Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bay Times, Rostow: If HRC Can't Handle Petrelis, Can They Handle 'Real Enemies'?

The always fabulous news commentator Ann Rostow see many sides and factors to the debate over criticism of the Human Rights Campaign in her column this week for SF Bay Times. She also poses a damn good question about the group's inability to deal with me and what it may mean about HRC's efforts to deal with real enemies of gays.

From Rostow's report in the current Bay Times:

[...] That's it for the defense, because I could also join in a lot of the condemnation. HRC should put much more pressure on Democratic candidates and avoid sucking up to Hillary Clinton at this early stage of the campaign. Their namby pamby press releases are worse than no response at all. They should take a lesson from Matt Foreman over at the Task Force. And why are they holding a closed door "invitation only" forum with Executive Director Joe Solmonese in San Francisco this week?

When HRC critic, activist Michael Petrelis, emailed HRC Vice President of Policy and Strategy, David Smith, to ask if he could bring a camera to the event, he got a surly note in response.

"Dear HRC," wrote Petrelis. "A friend of mine will be joining me for Joe Solmonese's meeting this Wednesday night at 7 pm here in SF, and he wants to tape the meeting with his camcorder. Will cameras and tape recorders be allowed at your meeting at the Olivia offices? Please advise. Best, Michael."

"Michael," Smith replied. "This event is invitation only and not open to the public. You will not be admitted."

Listen, if Joe Solmonese and HRC can't handle Michael Petrelis, how the hell are they going to handle the real enemies facing our community? And why wouldn't Solmonese want one of the most provocative activists on the blogosphere to participate in this meeting? Is this a pep rally or a serious attempt to hear what San Francisco has to say? Finally, assuming there's some good reason for the closed-door policy, would it hurt to be civil? Or grown up? [...]

No comments: