After Brad Luna and Trevor Thomas quit the Human Rights Campaign’s public relations department, it left Michael Cole (job title: “new media director”; pictured) to shush critics of the organization. Like he tried doing yesterday when news leaked that HRC had backtracked on a commitment to pay for a bus to bring gay military vets to D.C. on Veterans Lobby Day. But, what’s this? Cole completely misrepresented the situation?
This isn’t called “spin.” It is, as blogger Pam Spaulding reveals, called “lying.”
An email from HRC’s Marty Rouse — the stand-up guy who has also used electronic mail technology to write about how deceased activist Harry Wieder had an “awful body odor” — sent Tuesday night, with the subject “Cost Controls” and sent to some 10 HRC and Servicemembers United staffers, reads:
Just wanted to make sure you are all aware that HRC will not be paying for breakfast on Monday or any transportation in DC area (no buses to/from Pentagon or either hotel, no reimbursement of metro or taxis to/from hotels or elsewhere). Our understanding is that SU will be providing breakfast on Monday at SU offices for vets going to the WH or Pentagon.
[The notion that the busing issue occurred “last night”] is not true, according to my source because the bus question did not just pop up anew the previous night; it was brought up in the beginning and discussed numerous times over the past two months. Only now did HRC reverse course on cutting out the bus to transport the vets to the Pentagon despite the fact that the email shows that they had certainly decided to cut it and announced this decision via email to 10 people. Note the topic of the email – “cost controls.”
Also, I was told that nine or 10 people were also present at the recent meeting at which Rouse announced the news that they were now going to add in a Tuesday evening reception at the HRC building for HRC board, steering committee, and regular members who are in DC during the Veterans Lobby Days. Now that the budget for the veterans bus has been restored as a result of the controversy that erupted, there has been talk of canceling or reframing the Tuesday evening members reception.
We already know the Human Rights Campaign actively avoids the transparency we’ve so long demanded. And now we know they misrepresent even the most trivial of facts. Cole, meanwhile, is the editor of HRC’s blog HRC Back Story. Should we expect him to be perpetuating further lies there? When HRC finally gets around to sharing what was accomplished when it spent 25 percent of 2009 at the White House, should you believe them?
You’re going to get an email from them in about 10 minutes asking you to donate money. Rest assured, it’s not going toward petrol.