In her zeal to portray HIV positive “reality star,” escort and adult performer Cameron Bay as a naive victim of the dangerous, manipulative and uncaring “porn industry,” Huffington Post writer Kathleen Miles violates a cardinal rule of journalism: don’t report easily refutable bullshit as fact. From start to finish, Miles’ story is a heavy-handed embarrassment, but its opening paragraph stands as a monument to dishonest reporting:
Owning nothing but a backpack full of clothes, Cameron Bay started working as an escort a year ago, hoping to rebuild her life. A few months ago, she performed in her first-ever porn scene — an orgy with 10 people. After just nine more scenes, she discovered she has HIV. Nobody’s sure where or when she contracted it.
Let’s begin with the first sentence, which maintains Bay began escorting “a year ago.” A simple Google search will turn up an escort ad from May 2011 — nearly two and a half years ago — that was republished on the TheDirty.com that same month. With a single phone call, TRPWL was able to verify its authenticity.
Two phone calls later, knowledgeable sources in the Phoenix area had expressed their opinion that Cameron’s escorting had begun substantially earlier than that. And regarding Cameron’s poverty, a simple search of various Arizona court websites demonstrates that she is a convicted criminal who owes more than $10,000 in fines fees, court costs and judgements.
Miles continues her parade of falsehoods in the next sentence, asserting that Cameron’s “first-ever porn scene” took place only a few short months ago. In reality, Cameron has been filming porn scenes in Arizona under the names Cameron Adams (her legal name), Ashton, Ryder, and Harmony since
2010 2008. This has been reported online many times, notably in the article on AVN.com which announced she had tested positive for HIV.
In the conclusion of her opening paragraph, Miles outlines the theme of her simplistic victim narrative: the pretense that, for down on her luck Cameron, ‘Porn’ and ‘HIV’ = ‘Cause and ‘Effect.’
“After just nine more scenes,” the reader is informed, the financially distressed waif “discovered she has HIV.”
You see, first came the “new” porn career, and then came the HIV. This theme is foreshadowed in the story’s title: “Cameron Bay, Porn Performer With HIV, Recalls Disturbing Experiences On Set, Where Condoms Weren’t Used” . . . as if she somehow contracted HIV because she did not use condoms in porn.
And then come the real mental gymnastics. Miles asserts:
Bay and Daily never performed on set together, but they have publicly been in a romantic relationship for two years. Neither of them can be sure how they contracted the virus.
Well, why not? Seriously — why not? Have they been so “active” in their private lives that it’s impossible for them to know? Wasn’t it Cameron who told AVN, “I don’t sleep around, I don’t do anything crazy, and I keep track of the people that I’ve worked with.”
Didn’t Cameron tweet that she’d only had unprotected sex with one person outside of video shoots (presumably Daily, whose last clean test, incidentally, was dated July 10, 2013)?
Why doesn’t Miles address this discrepancy? Oh, that’s right… Instead, Miles goes all-in to portray Cameron as a ‘babe in the woods’ of sex work with quotes such as this one:
“I was new to the industry. When I was told that I was safe to shoot, I was like, ‘OK, cool,'” she said. “I had no idea. I really didn’t understand.”
No, Ms. Miles, Cameron, who is 28 years old, was a seasoned sex worker when she began performing in Los Angeles a few months ago. According to Cameron’s ex from 2010-11, who used to shoot adult scenes in Arizona, in addition to the rough and ready “$300 glory hole scenes” in which she herself performed for a couple of years, Cameron was present on approximately two dozen of his hardcore sets. “She knows all about how it’s done,” he says.
And if she “didn’t understand” how adult production health protocols worked, surely her agent, Shy Love — the recently departed head of talent agency ATMLA — explained it all to her?
The Huffington Post story also implies that, in the wake of her seroconversion, Cameron will be turning to a new career as a solo webcam model. But Cameron has actually been camming for years — both on Streamate, and at a cam studio in Tempe, Arizona.
And finally, Miles solemnly notes that Bay “hopes that more performers in the industry will become educated about the risks so they can make informed decisions.” That’s will become educated — as if to state that during her ten-scene career, during which she supposedly lacked a baseline of relevant knowledge, she nonetheless managed to determine that performers do not know what she didn’t even know to ask?
I’m sorry, but just because it took Cameron’s seroconversion to get her to do “more reading … than [she has] since high school” doesn’t mean that performers as a group are hapless simpletons who blithely place their health at risk. Then out comes the hammer with which Miles aims to hit readers on the head:
[Cameron] said that if she had done her research prior to going on set, she would have asked producers for a condom each time and walked off the set if she was refused.
Well, Ms. Miles, being a condom-only performer didn’t work very well for Cameron’s HIV + boyfriend Rod Daily. Or Derrick Burts, for that matter. And unlike Ms. Bay, all the noncondom performers with whom she worked in Los Angeles did NOT contract HIV.
If Ms. Miles wants to present a message about staying healthy, then perhaps she should encourage people to avoid contact with methamphetamine…
…because, as people who care to educate themselves know, drug use can seriously impair one’s judgment.