News: NEA for Marriage, Sotomayor Rated, Justice For Roberto

 roadWould the Saudis really turn a blind eye to Israeli jets using their airspace en route to raiding Iranian nuclear sites? No.

 roadThe National Education Association has endorsed marriage equality. A+!

Montcourt05qc7  roadFrench tennis player Mathieu Montcourt (pictured) found dead by his girlfriend in his Paris apartment's stairwell.

 roadConcerned Women for America creates an "OhNoGIJoe" jpeg to protest the LGBT community's desire to repeal DADT. It's really professional.

 roadThe NLGJA Blog Re:Act offers interesting context for President Obama's remarks to the Catholic media regarding his "wrestling" with his faith versus his "regard" for LGBT people. As I wrote here yesterday, his remarks and actions on all gay issues are easily read in different ways. (Though so are mine, apparently—I've been branded an Obama apologist but the NLGJA blogger read my post as "cool" toward the president's comments.)

 roadPalin isn't worried about the "bloodsport" that's dogged her so far dogging her if she were to run for president because the White House's "department of law" would keep her safe from unfair ethics allegations. Do I need to tell you that there is no such thing?

3398246777_c5918f3bdb  roadAdvocate editor-in-chief Jon Barrett (pictured) is feeling the heat for putting Perez Hilton on the magazine's cover, speaking out in a video commentary to readers outraged by the Hilton coverage. Y'all wanted actual gay people on the cover—be careful what you wish for.

 roadSupreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor receives a "well-qualified" rating.

 roadKalpen Modi (better known as Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle's Kal Penn) has finally begun working as a liaison between the White House and the Asian community.

Pancho  roadGood news—Omar Willock will be behind bars no fewer than 23 years for the stabbing death of 20-year-old Roberto Duncanson (pictured) in May of 2007. Willock claimed Duncanson flirted with him on the street, so he called him a faggot and followed him for several blocks while shouting anti-gay slurs before murdering Willock. The case was originally charged as a hate crime, but that charge was later dropped based on shaky eyewitness testimony.

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  1. I visited the "Concerned Women for America" website. It seems to be principally concerned with opposing equality for the LGBT community and denigrating gays people in any fashion possible. They refer to all rights groups a "radical gay". Shouldn't we be referring to them as "Radical Anti-Gay Group--Concerned Women for America"? It only seems fair. From my perspective that is what they are. Can Towleroad do that from now on? I kind of like the sound of that, Radical Anti-Gay Group, Concerned Women for America.

    Posted by: Leto | Jul 8, 2009 11:18:14 AM


  2. The Advocate's Jon Barrett states the Advocate had gone to press prior to the Hilton will.i.am explosion. Yet, the magazine was able to amend the article and add updated information. In his uninformative video, Barrett claims that Perez Hilton posts about issues such as "marriage equality, Don't Ask, Don't Tell and employment discrimination." Here's a list of most recent posts from Hilton's blog:

    * Taking the Bate!!! - filed under Yummy Yummy Screw - Jason Bateman's comeback.
    * Candid shot of Britney Spears & family at the Eiffel Tower -- without even a glimpse of said tower.
    * A Miley Cyrus quote.
    * A Hayden Panettiere photo - looking "faboosh"
    * Link to an online Perez Hilton paper doll

    Then, Hilton's top 10 most emailed:

    1. Megan Fox Will Eat You Alive - Literally!
    2. Neverland Ghost Mystery Debunked!
    3. In Memoriam
    4. Was K-Stew Sperminated By A Vamp???
    5. The Michael Jackson Memorial
    6. Really, Corey Feldman?!
    7. Twilight's Most Hated: K-Stew Hit With Hate Mail
    8. Former U.S. Figure Skating Champ Turned Drug Dealer Busted!
    9. R-Patz & K-Stew Together Again?!
    10. Singing In The Rain: Hogwarts Edition

    Issues? Don't ask, don't tell indeed.

