August 20, 2002

THE INSIDER: When the story

THE INSIDER: When the story broke earlier this summer that Martha Stewart was being accused of insider trading in connection with the ImClone scandal, I was told by a friend that he had in fact been a classmate in college of Douglas Faneuil, the assistant to Stewart's broker Peter Bacanovic at Merrill Lynch who is himself being accused of impropriety. My friend also mentioned the nugget that in college, Faneuil was actively gay, and had never made much of a secret of that fact back then, although that info has conspicuously stayed out of the papers for the past few months.
Now, the Stewart/ImClone case has been all over New York's tabloid gossip columns since the beginning, with no detail spared about the personal lives of Stewart, ImClone head Sam Waksal, or Bacanovic (often described as a "party boy" and "obsessive social climber"). So all this time I've been expecting some kind of major "outing" of Faneuil as soon as Page Six or whoever else got ahold of the information- more likely than not in the notoriously gay-obsessed New York Post, where Mike Piazza was "outed" by the since-deceased gossip Neal Travis and it became a national story.
So you can imagine my surprise today in coming across a small item on Page Six stating that Faneuil and his boyfriend were seen together at a Mary J. Blige concert at the Apollo Theater- and the story wasn't that Faneuil is gay, but that he was seen in public in the midst of the investigation. Does the appearance of this really innocuous item (coming on the same day that the New York Times began including same-sex marriages on their wedding pages) indicate a new willingness of the media to deal with homosexuality in a more mature way? It's ironic that on the day after Neal Travis' funeral, his old paper handled an "outing" much better than their venerable old columnist ever did.

Posted by Stephen Silver at August 20, 2002 10:08 PM
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