Dear Heather Barwick: Your Kids’ Mother Has A Problem With Gratitude

Heather Barwick, another victim of a loving home life.

Heather Barwick, another victim of a loving home life.

(Is this your first time visiting The Bajeezus? Find out where we get off.)

Dear Heather Barwick,

I’m writing in response to your recent scatter-shot, viral open letter, Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting, in which you explain why you’ve mutated from a vocal gay marriage advocate to what you call a “children’s rights activist.” You seem to imagine that those positions are intrinsically opposed. I very much hope that the attention your letter garners you as a rising conservative icon brings you the happiness your insanely lucky, privileged childhood could not, because you’re burning bridges to that community that Caesar’s pile drivers couldn’t rebuild.

Let me get this straight: Like so many LGBTQ+ persons in the ’70s (or whatever they want to be called now, I don’t know, I’m an ally, I don’t have to learn the nomenclature du jour), your lesbian mom got married to your dick dad and made you before she decided to be honest with herself and the world and embrace her true love. Your dad, already a massive prick, bailed on his daughter, presumably because “aberrant lifestyle” was a get-out-of-responsibilities-free card for Schlitz swilling alpha-douches back then. Your mom and her lover gave you a fucking dream childhood in liberal America, getting you the best schooling possible, and teaching you amazing life lessons you purport to appreciate (“You taught me that,” being the last line of your letter), including the value of vocal activism.

“Yet, as a little girl, I so desperately wanted a daddy.” And? As a little boy, I desperately wanted a life-size Turtle Van that shot hard, plastic, eye-poking pizzas at my enemies. One day, as I become more successful, I can buy one. Do you know how easy it is for you to make up for your lack of daddy in a sexually fulfilling relationship nowadays? Life doesn’t owe you exact, perfect comforts when you’re a kid. Sucks. And you said it yourself – – your mother didn’t keep you from having a dad, the dude peaced out on the sitch. You should definitely take it out on your mom and the entire gay community, though.

And what the fuck does any of this have to do with marriage? This is an issue of child raising. People know those are two different things right? I mean, obviously some people don’t, like those prick lawmakers who think it is about the ‘perpetuation of the species,’ as if children are going to stop being born if the people who weren’t going to make them anyway get full citizenship status.

Heather, you spend a full half of your article talking about what a great life you were given. The fact that we’re listening to you reinforces that: You have incredible potential as a celebrity activist and a political writer. Your intelligence and aptitude were nurtured and encouraged. Children of any parentage should be so lucky – – why should your angst fall at the feet of a civil rights movement?

“My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.” First of all, I want you to begin to imagine the holes in the children that are living in twelve-bed attics in an orphanage, the ache they have every day for a goddamned candy bar. Second, it’s not your mom’s fault that there isn’t a big box Daddyco in every strip mall, that brothers aren’t lining up to sit in tanks until some lesbian comes to pick one up for her daughter because the last one ran away.


This is Rigby’s Facebook feed. Follow!

What was your mother supposed to do? Ignore her natural instincts and marry another guy? Close her eyes three times a week and think about you, while a person that she had literally no biological chance of being attracted to humps another ungrateful little clunge into her unsatisfied pussy? The likely outcome of that scenario is that you would have had half the childhood you did, because your home would have been lacking in basic happiness, your mother would have resented your existence (even if she was too good a woman to show it), and the dice would have been rolled on another dickhead that would probably abandon you. For realz, though, propose a different solution from the one your mom employed instead of attacking the seemingly beneficial choices she did make.

By the way, have you seen the statistics concerning parents ‘staying together for the kids’? I know you really wanted a pony, Heather, but what if that pony ate your little toddler soul?

I want to point you to a couple of Pastor Jim Rigby’s “Ten Things I Wish the Church Knew About Homosexuality.” These are the items that don’t necessarily apply just to the church, but also to conservative icons and churlish, thankless little brats.

4. You cannot call it “special rights” when someone asks for the same rights you have.
6. Marriage is a civil ceremony, which means it’s a civil right.
9. If we do not do the right thing in our day, our grandchildren will look at us with same embarrassment we look at racist grandparents.