    Want cover subjects? Off the top of my head:
    * Del Shores - how the Southern Baptist sissy is using his career to educate and involve fans to further gay issues.
    * Tim Miller - 20 years after the NEA battle, still touring, creating & fighting for gay rights.
    * Dan Choi - not the 1st from the military on the cover, but profile him or pick five others who have also had their lives destroyed by Don't Ask, Don't Tell
    * Anthony Woods - out of the military and into the political arena loud & proud
    * Equal Roots - a political group run by gay kids in their 20's - Are they the new gay activists?
    * Who are the new gay activists?
    * How facebook, twitter and the web are changing gay politics
    * Hate crimes won't be a pretty cover but it's not a pretty subject.
    * Gay blogs - pick 5 & profile: how is the web age changing the gay media?
    * Pick 10 of the 35,000 who will lose their HIV/AIDS medications if ADAP is cut from the California budget. Make the numbers real people.
    * Adam Lambert & any number of out pop singers Towleroad has featured on the how/why/if gay matters in the music industry.

    Barrett also says the Advocate "can't be cheerleaders for the movement because that would require we stand on the sidelines..." I plan to email Mr. Barrett and let him know one has to be inside the stadium in order to even make it to the sidelines.

    Posted by: hank | Jul 8, 2009 12:40:31 PM


  3. RE the NLGJA Blog and Obama effectively telling the Catholics that the Bible does condemn gays, that he agrees with it, and it gives him gas to be asked to fight for our CIVIL rights...

    The blog editor, Michael Triplet, does NOT speak for NLGJA itself. Every comment I've read from him about Obama has indicated that Triplet has his head so far up O's ass that he could see Russia through O's mouth.

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Jul 8, 2009 1:28:18 PM


  4. Dear Hank, I look forward to your email. You can reach me at editor@advocate.com

    Posted by: Jon Barrett | Jul 8, 2009 2:42:51 PM


  5. I stopped reading The Advocate well over 10 years ago and haven't looked back since. Their latest choice to devote even one drop of ink towards someone as damaging to gay culture as Perez Hilton only goes to show how disposable, vapid and empty this publication has become. This is "news"? This is a positive role model for gays to look up to? The real news here is that what was once a valid force of gay journalism has now become nothing more than a feeble gossip rag/publicity machine only barely covering anything that really speaks to gays about the real world they live in. The Advocate has been losing readers and subscribers steadily for a long time now, and this latest misstep seems like as good a reason as any to pack this sorry mess up and call it a day.

    Posted by: Dave | Jul 8, 2009 2:48:15 PM


  6. The fact that there's so much apoplexy among gay Advocate readers over the Perez cover validates the reasons behind putting him there. Like him or hate him, he's a dominant figure in the pop culture conversation and worthy of further discussion.

    Had the magazine run a puff piece, I can see getting angry over it, but they're obviously asking tough questions and applying real analysis to what has become a legitimate phenomenon.

    Ultimately, as anyone who has ever worked in the industry knows, you're never going to make your readership entirely happy. But if you can get them talking, even if it's in an angry way, you've started the conversation (and hopefully sold a few issues).

    Posted by: MoroccoMole | Jul 8, 2009 4:33:04 PM


  7. @Dave: You last read The Advocate ten years ago? Then you obviously know what you're talking about. A whole helluva lot has happened to the world, and that magazine, since the 1990s. Grow up.

    Posted by: Johnny | Jul 8, 2009 6:00:55 PM


  8. I personally would love nothing more than for this monster to go away. I was friends with him back before he started the blog when he was working at Instinct.

    As I wrote to Jon, I wish Benoit had dug just a bit into things most of the public didn't already know. Like how Mario originally adopted the name "Hilton" as a dig at Paris, then after she threatened to sue him, made him her little lap dog. And whatever happed with their bff relationship. I like that he commented most celebs "tolerate" him, but there are so many lawsuits against him (Colin Farrell, Universal, Zomba and X17 jump to mind). Plus, Mario had a rather sordid past at Instinct Magazine. I would have tried to get soundbites from people he attempted (or did) out, like Lance Bass, Clay Aiken, Adam Lambert... Even Carrie Prejean. I just wish we would all stop talking about him. The opposite of love is indifference. I would love for us to all be indifferent about him.

