Action News Jacksonville has breaking news: gay men have sex in bathrooms.
The local Florida news station recently aired an exposé report
about a "website so vulgar we can't even tell you its name."
That website is Squirt
The investigative journalists at the program, which airs on CBS and FOX affiliates, found a post on the gay hookup site – run by Xtra
's parent company, Pink Triangle Press – that mentions a local bathroom in which the toilet paper dispenser can be removed, offering a view into the neighbouring stall – a "window to spy."
"Action News is misconstruing what a website like Squirt is all about," says Jeffrey Freeman, media and traffic manager for Pink Triangle Press.
Action News put hidden cameras in the bathrooms of "prominent public places" mentioned on Squirt's hookup listings and warned viewers that "perverts" could be peeping on them -- or their kids -- in the bathrooms. Their cameras showed viewers a window to the neighbouring stall, just to prove how perverted people can be.
“These restrooms are next to the Gymboree play area,” the report points out.
A press release from Pink Triangle Press calls the Action News report "sensationalist" and decried the report for giving the "impression that women have been spied on through holes and children have been exposed to 'danger.'"
The release clarifies that Squirt is used to allow gay and bisexual men to meet up and that the Action News report fails to explain gay cruising -- nor did reporters there contact Squirt for comment.
"Action News is misconstruing what a website like Squirt is all about," says Jeffrey Freeman, media and traffic manager for Pink Triangle Press. "Squirt.org
is a place where men who have sex with men exchange information and facilitate their meeting."
The Action News team, in their report, went on a mission to many of the now-famous bathrooms throughout the city, informing business owners and security of the dangers lurking in their bathrooms. They also interviewed police at the Jacksonville sheriff's office, asking if the police force would organize a sting operation to catch the naughty voyeurs. The police would say only that they are being "proactive."
One Squirt user, posting on the thread about one of the public washrooms, writes, “This location has been featured in a local news story. Please use caution while here and abide by local laws.”
None of the posts on the thread mention spying on unsuspecting guys – they are all stories of, and invitations for, mutual and consenting sex acts.
Another listing, for the Jacksonville airport, reads “Nudity/Sexual Policy: This is a public restroom in a busy secure airport use common sense.”
At the bottom of the story, Action News lists 11 other locations where "people are looking to spy." Yet, they write, "we checked them out but we didn't find any obvious signs of spying."
That list includes Club Jacksonville, a gay sauna, and a one-person bathroom at a gas station that has a "bolt action style lock so there is complete privacy."
Action News didn’t respond to Xtra
’s request for comment.