One of the several infuriating things about your mewling, pretentious little letter is that you grew up among these people. You know that they are people, citizens of your country. You watched them in their sickness, in their lives together. You were made incredibly aware that marriage offers liberties and advancements, and watched as your moms and their friends had to live around it as three-fourths people in a full-person world.

Gay marriage doesn’t just redefine marriage, but also parenting. It promotes and normalizes a family structure that necessarily denies us something precious and foundational. It denies us something we need and long for, while at the same time tells us that we don’t need what we naturally crave. That we will be okay. But we’re not. We’re hurting.

Way to throw your moms under the bus, you silly little bitch. You’re not hurting. You’re sitting at your fancy new computer, in your home or office, in your pressed pantsuit (or pajamas, which is exactly as privileged) and dentisted teeth, and inventing personal strife. It’s dishonest, and smart writers have the decency to be embarrassed about it, because they know alert readers can tell when an author is completely full of shit. Lying is hard, kid, only stupid people think it’s easy.

Look, I completely understand the irrational desire to have had a shittier childhood than you did – – you’re a writer, Skippy, and man if it doesn’t look like the people who have gone through some shit in their lives (children of divorce, gays, alcoholics) have hit the creative jackpot somehow. I know: when I was a younger author, I tried to invent some traumatic parenting crap to drag some compelling prose out of myself, too. But then I grew up, realized I was puking in the face of all the sacrifice my family put into my happiness, and had an epiphany: maybe I’m just not that good. Maybe David Sedaris isn’t what he is because of his wacky life, but his hard work and natural gifts. Maybe you need to work a little harder on your talents, Heather, because by your own admission, your moms have put in 10 times the effort than most straight parental units. Take a rag to that metaphorical vagina, I can detect the fishy stench of insecure professional desperation from here.

There are a ton of offensive things in your letter, Heather, but I want to leave you with a personal, professional outrage, one pundit hack to another: Personal anecdotes are evidence of nothing. Look:

But by and large, the best and most successful family structure is one in which kids are being raised by both their mother and father.

Oh? Is it? Statistics? Can we have a link to one study? Even if that study is obviously partisan bullshit? Heather, ‘by and large’ isn’t a number, it isn’t a study, its a vagary. Activists shouldn’t be taking to the streets and talk radio and the internet for vagaries. You shouldn’t be getting out of bed for less than a double-blind, third-party study. There isn’t a single link in your entire letter, but you make claims for whole communities.

It’s not just me. There are so many of us. Many of us are too scared to speak up and tell you about our hurt and pain, because for whatever reason it feels like you’re not listening.

Who, Heather? Who is “so many” of you? Has it occurred to you that most children of same-sex marriages have been raised with enough respect to be grateful to have loving parents at all? That personal anecdotes cost nothing, and that they’d be everywhere, but you couldn’t find a single corroborating story online, because – and now I’m generalizing – most people of any upbringing aren’t ungracious, selfish twats whose career trajectory means more to her than the happiness of others?

Go home and thank your second mother, Heather, the one that raised you as her own, and apologize for what you just did. And before you throw the next stone, maybe wait to see how those “four rambunctious kids” of your own turn out. You know, growing up with a mother and father and a complete lack of the “precious and foundational something” they won’t be able to recognize as respect.

Sit down,

The Bajeezus

Click here and fire off a poorly grammared hate message to the author.

Click here and fire off a poorly grammared hate message to the author.


  • BronxGirl813

    Great response. I hope you don’t mind, I shared it on my FB.

    • Brian Kane

      Me too.

    • Of course not! I’m very glad you appreciated it.

  • Jane Switzer

    You might enjoy this as well: Young woman of lesbian parents powerfully responds to Heather Barwick —

    • Absolutely! And a far more legitimate article than mine. I read it after I posted this, and I am stoked it is doing so well.

    • Boatdock

      This article was very well written, and the near perfect answer to Heather’s article. As the mother of two adopted sons, and whose 32 year marriage ended in divorce, I understand the loss children feel when the parents are now one parent in the home and another gone. Even if the other parent remains in contact with the children, there is a sense of abandonment and loss that is huge. I can only imagine if one parent has little or no contact with a child. For my sons, they feel a double loss because of the loss of their birth parents. IMO, issues of loss and abandonment are what Heather is trying to deal with; the loss of the family she once had. Children tend to idealize what was and could’ve been, and it is a very rare step parent that is able to fill the hole left by the loss of the original parent. Maybe a good counselor would be in order for Heather to explore, grieve for and come to some kind of reconciliation with the life she has had and didn’t have. Sometimes our personalities and perceptions are our greatest detriments to seeing “the forest for the trees”.

