Watch: Jon Stewart Mocks Media Coverage of Wisconsin Protests


Naive news media outlets are comparing the Wisconsin labor protests to the uprising against oppressive regimes in the Middle East, and right-wing news outlets are turning them into the "Bizarro Tea Party".

Jon Stewart looks at Wisconsin's 'Revenge of the Curds', AFTER  THE JUMP


Towleroad News #gay

—  David Taffet

GOProud’s thanks for giving CPAC more coverage than it ever has? A swift curb kick, natch

According to WorldNetDaily (so make of it what you will), organizers have already chosen to strip gay conservative group GOProud from next year’s CPAC convention:

a source has confirmed that a board vote has been taken that will realign plans for those who participate [in CPAC] next year to exclude homosexual advocacy, although details had not been released.

A spokeswoman at the ACU promised WND a statement regarding the new position, but it had not arrived yet.

GOProud out at annual summit of conservatives [WND]




The big question: Why do these gays wanna “GO” at all?


*Chris Barron just told radio host Michelangelo Signorile that this report is “patently false,” comparing WND to The Onion. That last point is valid, and we certainly don’t treat WND as anything close to credible. But “ACU promised WND a statement” goes beyond typical far-right spin. It’s not opinion journalism: It either is or it isn’t, regardless of who reports it. So stay tuned to see if the statement materializes.


**UPDATE: The aforementioned Signorile interview got CRAZY heated, and Mike hung up on Chris. We’ll try to get audio.

Good As You

—  David Taffet

DADT Vote News Coverage

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Live 9AM ET: PHB coverage of Senate debate on DADT

The Blend welcomes Sue Fulton and JD Smith as commentators who will liveblog the Senate debate involving DADT repeal. They will be here today and tomorrow.

The URL for the CoverItLive console is  

Sue Fulton is the Chair of Knights Out – 1980 graduate of West Point, former Army Captain and company commander.

JD Smith is the active duty co-director of OutServe. A graduate of a U.S. service academy. “JD Smith” is a pseudonym since he is currently an active-duty officer.

Note: Comments will be disabled in CoverItLive, but readers are welcome to use this blog entry to post your thoughts/reactions. If you want to see what people are tweeting about DADT, we’ve included that stream on the right.

Video feed is here:

It is also below the fold so you can watch and comment.


Pam Spaulding: This event is now live. Reader comments are disabled for the time being to allow producer commentary until break.


Jd Smith: Everyone is filtering into room now. Not many seats to watch.


Pam Spaulding: Thanks for doing this, JD!


Jd Smith: Sitting next to lt col fehrenbach, Jonathan Hopkins, Tony woods.


Jd Smith: Code pink has started to hold up signs.


Jd Smith: They say “repeal dadt”


Jd Smith: No problem Pam! Hope you feel better!


Jd Smith: Code pink has stood up with signs now. Secretary gates is here


Louise: Good morning, all, and thank you!


Jd Smith: McCain has just showed up


Louise:… A link to videofeed.


Jd Smith: Code pink has sat down in audience. Security is talking to them now


Pam Spaulding: Hi Louise. I will add that link to the post that is now up:…


Sue Fulton: Hey everybody. Tech-challenged, but I’m here now.


Sue Fulton: Quick bio on me: West Point ’80 grad. Company commander in Germany. Witch-hunted under the old gay ban, but managed not to get kicked out. Resigned on my own in 1986. Helped found Knights Out in 2009; currently I am the Chair.


Sue Fulton: In today’s hearing, all four of those testifying are in favor of repeal (tomorrow, not so much…)


Sue Fulton: We can expect Ham to give a strong defense of the Working Group report; to some extent he will also defer to the SecDef (“We did exactly what the SecDef charged us to do”).


Jd Smith: I obviously can’t see cspan, are the hearings now being broadcasted?


Sue Fulton: It will also be interesting to see if they ask Ham (he and civilian Jeh Johnson) co-chaired the Working Group) directly about his personal views, it will be interesting.


Louise: Yes they are, JD; I found a link to the video and we’ve got it posted on the Blend.


Sue Fulton: Yes, the broadcast started when Sen Levin started speaking.


