Over the past week, news of the profound hypocrisy of George Rekers has nearly shadowed a bit by questions surrounding how the news was broken by Miami New Times’ Penn Bullock and Brandon K. Thorp. To clear things up, the pair — who are also a couple — have offered explanations both on their own Miami New Times and in an interview with South Florida Gay News.
Bullock and Thorp write:
[Jo-vanni Roman] has no idea the two guys have spent the past week studying screen captures of his emails — including the itinerary of his trip with the minister — sent by a friend he once entrusted with his passwords.
This point was elaborated by SFGN:
Thorp and Bullock went about the task of writing their story methodically. First, it was not Roman that tipped them off to the lead the young man was in Europe with Rekers. Instead, it was a friend of Roman’s, who was an ‘authorized user’ of his e-mail account. Apparently, while reviewing Roman’s contacts, he came upon the escort’s famous client, and contacted his friend, Bullock. His goal was to expose Rekers, a married man, for hiring a male escort.
Bullock and Thorp immediately recognized the significance of their quarry, and the potentially explosive nature of the story.
So, Bullock was friends with someone who knew Jo-vanni. That friend came across emails between Jo-vanni and Rekers, then forwarded those emails to Bullock.
I suppose there could be more to the story, about the relationship between Bullock and Jo-vanni’s friend, especially given this statement by Thorp: “There is nothing disgraceful about a young college student supplementing his income as a sex worker. Roman is engaged in an honorable profession, as much so as a politician. He is an innocent bystander. The person that matters is Rekers.”
But, at the end of it, it sounds a whole lot like a journalist got a tip from a friend. Zach Sires over at Unzipped disagrees.