The war of words continues between homo-journo Doug Ireland and CBS on Logo’s Jason Bellini.
The battle began earlier this week when we published Ireland’s scathing letter to Bellini in which he likened Bellini’s brand of news to “show biz fluff”. The accusations were specifically with regard to Logo’s year-end spectacular.
Bellini was not amused, but stayed relatively amiable in his response. He explained that the stories were chosen by National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, not Logo. Bellini went on to Logo’s journalistic nose.
Ireland still doesn’t like what he smells. He does, however, claim to appreciate Bellini, but definitely has issue with Logo’s “corporate” nature. We’ve reprinted his lengthy rebuttal after the jump…
I’m unimpressed with your statement that you took a poll of members of the NLGJA. What questions were asked? Were they asked to nominate stories for inclusion in your broadcast, or were they given a list of stories to choose from? How many responded? From what media? Surveys of this sort can be manipulated to achieve the results wanted by those who pay for them. Will you release the full results of the survey so people may judge for themselves?
In my note to you, I said it was shocking to speak of Ahmadinejad without mentioning his lethal campaign against LGBT people days after
21-year-old Makwan’s execution for sodomy. I didn’t say, but should have, that it was positively sickening for the broadcast you host to instead budget time to include the witless segment with Judy Gold making an unfunny joke about the lack of homosexual hairdressers in Iran accounting for Ahmadinejad’s look — a piece of vulgar, stereotypic, leaden, and tasteless “humor” that wasn’t even original with Gold, who plagiarized the joke from the endlessly-homophobic Jay Leno, who told it at the time of Ahmadinejad’s New York visit.
Did you and your colleagues do a better job in other segments in that broadcast? Well, let’s take your segment on the House passage of a version of ENDA that excluded the transgendered and gender identity from protection against discrimination. That bill occasioned a nationwide debate in the gay community the likes of which we haven’t seen in many, many years — and cause a split between HRC, which was caught lying to the LGBT community repeatedly, and the 350-plus LGBT organizations — including most other national, nearly every state, and a great many local and minority and special category LGBT groups. Independent public opinion polls — not the cooked one which HRC paid for — showed that a majority of gay people SUPPORTED the idea of not passing ENDA unless it included all members of the LGBT community. Yet neither this fact, nor United ENDA, were mentioned in your segment.
In fact, this is a good example of what’s wrong with LOGO’s programming. Why couldn’t the network have found time for a round-table debate about the ENDA issue that would have mirrored the vigorous and extensive debate taking place in the community? The production costs of such a debate would have been next to nothing — invite people with different points of view on an exclusionary versus non-exclusionary ENDA, put them in chairs, and let them go at one another for an hour. I’d wager it would even have been exciting and passionate television. But nooooooo…. LOGO’s feel-good approach to programming doesn’t allow for such serious discussion of a debate that
really was quite unprecedented in the gay community.
You say that you broadcast “an in-depth investigative report from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on the perils of being gay in Iran.” But, Jason, you don’t mention that you slashed the original broadcast to ribbons and truncated until it was so brief as to be unrecognizable as the original. For example, the CBC report featured as its centerpiece underground gay activist Mani, then the health secretary of the Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization (now the Iranian Queer Organization), whom I’d interviewed at length for Gay City News two years ago. Mani is not only courageous but an articulate fellow, and his comments in the CBC documentary were riveting.
In LOGO’s dwarfed version of the CBC report, Mani appeared on screen for only a few seconds. Anyone wishing to judge for themselves the vast difference between your oh-so-brief, “in-depth” version and the original CBC broadcast can find a link to the original version on the website of the L.A.-based Iranian gay group Homan here.
Of course, by the time you got around to airing your little clip from the CBC broadcast, which originally made their air last February, the
broadcast was already way out of date, and Mani had fled the country in fear of his life — indeed, Mani was in Canada, where he could easily have been interviewed by LOGO for your air at any time to discuss what’s going on in Iran now, as could Arsham Parsi — executive director of the Iranian Queer Organization — who’s also been granted asylum in Canada as a sexual refugee from persecution. Yet you’ve never interviewed him either. And your on-air mention of Makwan’s execution came only AFTER my note of protest to you which upbraided LOGO for not breathing one single word about Iranian executions in its segment on Ahmadinejad on the broadcast you hosted.
In your original reply to my note to you — as opposed to the later one you wrote purely to pass on to Queerty — you admitted, in reference to your broadcast’s treatment of Iran, that “perhaps we missed an opportunity” and that “upon reflection, I agree we could have done better.”
I don’t find you personally a bad fellow, and I think you have a better social conscience than those of your corporate bosses and producers — but what’s on offer on air on LOGO, I still maintain, is unbearably fluffy. Ed Murrow — who would be turning over in his grave at seeing what has become of the CBS news division he’d built into the gold standard for TV broadcast news — once said that TV is “the greatest classroom in the world.” Most of the time, unfortunately, LOGO resembles a kindergarten playground. The stereotype says that gay people are supposed to be more creative and smarter than those who aren’t. LOGO certainly belies that stereotype.
Shouldn’t a gay network be different, and better, than the infotainment one finds on the “straight” commercial networks, instead of
imitating their lowest common denominator? I’m sure that, in your heart of hearts, you agree with that too.
Spot on Doug!!!!
We are supposed to be ‘grateful’ for the dumbed down corporate crap Viacom/CBS feeds us on Logo.
Thank you Mr. Ireland. It’s nice to see cooler heads prevail. I would have settled for a fist full of bloody blonde highlighted curls.
Well put, Doug Ireland!
I make that Ireland 2, Bellini 0
i have to say that this is pretty ballsy. i DO think that we, as a community, deserve a finer quality of news than what Logo/CBS/Mtv/Viacom is providing us.
i think we are better than that shit, and the powers that be should recognize that.
hells kitchen guy
I just looked at a clip from Bellini. What an idiot. He has as much gravitas as a methed-out go-go boy.
