|U.S. Judge Bill Pryor|
Our reports on nude photographs of federal judge Bill Pryor, which appeared at a prominent gay-pornography Web site in the 1990s, spread rapidly around the Web yesterday, apparently because Pryor is on President-elect Donald Trump's list of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees.
That suggests news is red hot if it involves a whack job or hypocrite who might be appointed by Trump. We're not sure if Pryor is a whack job, but as a virulently anti-gay politico from Alabama, he certainly is a hypocrite of world-class dimensions.
Interest is not likely to cool down anytime soon because we recently received a second nude photograph of Pryor, and it appears to be from the same photo session -- while Pryor was a student at Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana Monroe), before going on to law school at Tulane University. The photos were presented to a veteran Alabama GOP political figure in the late 1990s, and he promptly exclaimed, "Holy cow, that's Bill Pryor! I'm meeting with him this afternoon!" A veteran female journalist in Birmingham had a similar reaction when she saw the photos.
Our original reports on the Pryor gay-porn story included one full-frontal image (we later found a "redacted" version with his genital region blacked out), plus two pages from "WizardBoy Gallery No. 19," which includes mostly head shots of 10 young men, including one who is listed as "Bill Pryor." A tagline at the gallery says, "Thanks, Ernie!" and we believe we have tracked down Ernie's identity. The photos apparently were taken in the 1980s and were published in several print publications before finding their way to the Web at badpuppy.com, which has grown to become a "super store" of gay-porn images.
The full set of Pryor photos includes 8-12 images, but we've only had the one image, which became an Internet sensation yesterday. Our Pryor photo file increased a few weeks back when a reader from Oakland, California, sent me a second image of Pryor -- in a slightly different pose, but in lighting and a setting (with similar photographic techniques) that suggest the picture is from the same session that produced the first Pryor photo.
We've tracked the second image to at least two Tumblr sites, which both appear to originate in Europe. Our research on the photo is continuing, but I am convinced that it is of a young U.S. Judge Bill Pryor, and once our due diligence is complete, we will be running the picture (unless something indicates the photo isn't legit, and I see no sign of that now). That could come in a matter of days.
Our blog traffic yesterday skyrocketed, coming from big hitters like Facebook and Reddit, plus a variety of other sites --abovethelaw.com, newnownext.com, popjustice.com, the gailygrind.com, occupydemocrats.com, disqus.com, pinknews.co.uk, and towleroad.com.
The piece at TowleRoad is titled "SCOTUS: Cruz Is Out, But Trump Might Appoint Homophobic Judge Who Allegedly Posed for Gay Adult Photos." From reporter Sean Mandell:
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said on Wednesday that president-elect Trump will stick to its previously announced list of SCOTUS appointees when it comes to naming Antonin Scalia’s replacement–a list that does not include Ted Cruz but does include William Pryor, a virulently anti-gay judge who is rumored to have posed for gay adult photographs.
Trump’s campaign released its initial list of potential SCOTUS picks in May, which included Pryor. The campaigned then added another 10 names to that list in September. . . .
The list of 21, much like the leaked short list of Trump’s potential cabinet appointees, is a who’s who of bigots who would be dangerous to the LGBT community if put on the Court.
Pryor has been getting heaps of attention given his staunchly anti-LGBT positions — he defended Texas’ anti-sodomy law, compared homosexuality to pedophilia, and has been called the “most demonstrably antigay judicial nominee in recent memory” by Lambda Legal — and because he allegedly posed for pornographic photos intended for gay men while he was in college.
Pryor probably is high on the list of 21 because of his close (and I do mean close) ties to U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who reportedly has his pick of cabinet posts in a Trump administration.
As for us, we've had our fair share of honors and attention since Legal Schnauzer started in June 2007. We were ranked among the top 50 law blogs in North America (No. 37, with a bullet, we think), according to a survey by a Chicago-based media-relations software and research company called Cision. We were the only truly independent blog on the list, not tied to any law firm, law school, justice-related organization, or media company. In fall 2013, I was unlawfully arrested and sent to jail for five months because of my reporting on court corruption in Alabama, and that story received international attention. I'm the only U.S. journalist to be incarcerated since 2006. and apparently the only one in U.S. history to be arrested because of an unlawful preliminary-injunction in a case of alleged defamation.
I'm not sure how you know when something has "gone viral" on the Web, but Legal Schnauzer has received more than 35,000 page views in less than 48 hours. My memory is that we've reached one-day highs of 10,000 or so page views, and I think we've hit that several times -- maybe a half dozen or more. But 32,000 page views in roughly one day is an awful lot for any blog that doesn't regularly feature celebrity news or pornography. By our standards, at a blog focusing on legal and court-related corruption, the Pryor posts, I'd say, have gone viral.
(Note: These numbers are from the more "conservative" of two stat services that I use. The other tends to produce numbers that are roughly twice those of the first service. In the past two days, however, the "liberal" stat service has gone crazy. It says we had more than 157,000 page views yesterday and more than 135,000 -- and counting -- today. Not sure what explains the different numbers between the two stat services. The second one is Google based, as is my blog platform. The first one is independent of the blog platform.)
We might soon have a second Pryor-porn photo, just as Donald Trump could be set to nominate him to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the nation's highest court.