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Andrew Sullivan To Quit Blogging

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Noted out gay blogger Andrew Sullivan announced today that he is quitting blogging. A conservative who is credited as a pioneer in the world of political blogging, Sullivan started blogging in 2000 and wrote under various online mastheads including Time, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast and finally his own subscription-based The Dish which he launched in 2013. In an announcement on his site posted today, Sullivan explained why he decided to leave the blogosphere behind: 

Two reasons. The first is one I hope anyone can understand: although it has been the most rewarding experience in my writing career, I’ve now been blogging daily for fifteen years straight (well kinda straight). That’s long enough to do any single job. In some ways, it’s as simple as that. There comes a time when you have to move on to new things, shake your world up, or recognize before you crash that burn-out does happen.

The second is that I am saturated in digital life and I want to return to the actual world again. I’m a human being before I am a writer; and a writer before I am a blogger, and although it’s been a joy and a privilege to have helped pioneer a genuinely new form of writing, I yearn for other, older forms. I want to read again, slowly, carefully. I want to absorb a difficult book and walk around in my own thoughts with it for a while. I want to have an idea and let it slowly take shape, rather than be instantly blogged. I want to write long essays that can answer more deeply and subtly the many questions that the Dish years have presented to me. I want to write a book.

I want to spend some real time with my parents, while I still have them, with my husband, who is too often a ‘blog-widow’, my sister and brother, my niece and nephews, and rekindle the friendships that I have simply had to let wither because I’m always tied to the blog. And I want to stay healthy. I’ve had increasing health challenges these past few years. They’re not HIV-related; my doctor tells me they’re simply a result of fifteen years of daily, hourly, always-on-deadline stress. These past few weeks were particularly rough – and finally forced me to get real.

Sullivan pledged to continue writing, albeit outside of the online space.

When I write again, it will be for you, I hope – just in a different form. I need to decompress and get healthy for a while; but I won’t disappear as a writer.

But this much I know: nothing will ever be like this again, which is why it has been so precious; and why it will always be a part of me, wherever I go; and why it is so hard to finish this sentence and publish this post.


Andrew Sullivan and Rich Juzwiak Continue Their Discussion on Gay Sex, Truvada: AUDIO

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Andrew Sullivan sat down with Gawker's Rich Juzwiak to continue their discussion of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and to dissect the thought processes behind the often-taboo idea that people prefer sex sans condoms.

“People aren’t necessarily that articulate about it, they maybe don’t even understand that exactly,” Juzwiak explained, laying out a description of the intimacy sometimes associated bareback sex. “I’m not culturally a barebacker [but if] I have to do monogamy or something like it, my compensation is we’re not using condoms.”

Listen to Juzwiak’s discussion of PrEP’s place in modern gay culture with On The Media AFTER THE JUMP...

Juzwiak has been one of the internet’s most vocal and high-profile proponents of Truvada, a brand of PrEP that, when used properly, drastically reduces a person’s risk of contracting HIV. Despite protestations from those arguing that PrEP poses more harms than potential benefits, Juzwiak has made a cause out of  the controversial drug.

“If you don't contract HIV from bareback sex, was it unsafe?” He wrote earlier this spring. “What does it even matter? Just do better next time and take solace in the personal rules—somewhat informed, somewhat arbitrary—that you suspect are keeping you protected.”

Juzwiak’s assertion is a rather straightforward one: gay men are having sex without condoms, and they might as well be doing it with at least a modicum of preventative protection:

"But what hasn't harmed you in the past, if you're one of the luckily negative like I am, could still harm you when you do it in the future. Owning up to this fact is a crucial step in choosing to take Truvada, the antiretroviral drug cocktail of tenofovir and emtricitabine that's manufactured by Gilead."

Continue reading "Andrew Sullivan and Rich Juzwiak Continue Their Discussion on Gay Sex, Truvada: AUDIO" »


Andrew Sullivan And Rich Juzwiak Talk The 'Brotherhood of Gay Sex': Audio

Gawker writer Rich Juzwiak recently guested on Andrew Sullivan's podcast and the two took part in a frank conversation about their feelings on gay men and sex. Sullivan describes their talk:

Juzwiak-banner1We actually talk about the sexual adventurism of gay men – a subculture where no women restrain sexual desire – as an often wonderful thing, regardless of the judgment that so many, including gay men, have made about it.

Juzwiak openly expressed his candid opinions:

"I know that there are consequences to being promiscuous, but I could never argue against it. I just really feel like its such a wonderful way to meet people and engender brotherhood, too. That's what I'm really into now. This feeling of brotherhood amongst gay men where I can go home with a guy and we can hang out in bed in the morning for hours naked fooling around talking, fooling around while we're talking. That I just think is just specific to gay sexuality."