    But, Benoit didn’t write the story isn’t an expose. He wrote an observation of a terribly insecure individual who drives a Camry and tries to pick up guys, using them as they do him.

    And Hank, I completely agree with you. I wish the magazine featured more Dan Choi, Tim Miller, and Anthony Woods as well as our newly “out” Adam Lamberts, and Nathaniel Flatt.

    But we can’t ever forget, this is a business. And some young twentysomething girl strolling by the magazine bin at Barnes and Noble, who sees that pink haired freak on the cover, is probably going to pick up buy the magazine. She probably calls herself “Ammmmber” and visits his site 30 times a day and comments like this: “GROSS… pix!! AND no … not because they r gay- theyre gross PERIOD… whats w/ the latino having a 'line up' ???? Lame…”

    Just recently, Lance Black was on the cover for “40 Under 40.” Before that was a cover about “Gay Power in the Age of Obama.” Before that, gay swimmer Matthew Mitcham. The month before that, a pic of Obama asking, “what will he do first.”

    But you can’t please everyone all the time. It’s very easy to attack the Advocate and I will not deny that I’ve not said unkind things about some of Regent’s other ventures.

    Would I have put Mario on the cover? Most probably not, but then again, I’m not a publisher and simply because I think by speaking his name, you give him power. The will.I.am controversy and most recently, the mudslinging he is attempting to do with my friend Japhy is mindnumbingly stupid. He’s slowly hanging himself. The video about his “attack,” the death of Michael Jackson… he’s slipping. As the article points out, “celebrities tolerate him.” The days of his VH-1 specials are over.

    But ultimately, it was a business decision. I’m willing to bet the magazine sales will do really well, simply because his readers will buy it. Probably a better story would have been WHO are those readers? Those commenters that hide behind a screen name and ever spew homophobic comments or adoration for Mario. And on his own site, he even promotes the Advocate cover. He loves it. And probably doesn’t get “it.”

    But if and when those “Ammmmmber’s” of the world read it, hopefully they will start to see what we’ve known all along. Oz is simply an insecure, ugly on the inside- man behind the curtain.

    Posted by: Chad | Jul 8, 2009 6:07:30 PM


  9. Hank, two corrections. First, only the online story was updated with the "F" word affair—the print version does not include that update as it had already gone to the printers prior to the fracas. Also, nearly all the stories you suggest in your list of cover stories *have* been covered in The Advocate, and many since the monthly relaunch in February 2009. To suggest that those stories have been overlooked is incorrect. Alas, the magazine only has one cover per month so it makes sense to pick an exciting topic to entice readers to the magazine and expose them to all the other news covered in an issue (give then choice, obviously you wouldn't have picked Perez). No cover makes all readers happy, but that's especially true of The Advocate, a magazine over which the LGBT community feels a large sense of ownership.

    Posted by: V | Jul 8, 2009 7:13:30 PM


  10. NOTE: The NEA did NOT endorse marriage equality. They endorsed civil unions. FAIL.

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 8, 2009 8:33:27 PM


  11. On a side note, I visited my doctor yesterday and there was a copy of Instinct in the office. Since I used to write for it maybe six years ago (but haven't looked at it since), I thought it would be interesting to glance through it.

    It wasn't. Out is also essentially awful. I don't see how gay magazines are going to survive, no matter who is on the cover. As Towleroad recently reported, most gay porn mags are going under...if porn can't survive, then I don't see "lifestyle" magazines having much shelf life. They just can't compete with, say, Towelroad or even mainstream publications that no longer fear important gay stories.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jul 9, 2009 3:01:01 AM


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