Sue Fulton: Sen Levin is in process of the intro, praising the report and focusing on the 92% message, i.e., those servicemembers who know they’ve served with gay troops think there’s no problem.

Levin: “In other words, real experience is a powerful antidote to the stereotypes” that create so much discomfort among some troops.


Jd Smith: The 92% point in the survey that says 92% of straight service members that have known someone that is gay in their unit and found it to be ok Is a huge positive talking point in this debate.


Jd Smith: McCain looks angry.


Sue Fulton: Expect McCain and his cronies to focus on the 30% of troops – 40% of Marines, even higher among combat Marines – who said they thought repeal would negatively impact readiness.


Sue Fulton: Towards the end of the Working Group’s report, they made two points clearly focused at McCain: 1) the report is NOT biased by the views of SecDef and Obama; and 2) we didn’t ask whether SHOULD DADT be repealed (as McCain said they should) because we don’t make decisions by referendum, but we did find out that we CAN.


Sue Fulton: And now McCain is going RIGHT AFTER that second point


Sue Fulton: McCain says that Congress must answer the question SHOULD DADT be repealed.


Pam Spaulding: CSPAN Video: The video is now embedded on the Blend as well.…


Sue Fulton: Now McCain is going to try to delay… “There’s more than 1500 pages and 72,000 comments” that they have to review


Jd Smith: Here we go, McCain going after the 28% only filling out survey. Palm center put out a great memo to respond to this argument. Can someone post that link?


Louise: Let me find it, JD; will post ASAP.


Sue Fulton: McCain is now bringing up “only 28%” responded. Palm Center deftly took this apart with a scholarly analysis. This number is at least at the average of email survey responses. Check it at…




Jd Smith: You should see the reaction of servicemembers right now in audience. McCain is insulting us all right now.


Sue Fulton: “This debate is focused on our military and its effectiveness”

McCain is ending on a note of, this is too controversial to address in our military at a time of two wars.

He ends “one of our highest responsibilities is to our men and women in the Armed Services” – though apparently not the gay ones.


Jd Smith: Everyone in audience laughed at McCain when he said to put politics aside


Sue Fulton: Secy Gates is on now.


Sue Fulton: Gates: “This … is not a poll. The Commander in Chief made his position clear.”


Code Pink demonstration moments ago


Sue Fulton: Go Code Pink!


Jd Smith: That’s Chris neff smiling from the palm center.


Sue Fulton: “Existing laws should be applied equally” – t will be interesting to see if the billeting and showers issue will be brought up. I kind of hope it will, because I believe Mullen and/or Ham can handle that neatly.


Jd Smith: Potentially dangerous!?!?


Sue Fulton: In Tuesday’s press conference, Ham addressed that billeting concerns/issues will continue to be handled at the low-level commander issue, not by policy.


Jd Smith: The British military integrated gays by a court decision. So it can change overnight.


Sue Fulton: Gates is making one of HIS biggest concerns now – we don’t want this to happen in the courts, we want it legislatively so we can do it our way.


Sue Fulton: Don’t agree with him that that’s necessary – JD, you’re right – but this could be persuasive for moderate Repubs.


Jd Smith: It’s really cold in this room (well I’m cold)


Jd Smith: Gates is making an important point now that he did this before with the CIA


Sue Fulton: Now he’s taking a little credit for tightening the procedures on enforcing DADT, that he’s “added a measure of commonsense and decency to a legally and morally fraught process” – that last phrase is pretty damn strong.


Sue Fulton: Mullen is going right after the % of combat troops who are resistant


Jd Smith: McCain is smiling at ADM Mullens comments. Specifically at the part where Mullen said it’s fact now.


Sue Fulton: This is a good strategy. He’s going to handle this.


Sue Fulton: Mullen “Knowing [you’ve served with someone gay ] means a lot.”


Sue Fulton: Mullen is not speaking in soundbites, but this is eloquent and moving. “It may be the combat arms community” that does the best job implementing this change “disciplined as they are.”


Sue Fulton: Mullen is talking about foreign military experience He acknowledges that their military is not as challenged as ours, but he dismisses that.”gay or straight, they have fought with our troops, and bled with them.”


