ass blocked, and so should you if you want to preserve your sanity. I only saw this tweet because it was inexplicably a Twitter moment. But second, let's just appreciate the fact that even professional troll Piers Morgan couldn't outdo the fuckery that's been Olympics reporting this week. Think about that: There were people even more trash than Piers Morgan this week.
Should Piers Morgan Delete His Account? Is water fucking wet, bruh?