Monday, October 15, 2012

BAR Adman = MUMC Voter
on Trans Flag Controversy

I believe the fact that the Bay Area Reporter's advertising representative, Scott Wazlowski, is a voting member of the board of the Merchants of Upper Market Castro is a blatant conflict of interest and must be disclosed in the pages of the paper. MUMC's site reports, pictured, that he was elected to their board in April.

A few questions were emailed to Wazlowski this morning, asking how he voted on the request from trans leader Veronika Fimbres to modify the flagpole at Harvey Milk Plaza on Nov. 20, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and what his views were as the BAR's representative to MUMC's board about finally creating true community control over the the flag and pole.

In keeping with MUMC president Terry Bennett's quibbles over how requests are phrased or where and when they are sent, anything to avoid basic direct responses and answers, Wazlowski sent this note:

You have emailed my work email address. My email address for my volunteer position is Please re-direct your request to that address and I will reply after business hours.

Knowing that the ad salesperson for the BAR is on the MUMC board, and just how dependent the paper is on advertising dollars from MUMC itself, the businesses that comprise its membership and the group's political patron Scott Wiener, it's no wonder to me any longer as to why the BAR has enforced a blackout since July about the many skirmishes and developments over the flag.

The BAR has such an inherent conflict of interest in this matter, there is no way to write an honest and critical news story about the trans flag rejection and attendant matters without being upfront about the endless b.s. of MUMC.

Just one example of how the control of the rainbow flag on public property has exposed the lack of transparency with MUMC, the privatization of public space in the Castro, the unwillingness of Wiener to reclaim public property for access by all LGBT community members and how cozy the BAR is with MUMC.

If you agree that the BAR should report on the trans flag rejection, MUMC's ongoing refusal to hold public meetings, and that the paper should disclose how it's ad rep voted on the request, please contact editor Cynthia Laird.

Send her a respectful email: , or call her at 415-861-5019. Thanks.

(Hat tip to Bill Wilson for discovering that Wazlowski is a MUMC board member.)

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