  • sandre

    I agree with you that she had a pretty good childhood and that she DEFINITELY had a far better childhood with a happy mom who had a happy relationship with her lesbian lover, than she would have had in an unhappy home where the parents don’t like each other. BUT, I have to say that some of your comparisons were quite jarring. A “life-size Turtle Van that shot hard, plastic, eye-poking pizzas at my enemies” is NOT the same thing as a father. To act as if wanting parents is the same as wanting toys, a pony, or candy bars is a little… horrifying, to say the least.

    • JCF

      “First of all, I want you to begin to imagine the holes in the children
      that are living in twelve-bed attics in an orphanage, the ache they have
      every day for a goddamned candy bar.”

      Gandhi said “To the starving man, God comes as bread.” Yes, it CAN be a fair comparison (Dad or candy bar). It’s all in the context.

      While there’s a few words in this piece I would tweak, overall it is AWESOME!

      • sandre

        Hm, I don’t think so. A candy bar is something that is nice and makes you happy for a while. A father is something that can affect your entire life and is an integral part of a person’s psychology.

        • Rob

          “but she was so hung up on the gender of the thing that she thought she had the right to complain.”

          So untouchables? I get it.

          • No, she’s like a child that got a regular X Box for Christmas instead of a green Halo special edition one, and throws a fit for her mother’s shaking home video camera, and the YouTube shame machine. She got what she wanted, but it wasn’t in the right superficial package, so a whole group of people don’t get full citizen status. Quite the tantrum.

      • sandre

        And if you say that a candy bar can be a fair comparison to father, depending on the context, and the context created for the candy bar is destitution, then you are actually agreeing that a father is pretty darn important thing, even for a child with a fairly normal childhood.

    • You’re preaching to the clueless.

  • Fernando

    This is amazing. Thank you!

  • Lauren

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I respect that. It’s terrible when you need to use such foul language and bashing to try to get your point across. If you feel that passionate about what she wrote and disagree, that’s great.
    I grew up with Heather and know her pretty well. I find it funny that someone can get so much “information” about one person from one article. She did have a good childhood, but I know what her struggles were. She is educated, but she did not go to the best schools around growing up. Stop being so dramatic. Heather is stating her experience living with two Moms. Not once did she ever put down the Gay Community, but said how this experience has affected her. Do I agree with her opinion? No, I do not. I feel like her experience living with two Moms is one side. I believe that there are children growing up in same sex marriages that are happy and will be perfectly fine growing up in a same sex marriage. I feel that any child going through a divorce or any kind of abuse will have issues whether their parents were in a same sex or heterosexual marriage. She is aware of that and respects that. She does not want any child to go through what she has and what she is still battling now. I can say she has done more than I have in support of Gay marriage. She did not do this to become a conservative icon or destroy anyone. Heather is probably one of the least selfish people I know and one damn good mother at that. Her experience is one perspective. She had the balls to speak up and be an advocate for her side of the argument. Heather is a strong willed person. Her mother has taught her that. The women in her life have taught her that. She may not agree with the lifestyle or Gay marriage, but she never said she does not like someone because of their sexual orientation. She is a loving person and a passionate person. Heather’s point was brought across peacefully. She wanted to share her story and her thoughts. Now everyone is giving their own interpretation. The Gay community can have an opinion, why can’t children of Gay marriages?

    • Matt

      She as the right to an opinion. Just as those in the community she’s bashing and those who support them have the right to point out the serious logical flaws in the evidence she uses to support that opinion. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from being told when you’re wrong.

    • Steve Talbot

      Yes, she is quite adept at “coating excrement in chocolate icing”. Nobody is fooled by her. And, frankly, the claims you have made, regarding your personal knowledge and experience in this matter, are suspiciously unverifiable, aren’t they?

    • Tom

      “Heather is stating her experience living with two Moms. Not once did she ever put down the Gay Community” – Did you read the title of her article? She addressed it to the “Gay Community” – I stopped reading your response as soon as I read this quote because it’s quite clear your thesis is off-base and there is no point in listening any further to someone who can’t grasp the basics of the topic at hand.

