Thursday, October 20, 2005

Epperly, Bay Windows Slam Blade's Hiring of Guckert/Gannon

From today's Bay Windows up in Boston, written by Jeff Epperly, the former editor:

So there was some trepidation in 2001 when Window Media, owners of a chain of second-tier southern newspapers, decided to buy the Blade, which by then included the New York Blade News. What would happen to the Blade now that the two people most responsible for its shining reputation would be out of the picture?

It took a few years, but we finally got our answer when the Blade started publishing columns by James "Jeff Gannon" Guckert, the paid whore and faux journalist who stupidly outed himself as a fraud at a White House press conference by lobbing a question so soft it must have made the sycophants at Fox News feel superior. [...]

Now you'd think working for an anti-gay Web site might be enough to preclude one from working in the gay press, especially as a columnist. Not at the once proud Blade.

Of course, Guckert's appearance in the paper ruffled a few feathers. And with good reason. We need only look at Guckert's own Web site to see him rail against such evils as the "anti-American, anti-Christian, pro-gay ACLU." [...]

Times are tough for newspapers everywhere, and it would have been admirable for Blade owners to come out and say, "This was purely a marketing decision. We wanted notoriety in our pages and we got it. But we made a mistake in hiring a self-loathing poseur and we regret it." [...]

I don't know what Crain is smoking, but I want some of it.

Crain seems to forget that he runs a gay newspaper. A gay newspaper no more needs to run an op-ed questioning the legitimacy of homosexuality than a Catholic newspaper needs, in order to be fair, to run a piece trashing Catholicism. It's not about whether Guckert support "the goals" of the gay movement, which are too broad to define anyway. What Guckert clearly does not support is gay people. It's a pretty simple difference.

Crain's cowardly effort to defend giving a platform to a less-than-truthful narcissist by painting Guckert simply as an aggrieved gay citizen deserving of equal footing is the worst sort of right-wing doublespeak.

And it shows how far, how fast, the Window Media empire has dragged the Blade and the rest of their newspapers into the gutter as the laughingstock of the gay press. [...]

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