Tabloid says Taylor Hicks feared “queer smear” during American Idol 5 finale

The National Enquirer is reporting this week that American Idol 5 “winner Taylor Hicks is caught up in a raging gay sex scandal!” That sounds crazy juicy, but of course, it’s nothing of the sort, because writing leads and headlines at the Enquirer involves making shit up that doesn’t have anything to do with the actual contents of the story.

Instead, the tabloid quotes a nameless “insider” who says that during the finale,

“Taylor was freaking out that a ‘queer smear’ would rob him of victory. First, he blamed a fruity purple velvet jacket he wore. And he was told there were rumors about his sexuality all over the place.”

The paper claims that “the malicious gossip nearly kept Taylor from beating Katharine McPhee,” which, considering he won by a comfortable margin and that his victory was easily predictable, is pretty far from the truth. Never mind that Googling “Taylor Hicks gay” results in few hits on the first few pages except for stories that reference the Enquirer story.

And while we’re talking about this, haven’t we evolved past the point where having a gay pop star would be surprising or that big of a deal? And does calling someone gay really constitute “malicious” “nasty homosexual lies”? Like, who really thinks that pandering to people’s fear-driven hatred of other people actually works?