The owner of a STD reporting site that allegedly dedicates itself to revealing those with sexually transmitted diseases, is publicly thanking CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Ashleigh Banfield for helping him forge ahead with his entrepreneurial endeavors.
Of course, sarcastically so.
“Anderson was a big jerk,” said Cyrus Sullivan, owner of STDReporting.com, who went on Cooper’s daytime talk show about a month ago. Both Cooper and Banfield, who came on as a guest commentator, ripped into him on air for running a site that publishes information he can’t verify. Sullivan spoke to FishbowlDC by phone this afternoon from Portland, Ore. where he resides. “I’ve never been treated by anyone so rudely in the media in my whole life and I’ve been on TV several times,” Sullivan said. “It just really sucked. He basically sat me down and accused me of being a sleazeball.”
Cooper said after the show, “I just think what he’s doing is really pathetic and inappropriate.”
Speaking of sleaze, Sullivan contracted Herpes more than three years ago, at which point he decided to create the site to, at least in part, expose the woman who gave it to him. He says he has been soul-searching his reasons for creating it. He says he takes Valtrex. His symptoms sprout up only rarely. “It’s not a big deal, a lot of people have it,” he said. “I wouldn’t even know that I had it if I hadn’t gotten tested. I don’t have symptoms, [or] very rarely.” Asked if having Herpes affects his sex life, he replied, “It can be a cock block. That’s what’s so frustrating.”
On Cooper’s program, Banfield said online laws should be changed and publishers shouldn’t be able to blame authors, as Sullivan does in his defense. “By that logic she shouldn’t be able to quote anyone on air,” Sullivan said, offering his two cents on journalism ethics.
Sullivan insists he’s not doing anything different than what is already happening online. “I don’t see why people freak out over a site dedicated to this niche topic, especially when people are doing this on Twitter and Facebook all the time,” he said. “I felt I was unfairly being singled out.” He reasons that people need to be educated about how to read the Internet, as opposed to say, his site being axed. “There’s no way to tell if someone is telling the truth or not,” he added. “The only real way to deal with issues of internet liable or slander is to educate people who use the internet to scrutinize what you read.”
See what Sullivan looks like after the jump…In addition, in a release today that Sullivan issued from Portland, Ore., where he lives, he wrote:
“STD Reporting is officially dedicated to Anderson Cooper and Ashleigh
Banfield in recognition of inspirational words uttered by them that
motivated STD Reporting to seek levels of excellence far superior to the
original purpose of the website.”
Sullivan said the original purpose of STD Reporting was to test information aggregation techniques including a dead link removal button in a controlled environment using data likely to motivate users into clicking the button and reporting bugs if the button failed. Now he’s thinking his site could be a “very effective prototype for a niche search engine I could use in the future.”
With that, Cooper’s “Ridiculist” may soon have its next item.