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DNC Plays Politics With Gay Press

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The Democratic Party’s certainly the more friendly of our two major political camps, but internal Democratic National Committee emails show how they play the gay game.

We’ve attached PDFs of two emails, both of which were turned over to the courts for the ongoing anti-gay discrimination case.

In the first communications director Karen Finney and press secretary Stacie Paxton discuss whether or not to give Deb Price access to Chairman Howard Dean. They agree Price is too risky, so they opt to give her current gay leader Brian Bond, who replaced ousted Donald Hitchcock.

The second email records an exchange between Finney, spokesman Damien Lavera and deputy finance director Julie Tagen. They’re discussing how Washington Blade shot down a feature on the DNC’s gay outreach. The staffers then debate how to get their story out.

After suggesting The Advocate and HRC’s glossy for their wide circulation, Tagen leaves it to Bond, writing: “You probably have a better sense since I tend to use The Blade and other gay papers in the bottom of the birdcage.” Nice…

DNC’s Deb Price email, DNC Blade Email

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By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Jan 10, 2008
Tagged: , , , , , , , ,
  • 27 Comments
    • Bird Lover
      Bird Lover

      “You probably have a better sense since I tend to use The Blade and other gay papers in the bottom of the birdcage.”

      don’t u?

      Jan 10, 2008 at 12:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • H'mo
      H'mo

      This is Donald and Paul’s “smoking gun”? Talk about grabbing at straws!! What’s next, a lawsuit stemming from the DNC’s refusal to provide Donald with his favorite “organic” coffee?

      So what if Ms. Tagen prefers the Post to the Blade to get her news? How does that entitle Donald and Paul to steal the money that will be used to beat the Republicans in 2008?

      Jan 10, 2008 at 12:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Trent
      Trent

      Only in the mind of a self-loathing P.O.S. who puts a political party above his own humanity would this revelation be “grabbing at straws.”

      Fucking pathetic!

      Jan 10, 2008 at 5:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      Isn’t this about The Blade thinking a little too highly of itself? Granted, I read The Blade but ever since it was run by right wing Crain, I no longer give much credibility to it or the stories it runs.

      Jan 10, 2008 at 5:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Momma
      Momma

      Trent, Trent, Trent…how can anyone appreciate your keen political insights when they are presented as the hostile rantings of a homicidal killer. By chance your last name isn’t Oswald is it?

      Jan 10, 2008 at 8:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jamon
      jamon

      I have seen other documents, this is just a WARM UP to what will be released and leaked. Their is obviously a culture of deception and retaliation. TIME TO CLEAN THE DNC HOUSE.

      Jan 10, 2008 at 11:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kcflood
      kcflood

      This is so lame and pathetic. Trying to make a fuss out of nothing, I see.

      Jan 10, 2008 at 11:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Just Looking
      Just Looking

      Much ado…really, this is the way PR works. Anyone who looks at printed media, listens to the radio, reads collateral or watches television is exposed to a communication director’s strategy of some sort. To believe otherwise is naive.

      Smart reporters know the difference between a placement and a cover up. Pity there aren’t many of them.

      Jan 11, 2008 at 5:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • libhomo
      libhomo

      Are all these people making excuses for the DNC Democratic Party staffers? The justifications really are rather silly.

      Jan 11, 2008 at 6:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wade Godot
      Wade Godot

      Ever since The Blade became a worthless conservative run gay rag, gays and straights alike do line their birdcages and litter boxes with it. What’s the fuss with that email?

      Jan 11, 2008 at 7:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • L Levi
      L Levi

      What a gratuitous degrading comment Julie Tagen makes not only about The Blade but “other gay papers”. She felt comfortable sending this email to 5 other high DCN staff. It says a lot about how our concern are shit to them.

