If you hadn’t yet heard, yesterday the Daily Beast published a highly controversial and scandalous article trying to shine a new light on the old news that the Olympic Village is a torrent of hormones, hook ups, and sex.
To put together this article, journalist Nico Hines, signed up for an onslaught of dating apps and went to the Olympic village to get dates, which he hoped would lead to an expose on the athletes. This was all a journalistic rouse, as Hines is a happily married man with a child.
The Daily Beast published his article on Thursday describing Hines’ experiences using various apps, such as Tinder and Grindr. He said that Grindr was where he had the most success—he received three date requests within an hour. And while the article did not name names, it was very descriptive, and many readers could easily guess which Olympians Hines had met with. If that wasn’t bad enough, one of the athletes was closeted and came from a very repressed and homophobic country.
The reader response to the article was swift and overwhelming. Amini Fonua, an openly gay Olympic swimmer from Tonga, Tweeted: “As an out gay athlete from a country that is still very homophobic, @thedailybeast ought to be ashamed #deplorable”
Dan Savage, the LGBT advocate, Tweeted that Hines was “probably gonna get some gay guy killed with this piece.”
Andrew M. Seaman, the ethics committee chair at the Society of Professional Journalists, stated that the article was “journalistic trash, unethical and dangerous.”
“Assuming a news organization wished to spend its resources on a story about the sex life of Olympic athletes, it could be easily done with much more tact,” Seaman wrote. “For example, a reporter could use dating apps to contact athletes to arrange interviews instead of fake dates.”
In an unprecedented move, the Daily Beast heard the message and promptly removed the article, leaving a note that says: “We were wrong. We’re sorry. And we apologize to the athletes who may have been inadvertently compromised by our story.”