UPDATED: Blogs Are “Not Allowed” (OR ARE THEY?) at Westfield Mall’s Photo Op for Target Store in San Francisco
UPDATE, 1:00pm PST: Okay, let’s make it even clearer: apparently it wasn’t the Mayor’s Office’s fault. Apparently someone thought that we had been allowed in when in fact we hadn’t. So, whose fault is it that we weren’t allowed into a public event? Who cares! The point is that we still don’t have answers to our questions about Target. Still digging away on that one. Will let you know what we hear.
UPDATE, 12:10pm PST: We just got a very nice call from Peter, apologizing for our lack of access. The Mayor’s Office [UPDATE: Or maybe not the Mayor’s Office, but someone] was apparently supposed let us in to the press conference, but we never heard from them. Still waiting to hear some more specific answers to our questions, but we’ll let you know more as we hear it.
UPDATE, 12:30PM PST: The event appeared on Mayor Lee’s calendar as a “public event,” which means that anyone who showed up should have been allowed to attend. But that wasn’t the case: lots of people were being turned away at the door. But anyway, let’s not be distracted by the point of all this: getting answers about whether this new Target is an anti-gay Trojan horse in the middle of downtown SF.
When we caught wind that the Westfield Mall’s Metreon in San Francisco was holding a photo-op for their impending new Target store, we thought, “great! Perfect opportunity to get Target on the record about whether they’ll bring their anti-gay political donations to San Francisco.”
Oh, but alas, it was not to be. First, when we showed up to the event, they gently asked us to leave. We weren’t on the press list, you see.
Next, we called the Westfield’s PR guy, Peter Bartelme. When we said, “Queerty, a national LGBT blog,” there was a pause. “Can I call you back?” he asked.
Two minutes later, he did. “We’re not allowing bloggers to cover the event,” he said, but added that he’d be happy to send us some background information and some photos. [UPDATE: See above for Peter’s subsequent apology.]
So there you have it. Want some cheap soap? You’re in luck! Want to know why we keep electing politicians who won’t let you get married? Well, move along, nothing to see here.
It’s a real shame, because we had some great questions for San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Target spokeswoman Donna Egan, both of whom were at the event. Among them:
- Do San Franciscans have any assurance that the money they spend at Target will not be used to support the campaigns of anti-LGBT politicians?
- When evaluating potential recipients of political donations, does Target consider those recipients’ policies regarding LGBTs?
- Has Target ever disqualified a politician from receiving a political donation on the basis of their policies regarding LGBTs?
- How will Target support the LGBT community in San Francisco, particularly given the financial near-collapse of SF Pride?
We have calls and emails in to the Westfield, to Target, and to the Mayor’s office. We’ll let you know if they allow themselves to respond. But for now, Westfield’s as off-limits to bloggers as Target is to gays. [UPDATE: According to Peter, it was a lapse in communication by someone else, and not the Westfield’s fault.]