Listen to a 2 1/2 minute clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

Sullivan also points out that Juzwiak, who had discontinued taking the drug Truvada earlier this year, published a new piece on Gawker Wednesday wherein he explains why he's not only taking the pill again but encourages "all sexually active gay men who are negative should go on it, at least those who are in the highly populated gray area."

From the Gawker piece:

I try to be as nonjudgmental as possible when it comes to the behavior of other gay men (though I cannot refrain from judging those who judge). We are all in different places in life; we all enjoy different things. That variety is, in fact, what makes gay culture so vibrant. The choices at the disposal of those who are privileged enough to live in areas where gay is OK and where same-sex marriage is legal—these are part what make being gay so wonderful. But if you cannot deal with taking a single pill every day, you need to get a grip and reevaluate your life. After you do that, then just take the fucking pill.

The full podcast episode of the Sullivan/Juzwiak conversation is available (by subscription only) here

Continue reading "Andrew Sullivan And Rich Juzwiak Talk The 'Brotherhood of Gay Sex': Audio" »


Andrew Sullivan Faces Off With Prop 8 Plaintiffs, 'Case Against 8' Filmmakers: VIDEO

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The HBO documentary The Case Against 8, which chronicles the legal challenge to California’s Proposition 8, debuted on television earlier this week and also made an appearance last weekend at the Provincetown International Film Festival. Blogger and activist Andrew Sullivan sat down with two of the Prop. 8 plaintiffs, Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, along with filmmakers Ryan White and Ben Cotner (our Jacob Combs interviewed them here) for a panel discussing the film. Sullivan challenged the panel, taking issue with what he saw as “propaganda.”

Particularly, Sullivan was concerned with how the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) along with its co-founder, Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin, were portrayed, calling the film “a PR campaign for AFER, for Chad Griffin” and “a PR campaign for this case and against anyone else’s.”

Out Magazine reports:

From the first moments of the discussion, the room was thick with tension. It’s easy to understand the anxiety given Sullivan’s first-out-of-the-gate lambasting of Jo Becker, the journalist also embedded in the legal proceedings, who wrote the book Forcing the Spring. Sullivan (and many other journalists with an historical eye for the fight for marriage equality) excoriated Becker, AFER, and now-HRC president Griffin for attempting to sideline the 30 years of equality struggles, calling Griffin a “Rosa Parks” figure, and essentially suggesting that the fight for marriage equality began and ended with AFER’s case. It was immediately apparent that Sullivan viewed this film in much the same manner that he viewed the Becker book...

What was described as a discussion with filmmakers ultimately ended up being quite one-sided. Sullivan said, “The unfairness is that the people who were involved in [United States v. Windsor, the case in which SCOTUS determined that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional] that worked to achieve the real result, barely even exist in this movie,” said Sullivan, “that the entire other groups who’ve been planning and working on this for 25 years are depicted in thus movie as ornery obstacles to the vision of Chad Griffin.”

As the air grew rancorous, one of the plaintiffs from Hollingsworth v. Perry, Sandra Stier, commented, 

"One of the things that saddened me is within our movement there is huge disagreement over whose story is more valid, whose story should get more attention, who tried harder, who’s been a bigger contributor,” she continued while Sullivan shook his head in disagreement. “I would just like to say to all of you is that Sandy and I set out to make a contribution to the degree we were able to make one." 

Sullivan also took to his blog to discuss the film, noting that in his view, The Case Against 8 is,

“a movie not about a civil rights moment, he argues, but about “the values of show business and mass marketing.” And when you’re marketing something, you show no wrinkles or flaws. You carefully stage every single thing to advance the product.”

You can watch the full discussion between Sullivan and the Case Against 8 filmmakers and Prop 8 plaintiffs, AFTER THE JUMP…

Continue reading "Andrew Sullivan Faces Off With Prop 8 Plaintiffs, 'Case Against 8' Filmmakers: VIDEO" »


Andrew Sullivan Brings His Brendan Eich Complaints to Stephen Colbert: VIDEO

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Andrew Sullivan brought his argument that Brendan Eich was brought down by the 'gaystapo' (as like-minded conservatives would dub the imaginary group of gay activists conjured in this tale), to the Colbert Report last night where he was given carte blanche to discuss the episode.

Mozilla_colbertWatch the segments below.

A few notes of response to what Sullivan says since Colbert did not offer much.

Gay activists did not get Eich fired. As our Ari Ezra Waldman explains in his piece earlier this week, gay groups were not in this fight - Eich was brought down because he took actions that made him unfit to lead a unique community like Mozilla:

There was no mainstream gay rights organization calling for his head. No one "bullied" Mr. Eich out of Mozilla's headquarters. To say so is an insult to those of us who have been bullied in real life. And no cabal of intolerant gays proclaimed that disagreement with us merits unemployment. That seems to be a bogeyman conjured up in the prolific brain of Andrew Sullivan.

