Gossip site TMZ tracked down the 47-year-old man who cussed out Bristol Palin. They've identified him as Steven Hanks of L.A. Hanks was seen on video calling Bristol's mother, Sarah Palin, a "whore" and "devil." Bristol was reportedly at a Western-themed bar in West Hollywood for an upcoming reality TV show when the recorded confrontation erupted.
Hanks said he doesn't like the Palin family, that he was not "a plant," and that he once treated New Gingrich the same way. In response to being called out as a "homosexual" by the younger Palin, Hanks claimed (TMZ):
"It was very derogatory. And it means that she comes from a home, in my opinion, where gays are made fun of, where blacks are probably made fun of.... The way she said, 'homosexual' was so like, you know --. Yeah, you know what, she's a racist homophobe, in my opinion."
A representative for Bristol Palin said, that "accusing her of homophobia is completely unfounded and mistates her views." (TMZ) An online poll at TMZ asks "Who's worse?" and it currently indicates the heckling Hanks is more in the wrong. But a second poll says more people think Bristol is "homophobic." Some observers online think Bristol did well to keep a rather cool head in public. But, if she had a larger point to make, it was not conveyed during the heated exchange; and her choice to use "homosexual" instead of "gay" could be the reason some eyebrows have been raised.