Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bay Times Gives GLAAD a Pass
on ED's Salary Question

(GLAAD held a private party for SF's A-Gays recently. Photo credit: Rink, Bay Times.)

In keeping with strict adherence to the Protocols of the Elders of Sodom, the new president of GLAAD, when he came to town last week, didn't bother to hold an open public and free meeting with the community. GLAAD's leader was here to mingle only with A-Gays who can afford attending cocktail parties. There apparently was no need for GLAAD to present their new boss to just regular gay folks, people who might ask pesky little questions like, how much does he make and is the org relevant.

A story in today's Bay Times, by photojournalist Rink, was a big ass-kissing valentine to the group. The paper couldn't be bothered to inquire about the salary question, but we do learn that rich gay fools parted with a lot dough to keep GLAAD in business.

Based on the reporting, I don't know if Jarrett Barrios spent any time talking about affecting change with corporate media, his org's main task supposedly, but he did speak about his sons and their baseball league. Frankly, as with Sarah Palin and how she uses her kids as political props, I'm also way over how gay leaders use their kids to deflect attention away from questions about their leadership skills.

Can we please implement a rule that forces gay politicians like Barrios to refrain from invoking their kids' lives for political purposes and allow the children a zone of privacy? While we're at it with making better rules to govern Gay Inc and its leaders, let's insist that gay newspapers start routinely reporting on the salaries of executive directors.

Finally, would it kill our un-elected gay leaders to go on listening tours, where they not only hear from big donors, but also gays struggling to pay the rent? Barrios, along with national colleagues Joe Solmonese and Rea Carey, need to amend their elitist ways and start engaging with a wider spectrum of the gay community.

Gay Inc orgs need to hold town halls -- not just so we can ask about salaries and relevancy -- but to also give ordinary gay the opportunity to engage GLAAD, et al, in transparent discussions. Also, GLAAD is no longer just monitoring the media but has turned into a news bureau -- they give their own take on issues and block out other opinions. Public forums would go far to better learn how GLAAD makes its decisions, on our behalf.

From the Bay Times:

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) presented a holiday cocktail reception on Dec. 2 that introduced the organization’s new executive director, Jarrett T. Barrios, at the home of GLAAD board member John Stewart II and his partner Ramon Torres. [...]

And GLAAD strives for understanding and awareness to make a change in viewpoints for millions of Americans in the entertainment, social news, religion, sports, and news realms.

These goals were brought down to earth when President Barrios spoke about his son’s experience at Little League Baseball, and how attitudes need to be changed so that youth do not use the word “gay” as a negative term. Barrios affirmed that LGBT citizens are a part of the broader community, have a lot to contribute, and deserve full equality. [...]

Unlike the recent White House State Dinner, there were no crashers, and each guest was checked out on a list and given a pre-printed name tag by the friendly greeters. [...]

An astounding $40,000 was raised in less than 2 hours to fund GLAAD’s projects. Evidently the donors appreciated a professionally managed event that featured a beautiful setting, concise and informative speeches, a wonderful buffet and cocktails, and all for a good cause.

With such fawning coverage, there is no reason for GLAAD to be more accountable to the community. Why didn't the Bay Times ask about Barrios' salary?

1 comment:

AndrewW said...

The problem IS accountability because if we make Gay Inc. accountable, they won't be able to raise any more money. That is their primary objective - raise money to cover their salaries. They are not about "winning" or even "finishing the job," in fact, the longer it lasts, the more they make.

We need to figure out how to incentive-ize our efforts. Until we do this, Gay Inc. will be more concerned with surviving than winning.