Eich was not being punished for a belief, as Sullivan says. He resigned after it was revealed he took financial action to specifically harm others (the Prop 8 donation) and made it worse by refusing to discuss his actions. It was not a group of gay activists out to "scalp" him as Sullivan would say, for a belief.

As Markos Moulitsas explained so well last week,

"This was Mozilla developers saying they refused to do work with a bigot, private websites blocking access to the Firefox browser because they refused to do business with a bigot, and employees of the firm speaking up because they refused to work for a bigot. In short, it was the free market expressing itself. Eich was perfectly within his rights to stay at Mozilla, but he would then face a hostile market and eventually faced the reality that he couldn't do his job in that environment. The free market spoke, and a free market enterprise was forced to react."

Sullivan says "where I draw the line is when we start targeting individuals for punishment or calling them heretics, or bigots, or haters without giving them a chance to really explain themselves."

But Sullivan did just that a few weeks ago when MSNBC was considering cutting Alec Baldwin for using an anti-gay slur. Michelangelo Signorile noted:

"...this is the same Andrew Sullivan who was first out of the gate with the pitchfork, driving Alec Baldwin off of MSNBC -- as Baldwin bombastically charged that he was the victim of Sullivan and his "fundamentalist wing of gay advocacy." ...

"But if you're going to get worked up over a guy hurling the word "c--ksucker" in the heat of the moment -- while he also gave money and support to the causes of LGBT rights and marriage equality -- you should be completely outraged by a man unapologetically giving money to a hate campaign that helped pass Prop 8 by demonizing gay men and lesbians in television ads charging that gays are dangerous to children. The damage done by those ads is incalculable, turning neighbors in California against one another, empowering anti-gay bullies in schools as well as the bashers on the streets."

Sullivan also brings up the talking point about Obama having the same views as Eich. Jeremy Hooper refuted that point well earlier in the discussion about Eich, writing:

...look, President Obama was certainly wrong on marriage, something he himself now realizes...But the fact of the matter is that the Democratic candidates (and most Dems in general) opposed the abject and unconstitutional nastiness that was and is Proposition 8 because, even when they had yet to come to their current places of support, they knew that altering governing documents for the sole purpose of limiting rights was a bad idea. Mr. Eich apparently felt otherwise.

Watch the segments below:

And here's Sullivan arguing the complete opposite in a discussion with Anderson Cooper about why Alec Baldwin should lose his job because of his anti-gay slurs:


The Fall of Brendan Eich Happened Without Us

By ARI EZRA WALDMAN

Brendan-eich-mozilla-firefox-squareBrendan Eich is no longer the CEO of Mozilla. His tenure was short. But if you believe the media swarm surrounding his quick departure, you would think he left in a blaze of burned bridges and violent protests. I must have missed all that. Mr. Eich was asked to step down because the members of his board of directors made the decision that he could no longer govern their company. That's how boards are supposed to work.

There was no mainstream gay rights organization calling for his head. No one "bullied" Mr. Eich out of Mozilla's headquarters. To say so is an insult to those of us who have been bullied in real life. And no cabal of intolerant gays proclaimed that disagreement with us merits unemployment. That seems to be a bogeyman conjured up in the prolific brain of Andrew Sullivan.

Although this was a legitimate board decision, Mr. Eich did do two things wrong: He took actions that were specifically intended to harm others and he made it worse by refusing to discuss those actions. Those who turned to demonize a straw man of intolerant "gay activists" miss these two facts.

Their argument is essentially about tolerance for evolving opinions and it goes as follows: We cannot punish people for simply disagreeing with us. If we do, we become no better than intolerant conservatives who hate us simply because of who we love. It would have been better to teach Mr. Eich, to sit down with him like mature adults and make our case, thereby showing him that he, like millions of other people, were wrong about us.

Let me say that I agree. I am a proponent of guiding our former opponents on a path toward acceptance with calm, cool rhetoric and a mature approach. I wrote about it here, with respect to Senator Rob Portman's evolution on gay marriage. But it is not clear to me how we can discuss something with someone who refuses to come to the table. Plus, this is not a matter of having differing opinions. Mr. Eich made a jump from having an opinion to taking actions to hurt another group of people. To assert the equivalence of belief and action is not only plain wrong, it is inconsistent with how free speech norms have developed in this country.

This story, then, boils down to three simple facts:

1. Mozilla's Board of Directors did exactly what boards are supposed to do;

2. Mr. Eich took actions that made him unfit to lead a unique community like Mozilla; and

3. Actions have consequences.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "The Fall of Brendan Eich Happened Without Us" »


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