In response to this six-part exposé—which won the Scripps Howard Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment—VanderSloot went on a virtual jihad against the newspaper and the principal reporter who exposed the scandal, Peter Zuckerman. VanderSloot bought numerous full-page newspaper ads in The Post Register that attacked the story and explicitly identified the reporter, Zuckerman, as “a homosexual” (Zuckerman had previously written for a small Florida paper about being gay when he lived in that state, but had kept his sexual orientation largely a secret since he moved to rural Idaho). Vandersloot’s full-page ad expressly described the “speculation” that Zuckerman’s homosexuality had made him hostile to the Scouts and LDS: “the Boy Scout’s position of not letting gay men be Scout Leaders, and the LDS Church’s position that marriage should be between a man and a woman may have caused Zuckerman to attack the scouts and the LDS Church through his journalism.” While the ad absurdly sought to repudiate the very “speculation” about Zuckerman which it had just amplified (“We think it would be very unfair for anyone to conclude that is what is behind Zuckerman’s motives”), the predictable damage was done. Zuckerman’s editor, Dean Miller, explained: “Our reporter, Peter Zuckerman, was not ‘out’ to anyone but family, a few colleagues at the paper (including me), and his close friends”; but after VanderSloot outed him to his community in that ad, “strangers started ringing Peter’s doorbell at midnight. His partner of five years was fired from his job.”Mitt Romney's national campaign finance co-chair is a huge anti-gay bigot. Not just against gay marriage, but a hate-mongering bigot who attacked and outed a reporter because he uncovered a threat to the families in his community—the threat of sexually predatory Boy Scout leaders.
VanderSloot gets away with his bullying ways in this small state because he's got extremely deep pockets and he'll use them to crush anyone, and friends in very high places. Thus far, he's been untouchable. But, as a close adviser and funder of Romney, (his company has given $1 million to the pro-Romney SuperPAC, Restore Our Future) he should be getting at least as much scrutiny by the national media as Foster Friess.