The story sparked sensational media coverage, drove a book onto the bestseller lists, pushed the “gay disease” onto mainstream America’s radar screen and helped jump-start an activist movement, all of which eventually focused more money and scientific brainpower on an epidemic that had already killed tens of thousands. It was also wrong — intentionally creating a scapegoat to publicize And the Band Played On , Randy Shilts’ authoritative chronicle of the early years of AIDS. The book mentioned the case on just a dozen or so of its 630 pages. “We lowered ourselves to yellow journalism. My publicist told me, ‘Sex, death, glamour, and, best of all, he is a foreigner, that would be the icing on the cake,’” said Shilts’ editor, Michael Denneny, in an interview. “That was the only way we could get them to pay attention.” See link for more.
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