Not a Gay Girl, Not in Damascus

The Atlantic has a nice wrap-up of the "Gay Girl in Damascus" hoax and ensuing fallout, including some commentary on the damage done by the self-proclaimed champion of human rights who started it all. 

There's one thing missing from the list, though: The loss of credibility suffered by so many credulous members of the mainstream and alternative media. Will these people and institutions overcome the damage? I suspect in many cases they will barely miss a beat. This won't be the first time a "fake but accurate" story fails to sink someone's career.

Along the same lines, another man has been outed as having blogged using the persona of a lesbian.  This man's rationale, according to The Atlantic, was that he wanted "to demand the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell and advocate for other gay issues--and assumed the identity of a lesbian woman because he didn't think people would take him seriously as a straight man."

What, if anything, do these two stories tell us about a power shift in American culture?