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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Perez Hilton’s Miley Cyrus skirt-upshot brouhaha: Why is this *ever* okay?

Have you heard? Gossipmonger Perez Hilton is losing advertising at his self-named celebrity gossip site because he posted an “upshot” of a female superstar… that is, an up-the-skirt photograph that appeared to show that said female superstar was not wearing any underwear.

Now, anyone who knows even the slightest bit about the nasty cesspools in which celebrity gossip wallows knows that such photographs are, alas, typical fodder for bloggers like Hilton. This is precisely the kind of stuff that has garnered him huge traffic and ad revenues that were estimated in 2004 to be around $111,000 per month; even today, PerezHilton.com commands, up to $30,000 for a single ad via Blogads.
Why is this all of a sudden a problem? Fox News explains:

Gossip blogger Perez Hilton issued a warning to readers not to click for a photo of 17-year-old singer Miley Cyrus if they were “easily offended.”

The link was to an uncensored, up-the-skirt photograph of Cyrus stepping out of a car, seemingly without underwear.

While it was one thing for media outlets to publish pics of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears partying without panties a few years ago, the situation involving Cyrus is quite different, given that she is still a minor.

If only Hilton had waited six months — Cyrus will turn 18 this coming November — this wouldn’t had been an issue. Then, posting a photograph taken up a woman’s dress would have been absolutely fine. And anyway, now it’s all apparently a-okay hunky dory because Hilton has “proof” that Cyrus was wearing underwear. So everybody just relax!

But why are such photos ever okay? And why is everyone picking on Perez Hilton: Isn’t he just giving his audiences what they have clearly told him they want? Where’s the outrage at, you know, the entire fucking planet for making someone like Perez Hilton popular for peddling this shit in the first place?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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