Last week, we told about about that alleged near-death-by-butt-chugging incident of a Pi Kappa Alpha brother at the University of Tennessee. Yesterday, Alexander P. Buttchugger, I mean Broughton, came forward to deny all charges that he took Franzia (or anything) up his ass and that the details of his story were fabricated. In a press conference led by his fraternity lawyer, Daniel “Foghorn Leghorn” McGhee (you can watch it above), Broughton denies even knowing what butt chugging is, so how could he have done it? But way, way, more importantly, they want you to know that Broughton is not GAY.
This is the most awful press conference I’ve ever seen for a number of reasons. I’ll get to my many gripes in a moment. But first, let me ask you this: If this were simply a near-death binge drinking incident, would this kid be holding a press conference?
This press conference is not about binge drinking, the dangers of it or the violation of HIPPA or constitutional rights. At its core, it’s about homophobia. While I admit there is something that may be interpreted as inherently sexual about the act of butt chugging, let me say, and I think that Dan Savage would support me in this statement, just because a man puts something in his butt — a finger, a dildo, a rubber tube full of Franzia — doesn’t make him gay! Until we as a culture get this through our thick skulls, we will continue to live in a homophobic society.
Sadly, this kid isn’t embarrassed that he nearly died from an alcohol overdose, he’s embarrassed that the world might have thought he did it by the inherently homosexual method of butt chugging, which Broughton and his lawyer consider to be “repulsive,” “gross” and “immoral” and obviously, “unethical.” So they must think taking massive amounts of alcohol orally is just as reprehensible?
Not exactly. Broughton’s apology is a lame throwaway at best. He knows he made “a bad choice regarding drinking” that nearly cost him his life and he “deeply regret[s]” it. That’s it. A one-sentence apology, then he promptly changes the subject to how he is now questioning the institutions “that most of us accept as truth.” Is he questioning binge drinking culture in colleges? Nope, he doesn’t appear to be.
Broughton and his lawyer manage to skirt the issue of ethics surrounding binge drinking by distracting us, unsuccessfully, with the issue of the media’s ethics surrounding butt chugging stories. Because, really, this incident is the fault of the media who all need to go back to journalism school and learn how to not imply people are gay by making up stories about butt chugging! Take that, media! That’ll teach ya to get your facts straight. It doesn’t matter that the Knoxville Police Department and the professionals at the UT Medical Center were the sources that reported Broughton showed up on their doorstep “extremely intoxicated and show[ing] signs of physical and possible sexual assault.”
When asked about the details of what really happened that day, Broughton simply says, “It’s a long story.” According to Broughton’s lawyer, the details that evening as leaked/reported by authorities were completely “false, misleading and a total lie.” You best bet Mr. Foghorn Leghorn McGhee is going to sue their pants off (but not in a gay way)! He’s sticking to his story until hell (where all the gay people live) freezes over! The truth, according to McGhee, is Broughton nearly killed himself not by butt chugging, but by engaging in a game of Tour de Franzia, which is a non-gay, but equally stupid drinking game where you put large quantities of alcohol in your mouth and not your ass, thank you very much. Got that kids? Binge drinking is fine as long as you don’t do it in a gay way.