Sue Fulton: Mullen is impressive. Gates comes off as a polished politician; Mullen comes off as a leader. McCain should be shaking in his loafers.


Sue Fulton: Mullen is clarifying, it’s all about effective leadership. This is perfect. Positions opponents as lacking confidence in leaders throughout the military.

he quotes a Marine: “If that’s what the president orders, I can tell you by God, we’re going to outpace the other services in getting it done.”


Sue Fulton: Now Mullen is echoing Gates’s point – don’t let this happen in the courts.


Jd Smith: I’m very impressed my ADM Mullen right now.


Sue Fulton: “War… does not make change harder – it facilitates it.”


Sue Fulton: “Knowing something to be true…about some of their colleages will not take away” from troops’ readiness and ability to fight. – Mullen


Sue Fulton: OOH – slap down to John McCain for calling him “political”


Sue Fulton: This is the right thing to do for our military, our nation, and our collective honor.


Sue Fulton: Ham: short and sweet. Holding his powder for the responses. My guess is he will be the target of most of the questioning.


Sue Fulton: Jeh Johnson – the chief lawyer for DoD. Four-star equivalent.


Sue Fulton: Ham is an Infantry guy, solid command experience. Had battalion command in Macedonia during the mess there.…


Sue Fulton: Johnson is outlining the risk of letting this happen in the courts.


Sue Fulton: Clear that they are all standing by the merits of the study – but they know their best strategic angle is, do this in Congress or the courts will do it, and we don’t want that.


Sue Fulton: Passing repeal legislatively allows repeal “…on our terms, on our timetable, on the advice of our senior military leadership.”


Sue Fulton: I disagree with this notion that this could be done with a stroke of the pen, that all these policies need to be handled – but I see the strategy.


Jd Smith: Wow.


Sue Fulton: Cool – so they’ve positioned Johnson as the guy to answer the legal questions only.


Louise: Now McCain is trying to block by suggesting MORE hearings? Good lord is he DESPERATE!!


Sue Fulton: McCain already starting his strategy, we need more time.


Sue Fulton: Louise – dead right.


Sue Fulton: He clearly thinks this is his best strategy – delay. Shocker.


Louise: My deep deep respect for those in the room, that they are not standing and screaming at McCain. I am sitting here in Maine and apoplectic!


Sue Fulton: JD, what is the reaction like in the room?


Jd Smith: Dang. Secretary gates shuts McCain down


Sue Fulton: Guaranteed McCain will bring this up over and over –


Jd Smith: The audience is all laughing about going from 5-6 minutes


Sue Fulton: Six-minute question rounds instead of five.


Jd Smith: The audience got very angry. And even The press seemed to negatively react to McCain suggesting more hearings.


Sue Fulton: Levin is trying to make the point that these guys considered the views of the service chiefs – trying to mitigate the problems we will hear tomorrow from them. Clumsily, I might add. I mean, I love Levin, but hey.


Pam Spaulding: McCain is an embarrassment.


Sue Fulton: McCain vs Mullen/Ham is the headline event. I think the officers will win in a TKO.


Sue Fulton: He asked Ham’s personal opinion about repeal, not about homosexuality. Wrong question, Senator.


Sue Fulton: McCain is coming across as bitchy.


Sue Fulton: But maybe that’s just me.


Sue Fulton: McCain is quoting 265,000 troops “will leave the military” if DADT repealed. Gates is pointing out that Aussie and Brit surveys had similar results, and it never happened. McCain will respond about how much braver and stronger (and more homophobic) our troops are… j.k.


Sue Fulton: OMIGOD, he’s pointing to the gay guy for WikiLeaks!!!! McCain is TRULY desperate.


Sue Fulton: Ran out of time, but he’s trying to pin WikiLeaks on the gays.


Jd Smith: The room really started to turn on McCain when he started to talk about wki leaks


Sue Fulton: Lieberman is up. He’s making the case, whether the law should be repealed is up to Congress. In making the case, as long as the law CAN be repealed, Congress should act in the interests of justice. Not a bad point, but as a Jon Stewart devotee, I can never listen to Lieberman without hearing Deputy Dawg…


Louise: I am just astounded at that by McCain, Sue. Almost as astounded as I am at finding myself saying “ATTA BOY!” at Joe Lieberman…


Sue Fulton: The wikileaks point was nasty politics.



Sue Fulton: JD, how many uniforms in the room outside those supporting the witnesses and members? do you sense pro or con?


Sue Fulton: Lieberman is trying to make the point that DADT is bad for the military, but focused on 14K kicked out. Mullen is talking about recruiting and retention – which is good.


Sue Fulton: The RAND study! Great.

Lieberman quoting from a gay servicemember, making the point that there won’t be huge numbers of people coming out, much less “flaunting” as some seem to be so concerned about.


Jd Smith: Must not be too important to McCain. He’s left the hearings


Jd Smith: Something must be more important


Sue Fulton: At McCain’s age, you can’t go an hour without a bathroom. No insult, I’m just sayin’.


Sue Fulton: Lieberman: “DADT is a stain on the honor of our military.”


Louise: True, plus one never knows who McCain is talking w/out there and getting his next batch of talking points from. Just sayin’.


Sue Fulton: Why, Elaine! so nice to see you! 😉


Louise: lol- yup!


Sue Fulton: Inhofe is back to the retention and recruitment issues. But if this is their only point, they’re dead in the water.


Sue Fulton: Mullen is being very reasonable: there are lots of reasons why servicemembers stay in or get out. He’s going back to the 92% point, quite effectively.


Sue Fulton: Inhofe: why did only x% respond? Mullen: by every scholarly view, this was an extraordinary response level.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Suicide Coverage: Caution is Warranted If We’re Serious About Prevention

(Trigger warning: If you're in tender space related to suicide, grieving, recovering, or feeling vulnerable, feel free to move on.)

Cindi E Deutschman-Ruiz published a well-researched article in 2003: Reporting on Suicide.  One of the resources she used was a World Health Organization document, from which she drew these points:

  • Suicide is never the result of a single incident.
  • Details of the method or the location a suicide victim uses may lead to copycat suicides.
  • It's vital to use statistics and mental health information very carefully.
  • Suicide coverage is an opportunity to provide the public with information and resources that could save lives.

Of particular interest in the context of youth suicides after bullying, from the WHO doc (emphasis mine):

Overall, there is enough evidence to suggest that some forms of non-fictional newspaper and television coverage of suicide are associated with a statistically significant excess of suicide; the impact appears to be strongest among young people.

Repeated and continual coverage of suicide tends to induce and promote suicidal preoccupations, particularly among adolescents and young adults.

 A couple of quick points here:

  • I detest the term copycat suicide.  To me, it marginalizes the very real pain a suicide victim experienced, implying that they just wanted to be trendy. The more accurate term is suicide contagion.
  • I lost my partner Dale to suicide a decade ago, so the lessons learned which inform the following are borne of real, raw experience.

What does this mean to us as we grieve the loss of too many young lives where bullying has contributed, and press for bullying and suicide prevention?  I have more questions than easy answers, after the jump.

Never the result of a single incident

The WHO expands on the concept:

[Suicide] is usually always caused by a complex interaction of many factors such as mental and physical illness, family disturbances, interpersonal conflicts and life stressors.

This certainly isn't the way we've often acknowledged youth suicide lately where bullying has been a factor, right?

  • GLSEN refers to [name redacted by me]'s suicide due to bullying.
  • Equality Forum's press release yesterday: It is estimated that about 500 gay teens each year or 40 gay teens per month take their lives as a result of homophobia. 
  • Karen Ocamb: Another Teen Commits Suicide Because of Bullying
  • Americablog Gay: …the horrible suicide of gay teenager [name redacted] due to bullying…

I'm not picking on these good folks, as much as noting that bullying-triggers-suicide seems to be an accepted, little-questioned meme.

I'm also not denying that bullying has been a significant contributor to the deaths of youth and young adults by suicide.

But we need to ask ourselves, Is suicide after bullying distinct from other suicide?  Is there evidence to suggest that bullying is a more unitary cause or a more direct trigger than other contributors?

