A couple of weeks ago, Clay Aiken finally spoke up and put the liars, professional and otherwise, on alert that he was no longer going to turn the other cheek; he was no longer going to sit idly by while individuals with hollow hearts and no morals dragged his name through the mud that they themselves created. It has been quite entertaining to watch their posturing, denials, and weak attempts at counter attacks as he put them on notice that their same old crap was no longer going to fly. Regardless of whether or not the create-your-own scandal 2007 “contest” he announced to his fan club was “real” or not, his blog was successful in its real purpose of calling the liars out on their idiocy and letting them know in no uncertain terms how he felt about them and tactics. It was like turning over a rock to expose the nasty creepy-crawlies underneath. So let’s take a look at some of those nasties.
We really have three categories of liars to speak about. First, there are the professional liars…those who get paid for their “tall tales,” to use Aiken’s terminology. In this category would fall those bastions of truth and integrity, the tabloids, and those even one-step below them in the integrity scale … bloggers (i.e., anyone with a computer, some spare time, and an agenda) such as Perez Hilton, who get paid for their self-indulgent ramblings through ads and hits to their sites. These entities will frequently use each other as “sources” for their fabrications...which gives you a pretty good idea of their credibility. How frightening is it that some of the so-called “mainstream” news sources actually rely on these very unreliable sources to present the "news?” Journalists have a social responsibility which it appears they are abdicating in favor of a news informed more by tabloids and press releases than by real events and real issues.
Then there are the liars who do it for free. They lie just for the fun of it, or in response to some kind of inner need or particular psychological issue.
For some of these individuals that inner need is driven by their internalization of the competitive aspects of a television show, American Idol (the fact that they would take something like a silly TV show seriously enough to attempt to ruin the REAL life of a perceived “competitor” to their chosen one ... neither of whom they even really know.. says much about their own mental instability.)
As an example let me highlight some excerpts from a posting on the American Idol, Season 2 site that someone posted to my last blog (and I'll repost the entire article in the comments section of this blog since it's so relevant):
Anti-fan and hate blogs in the US have been with us for years, but are a relatively new phenomenon which has reached a new height with the advent of computer message board sites and blogs. American Idol added to the stream of Anti-fans with the most popular contestants having the most anti-fans.And then there are those liars who are former fans. For some reason, Aiken didn’t meet whatever expectation of him they had created in their minds. They call him a "fraud" for not meeting those expectations, whereas the reality is that those expectations are their construction, not his. He is not responsible for the fictive image of him they created based only on the snippets of his life that made it into the media. They will never forgive him for not being the person they want him to be, nor forgive themselves for “falling” for that self-created image. Again, given that they don’t even really know him, another sign of mental instability.
Their goal is to get others to hate the popular celebrity as much as they do and some are considered not just crazy by the general populace but can be dangerous. They don’t just spend hours or weeks of their time on a celebrity – but possibly years depicting every flaw, every mistake no matter how minor or irrelevant it is to a career - picking apart and exaggerating everything they read, see or hear about the victim of their hatred.
Most want to end careers, or for the object of their hatred to disappear and will stop at nothing to make it happen! In some cases anti-fans will spread their hatred to the fans of a star as well (especially in the case of fan wars). Fans are always a positive thing for any celebrity, and are considered the norm, but some anti fans can border on a type of obsession in their unhealthy goals and their pursuit to demean the victim of their hatred in the eyes of others no matter how much time or how long it takes.
In some cases he didn’t respond to these intense fans as warmly as they convinced themselves he would. Perhaps they were “stalkers” of one kind or another; perhaps they simply expected the “connection” they felt with him to be reciprocal. They therefore have to demonize him in order to “get even,” or make it seem as though they don’t care that he didn’t respond to him...whereas in reality they care very much and can't seem to move past it.
And of course, there are also a group of liars who are simply nasty people – they find it easy to jump on the bandwagon of hate and don’t care who they hurt in the process.