      Jan 11, 2008 at 9:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark Segal
      Mark Segal

      It is very conceivable that the democratic Party or any other person who appreciates fair and unbiased journalism would at that point not appreciate The D.C. Blade. The Blade at that point to my understanding was more like the National enquirer or the Globe then a publication that upheld the high principals of Journalism. Gee, wasn’t this the paper that put a male hooker on it’s cover as a columnist? and that editor claimed he knows journalism. Thank the leaders of windows Media for replacing him, or was it a resignation? Anyway at that time, i’d line my birdcage with the blade….. I’t is beneficial to the entire LGBT community that it is getting back on it’s feet, and it’s long nightmare of bad editors is hopefully behind it.

      Jan 11, 2008 at 4:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jmagi
      jmagi

      This really is ridiculous. Hitchcock, et. al. need to move on. In political organizations, political decisions get made. That’s it. Perhaps it hurts people’s feelings, but that’s just what happens.

      I agree with the “grasping at straws” analogy.

      Jan 12, 2008 at 10:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bob
      Bob

      What a ridiculous joke this lawsuit is.

      Jan 12, 2008 at 10:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seitan-on-a-stick
      seitan-on-a-stick

      BirdGate? BladeGate? WindowsMediaGate? DNCGate? GayGate? TagenGate? RightwingGayGate? I want to know which Gate to close as the rising tides are seeping in to my 5th floor apartment and the New York Blade is not thick enough to form sandbags. Maybe because they have lost credibility in Mediatown: NYC. Have they fired Tagen yet? She let my cat out and he has a bird in his mouth.

      Jan 12, 2008 at 8:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cat Lover...
      Cat Lover...

      That bird was probably Republican…and got what it deserved. Let’s hope Donald and Paul are caught by the same cat! Oh, and lest we forget – we have an election to win…at all costs!!

      Jan 12, 2008 at 11:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Justin Tyme
      Justin Tyme

      Just another example of the corporatist democrats taking the GLBTQ community for granted.

      Get a clue, brothers and sisters! They don’t really care about us! All the platitudes, vote-whoring and money grabbing are aimed at one thing only: keeping a hold on power.

      With people like these in control do you really think there will be any substantive difference between a democratic administration and the current abomination we are living with?

      Jan 14, 2008 at 10:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tammye Nash
      Tammye Nash

      I am not commenting here on the DNC or on Washington Blade or Window Media.
      But I did want to point out that Window Media no longer owns any newspaper in Texas, certainly not “the big one.”
      Dallas Voice is independently owned by Robert Moore, and always has been.
      Window Media used to have a paper called Houston Voice – in Houston, of course — but it was not as large as Dallas Voice and was closed down about two years ago (I think. I am not sure when it closed, exactly).
      Just to set the record straight.
      -Tammye Nash, senior editor, Dallas Voice.

      Jan 14, 2008 at 2:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jay
      Jay

      At the time these DNC memos were written, the Washington Blade was not lorded over by the questionable Windows Media team of Chris Crain, editor, and William Waybourn, president. They’d been moved out, but their damage had been done. Anyone who lived in DC in the 80s and 90s remembers a Washington Blade that was respected around town as a deliberative and thoughtful newspaper. By the time Windows’ Crain and Waybourn were done saddling the paper with debt, it was a very light version of its former self. So, the DNC staffer’s low opinion of the Blade comes as little surprise. Then again, given Crain & Waybourn’s track record of stewardship, we’re lucky the Blade survived…their papers in Houston and New Orleans did not, and one look at the New York Blade tells you death is never too far away.

      Jan 15, 2008 at 11:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cat Lover...
      Cat Lover...

      Much Applause Jay…and to add to your comments – the Blade claims to be taking the “High Road” in this debate – FYI “Mr. Blade”, the “high road” is defined by saying nothing at all. The Times and the Post will print the negative comments they receive – but they never respond to them – also known as the “High Road” – the fact that the Blade posted a response on a blog points to their sophomoric understanding of the principles of free press and unbiased journalism. We should all boycott the Blade until journalism professionals take control and the present staff begs for jobs at MetroWeekly (no offense Metroweekly…Love you!)

      Jan 16, 2008 at 7:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jay
      Jay

      Don’t get me wrong: I think too many people at the DNC are stuck in the same mode the previous managers of the Blade were, and that is bullshit mode. In fact, we all know it’s worse among these pol hacks than among self-aggrandizing business types. I hope these guys suing the DNC win, and the DNC has to fire the hacks. But since it’s Washington, there’s probably a line outside the door of fresh hack wannabes.

