1. 24play says

    It’s so efficient to have one person (Corey) who can both REPRESENT the National Equality March to the mainstream media and “REPORT ON” the March in gay media.

    And that efficiency comes only at the expense of journalism and credibility.

  2. James says

    I think Corey did I great job of articulating where we stand as a community in 30 seconds. He outlined what still needed to be achieve, but never came across as whining.

    On a personal note, I’d like to see more of Corey on TV. He’s super cute 😉

  3. 24play says

    No, Michael. Having Corey identify himself for this MSNBC interview as being affiliated with Towleroad—but not mentioning that he is also affiliated with the March itself—is an example of a LACK of transparency and, possibly, of integrity as well.

    Just as it was during the DNC, when Corey both participated as a delegate to the convention and covered the event for Towleroad, this is a serious conflict of interest. It leaves Towleroad’s readers unable to trust Corey’s coverage of the March and MSNBC viewers without all the information they need to properly assess his statements.

  4. Corey Johnson says

    Thanks for the feedback.

    As for the role of disclosing my affiliation with the March — I’ve been very public about that since May of this year.

    Also — Towleroad has never purported itself to be an ‘objective’ news source. Andy and other folks that contribute to this site are not journalists, but bloggers who have opinions on the events/stories that are covered.

    This is Andy’s blog and he clearly has opinions — and I’m very grateful that Andy and Michael have allowed me the opportunity to be part of the great community and work that is done at Towleroad.

    Thanks everyone for the feedback over the weekend (even when it wasn’t always nice!).



  5. Bryan says

    I’m not sure what’s so “transparent” about failing to mention all one’s affiliations.

    I’m also unclear what this discussion of power and “torch passing” is about. People went to DC, had a party, and then went home. If your goals aren’t realized in legislation, you may be fabulous, interesting, amusing, or any number of other things, but you aren’t powerful. You may, in fact, just be kidding yourself.

    Another decade, another Party on Washington, another “I got ripped in 4 weeks” ad below the field in which I’m typing… I’m with Barney Frank. Better to be the witch at the wedding than a dupe at the reception.

  6. 24play says

    Corey, I appreciate your response to my feedback.

    But, with all due respect, I must say disclosure of your affiliation with the March has been extremely rare on Towleroad. If I hadn’t seen the video of you making the NYC announcement of the March back in June, I would have no idea you were involved in organizing the March. So I must assume that, as they’ve read dozens of March-related posts here over the past 4 months, the vast majority of readers had no idea Towleroad’s political director/correspondent was a March organizer, and that your affiliation could potentially be coloring the blog’s coverage of the March.

    Maybe we shouldn’t expect unbiased coverage here, but readers do have a right to be made aware of possible conflicts of interest so that we can make some reasonable assessment of possible bias. For you and Andy not to extend readers that common journalistic courtesy is a shame.

    Similarly, it is a major journalistic failure for that MSNBC reporter not to have identified you as a March organizer. Was she even aware of your affiliation with the March?

    In general, the content of Towleroad seems to be prepared with one eye well-trained on common standards of journalism. That’s why it’s such a disappointment to confront instances such as this, the rest of the blog’s March coverage, your dual role at the DNC of delegate/reporter, and that very bizarre advertorial-seeming post about NYC’s new Ace Hotel a couple months ago. Despite the fact that Towleroad is—or at least once was—Andy’s personal blog, I think readers here value the blog’s professionalism and usually strict adherence to basic journalistic standards. It would be a shame to throw that all away.

    People expect to find opinion here. That does not absolve Towleroad of its responsibility to avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of such. Full disclosure is the only way to maintain the respect and trust of your readers.

  7. TonyRz says

    > The keys today in modern journalism are
    > integrity, transparency and the
    > conversation.

    And, according to some, six-pack abs.

    As for the “torch-passing”, I distinctly got that feeling, given the youth of the visible participants, who are most likely only getting into the same room as Obama if they’re working as cater-waiters.

    It’s why I’m pleased today rather than trying to count heads on aerial shots of the lawn.

    To paraphrase John Lennon, “All you old queens can just rattle your jewelry.” The gayTM approach has actually lead us backwards. It’s not freedom if you have to buy it.

  8. Corey Johnson says

    24Play — I’m not sure what your name is, but I think your feedback is thoughtful and important.