Finally, there are the deluded liars – those who either genuinely are convinced, or have allowed themselves to become convinced, of the hater’s propaganda. They view every word that comes out of Aiken’s mouth through the veil of the falsehoods that have been said about him. Included in this group are the individuals who are emotionally invested in making Clay gay (see Sexuality and Semantics). Even though he has said he is not … they will not accept that, and so concoct fantasies which they eventually convince themselves are real by taking any incident of Clay being friends with, knowing, sitting next to, or looking at a man who is gay (or any man, for that matter) and then creating a fiction that they subsequently convince themselves is true. And in some cases they then plant those fictional realities as “tips” on blogsites and to tabloids. In their own mind, the line between fiction and reality ceases to exist. They refuse to rationally evaluate any lie that comes down the tubes that has as its motive a confirmation of Clay’s “gayness.” Yet again, not exactly a testament to mental/emotional health.
All of these liars repeat as "fact" statements which are patently false. They say Aiken has never denied the tabloid stories -- but he has-- or denied the "webcams" -- but he has -- or has denied being gay -- which he has. They deny their culpability for writing campaigns that affect things such as potential appearances -- but they are, in fact, responsible for some. In reference to these campaigns, they say "prove it," forgetting that they themselves have posted items such as the email one of them received in response to their campaign of getting Aiken shut out of performing at the "Pure Fashion" show this last summer.
At other times, such as in this most recent example, they rattle on for a week about how they have inside “information” that Aiken is in LA hooking up at gay bars, drunk, trolling the internet, all the while asserting their writings are the “truth” … only to be confronted by a picture of Aiken arriving at LAX a week after all of this has supposedly been happening. The subject is then conveniently dropped, and they are on to something else.
They also seem to forget all the times they've goaded each other on to contact various bloggers and tabloids, like those mentioned above, with the salacious tidbits they've created about Aiken. But they forget all of their actions have been documented. Their "truth" is nothing but a web of lies and deceit. Additionally, so lacking are they in basic critical thinking skills, that they place faith in any anonymous person who comes to them “spilling” anything bad about Aiken. They bluster and bluff and posture, but quickly show themselves to be the fools that they are.
The disturbing part is how all of these liars can work together to get their untruths into a wider venue via the unreliable and inaccurate media. The unpaid liars often work hand in hand with the paid. For example, recently, at one of the hater blogs, an anonymous poster surfaced claiming to have just had an IM conversation with Aiken about “hooking up.” The claims were accompanied by "photographic evidence." Within just a couple of hours, that story and those pictures, were posted at the Perez Hilton site, only Perez changed up the timeline. Well, it turns out that the so-called anonymous source was a fraud, most likely a misguided fan trying to prove how gullible they were and how easy it was to get them to swallow any untruth.
In another recent example, as the haters were responding with outrage at Aiken’s blog, which called them out as the liars they are, someone slyly suggested that he was corrupting youth by encouraging them to tell tawdry stories. Well, rather quickly the conversation evolved and centered on this and soon a “distraught father” of an “11 year old” member of the OFC was writing on the Fox8 blog (Greensboro) that he objected to this attempted corruption of his daughter’s morals. It was a complete fabrication…an hysterical response. (Of course, the minimum age for OFC membership is 13, and only then with parental guidance until age 16.) It was clearly a lie created on the hate blog, and then carried through to a media source they thought might be receptive, based on how easily they had been able to manipulate this reporter back in December (see Constructing a Diva).
For the “haters” their world is upside down. It is a world on the other side of the looking glass. They brazenly proclaim lies as the “truth” with every expectation of convincing people … and maybe even themselves.
Clay Aiken’s latest blog .. addressing their tall tales (ALL the tall tales – including those of last year and beyond) and ridiculing them for their pathetic attempts at the destruction of his honor and good name was an important step in the right direction. Its very effectiveness can be seen in the ferocity with which the guilty parties have responded in opposition to it.
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