News Round-Up: June 9, 2021

Trump supporters Joshua Hall is charged with scamming Trump supporters
Trump supporters Joshua Hall is charged with scamming Trump supporters
Joshua Hall (image via Edge Media)

Some news items you might have missed:

Edge Media: A 22-year-old DoorDash delivery man from Pennsylvania reportedly used a social media scam, which included creating the fake organization called “Gay Voices for Trump,” to solicit donations from Trump supporters. Joshua Hall (above) is a “big Trump supporter,” but that didn’t stop him from defrauding his fellow supporters out of thousands of dollars.

Riding for Pride: Trek Bicycle will be celebrating Pride Month by hosting individual Pride Ride events on June 27 in support of their local communities and will be donating a total of $75,000 across local LGBTQIA+ organizations.

Associated Press: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and other top department officials took part in the Pentagon’s 10th annual LGBT Pride Month celebration on Wednesday morning. In his comments, Austin commemorated the progress the military had come in standing up for LGBTQ+ rights but recognized that there was still work to come.

The Advocate: A gay man in Florianópolis, Brazil, was gang-raped last week, one of the latest examples of horrific violence against LGBTQ+ people in the country — violence that activists say is spurred on by the nation’s homophobic president.

Page Six: The Bachelor host Chris Harrison demanded a $25 million payout after being booted from the show — and threatened to spill all the franchise’s dirty secrets if he didn’t get it, sources told Page Six. “He has nearly 20 years of dirt,” an ABC source said Tuesday.

New York Post: Jeff Bezos is getting shafted online over the shape of his big rocket. “Is it me, or does Jeff Bezos’ rocket look like a giant penis?” one person tweeted alongside a photo of Blue Origin, the craft the 57-year-old world’s richest man will fly into space next month. “I thought ‘penis’ as soon as I saw that image,” another person agreed.

News Round-Up: February 11, 2019

Austin Wolf (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• InstaHunk Austin Wolf (above) took time to recover in Miami from last week’s Atlantis cruise.

• The Tennessee Republican Party is attempting to ban marriage equality again in an effort to get the issue back in front of the Supreme Court – of course, this time with a court tilted in their favor.

• Over the weekend, I reported on West Virginia Del. Eric Porterfield, who got in hot water for calling the LGBT community a “modern day KKK.” Now, an interview clip has surfaced where he says he would “see if they could swim” if a child of his came out to him.

• A gay Trump supporter, who happens to be the brother of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ mistress, may have been the one who leaked private photos and text messages to the National Enquirer to embarrass and smear Bezos.

• In addition to legislation introduced by Democrats in the House and Senate aimed at protecting transgender military service members, Massachusetts Rep. Joseph Kennedy III will introduce a non-binding resolution in the House of Representatives rejecting the ban. The legislation currently has 103 co-sponsors.

• Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló‘s administration on Feb. 8, 2019, issued guidelines that urge public employees in the U.S. commonwealth to be more sensitive to the needs of LGBT people and their children.

• Check out the trailer for Teen Spirit, a visceral, stylish spin on the Cinderella story from the producer of La La Land.

Starring Elle Fanning, the film’s soundtrack features music by LGBT artists and favorites including Robyn, Ellie Goulding, Tegan & Sara, Annie Lennox, Orbital, Sigrid, Carly Rae Jepsen & Jack Antonoff. Additional music by Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Grimes, The Undertones, Aqua, Alice Deejay, Whigfield, Major Lazer and No Doubt.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Pens Blog Post Alleging Blackmail By National Enquirer’s Parent Company

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (image via Flickr/JD Lasica)

Last night, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos took to Medium to tell the world that the parent company for the National Enquirer, American Media Inc.,  had threatened to blackmail him by releasing embarrassing photos and text messages of Bezos.

Not only did he address the alleged threat head on, he published the threatening emails in full.

Just a taste from Bezos via Medium:

Something unusual happened to me yesterday. Actually, for me it wasn’t just unusual — it was a first. I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Or at least that’s what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I’m glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing. Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.

Any personal embarrassment AMI could cause me takes a back seat because there’s a much more important matter involved here. If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can? (On that point, numerous people have contacted our investigation team about their similar experiences with AMI, and how they needed to capitulate because, for example, their livelihoods were at stake.)

In the AMI letters I’m making public, you will see the precise details of their extortionate proposal: They will publish the personal photos unless Gavin de Becker and I make the specific false public statement to the press that we “have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.”

One of the photos listed in the threats is described as “a shirtless Mr. Bezos holding his phone in his left hand — while wearing his wedding ring.”

It goes on to mention that the wealthiest man in the world is “wearing either tight black cargo pants or shorts — and his semi-erect manhood is penetrating the zipper of said garment.”

AMI says it ‘acted lawfully’ but will investigate the issue.

Right.

Of course, AMI has admitted to paying one of Donald Trump’s mistresses for her story in a ‘catch and kill’ move to make sure it never saw the light of day as the CEO of AMI, David Pecker, is a longtime fan of the Donald who hates Bezos.

Go read the entire post by Bezos. It’s worth the read.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and wife give $2.5 million to defend marriage equality

Jeff Bezos, who founded Amazon.com in Seattle nearly two decades ago, will make a $2.5 million dollar donation to Washington United for Marriage, which is fighting to pass Referendum 74, a ballot initiative that would legalize a state proposal to allow same-sex marriage.

The New York Times reports that the donation came about after a former Amazon employee who is a lesbian mom of four directly emailed Bezos.

In the e-mail, Ms. Cast described in detail the pain she endured as a young adult and the difficulties she faced publicly acknowledging her sexuality. At the end, she pointedly asked him to donate between $100,000 and $200,000 to the referendum cause. “Jeff, I suspect you support marriage equality,” she wrote. “I beg you not to sit on the sidelines and hope the vote goes our way. Help us make it so.” She hit “send” and waited. Two days later, on Tuesday, she received a reply while in a car with her family. Recalling that moment, she said she had to read it out loud twice to make sure she had read it right. “Jen,” the e-mail said, “this is right for so many reasons. We’re in for $2.5 million. Jeff & MacKenzie.”

Washington United for Marriage says it has raised more than $5 million for Referendum 74 on the November ballot. Last month Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and co-founder Bill Gates each donated $100,000 to the campaign supporting the law.

Referendum 74 seeks to overturn the law signed in February by Gov. Chris Gregoire. The law was supposed to take effect June 7 but has been put on hold.

A yes vote upholds the law and a no vote overturns it.