Chronicle's annual drag show could lose state rep's sponsorship

By John Labriola - The Citrus County Chronicle's Diva Night event, an annual drag queen extravaganza that bills itself as a breast cancer benefit, could lose one of its major sponsors this year as the newspaper faces increasing scrutiny over its push to undermine the community's conservative character by forcing its woke LGBT values on an unwilling population.

State Rep. Ralph Massullo, whose Suncoast Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center has served as a Diva Night sponsor in the past, told the Citrus Crusader last week that he "will not financially support such shows" after we emailed him photos from last year's event showing attendees stuffing dollar bills down drag queen performers' silicone-pumped chests. Some of the pictures also showed children present. The images were obtained from a photo gallery posted on the Citrus County Chronicle's website at www.chronicleonline.com/diva, but many of the photos appear to have since been deleted. The web page still features the event's slogan: "The Divas have arrived  Life is a DRAG." 

Massullo said he didn't know that the event featured drag queens when his clinic sponsored it, and he couldn't understand "how that was incorporated into an event for breast cancer." 

"I do recognize their right under our First Amendment to exist; however, there should be a disclaimer of 'Adults Only' or at the very least that some of the event might be inappropriate for children and [that] parents should consider the content carefully," Massullo added. 

Held every October at the Plantation on Crystal River, Diva Night is just one example of how the Chronicle has been pushing the radical LGBT agenda to subvert Citrus County's conservative Christian culture. The newspaper's leftist editorial board has repeatedly and viciously attacked and smeared critics of last year's "LGBT Pride Month" library displays as bigots and haters. 

But the liberal newspaper may be feeling the heat after the Crusader began publishing photos last month of the Chronicle's regional sales manager John Murphy posing with drag queens at last year's Diva Night. Murphy is one of the candidates for the County Commission District 4 seat in the upcoming Aug. 23 election. Murphy has indicated that he intends to continue working for the Chronicle if elected, despite the obvious conflict of interest. In a stunning display of shamelessness, the Chronicle last month endorsed Murphy for county commission instead of doing the decent thing by recusing itself. 

Jeff Bryan, the Chronicle's executive editor, contacted the Crusader twice over the last two weeks 
– once by email and once by phone  to ask us to take down the photo of Murphy carousing with drag queens, claiming our use of the photo was "illegal." We refused, noting that the photos of Murphy at Diva Night are newsworthy given his candidacy for county commission; the Fair Use Doctrine permits unlicensed use of copyrighted materials in news reporting. Since the Chronicle has positioned itself so aggressively on the side of LGBT indoctrination of children, its presentation of shows that feature sleazy drag queen performances in the presence of minors also is newsworthy. 

Given the firestorm of community outrage fueled by last year's LGBT propaganda displays in the libraries, voters are certainly entitled to know that the Chronicle's sales manager and self-endorsed candidate for county commission in District 4 has participated in and helped run the newspaper's annual drag queen shows. It's especially relevant after last month's 3-2 vote by the county commission to approve a new Library Policy that adopts the guidelines of the far-left American Library Association, which is famous for encouraging libraries to host Drag Queen Story Hours for children. 

Newspapers are supposed to serve as government watchdogs, not coverup artists for politicians, especially not ones on their own executive staff. Engaging in threats to try to censor the Crusader in order to shield their own sales manager from scrutiny after they endorsed him for public office is an offense against every principle of journalistic ethics, and it proves the Chronicle can't be trusted to cover Murphy objectively if he were to be elected. That's why Citrus County residents should reject Murphy by voting for his conservative opponent Winn Webb in the District 4 commission contest.  

Conservative voters also should support Diana Finegan for County Commission District 2 and Mary Seader for School Board District 5. 

For more information about all the candidates, click here. You can also print and distribute our color Voter Guide HERE

Early voting for the Aug. 23 election begins on Aug. 12.

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