Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why I Was Banned
at 'Lez' Get Real

My relations with two of the alleged lesbians at the Lez Get Real site, Paula Brooks and Bridgette P. LaVictoire, before I was banned in 2010 from posting comments, was quite contentious and stemmed from what I believed was insufficient credit to my research and blog on several gay issues from LGR.

Things came to a head last fall over proper crediting and hat tipping, when I sent my complaints against the two alleged lesbian editors to them and several others on a list I created. This was the reply from LGR founder Paula to me, my small list and her colleagues:

Please note... I dont want anyone to use anything from Mikes blog... ever again.... ok Mike I think that should take care of us having any future problem ...  I think....

Nice of Paula to acknowledge LGR had been using material from my site, but I still felt she was not fully owning up to the editorial problems at her site. Bridgette also sent me and the list this message, caps are hers:

I never accessed your article and never knew you did anything on this. I worked off of the two items which were sourced as Source 1 and Source 2. Since you went ballistic on us the last time, I have not even accessed your site. I cite my articles very well, though not always in the body of the text or by name. ...

I have deposited your comment in the trash, but understand that the next time this happens- I WILL BAN YOU. You have my email address and if you feel that we have accessed your article and used it without proper citation then you bring it to ME and not the boards- GOT IT?

What Bridgette describes as ballistic were comments I left at LGR simply pointing out what was taken from my blog and links to my posts. Of course, since I was criticizing LGR and with hard facts, Bridgette and Paula deleted my comments.

Needless to say, I ignored her demand that I bring my concerns just to her and not the comments section of LGR, and shared my complaints with other bloggers including Bil Browning of Bilerico.com. Thereafter, when I tried to post comments they were quickly deleted and it's a badge of honor saying I was banned from LGR.

Alarms were going off when I read the notes from Paula and Bridgette, who came across as unable to hear any criticism about them and their LGR operation. Let me be clear that the alarms had only to do with bad sourcing and crediting and nothing to do with the then-far-fetched possibility that Paula or Bridgette might not be telling the truth about potentially being men.

Anyway, Bil was gullible to their way of thinking, as shown in his note to all of us, and before you read it allow me to state that I indeed was out to shame Paula:

There's no need for me - or any of the other dozen people copied - to be getting copies of this except for an attempt to shame Paula somehow. It's unprofessional and unneeded. ...

Paula's in the clear. The post you reference provided a link to your article; it was sourced. There's no need to put anything about Michael Petrelis in the actual text of the blog post. That's not how blogs work and never has been. The focus with blogging has always been on the actual article and not the author. ... In fact, I'd challenge you that 99% of all blog posts on the web don't credit the original author but, instead, simply link the original source. ... And I doubt you've made any friends with this e-mail.

I have no idea where Bil came up with his blogging, sourcing and crediting rules, and I was not seeking friendship with Paula, Bridgette or Bil, but instead wanted to shine a public light on how LGR dealt with criticism from a reader and source.

As important is the matter of calling LGR editors on their bullshit, even when it's not the popular thing to do. And dare I say it, if folks like Bil were not so gullible and instead posed real challenges to the LGR operation, we might have all learned a lot sooner about Paula being a straight man.

Speaking of properly crediting to blogs, Bil ranted on his site about not get receiving it from MSNBC and their out (and genuine) lesbian anchor:

[Rachel Maddow recently] interviewed the author of the "Kill the Gays" bill in Uganda. The interview was very well done ...

Unfortunately, the show also stole our intellectual property by showing our picture on air without giving us any credit whatsoever. In fact, they cut off the watermark entirely. ...

They put the photographer's name at the very top of the picture - although it was so small it's practically illegible ... But the Maddow Show didn't even bother to write and ask permission from either Bilerico Project or the photographer. ...

Would it have killed her staff to show the same consideration for another media outlet that showcases LGBT pundits?

Gosh, it sounds like he's out to shame Rachel! I guess crediting blogs is an entirely different matter for Bil when it involves his site.

Thanks to sleuthing by Washington Post reporters Elizabeth Flock and Melissa Bell yesterday, everyone learned that Paula is actually a heterosexual male named Bill Graber. Flock and Bell had their suspicions raised as they investigated the matter of Tom MacMaster masquerading as the Gay Girl in Damascus blog.

What about Bridgette and her being a lesbian? In an interview with a yoga magazine this year, she claimed to be a lesbian and transgender. I have no idea if she is telling the truth and given the extensive messes of the phony lesbian blogger in Syria and the non-existent lesbian Paula of LGR, it's going to take an incredible amount of evidence from independent sources before I will believe Bridgette is actually a woman and a lesbian.

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