      Jan 17, 2008 at 10:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • K
      K

      I’m just wondering do half the people who comment realize Julie is part of the LGBT community? Why doesn’t the blade do a story on Julie’s long history of supporting and fighting for LGBT rights on her personal time and in her career.

      Jan 17, 2008 at 11:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jay
      Jay

      So what if the DNC apparatchik is lgbt herself? The point of the lawsuit seems to be that the DNC went after a staffer because of what that staffer’s companion was saying about the DNC’s treatment of gay donors and voters.

      They targeted this Hitchcock fellow because of his partner’s critiques. So when is the DNC going to disassociate itself, now and forever more, with James Carville? His spouse spews anti-Dem nonsense for a friggin’ LIVING. What about a spousal loyalty oath up and down the DNC staff roster while we’re at it?

      They went after the guy because of what his partner had said, and as always in Washington, the coverup is worse than the crime.

      Underlying this entire matter is the DNC’s treatment of us, at the end of the day, as little more than walking ATMs.

      This debate is the same as the one going on in the progressive movement right now: BS v. grassroots. Clinton v. Obama. Bureaucratic Interest Group Orgs v. blogs. Much of the party and nonprofit establishment is a fossilized, spin-happy mess. The real action is out in parts of the country that the beltway forgot how to speak with YEARS ago. That was Paul Yandura’s point, it’s the truth, and these DNC hacks went after his partner for it. Shameful.

      Jan 17, 2008 at 12:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cat Lover...
      Cat Lover...

      All Hail Paul Yandura…PLEASE!! Spare us the sermon! Paul is a well-paid hack who uses Donald as his bitch. What is truly shameful is that D&P want DNC dollars for themselves – money raised to defeat Republicans in 2008. And if we lose – Paul and Donald will do what they have done best for years – point their fingers at the list of people they claim will have failed the Party. The first names on that list had best be their own!

      Jan 17, 2008 at 5:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • morad
      morad

      gay

      Jul 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris Crain
      Chris Crain

      Someone just forwarded me the comment train above that includes Comment #12, from Mark Segal, owner/publisher of Philadelphia Gay News. As the unnamed Blade editor so roundly condemned in his comment, I can’t resist responding….

      Mark is understandably thin-skinned about how the trained journalists who report and edit the news at the Blade have for years separated news from opinion and observed the separation of editorial and sales.

      As Mark will remind you within the first 5 seconds of practically every conversation, he is both PGN publisher and editorial czar, and as such he regularly runs roughshod over “high principals of Journalism” (otherwise known as “high principles of journalism”] by using the paper to pursue his own personal agenda, politically and financially.

      Regardless, since Mark is so “thankful” the Blade has a new editor, I’ll note in response the glaring factual error and 14 grammatical/spelling errors in his own comment:

      It is very conceivable that the democratic [sic] Party or any other person [sic] who appreciates fair and unbiased journalism would at that point not appreciate The D.C. Blade [sic]. The Blade at that point to my understanding was more like the National enquirer [sic] or the Globe then [sic] a publication that upheld the high principals [sic] of Journalism [sic and very ironic!!]. Gee, wasn’t this the paper that put a male hooker on it’s [sic] cover as a columnist [wrong!]? and [sic] that editor claimed he knows journalism. Thank the leaders of windows [sic] Media for replacing him, or was it a resignation? Anyway at that time, i’d [sic] line my birdcage with the blade [sic]….. I’t [sic] is beneficial to the entire LGBT community that it is getting back on it’s feet, and it’s [sic] long nightmare of bad editors is hopefully behind it.

      Remind me again who needs a better editor?

      Dec 14, 2008 at 4:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris Crain
      Chris Crain

      For those interested in whether the Washington Blade’s coverage of Howard Dean, the DNC and Donald Hitchock’s lawsuit has been fair and met “high principals of Journalism,” as Mark Segal puts it, there is a full review here.

      Dec 14, 2008 at 5:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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