I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again and shamelessly again: I read a lot of trash. If you visit “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!” regularly, you know that I am a committed slave to gossip blogs. Hard to believe, but there was a time when there were no gossip blogs; back then, I survived on Us Weekly, “Entertainment Tonight,” and E! Entertainment Television. Those were “the lean years.” In 2005, my life changed when I discovered PerezHilton.com; that was the beginning of the Golden Age. I have been a Perez reader for five years now. In fact, just this morning I cited him as my source in “WTF?!” -- a funny if regrettable coincidence, because the big story on every other gossip blog was that Perez is in some deep shiz. It seems that the self- proclaimed “Queen of All Media” posted on his Twitter two nights ago an up-the-skirt shot of Miley Cyrus that revealed…let’s just say too much. And Miley is 17 years old. He took down the photo very soon after posting, but the damage was done, and Perez Hilton (real name Mario Lavandeira) now might be facing child pornography charges. Oops! His alleged felony has confirmed what I already knew: Perez is a creep; Miley is a disaster waiting to happen; and the kids are NOT all right.
Before I unpack this pop culture Greek tragedy, let me address my Perez hypocrisy, because one might wonder why I read Perez if I know he’s such a jerk. Well, at first, he was the only source of fast, accurate, and funny gossip. Yeah, yeah I know: “accurate gossip” is a wobbly concept. Just go with it, please. The point is, Perez was the first, and he remained the fastest for a long while. And until recently his worst offenses were jumping to conclusions and drawing phalluses all over celebrities’ photos. Since the first is basically the foundation of gossip and the second appeals to my pathetically immature sense of humor, he seemed perfectly harmless. But although the Miley photo is probably the most offensive thing he’s ever posted, it is not the first offensive thing he’s put out in the last year or two. So, yeah, I should have stopped reading him a while ago, but I didn’t. Take this moment to judge me, and then we’ll get back on track. Go ahead. Take your time.
So, Perez posted a photo of Miley’s private anatomy on his Twitter even though the singer is only 17 years old. Since then, he has come to his own defense, pointing out that Miley was in fact wearing underwear (as evinced by paparazzi shots from the same day in which her underwear is visible through her dress). Um, okay. So he posted photos of Miley’s bottom half that were Photoshopped to appear naked? STILL DISGUSTING, Mario. From a legal standpoint, it doesn’t matter; it’s just as punishable if the photo is doctored. From a moral standpoint, it is reprehensible regardless. Plus, Hilton’s attempt to neutralize the scandal only magnifies his irresponsibility and stupidity. In the video he posted on his website addressing the rumors, Perez is smug and scripted and wearing – wait for it – a fake fur coat and no pants. Way to show your remorse, jackass. At the end, he clarifies that he posted the photo of Miley because he “thought she was exiting the car in a very unladylike fashion,” lathering the words with sarcasm and smirking. Did I mention he isn’t wearing pants? Watching the video, I really felt compelled to punch him in the face, but one can’t waste a Macbook Pro on a D-List celebrity with a penchant for drawing penises on Jennifer Aniston.
And then there is Miley. Oh, Miley. Let’s face it; Miley hasn’t acted like a kid in some time, and her age-inappropriate antics are everywhere you turn, every time you look. I am pretty sure that even Perez would not have posted an up-the-skirt shot of Dakota Fanning or Demi Lovato or Taylor Swift -- which is not to say that HIlton’s disgusting post was in any way Miley’s fault. I mean, I’ve made a bit of a hobby out of insulting Miley and her pole-dancing, nonsense-spewing, lap-dancing ways, but Miley is not the problem. Her parents and the other adults in her life are the problem. They have been marketing her as a sex object for a couple years now. Her father actually defended her pole dancing and her lap dancing, and her mother seems to do little more than tag along to awards shows. The last time a young, female star was so obviously pimped out to the world by her parents and management, the result was a bald Britney Spears attacking cars with an umbrella. Evidently, one cautionary tale is not enough for some people. It is NOT Miley’s fault that Perez exploited her the way he did. However, her parents, her management, and the other adults who support and encourage Miley’s media-ready sexuality all get a slice of the culpability pie. Perez Hilton is not the only one doing something wrong. Miley’s career for the last two years has been, in essence, child pornography.
In his blog, Perez regularly disparages Miley for her overt sexuality. He even refers to her as “Slutty Cyrus.” Evidently he hates seeing Miley exploit herself, but he’ll be happy to do it for her. That’s cool. It’s a scary world we live in where a 32 year-old man posts photos of a 17 year-old’s naked bottom half on Twitter. It’s even scarier when the 17 year-old is being paid to dance on a pole with her parents’ support. Miley and her people want us to know she’s just a wild child – you’ve heard her new song, right? She “can’t be tamed.” Look, I was 17 and couldn’t be tamed, too, and I ended up grounded. Someone isn’t doing his or her job at Camp Cyrus. As for Perez, he deserves to be prosecuted. And, at the very least, everybody needs to put some pants on.