Oops: HuffPo killed story about Rick Perry gay rumors after lawsuit threat

Brokeback Perry

Just as former Texas state Rep. Glenn Maxey alleged at the time, Huffington Post killed a story about allegations that Gov. Rick Perry is a closeted homosexual because the Perry campaign threatened the news website with a lawsuit. According to BuzzFeed, the Perry campaign said it would own “a big chunk of AOL” if the site published the story.

At the time, the Huffington Post claimed Maxey just had no evidence and dropped the story after sending a journalist to Texas to work with the former state representative.

Instead, Maxey published his evidence in a book, Head Figure Head: The Search for the Hidden Life of Rick Perry.

Perry hired scandal-fixer Lin Wood. Wood is an attorney who has represented a number of other people caught in scandals such as the parents of Jon-Benet Ramsey, Rep. Gary Condit (suspected in the disappearance of aide Chandra Levy) and security guard Richard Jewell (suspected in the Atlanta Olympics bombing).

Now, Texas Tribune reporter Jay Root has a new e-book out called Oops! about Perry’s failed presidential campaign, in which Root details the threat of the lawsuit.

Elsewhere in the book Root talks about how campaign aides blamed the governor’s disastrous “oops” moment on sleep apnea. Perry had not been sleeping and his sleep disorder had been undiagnosed for years. We’re not sure if they’re suggesting now that he’s sleeping better thanks to a CPAP machine, he’s a more coherent and better governor.

Regardless, none of this explains the similarities among sources’ descriptions of alleged sexual encounters with Perry detailed in Maxey’s book. Oops.

Nor does it explain the campaign’s decision to air the Brokeback Perry ad that rapidly became the most disliked video in YouTube history.

UPDATE: Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief for the Huffington Post, contacted us to clarify that the story was not published because sources wouldn’t go on record fully before Perry’s campaign exploded.

“If they had gone on record, we would have run with the story,” Grim said.

—  David Taffet