And they certainly couldn't, you know, actually wait until they spoke to the family. "They did ask for an interview once," says Amber, "but we were running late for an appointment at the funeral home ... and they refused to reschedule for even an hour later. Instead, they just printed stuff they read on Facebook and Twitter written by people [who] didn't even know him." Because this is what journalism looks like in the 21st century, and they knew that a gay bullied kid committing suicide was the perfect viral news story.
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"'The family could not be reached for comment.' There, ass covered."
So where did that story come from? Well, like former U.S. President George W. Bush, Blake was a cheerleader in high school. Thousands of Twitterers assumed that meant he was gay and, since he'd committed suicide, that he had been the victim of vicious bullying as well. Amber stresses that even if Blake was gay, there's absolutely no evidence that he was ever a victim of bullying. He came from a very open-minded family and went to a progressive school:
"My best friend and I restarted the GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) at our high school and organized A Day Of Silence every year, which most of the student body participated in and the teachers encouraged. Our high school was also a model arts school famed for our drama club and band, whereas our sports teams all sucked. This meant that all the artsy kids were more popular than the buff sporty kids, and being homophobic was more likely to get you mocked than being gay was."