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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Gay Perr-ee

In a previous post, we looked at the long-swirling rumors that Rick Perry, the primate who somehow became governor of Texas, has had gay affairs. You may recall that, at one time, Perry was favored to become the GOP presidential nominee, until the electorate became concerned by his prehensile tail and predilection for bananas.

Turns out a Huffington Post writer named Jason Cherkis became obsessed with the "Gay Perry" story. HuffPo editor Arianna Huffington would not publish the results, citing a lack of evidence. Given Arianna's own history -- she had once tried to "Lady MacBeth" her way into the White House via her closeted Republican husband -- I'm not surprised by her decision to steer clear of the Perry story.

Here's the part that intrigues me. In the following, from a new ebook by Jay Root, "Ted" refers to a Perry aide named Ted Delisi:
Ted said Huffington Post reporter Jason Cherkis had e-mailed the campaign a list of questions about alleged gay liaisons. He said the reporter was going to name names, but there were serious questions as to the veracity of the allegations. Ted said that if the guy did publish something, Perry would sue. He said Perry would be owning a big chunk of AOL, the publicly traded company that owns HuffPo, if this came out. Ted seemed kind of pissed off at the media in general, saying that standards had obviously declined if this is what passes for news these days.
Can't say that many of my readers would disagree with Ted. But I'm wondering -- would Perry have grounds for a lawsuit? Libel is hard to prove, especially if the allegedly libeled party is a public figure. These days, does an accusation of homosexuality count as libel?

From Wikipedia...
There are several ways a person must go about proving that libel has taken place. For example, in the United States, first, the person must prove that the statement was false. Second, the person must prove that the statement caused harm. Third, the person must prove that the statement was made without adequate research into the truthfulness of the statement. These steps are for an ordinary citizen. For a celebrity or a public official, the person must prove the first three steps and that the statement was made with the intent to do harm or with reckless disregard for the truth. Usually specifically referred to as "proving malice".
Presuming that Cherkis intended to write his story in a more-or-less circumspect fashion, I just don't see any grounds for a case here. In our current climate, many American citizens wouldn't see an accusation of homosexuality -- even if false -- as particularly injurious.

Of course, the situation might be different in Texas.

Perry has also been rumored to be an aficionado of strip clubs and well-chested bimbos. Whether that accusation conflicts with the gay accusation is for each reader to decide. I note that Perry's staffers have never made lawsuit noises against anyone who says that he likes B-girls.
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The case you need to read is Sullivan v. New York Times

The joke of the name "Gay Perry" comes from a Val Kilmer role in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang(Shane Black directs Robert Downey Jr in a Christmas movie, it's my fave!) not from the play of "Gay Par-ee"

Not a substantial contribution, but I thought I'd clear that up.

God Joe! You're so old! :D

In the English jurisdiction there was also Jason Donovan vs the Face, 1992. It wasn't the accusation that he was gay that he called injurious; it was the inference that would be drawn from those allegations that he was either a liar or a dodgy type who encouraged false assumptions to be drawn about what he did with his willy - I don't recall which.

The usage of the word 'own' in what you quote - which has become common - is interesting.

On the face of it, it suggests an understanding that formal ownership is not the same as power or control, and that capitalist rule is fundamentally about the latter, not the former.

Sadly it also illustrates - and results from - the widespread acceptance of dog-eat-dog culture, wherein 'losers' get 'owned' (hello 'lulz'), or pissed on. Hello Abu Graibh etc. etc. and many many programmes on the telly, so I am told.

It's not exactly hard to detect the reference to slavery either.

Oh for definitions so rigorous no tyranny can withstand them! :-)

Not that I will hold my breath waiting for the Facebook generation to have the sheerest fucking clue of what I'm talking about!
Hi Joe -

The below comes from about a decade of working for Texas state elected officials in Austin. The below has been gleaned from a couple of the key players who worked with the named individuals . . . it is, I believe, true, and I offer for your consideration and processing.

Back in the mid 1990s, when Perry was Texas Ag Commissioner, he had a very trusted aide and was also good friends with him.

To make a long story short, it was a big deal at the time that Perry traveled on the cheap when he did the state's business - it had to do a lot with the nature of Perry's predecessor, who it is said was very corrupt and whose said corruption was the main reason Perry was able to break the Democratic dominance of all statewide offices when he was first elected (I have no idea if the predecessor was actually corrupt).

When Perry and his aides traveled, they would frequently share hotel rooms to save the taxpayer money. Of course they would hang out and party and stuff - bring in ice and couple bottles of booze. Perry would share rooms with aides and the aides would share rooms with other aides etc. No one was gay, but very locker room type behavior.

The aide he was close to had a brother who was gay, and though they were not twins, were only a few years apart and pretty similar in appearance. The aide was prominent in the community long before he worked with Perry and there were whispers before, basically born of confusion about who was who. But the aide was not gay - pretty far from it if other stories about this person were true.

Couple of years later, Perry started clashing with a Texas character you would love - Carole Keeton Rylander Strayhorn (in true moral GOP style she has been married like 5 times). Total rightwing nutjob whatever the party she was in . . .

It is said that she was the one who seized on the rumors of Perry and his aides that were based on the hotel room sharing and the aide's gay brother, and started the whole thing (again, this is what I have been told, I don't know if true or not).

Other enemies of Perry - democrat and Republican alike - it is said also seized on these rumors. CKRS switched parties from dem to GOP at some point but always hated Perry and supposedly spread this bile from both sides.

I am no Perry fan, but the rumors are dirty pool and not worthy to repeat. I have met Perry a couple of times, and the gaydar just doesn't ping. I think he is what he appears to be - a small town country boy who went to Texas A&M and has a total Nietsche will to power thing going.

The ones who spread the rumors are more interesting - and I believe by and large they are from his own party.


Because Perry's path to power is littered with the political careers of those who opposed him.

He will be back in 2016. He will be wiser, and more ruthless, and he will remember who mocked him and who helped him.

I think there is a decent chance he will be president someday.

For what it's worth . . .

Not just old, but old, fat and falling apart. Sullivan is still the leading case.
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