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As many of you know, over two weeks ago, TVgasm broke the news that Bachelorette contestant Fabrice is actually gay. Since then, various news organizations such as E! Online, The New York Daily News, and the Chicago Sun-Times have all run the story. They even gave us credit for breaking the news.
Then interesting things started happening. First, someone told me that the National Enquirer was claiming the scoop as their own, which is odd since their article was published long after the news hit the stands… and because they called us asking “Is this really true?”. But whatever. It’s the Enquirer. Can’t expect much from them.
But then today our friends at Reality Blurred forwarded us a press release that’s gone out over PR Web. Turns out a website, WashingtonSocialites.com not only claims to have broken the news about Fabrice but even had the audacity to send out a press release about their scoop.
Hmmm… Things smell fishy in the blogosphere…So here’s the deal. WashingtonSocialites.com is run by Kelly Ann Collins, a former journalist for USA Today and The Associated Press. To her credit, she has pulled up a lot of dirt on Fabrice. Most of it is harmless: “Fabrice was in a play!”, “Fabrice went to school here!”, “Fabrice exists!” That type of stuff. Now honestly, we don’t really care about that. Everyone’s allowed to pull up their own dirt. And once again to Kelly Ann’s credit, she did write that “All of these sexual-orientation questions started popping up when the TVgasm.com posted an email from a reader who claimed he had crossed paths with Fabrice before, and that the reality contestant was an actor.”
So what’s the problem? Well, even though she gave us props in the nether regions of her blog, Kelly Ann actually sent out a press release which states “After investigation, Washington Socialites has taken the stance that Le Parc is gay. The site has released a gallery with screenshots of Le Parc’s profiles on different homosexual-oriented websites, his Friendster profile, and quotes from another man that says he, too, dated Le Parc.” Now some of you semantics sticklers might be saying “Big deal. It’s just a press release saying that WashingtonSocialites.com simply agrees with the theory.” But is it? The headline of the release is “Bachelorette Contestant Fabrice Revealed As Gay Actor” and the deck reads “Blog reveals hidden identity of reality TV show participant.” Hmmm… sounds like someone’s taking a little credit.
Okay, still not blatant enough for you? Well, let’s check out this nifty line from the release: “In addition to the controversy regarding Le Parc’s profession, there is debate swirling the Web about his sexual-orientation. These questions were first raised after a blog reader emailed editors claiming he had dated Le Parc in the past.” Oh no she di’int! What happened to “All of these sexual-orientation questions started popping up when the TVgasm.com posted an email from a reader who claimed he had crossed paths with Fabrice before, and that the reality contestant was an actor.” I guess Kelly Ann forgot to consult her own blog before sending out the press release. Makes you wonder why she’s no longer gainfully employed by USA Today and The AP.
In other news, WashingtonSocialites.com has been nominated for a 2005 Webby. Why? I don’t know. But I’m sure they’ll be sending out a press release announcing their win, even if they lose.
UPDATE: According to WashingtonSocialites.com, they’ve been nominated for a 2005 Webby. According to WebbyAwards.com, the nominations haven’t even come out yet. That’s odd. So how could WashingtonSocialites.com be so sure of their as yet unannounced nomination? Well, turns out that the Webbies charge $195 for self-nomination. Yes, you get nominated by PAYING them. Kudos to WashingtonSocialites for the nod!