      • Rob

        “She addressed it to the “Gay Community”
        Target audience.

        • Tom

          If you’re saying addressing this to the gay community is not putting down the gay community, I disagree. If you’re agreeing with me thanks 🙂

    • Question

      While it is nice that you are trying to defend Heather, I hope you can admit that there are serious problems with her article. You say… <> That is fine, then she should have written an article saying that SOME gay marriages might have negative impacts on their children and given her own experience as an example. She should not have generalized that ALL gay marriages will do that. And that IS exactly what she does… the title is Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting, which implies that they ALL are.
      Maybe her article could then have gone on to advise gay parents to talk to their children about such things. Maybe had Heather spoken to her Moms about how she felt they could have somehow gotten her father back into her life. I don’t know, obviously, but it seems horrible to praise her parents, her community, and how well she was raised only to say how such a family has somehow caused her pain and strife.
      I’m sure she is a good person, and perhaps she did not mean to cause as big a stir as she did. However, to that I would say that she did not carefully weigh the consequences of her article and, in effect, bit the hand that fed her. I’m sorry, but shame on her for that.

  • nancyfromholland

    The father was a heterosexual. He could have stayed in contact with his daughter, as most divorced parents would. But he was an egocentric prick. She’s adressing the wrong crowd.

  • nancyfromholland

    Imagine if anyone had said: Dear Black community, your kids are hurting, ’cause my black father abandoned me and I was left between white folk’…..

  • kissyface


  • Zachary Bower

    Inorite? When I read this thing, my first thought was, “WOW, I hope this person is lying, because if not, she is SO ungrateful. Isn’t the right usually all about gratitude towards your parents?” The unfortunate thing though, even if she is, there are others out there just like her, only real.

    Now, if someone’s reading this thinking, “Nu-uh, she said she was grateful to her moms for all of this stuff,” that’s EXACTLY the point. She tells us, flat-out, that her moms were such great parents, then tries to poison us against gay parents anyway. But it’s not even their fault that her dad sucked, the REAL hard truth that needs to be addressed is that, if you have gay parents, it’s because 1 or both of your biological parents DIDN’T WANT YOU.

    Now, most kids say, “Whatever, I’ve got it pretty good,” but this lady apparently decided to take it out on the people who raised her by allying with people trying to portray them as child abusers, which is a huge slap in the face no matter how much she tries to claim that she’s not trying to hurt them. And if that isn’t enough, she says they shouldn’t even be married, even though that has nothing to do with adoption.

  • Jill Press

    I used to be in favor of equal rights, but after reading about how the very idea of gay marriage forced Heather’s father out of an idyllic family, I changed my mind.

    • Tom

      You think the parents would have stayed together if not for marriage equality? Really???

      • Jill Press

        Tom, I think it’s time to update your sarcasm detector. Jill

        • Tom

          Jill, if you think there are people out there who don’t have that opinion, please keep reading the comments…

          • Jill Press

            Tom, There will always be people who don’t recognize the absurdity of their bigotry and who take the suggestion of eating Irish babies seriously. In any event, I wrote that “the very idea of gay marriage”, rather than his wife’s lesbianism and the poor state of their relationship, ” forced Heather’s father out of an idyllic family”, which I believe is sufficiently crazy to let someone as smart as yourself in on the joke. I apologize if you think I was too subtle.

  • Will Moor

    This article may not be as “legitimate” as the beautiful piece written by Sidney Switzer BUT as a gay man who wants to marry the love of his life and not have that hindered by the likes of Heather Barwick, I was HIGHLY satisfied after reading this one. Sometimes you just need something like this for the sake of emotional and mental therapy so THANK YOU The Bajeezus, your piece was just what the doctor ordered.

  • Cotoli

    Ms Barwick says in a passage of her note:
    “Many of us are too scared to speak up and tell you about our hurt and pain, because for whatever reason it feels like you’re not listening. That you don’t want to hear.
    If we say we are hurting because we were raised by same-sex parents, we are either ignored or labeled a hater.”

    The Bajeezus has just proven the statement. As did many of the commentators.
    Something to think about in silence and deep thought.

