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GLAAD blasts New York Post for toe-tapper reference in Thomas Roberts/nude pics gossip item

Thomas Roberts, the TV anchor who came out last year in South Beach at the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists convention, is in hot water for nude pictures allegedly of him that turned up on the Internet, according to The New York Post.

The New York Post is in hot water with GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation over a reference in the Roberts item to "toe-tapper" as a synonym for gay man. (Think Sen. Larry Craig.)

Here's The New York Post's item:

September 7, 2007 -- NOT even a week into his new gig at "The Insider," former CNN Headline News anchor Thomas Roberts has brought yet another embarrassment to the syndicated Paramount TV show.

Yesterday, blogger Kenneth Walsh posted this question about the openly gay TV stud: "Which TV insider has been known to make his own headline news with these superhot nude pics of himself on the gay cruising site Manhunt.net?"

The photos on the site do not show the fellow's face, but the profile does feature pictures of a toe-tapper posing naked in various positions, including full frontal.

Thomas_roberts_2"The Insider," a tabloid show known best for its round-the-clock coverage of Anna Nicole Smith's death and featuring carnival-like freaks during sweeps week, would not confirm or deny that the man in the photos is their new anchor.

A spokesperson for the show would not put us in touch with Roberts. When we asked about the risqué online profile, the rep told Page Six, "We have hired Thomas Roberts from CNN for his journalistic strengths and integrity. It is unfortunate that after four days on the job at 'The Insider,' he has become a victim of this malicious personal attack."

Here's GLAAD's response:

New York, September 7, 2007 – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today called on the New York Post to apologize for and disassociate itself from its use of an anti-gay slur in today's edition.

On Sept. 7, the Post ran an item repeating rumors and innuendo speculating about the owner of an explicit online profile.  The item used the term "toe-tapper" as a description of gay men: "The photos on the site do not show the fellow's face, but the profile does feature pictures of a toe-tapper posing naked in various positions, including full frontal."

The New York Post's use of "toe-tapper" as a slur to disparage gay men is only the latest episode in the tabloid's long history of offensive content -- including the defamatory anti-gay AIDS coverage in the 1980s that led to GLAAD's founding. On Feb. 25, the newspaper insultingly headlined an article about a young transgender person "Free to be He-She." In the April 12 article "Attack of the Killer Lesbians," a group of young women involved in an assault were referred to as "a seething Sapphic septet" and as "bloodthirsty young lesbians." These offensive and dehumanizing descriptions continued in the Post's coverage of their trial.  In addition to its defamatory coverage, the Post has long published virulently anti-gay cartoons by Sean Delonas. Most egregiously, Delonas depicted a man carrying a sheep and wearing a veil in front of a marriage license window two days after the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex civil unions in October 2006.

"Whatever nostalgia the Post has for the prejudices and stereotypes of the 1980s, it really needs to outgrow them -- or a least stop acting them out in public," said GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano.

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I'd rather see Kenneth Walsh's naked pics.

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