| Unsurprisingly, former State Rep. Glen Maxey's tell-all e-book about his quest to prove the rumors that Rick Perry has had homosexual sex is picking up media attention, both locally and nationally. I've pulled together a run-down of some of the better clips so far. And if you haven't bought the book yet, do so through the link on the right side-bar and BOR will get a chunk of Amazon's share.
Overall, coverage has been pretty positive for such a contentious tell-all. In general people recognize that Maxey is a legitimate source, seeing as he was a respected legislator, lobbyist, and activist. The better meta-commentary on the book has looked at the difficulty of getting a "legitimate" news outlet to publish the story, when other sex scandals are so readily splashed across the headlines.
First up, an exhaustive post on Gawker, All Your Rick Perry Gay Sex Rumors Collected in one Handy Book:
According to Maxey-who, while obviously a partisan, is as far as I can tell not a crank and served 12 years in the state legislature-he located two men who claimed to have had sex with Perry. One was a male prostitute who told associates that Perry had hired him three or four times a year for hotel parties with Perry and an aide. The other was a man who responded to a Craigslist ad allegedly posted by Perry. Along the way, there are dozens of other more tenuous second-hand reports, including one man linked to Perry who pointedly refused to deny the accusations.
That story is a GREAT read, and the comments are even better. Gawker really digs in to the book, and it's fair to say that their regular reader community is tailor-made for these kinds of exposes. The Gawker story had sufficient comments and page views that their post might help give this story legs into the national media.
Political Wire also linked to the book and the Gawker story in their post "Former Texas Lawmaker Suggests Perry Is Gay." Political Wire, a widely read publication on the Hill, connects the dots between the book and the Politico story that also ran yesterday about Perry lawyering up in advance of the Huffington Post story ("National News Outlet" in Maxey's book). The Politico story, New-style scandal fixer helps Rick Perry, Herman Cain, focuses on attorney Lin Wood, who Perry's camp hired to threaten a huge lawsuit against HuffPo if they ran the Perry story.
I sure would like to see what Lin Wood's letter to HuffPo looked like, wouldn't you?
Wonkette jumped into the action as well, with their post Rick Perry's Rumored Adventures in Gay Sex, Now in Book Form! Bonus points for trotting out the Iowa corn-dog photo. They write:
Biblehumper bozo barbie Rick Perry has been annoying everyone lately with his truly awful attempts to prove to the Jesus People contingent that he deserves to rule the country for his Tex-ass tuff talk on gays in the military, so it's fitting and timely that openly gay former Texas legislator Glen Maxey (a Democrat, we said "openly") has just released a hilarious new book-form collection of the many sordid rumors indicating that Rick Perry may just be the most monstrously self-loathing closeted old queen in America.
Finally, Harold Cook wrote an excellent piece on his blog Letters From Texas in which he takes umbrage with the press refusing to publish Maxey's research while running amok with the Herman Cain affair rumors with less public evidence. Cook writes:
And what of other possible double standards, related to gender, or sexual orientation? As difficult as it must be for a woman to come forward and disclose an improper relationship with a man, how much more difficult would it be for a man to do so? The negative stigma attached to those situations is perpetuated by politicians like Rick Perry himself, and others in his Party, who have long had gay Americans on their list of people they cynically scapegoat for the sake of a few more votes.
It's a thoughtful essay, and picks up on one of the more important themes in the book: what burden of proof does a news outlet need to break a huge scandal? And does that burden shift depending on the scandal itself? Maxey's experiences detailed in the book seem to suggest that it does.
So, have you read it yet? If you don't have a Kindle, you can download one of these free Kindle reader apps for your computer or phone. It's also now available via Amazon in paperback.
Other coverage on the web: