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ACT UP Crashes Ceremony Dedicating Ed Koch's Last Residence as Historic Landmark: VIDEO

Koch_actup

Members of ACT UP NY crashed an event naming former NYC Mayor Ed Koch's Fifth Avenue residence an historic landmark this week, reminding attendees of Koch's slow, inadequate response to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

Watch (warning: autoplay) WPIX cover the ceremony and protest, AFTER THE JUMP...

(image facebook bill bytsura)

Continue reading "ACT UP Crashes Ceremony Dedicating Ed Koch's Last Residence as Historic Landmark: VIDEO" »


NYT Revises Ed Koch Obit To Include Details About Aids

KochThe New York Times revised its obituary of former NYC mayor Ed Koch after receiving criticism for excluding any mention of his controversial handling of the AIDs crisis in the 1980s.

Koch died of congestive heart failure yesterday at the age of 88.

The Times added three paragraphs about AIDS and also as a sentence about his sexuality.

The new additions are here:

Mr. Koch was also harshly criticized for what was called his slow, inadequate response to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Hundreds of New Yorkers were desperately ill and dying in a baffling public health emergency. Critics, especially in the gay community, accused him of being a closeted gay man reluctant to confront the crisis for fear of being exposed.

For years, Mr. Koch was upset and defensive about the criticism. In a 1994 interview with Adam Nagourney, a New York Times correspondent and co-author, with Dudley Clendinen, of “Out for Good: The Struggle to Build a Gay Rights Movement in America,” Mr. Koch said that New York had done more than San Francisco for people with AIDS. “But that never got through to the gay community,” Mr. Koch said. “They were brainwashed that they were getting shortchanged in New York City and in San Francisco they were getting everything. And it wasn’t true, but you could never convince them.”

The scandals and the scourges of crack cocaine, homelessness and AIDS were compounded by a widening rift between Mr. Koch and black New Yorkers. The mayor traced his contentious relationship with black leaders to his first-term decision to close Sydenham Hospital in Harlem, where, he said, the city was paying too much for inadequate care. He would regret the decision.

The full version is here.

Writer and filmmaker Dave France (director and co-writer of the Academy Award-nominated documentary How to Survive a Plague) has published a piece about Koch, a film the former mayor himself reviewed for the West Side Spirit.

Before he died, Koch recorded a segment for the Times' The Last Word obit video series. Watch his entry, which he begins by facing the camera asking "do you miss me?", AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "NYT Revises Ed Koch Obit To Include Details About Aids" »


Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch Dead at 88

Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch has died, the NY Post is reporting:

KochKoch had been in and out of the hospital in recent months, and was admitted Monday at New York Presbyterian Medical Center. He was moved to intensive care yesterday as his condition worsened. Koch – who served as mayor from 1978 to 1989 – died at about 2 a.m. today, sources said.

The three-term mayor and former congressman was first elected to City Hall in 1977. Since leaving elected office, he has worked as a lawyer and remained an active presence on the city’s political scene. He also appeared as the judge on the TV show “The People’s Court” for two years.

From the NYT obit:

By the usual standards of measuring a former mayor’s legacy — the city he inherited, the challenges he faced, the resources available to meet those challenges and the extent to which his work endured beyond his term — historians and political experts generally give Mr. Koch mixed-to-good reviews.

Most important, he is credited with leading the city government back from near bankruptcy in the 1970s to prosperity in the 1980s. He also began one of the city’s most ambitious housing programs, which continued after he left office and eventually built or rehabilitated more than 200,000 housing units, revitalizing once-forlorn neighborhoods.

Politically, Mr. Koch’s move to the right of center was seen as a betrayal by some old liberal friends, but it gained him the middle class and three terms in City Hall. He was also the harbinger of a transformation in the way mayors are elected in New York, with candidates relying less on the old coalition of labor unions, minority leaders and Democratic clubhouses and more on heavy campaign spending and television to make direct appeals to a more independent-minded electorate.