    I told MSNBC (it’s not the reporter’s fault) but rather just a slip from the control room and producers that I was on the Steering Committee for the March. I also told them I was in DC covering the March for Towleroad — they choose to go with the latter, but your point is well-taken.

    I have not been part of Andy’s coverage of the March and Andy was supportive on his own from the very beginning — that was clear through-out his coverage of it. There was no need to disclose that I was actively involved.

    I come at all of the coverage on this blog from a distinct viewpoint and that is as an advocate for LGBT rights. I am a proud activist in New York and am very open about it.

    I do not believe Andy, myself or this blog has been duplicitous in any way to it’s readers.

    I was up front about being on the Rules Committee at the Democratic Convention in August of 2008 and I was very up front about being an Obama supporter during our coverage of the Inauguration.

    I also have never shied away from my support of the March from the get-go.

    My activism and advocacy is an open-book and I have no shame surrounding it.

    Thanks again for your thoughtfulness. Keep up the good fight.

  9. virtualdespot says

    I’ve found Towleroad’s coverage of the march to be the most complete on web or TV, and I think it says a lot that Corey is so quick to engage on questions of ethics and disclosures.

    I don’t expect or want the site to strike a false pose of mythical objectivity – it is “a site with homosexual tendencies”, after all, and I’m grateful that Corey can bring some personal fire to this story. (And by that, I mean by looking so hot on TV.) Kudos to him, by the way, for hitting so many important points in the scant 30 seconds they gave him on MSNBC.

    I do, however, appreciate where 24PLAY is coming from, and do agree that it is necessary for readers to know what formal associations one has with what one is reporting.

  10. says

    Thansk Corey for your work. Thanks 24Play for ALWAYS expressing your opinion! I mean that, I’m not being bitchy. I take a lot of shit because I’m so opinionated. Several people on the march Exec cmte pray they NEVER see my name pop up in their inbox ever again, so, I do respect your opinion more than you know.

  11. says

    Seems to me Corey was also presented in the context of organizers and activists, so not exactly disingenuous.

    We saw Corey at Michael Bedwell’s event for Leonard Matlovich, which was pretty moving. Corey in a tree at one point! Wish we could have met more towleroad folks. Fun at last to put a face on Michael :-) Wish we had met Derek too!

  12. Dan N says

    It was exciting to see to see the the younger generation of LGBT individuals involved – but I am not sure about the passing of the torch. What happens next with this passing of the torch? How does decentralized become effective? The reason we had the march was to come together and send A message. We didn’t have 50 separate decentralized send 50 separate messages…Corey explain yourself.

  13. Michael @ says

    And pretty scary, too, Kevin—particularly for me. :- ) THANK YOU so much for coming to the memorial/protest and that you found it moving. More to come, but here’s the link to Troy Perry’s rip roarer:

    As for alleged conflict of interest and lack of objectivity, obsessive-compulsive Head Fan Girl for Obama: Heal Thyself. You could not more transparently NOT give a flying fuck about “journalistic ethics,” any more than you do gay rights. It’s all about attacking others in order to defend your Unrequited Lover Barry.

  14. Corey Johnson says

    I’m not sure if folks are still paying attention to this comment section — since it has moved down quite a bit since yesterday.

    I do want to clarify my quote though — “I think this march represents the passing of the torch,” said Corey Johnson, 27, an activist and blogger for the gay-themed Web site “The points of power are no longer in the halls of Washington or large metropolitan areas. It’s decentralized now. You have young activists and gay people from all walks of life converging on Washington not because a national organization told them to, but because they feel the time is now.”

    I was not explicitly referring to a generational change — I was more alluding to the fact that national LGBT groups do not hold the power and sway they once did. The torch has been passed to activists all across America and not just in Washington, DC, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other large metropolitan areas.

    Those cities are still vitally important for our movement and struggle for full equality — but the power is much more decentralized now and it’s in a large part because of the internet, blogs and social networking sites, which are the most equalizing and democratizing force that exist.

    Orders are not trumpeted out from cities or organizations to tell LGBT Americans what to do to achieve our civil rights — now mobilization and organization can occur out of any persons office or living room from their computer.

    Grassroots activism is alive and well — this weekend proved that.



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