Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bay Times: HRC's SF Supe Candidate;
Advocate: Gay Inc Malpractice

Kim Corsaro, editor and publisher of the Bay Times weekly unloaded her ire in no uncertain terms with the Human Rights Campaign and their guy to replace District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty, Scott Weiner. Of course, I approve of such truth-telling and wish we had more of it from the gay print media and bloggers.

An enormous reason why we have not forced the professional gay advocacy orgs to do us right and deliver on their promises of trading their expertise and access, into substantial federal changes for us, is because of folks like Kerry Eleveld. She covers DC for the Advocate and this week she puts forward a lame excuse why she doesn't write about messes known as HRC and NGLTF:

Apparently, the president’s words were newsworthy enough for journalists to explore but a nonevent for our LGBT advocacy organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Fascinating.

I usually refrain from saying much about how the national LGBT groups acquit themselves because I generally find finger-pointing only serves as a counterproductive distraction from the most critical tasks at hand. But quite frankly, watching some of them at the federal level over the past two years has been a lesson in political malpractice that has left me ill and speechless more times than I care to count. [...]

Some of that political malpractice was enabled by the journalistic malpractice of Kerry and her editorial bosses. The malpractice she describes truly flourishes when the gay press serves as a co-dependent enabler.

Let's unpack some of this writing. What she calls finger-pointing, I define as demanding accountability. She's not written about it because it was beneath her as a gay reporter, I guess, but now she says the mess before her eyes is political malpractice. Um, those of doing that finger-pointing have said this. 

The Advocate and Kerry have nicely enabled HRC and NGLTF and now crocodile tears are being shed by the publication, and I'm not impressed. What would I would laud is if Kerry, after the Democrats and their minions at HRC and NGLTF lick their wounds on Tuesday, stops serving as a placated lapdog turning up her nose at finger-pointing, and develops some decent watchdog skills.

Let's get back to the SF Bay Times, and its front-page endorsement of Rafael Mandelman for the District 8 seat. The piece gratifyingly delivered some truth:

The antithesis of Mandelman the activist in this race is candidate Scott Wiener. He has run an effective campaign, garnering an impressive number of mainstream endorsements, like the San Francisco Chronicle. Wiener is a good man. [...]

But Scott Wiener is no activist. By San Francisco standards he’s moderate to conservative. He comes from a privileged background, and just simply is most comfortable in that milieu. He does not relate to the challenges less privileged people face. [...]

Today, Wiener sits comfortably on the board of the Human Rights Campaign, a fact that he has not emphasized in this campaign, because HRC is so widely disliked in San Francisco as pathetic and ineffective. [...] It’s spineless, like the Democrats. [...]

In the summer of 2008, HRC held their annual fundraising dinner at a Union Square Hotel in San Francisco. Hundreds of members of the San Francisco GLBT community picketed the dinner – a picket line that was officially sanctioned by the San Francisco Labor Council. [...] But Scott Wiener, board member of HRC, despite being urged to resign his board position in protest, as many others did, crossed the picket line in full support of HRC’s policy.

If this Bay Times editorial by Corsaro isn't an act of class warfare, I don't know what is.

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