“I am not gay,” this week became an infamous, desperate, failed attempt at political self-preservation akin to “I am not a crook” (Richard Nixon) and “I never had sex with that woman” (Bill Clinton). The moralistic Republicans swiftly and mercilessly eviscerated Idaho Senator Larry Craig, himself a relentless gay basher, as the heathen Democrats silently watched them eat their own with little prompting. Not surprisingly, the Clintons had no comment.
Missing from the Republican Craig-bash was Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, whose family-values baggage is so heavy his children won’t even speak to him, let alone head on the campaign trail. In any case, we are glad to hear that Tucker Carlson, the MSNBC-backed backed right-wing moralist with a sphincter so tight he has to wear a bow tie, claims he smacked a guy who approached him in a public restroom. That Tucker, he’s such a he-man.
I guarantee that the Larry Craig stall in the Minneapolis airport becomes a tourist attraction as big as the Mall of America, or the spot where Mary Richards throws her hat in the air, two of the only reasons to layover in that town. The restroom is in the main airport concourse just across from the food court and near a giant statue of Snoopy and Woodstock in aviator gear. There are nine stalls along the far left wall across from five urinals. The Larry Craig stall is the second from the back. One Web site ranks it as Minnesota's top gay cruising restroom. "This is the best spot for anonymous action I've ever seen," wrote one poster to the site. Another said: "Plenty of dark stall action, too!"
Interest in the stall is so high that we have received word of a short indie movie being filmed on the spot of the fateful toe tap. Titled simply “The Stall,” the word is that the movie involves no words. Instead, two men signal to each other #1 or #2 and proceed to pee, doody, fart, belch, wipe their asses and adjust their belts, pick their noses, inspect their penis’ for signs of abuse, or whatever unattractive things men usually do in public restrooms. The film is due to premiere this fall at the Mark Fuhrman Theatre near Ruby Ridge, Idaho.
A big ‘way to go, man’ to playwright Paul Addis who burned the Burning Man before the Burning Man was supposed to be burned, therefore igniting a flame of discontent among the Burning Man establishment (during the lunar eclipse no less). In his brilliant interview with Wired Addis proves that at the elevated Trickster level PR is art as he both confirms and denies his complicity in the treacherous act. Addis ends his interview by issuing a challenge we all should heed: “Don’t be a passive audience member. Cross the line.” Gonzo artists who support Addis say that the commercialization of Burning Man has led it to become more “Earning Man” and since the Man is getting up in years perhaps he suffered a case of premature ignition. Addis, who admits responsibility for affixing a huge set of cajones to the Man some years back, intends to plead not guilty to all charges.
In Strumpette, 8/29, Eric Starkman examines the practice of high-profile journalists not cooperating with other journalists who do stories on them. Savvy journalists instead issue a statement or insist on answering questions through email. Jason McCabe Calacanis, entrepreneur, provocateur and former publisher, faced that issue when he refused a phone interview request from a Wired reporter. Jason instead wanted to answer questions by email. The reporter refused. An active blogger now, Jason was arguably a journalist at one time so naturally he distrusts them. “Why give them the power? They will misquote you and get what they want to fill out their story,” said Jason last spring at a L.A. PR event.
More on the media statement front: Actor Steve Coogan issued a statement to Access Hollywood categorically denying that he was supplying drugs to Owen Wilson and therefore somehow responsible for his suicide attempt, a charge leveled by Coogan’s ex-paramour Courtney Love. Said Love: “Hopefully, the guy leaves us alone in this town and goes back to Brighton (England) or wherever the hell he’s from and just maybe stays there.”
I have a couple of issues with that statement: 1) under what possible circumstance is Courtney Love a credible source on anything? 2) when did Hollywood become a virginal enclave of purity that needs to purge the Sodomites from its midst? It seems however that in this case Love may be speaking truth as the tales of Coogans’ escapades make Keith Richards seem tame by comparison. Owen Wilson is being portrayed almost universally as a nice guy who stumbled, while Coogan is coming off as irredeemable damaged goods who will bring others down with him. Odd how news plays out.
Okay everybody, summer’s over. No more fun and games. Back to work.
Mark Rose is editor of PRBlogNews - a web publication focusing on public relations practices in the digital age.