A lifelong bachelor, the former mayor had said it's unacceptable for people to ask if he's gay since the 70's, when placards surfaced in his mayoral race against Mario Cuomo that said "Vote for Cuomo, not the homo!"

At the time of the Cuomo allegations, Koch said: "No, I am not a homosexual. If I were a homosexual, I would hope I would have the courage to say so. What's cruel is that you are forcing me to say I am not a homosexual. This means you are putting homosexuals down. I don't want to do that."

Koch also expressed anger a year ago at how he was portrayed in Kirby Dick's film Outrage, which outed closeted politicians — not because the film said he's gay (which it did), but because he said the film defiled his record (the film claims his record on AIDS and gay rights was virtually nonexistent).

Said Koch to Page 6: "It's a [bleep]ing outrage. Bella Abzug and I, in the early '70s, introduced in Congress a bill that would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation...And when we later said the law applied to contractors doing business with the city, the Catholic Church and the Salvation Army sued me. In 1984, I was the first mayor to march in the Gay Pride Parade. I was the first mayor to appoint openly gay judges."

Late last year, Koch took the time to review How to Survive a Plague, but was blasted by AIDS activists featured in the film for not mentioning his own failed response to the AIDS crisis.

As part of the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in New York in 2011, Koch recorded a video in support of New Yorkers for Marriage Equality.

Koch was 88.


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Ed Koch Wants Larry Kramer to Get Presidential Medal of Freedom

Ed Koch reviews How to Survive a Plague but fails to mention his own failed response to the AIDS crisis and its role in the film. Koch suggests, too, that Larry Kramer and other AIDS activists should get the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Kramer responds in the post's comments, calling the closeted Koch "a murderer of his very own people."

DeathsKoch writes:

The person who makes the greatest impact in the film because of his superb speaking ability is Peter Staley. In his New York Times review of this movie, Stephen Holden describes Staley as: "A former closeted Wall Street bond trader with H.I.V. who left his job and helped found the Treatment Action Group, an offshoot of Act Up. Self-taught in the science of AIDS, the group collaborated with pharmaceutical companies like Merck in the development of new drugs."
 
Others named in the Times' review as major leaders of Act Up, which began its activities in 1987, are Larry Kramer, Robert Rafsky and Ann Northrop, all of whom appear in the film. I don't know if these individuals were ever honored by the White House for what they did in fighting government and powerful corporations. If not, I urge President Obama to do so by presenting them and other leaders recognized by Act Up with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Staley responds, in Poz:

Amazing how he fails to mention his own shameful role in this film, or this history...

And Larry Kramer responds, in the Poz post's comments:

What is this evil man up to as he approaches his death? Is he trying to make up to us? National Medals of Freedom from the White House! Would these provide a big enough enema to clean out his rotten insides? We must never forget that this man was an active participant in helping us to die, in murdering us. Call it what you will, that is what Edward Koch was, a murderer of his very own people. There is no way to avoid knowing that now. The facts have long since been there staring us in the face. If we don't see them, then we are as complicit as he.


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The show’s comedy is predicated on the fact that none of Lee’s female co-workers seem able to discern the obvious (she’s a man, baby), probably because they are too busy living down to every lame stereotype associated with office women, up to and including the itty-bitty salads they nibble at lunch

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/01/01/3345090/abcs-vapid-transgender-take.html#storylink=cpy
The show’s comedy is predicated on the fact that none of Lee’s female co-workers seem able to discern the obvious (she’s a man, baby), probably because they are too busy living down to every lame stereotype associated with office women, up to and including the itty-bitty salads they nibble at lunch

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/01/01/3345090/abcs-vapid-transgender-take.html#storylink=cpy
The show’s comedy is predicated on the fact that none of Lee’s female co-workers seem able to discern the obvious (she’s a man, baby), probably because they are too busy living down to every lame stereotype associated with office women, up to and including the itty-bitty salads they nibble at lunch

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/01/01/3345090/abcs-vapid-transgender-take.html#storylink=cpy

 


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