    • Ben Chompers

      I could say that I am afraid to speak up that I wish to murder all blacks because people would vilify me, that doesn’t make my opinion ok if people do indeed vilify me. Her opinion is hers, but her logic leap is nonsensical. Her mothers weren’t married, so how will her argument that she misses her dad so same sex marriage shouldn’t be legal make any sense? It doesn’t.

      Plus we don’t make policy based on word salad from a single person. I could easily link you to Zach Walls, or Sydney Spitzer, or any number of kids of same sex parents who say the exact opposite of Heather. What is needed when making policies that affect millions of people, is studies, and good ones. And all the ones that have been done, show that there is no difference in outcome for the kids of gays and lesbians.

      • Cotoli

        Basically, you are saying that Heather’s opinion must be unique, that most people that were raised by same sex parents have nothing to complain about. Am I understanding you correctly?
        Heather’s view is that the father (male) figure is important in a kid’s upbringing. That’s her opinion.
        She also comments that there are many who think like her, but are somewhat afraid to voice their positions on the subject.
        Are you denying that what she brings up is a possibility?
        Are you completely, 100% certain that what she states is incorrect?
        Is it not possible that there are others who were raised by same sex parents and think like her, but prefer not to talk about it in public?

        The aggressiveness that exudes from The Bajeezus’s article, and the aggressiveness displayed by many of the commentators are appalling, and not in line with Heather’s note.

        You did not make yourself a favor with the example of your first sentence.

        • Ben Chompers

          Of course I didn’t do a favor (in your mind) because if it was a good analogy (and I certainly think it was) it shows how hateful her argument is.

          If she were to have said, “I missed having a male role model and I feel like my lesbian moms kept them away from me, and that is why it is important to have lots of role models of all genders present when raising a child” you’d hear nary a peep from anyone. Instead she tries to parlay her experience (which is valid) into a nonsensical argument, which you conveniently skipped over.

          Before you address anything else, answer me this: If same sex marriage was illegal for her mothers, why would keeping it illegal now do anything to rectify future hypothetical Heathers? Do you not see how ridiculous her leap of (il)logic is?

          I am saying that single anecdotes, of any type, are not worthwhile. Especially not for nations of 320 million people. If she were actually one of thousands, instead of one of 5 anti-gay kids of gay/lesbians that religious people love to trot out, they would show up in studies, but they don’t.

          The argument that she and those like her (that exist, trust her!) are afraid to speak up are laughable. If anyone has power in this nation, it is the religious against the queer. This is born out by the fact it is religious parents that kick out their queer kids in huge numbers, not the reverse.

          And finally, you are reverting to a tone argument, the last resort of those without an argument. You would take gay rights and equality more seriously, if only we were more polite. Give me a break. From racism to women’s rights to gay rights, opponents try to paint people asking for equality as angry or aggressive, as a distraction from the ongoing discrimination. You’d be angry too if you were treated as a second class citizen.

          • Cotoli

            It is time to leave the aggressiveness. You may have a point in that it was necessary at one time to break the surface. That was already done. And it’s good.
            I’m not against same sex marriages, if that’s what you have implied from my comments. I’m not.
            I also don’t have myself a position on Heather’s opinion. Not yet.
            But contrary to your experience reading it, it came to me as an honest and felt letter from someone who used to have a position on a subject, somehow changed her mind along the way, and explains why.

            Religion has nothing to do with Heather’s note; if it does, I have a reading comprehension problem.
            Is it possible that you’re missing the point? You seem to be comparing Heather with religious bigots.
            When she states that there are others who think like her she is referring to people raised by same sex parents who think like her. This is clear, is it not?

            I can very well be mistaken, but it just struck me that maybe what many in this forum feel by Heather’s note is betrayal.

          • Ben Chompers

            Internet sleuths on Heather’s letter found that she is married to a Southern Baptist minister, one of the most historically regressive and homophobic denominations in the US. I should know, as that was the religion I was raised in.

            The same people heralding Heather as a hero would instantly decry me if I were to write a similar letter saying that because I was raised in a baptist household, I faced emotional trauma, and argued that baptists should be made illegal.

          • Cotoli

            If she indeed married a bigot, then one could conclude with some justification that she was dishonest with her letter.
            What if she did not marry one, and the Internet sleuths are mistaken?