I have yet to ever read anything positive that Mr. Ireland has had to say about any gay television network. Yes, he bashed the shit out of me and my show but my god….who hasn’t? I have watched gay TV news shows be developed and shot. It is complicated and very expensive, not to mention groundbreaking.
I have, in the past made positive and negative comments about LOGO. Burning bridges is a lifestyle choice for me.
However, LOGO has always…..always been open to meeting with me and hearing my pitches.
I would assume that they would offer the same to Mr. Ireland. So perhaps instead of sitting on the sidelines making judgement calls, he should take a more pro-active stance and develop/produce/write/create what he thinks would be a successful viable news product for the network.
hells kitchen guy
Gee, Jack, suck up much?
no sadly i don’t…….i call ’em as i see ’em and that is why i am the bologna on the gay tv food chain.
you must admit this is a great opportunity for mr ireland to make use of this dialogue to better televised gay news if he has the talent.
hells kitchen guy
Jack: But he’s not a newscaster. Look at that mug – a behind-the-scenes guy for sure. I think his heart’s in the right place, and that Logo is lame. You’re entitled to disagree.
Jack- So nobody should criticize Logo? They should only offer to make it better?
I’m sorry, I don’t agree. I think Ireland has every right to express his opinion, even if he did bash your show (which I miss being able to watch by the way). You’re right that it would be great if he could make Logo better. All positive action is wonderful, but there is also a place for criticism.
You are right. My point is that anyone with who is gay and has a creative bone in their body should exercise that right to create. We haven’t always had gay tv. This is a great time. Everyone is experimenting and not all networks are open to creative imput.
Mr. Ireland got a response which is more than he would get at most networks. He has a career as a writer. He is part of a successful online gay online news.
One can do a search for jack jett and logo and see that I have done my fair share of bashing their choice of shows and especially when they were showing Priscilla Queen of the Dessert on a loop.
So yes, critique, and go beyond. God gave us the creative gene in place of automobile engine know how.
LOGO’s programming in general continues to disappoint.
Logo’s so-called *news* reminds me of Saturday morning *kiddie* news broadcasts.
But then again, all network news, including the 24/7 news agencies blow these days … which is why I get all of my information from the internet and if I want to get the scoop on world news I look outside of the US for it.
“Jack: But heâ€™s not a newscaster. Look at that mug – a behind-the-scenes guy for sure. I think his heartâ€™s in the right place, and that Logo is lame. Youâ€™re entitled to disagree.”
While Ireland may not be the prettiest, I didn’t see too many people wanting to fuck Edward R. Murrow. Maybe the problem is that the queers (along with most of society) would rather a pretty face spouting fluff than a not-so-pretty face actually delivering the news.
Oh, btw, I have met Bellini and he’s a hottie who I think is probably smarter than this. Also, AC is a hottie who gets good stories. I think the problem really is that corporations only want to market to the queers and do not generally respect the real issues facing the queers in this country and around the world. So long as this superficial bullshit is allowed to pass for ‘news’, we get nowhere on the issues.
I have many creative bones in my body and i can’t seem to get ANYWHERE (oddly, my rent doesn’t get paid with paintings, poetry, love in my heart, or a pocket full of dreams).
Jackie J is right however… one can complain, or one can lead by example. Ireland may not have the “mug” for television, all he needs to do is create an environment with more journalistic integrity with less fluff. it’s not that hard to do, actually. if the Daily Show can do it for humor, and Queerty does with opinion, then a small team of people can do it for a gay news presentation.
the problem is getting the powers that be to accept something gay and “serious”… everyone loves gay and upbeat, gay and funny, gay and silly, gay and fluffy, gay and dramady, but networks still shy away from gay and real.
Ireland could easily come up with a a team, a website, grab a camera, a good looking chicken boy with a brain who is articulate (i HAVE found a few), and start a web-broadcast news report and present what he feels is decent journalism. this is ONE of MANY ways Ireland could change the world of gay journalism if he chose to… and i, for one, would support it fully.
Tried to read Ireland’s reponse but too many big words made me tired and …. oooh look! Pretty puppies with shiny collars!!!! By the way, who is this EDNA lady and why does everyone want to pass her?
Isn’t Ireland already a journalist, and thus theoretically already presenting what he feels is decent journalism?
Where do you guys live that it’s so easy to grab a camera & a chicken boy (gross imagery, by the way), & start your own personal gay news tv show?
Where do you guys live that itâ€™s so easy to grab a camera & a chicken boy (gross imagery, by the way), & start your own personal gay news tv show?
….between a gay bar and a circuit city.
wow… hisurfer… where do you live that you CAN’T?? eek!
actually hisurfer – you shouldn’t take everything i say so literal – as it was an expressive comparison to the current Logo “everything is pretty with pretty colors” news program.
the point wasn’t who was in front of the camera – the point is that there should be people BEHIND the camera with journalistic integrity toward our community running the show. good people who run things well produce a fine product. greedy people who run things badly will produce… Major League Baseball….
Logo News would be able to do more in-depth coverage if it were on more than one night a week and reliably on every week.
The idiot executives at Logo have no clue how to program a network. They cancel everything good, have no talk shows or good reality shows. They re-run everything to death. What about a daily soap? I watch Bravo more than Logo. It really is sad.
I’ve been waiting for gay network all my life and I rarely watch it. Why?
And we know what LOGO stands for “Lesbians over Gays Okay!”
MoonFire Tower says: “I may just be a Tranny- Hooker,” but this Doug Ireland makes a lot of sense. He’s adorable to boot, maybe he should be doing the programing at the above mentioned network.
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