Friday, July 29, 2011

Bay Times to Hold Fundraiser for HRC

If it's not too much trouble, let's have whomever is in charge of the Bay Times newspaper finally get around to respecting their readers and tell us what the heck is going on. After months of silence about erratic recycled tree and online publishing, personnel changes, confusion still reigns.

A print edition hit the streets of San Francisco yesterday, with the new chaotic layout, and the editorial, written by Dayna Verstegen, primarily addressed why President Obama needs us but ended with this vague passage touching on the evolving paper:

And while I have you… you may have noticed some changes at the Bay Times. We have updated our logo and the look of our paper. It was time for the design of our paper to reflect the quality of its content. We have many more changes in store for you and we want your input. What do you like?

What should we do more of? Less? This is your paper. We will listen to every idea. Write to me at

If the paper is truly ours and the editor genuinely wants to know what there should be more of, how about telling us what the troubles have been in recent months, what happened to founding publisher Kim Corsaro and what the print publication schedule is, just for starters.

The new publisher, Betty Sullivan, should also immediately explain why they are organizing a fundraiser for themselves and the Human Rights Campaign.

A full-page ad appears on the back of the current issue, promoting the August 24 money-maker. I can understand the need to rake in some dough to keep publishing, but find it objectionable on so many level for an alleged independent gay newspaper to be raising funds for any organization they cover, even more so when the beneficiary is HRC.

Does San Francisco really need to be sending any more money to the wasteful HRC headquarters in DC? Will the Bay Times be able to cover anything to do with HRC from anything near an impartial or unbiased angle given that they are in bed with them? Answers from Sullivan are desperately needed.

In my decades of being a news consumer of many LGBT publications around the country, I've never seen one throw a benefit for an organization they cover. The August 24 Bay Times fundraiser for HRC is a depressing and questionable first that does not bode well for the paper's supposed commitment to a fair and balanced approach to the news.

BTW, here is more info on the sponsoring group of the benefit:

Drink Good – Do Good is one branch of the DO GOOD Coalition. It honors two long-standing institutions that contribute to the spirit and integrity of San Francisco – premium alcohol and social responsibility. We host themed events where guests can taste unique alcohol brands, socialize with friends and directly support local nonprofits with the funds raised.

Since when is drinking such a good thing for the integrity, and health, of San Franciscans? Sounds to me like just a gussied up excuse to get drink, allow alcohol companies to develop their markets, and for socialites to convince themselves they're engaging in helping the less fortunate. 

Finally, just like the opaque Bay Times, the DO GOOD Coalition web site is sorely lacking in basic info including who runs the group, how they operate and choose their local nonprofit beneficiaries, and why they think HRC is a local group.


Admin said...

Hi Michael,

I am one of the Directors for the Do Good Coalition. I wanted to provide you some answers directly for your questions. While a small error on our part as how we presented our event in the SF Bay Times, I wanted to be clear on the intentions of this event. Our overall goal is to promote DGC and our benefactors using various methods not just print. While there is always controversy on where to begin with helping, using my best judgement I gave direction to my team to execute such an event with all the marketing needs. My coalition is not paid for this, and quite honestly I personally paid for that ad. People that work these events are donating personal time to do so. This is my first step in joining the cause for equality in all shapes and form. I wanted to support voices in the human rights community and SF Bay Times was the way to get the message out. I can tell you this - as time goes on we will do more and try to gain more positive exposure to help the community any way we can. Isn't it time we set love free?

Michael said...

hi admin,

if you want to waste your time and money on the human rights campaign, a hopelessly inept democratic party group sucking up millions of gay dollars annually for fat executive salaries, go ahead. HRC has no problems raising money, thanks to folks like you who are naive.

also, there is so much wrong with the lack of info from the new publisher and her team at bay times, in not informing the reader about the many changes taking place.

you really should rethink taking SF dollars and sending them to HRC in DC.

Admin said...

Hi Michael,

My apologies, I thought my name would have shown up when I signed in with Google for the post. My name is Raj.

Naive would be making judgment calls about initiatives and goals by only seeing the first step. I do understand the need to be resourceful and smart about the strategy - trust me sir, I have a plan. It may not be the way you would probably would do things, but as with all things in my life - I have to trust my instincts and move one step forward at a time, all the same while learning and getting better while I go.

I fight for the underdog, probably because I've always been one myself. Ive learned a lot over the course of my life and when fighting with underdogs, I like to follow something FDR said, "It’s common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something."

Michael said...

hi raj,

thanks for sharing more info and thoughts, but i have to say i am very much not impressed with everything to do with the new leadership at bay times and the fundraiser you're involved with. you can quote FDR, eleanor roosevelt, gandhi, MLK, et al, all you want but it won't obscure the funny nature of what you all are doing to raise funds for that effective HRC group.

Admin said...

“Time is a great healer, but a poor beautician.“ – Lucille S. Harper

As an individual person, all I can tell you is this: I believe in the SF Bay Times mission and the road that Betty and team want to head down. All it needs is a little bit of time. Hopefully when we throw an non-HRC event you will join us.