          • Ben Chompers

            I’m not answering or responding to anything else until you answer my previous question. Here I’ll copy and paste it for you. It’s important because it is the foundation of every single person’s argument, and shows how fallacious her letter is:

            If same sex marriage was illegal for her mothers, why would keeping it illegal now do anything to rectify future hypothetical Heathers?

          • Cotoli

            I’m sorry, I did not know that you expected an answer to such question. I kind of read it as rhetorical.
            My answer is: Keeping same sex marriages illegal will not rectify future hypothetical Heathers.
            However, I fail to see the relation between your question and what we are discussing.
            Heather’s letter is not intended to argue legality or illegality of same sex marriages. Her letter’s intention is to explain her change of heart on the importance of a father (male) figure to children, and to open a discussion on the subject with the Gay Community.
            Moreover, her arguments are not intended as an attack on the Gay Community, but as a defense of children.

            I just re-read Heather’s letter, and here’s her last paragraph:
            “I know this is a hard conversation. But we need to talk about it. If
            anyone can talk about hard things, it’s us. You taught me that.”

            So far, the reply of this forum to Heather’s last paragraph is: “We don’t want to talk about it. You can shove it, you silly little bitch.” (The last four words are transcribed in same order from a paragraph in The Bajeezus’s letter to Heather.)
            I don’t see the wisdom in that.

          • Ben Chompers

            You are simply a fool if you don’t think her letter will be used for anti gay groups. A simple google search of “federalist heather barwick” will find every site from the French anti gay group to CNS news using it as proof that gay marriage should be apposed. She has also signed on to keep it illegal in the upcoming SCOTUS case, and supported Dolce and Gabanna’s hateful comments. That she didn’t come right out and say “don’t let gays get married” in her letter, doesn’t mean it wasn’t the goal.

            She says, “Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn’t matter.”

            This is a strawman. I am a married gay man, with a son, and I absolutely understand that female role models are important. I stress this through a godmother with weekly time with him, to time with his female relatives, and other feminine inputs.

            She also has very clearly stated that her change of heart came from religion. (in an interview with WorldMag which was conveniently scrubbed from her federalist letter.

            Anti gay rhetoric has had to slide from “faggots are icky” to “think of the children” as each point becomes more and more ridiculous. Heather’s is just their latest favorite anecdote to trot out to seem legitimate.

            Finally, I can easily say that being raised in a southern baptist household was detrimental. I was taught shame, to stay in the closet, and it lead to dangerous behaviors and thoughts. If I tried to use that platform to argue that southern baptists should think about never having kids in case they turn out gay, the people in Heather’s camp would write me off so fast your head would spin.

          • Cotoli

            You have been trashing everything in Heather’s letter because in your opinion it’s either false or has a hidden meaning and intention.
            I don’t know Heather, so I cannot know what her true intentions are with the letter. All I can do is talk about what I read, as I comprehend it. And I thought that was what we were doing. I was obviously wrong.
            If the forum is so certain about Heather’s (false and/or hidden) intentions, the forum should not even acknowledge the letter and just throw it in the trash without a peep.
            This is a waste of time.

          • Ben Chompers

            Yes, because it is *obviously* full of not-so-hidden meaning. It’s as transparent as glass. A Southern Baptist minister’s wife, quoted ad nauseum by religious anti gay webpages, submits a scrubbed-of-religion version to a right-wing website. They imagine her to be their Rosa Parks.

            If you can’t see that, there is nothing to argue.

  • firmicute

    does she even exist? someone did a picturesearch and said that the picture is not a heather barwick

    • Solid question. While I think the question is academic at best – – whether or not she’s the person in the picture, her identity as a conservative demagogue mannequin ala Ann Coulter is solidified, her influence on the community is obvious – – a Heather Barwick HAS appeared in Supreme Court hearings concerning gay parentage, and according to sources, she’s married to a Southern Baptist pastor (looking for corroboration). So, whether or not the woman who appeared in the picture accompanying her open letter is THE Heather Barwick, the Barwick identity is a continuity. If you’re correct in insinuating that the letter was written by a right-wing polemicist and attributed to her, I’m not sure it matters, because if these are not her sentiments, at least one if not all media outlets who have covered this story would have been happy to publish the controversy.