PVV – the LA Times: raking more muck in Porn Valley?

So last night, whilst enjoying some pre-fight bonfire and watching poor KT pace around like a frantic panicked tiger over the whole cable-going-out situation, someone sidled up to me and asked: “Isn’t it true that they just found out that a porn star had AIDS?”

After taking a deep breath to release some of my ever-present frustration with the “news” these days, I explained what I knew… and I was patient – this question-poser was simply a victim of the poor and amateurish LA Times et al… but then I thought that maybe PVV peeps needed an update too.  So here you have it, bebes!

On Tuesday October 12, 2010 it was reported that an adult industry performer had tested positive for HIV (hereafter “Patient Zeta”).

To my understanding, Adult Industry Medical (AIM) had already contacted and begun quarantining persons known to have worked with Patient Zeta as of October 12. Several adult companies stopped production in order to allow AIM ample time and space to figure out exactly what had happened and who was directly impacted.

Some vocal members of the industry, several LA county health-related entities, the mainstream media, and a handful of special interest groups proceeded to rage, demanding that AIM reveal Patient Zeta’s identity (among many other outlandish requests on the part of one particular special interest group).

But in spite of many demands, much speculation, and a whole lot of “reverse engineering”-type super sleuthing, no one actually knew who Patient Zeta and/or those who were quarantined were. AIM wasn’t telling, as revealing this type of private health information is highly illegal and would violate persons’ civil rights. Incidentally, the irony of state and county officials and special interest “advocacy” groups attempting to force a private entity (AIM) to violate citizens’ rights (Patient Zeta’s and those quarantined) is not lost on me… nor should it be lost on you.

And then on Friday October 22, 2010, the LA Times reported that:

“Officials at the San Fernando Valley clinic where a porn actor tested HIV-positive earlier this month said Friday that tests showed no other actors who performed with the individual have tested HIV-positive.” (article here)

Yay!!  No one was infected by Patient Zeta!!

…except that I still don’t trust a thing that the LA Times says – read the article, and you will see that reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske did not actually confirm anything with AIM, the San Fernando Valley clinic to which she is referring.  The information quoted above came from a producer who had heard from AIM.  Specifically, Vivid Entertainment’s Steve Hirsch (pictured) told the LA Times:

“Late Friday, clinic officials notified Vivid Entertainment co-founder Steven Hirsch that test results came back for all of the performers who worked with the porn actor, called ‘first-generation’ exposures.

‘We can confirm that all performers who have been tested as a result of being exposed have tested negative,’ Hirsch said.”

Although I do not doubt the veracity of Hirsch’s claim – I totally believe that he heard from AIM – I question the “sense” it takes for the LA Times to continue reporting third party information. Why not get a statement directly from AIM?  I mean, I wrote for UCLA’s Daily Bruin back in the undergraduate day, and that type of amateurishness was not allowed… but maybe that was just a ‘90s college newspaper thing?

Oh but wait!! – the LA Times also said that:

“AIM staff did not return phone calls Friday. A spokesman for the county public health department said it had no new information Friday.”

Ok nooow I get it – the only person who would talk to the LA Times was Steve Hirsch. (Do you ever wonder why more and more people from the industry are refusing to speak to you LA Times?)

Now please don’t get me wrong – Steve Hirsch is an industry leader and one of the most experienced and successful persons in the business today. Whatever he has to say is definitely important and the LA Times is lucky to get his input, but…

*but*

…but what are you going to accomplish, LA Times, by reporting on what really amounts to only one company claiming that they had being cleared?  Although I am certainly happy and relieved that it appears that no one was infected by Patient Zeta, one company going on record and saying “all’s good” doesn’t mean a damn thing really.

Why not get statements from a couple more producers and/or members of the industry as well?  I mean, it only makes sense doesn’t it, especially given your history of inaccurate reporting on volatile health issues related to adult production.  And if no one is willing to talk to you, well then isn’t that a sign that you need to step it up some? Maybe work a little harder to get at what’s actually going on?

It’s almost like you’re trying to put something, anything, out there just in case something, anything, changes.  It’s almost like you’re trying to create drama…

Not to be a hater, but I question your motives LA Times.

(pictured: bonfire de house of ripper, courtesy of KT’s tweets)

PS AIM did talk to AVN though – as of October 19, 2010 all exposures had been identified and all had tested negative… yay!!

Questions? Comments? Email me!

You may quote anything herein with the following attribution: “Reprinted from Porn Valley Vantage, copyright © Chauntelle Anne Tibbals, PhD (www.pornvalleyvantage.com).”

Porn Valley Vantage – Critical Commentary on the Adult Film Industry

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