Checking in with experts on the evidence.'s Emily Bazelon published an in-depth piece about a young woman lost to suicide that I won't link to out of personal discomfort with investigative reporting on suicide victims.  Public health social worker Elana Premack Sandler has written about the Slate piece, though:

The truth about bullying and suicide
Why suicide is never simple

She had earlier quoted a parent whose son died in 2003:

“I want to be very clear. I don't blame Ryan's suicide on one single person or one single event. In the end, Ryan was suffering from depression. This is a form of mental illness that is brought on by biological and/or environmental factors. In Ryan's case, I feel it was the ‘pile on effect' of the environmental issues mentioned above that stemmed from his middle school life.

“We have no doubt that bullying and cyber bullying were significant environmental factors…”

While she noted:

We can't say, empirically, that bullying causes suicide.

Discussing the Slate piece, Premack Sandler concludes (emphasis mine):

As much as it's been beneficial to have [name redacted]'s story in the media as a way of raising awareness about teen suicide prevention […] and as much as linking bullying to suicide helps both kids who are bullied and kids who are suicidal, the simplification – that bullying was the cause of [redacted]'s death – has been a problem for suicide prevention. Suicide as an outcome is never simple.

The evidence-based answer

So, we've got a painful, uncomfortable, answer to the question: Suicide after bullying is not something set apart, simpler, or more easily prevented than suicide in general.  In fact, while increasing awareness of bullying and suicide is helping, some of the most vulnerable in our families and communities may be harmed by the use of an oversimplified bullying-causes-suicide meme.

My perspective as a layperson

I wrote yesterday from a more personal, less evidence-based POV at my blog.

One of my observations as a SOLOS (Survivor Of a Loved One's Suicide) is that distorted thinking seems to be an essential contributor to suicide.  And, one of the common distorted thoughts of suicide victims is that dying by suicide will serve a greater good than living would have.  It strikes me as essential, when we're talking about suicide and bullying, to call this out as false. As Deutschman-Ruiz wrote in 2003:

Suicide is not a rational act.  It is an act of desperation, carried out after a monumental struggle.

In the middle of the monumental struggles of many more than those we have lost to suicide, it seems to me we need to be thoughtful about how we memorialize victims.  (I consider suicide victims to be primarily the victims of mental illness, complicated by other factors.)  While we do everything possible to honor them and draw strength and motivation to eliminate bullying and promote good mental health, it's crucial that we're not inadvertantly contributing to the already-distorted thinking of other folks of any age who are suffering or living with despair.

One layperson's language preferences

Where do we go from here?   I don't have easy answers.  I'm not a journalist or a suicide expert.  I don't want to see a new wave of politically-correct language police rise up and nitpick writings on suicide.

So, my preferences don't carry any more weight than the thoughts of one guy who has a heart for youth and adults who are struggling.

But, here they are:

  • De-couple bullying and suicide.  At best, describe suicide as following bullying, or where bullying appears to have been a factor. Retire the word bullycide permanently.
  • Minimize/downplay suicide methods.  The death indicates severe desperation was at play; the choice of method neither adds or subtracts, and talking it up may contribute to contagion.
  • Drop “committed.”  People commit to jobs or relationships, or commit crime or heroic acts. Saying that my partner Dale died by suicide states the fact without judgment.
  • Honor the victims' lives: We needed you with us longer. We would change it if we could.  Speak to them as we would those who are still with us but struggling.
  • Empathize with families and loved ones: We cannot imagine your pain.
  • Take responsibility: We, as your community, may have failed you in some fashion, given the collapse of your mental health.
  • De-couple memorializing and advocacy: Use limited photos and details when expressing condolences or memorials; swap in statistics and evidence whenever workable while pressing for change.

LGBTQ communities have a terrific opportunity related to suicide.  Like awareness of HIV and open, nonjudgmental discussion of sexual health issues has exploded because of our communities' legacies, we have an opportunity to promote awareness of comprehensive mental health. Coming out, surviving, and thriving had propelled a lot of us to get evidenced-based mental health care.

It's time to continue dismantling stigma and stereotypes by promoting the fact that comprehensive mental health care saves lives.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Fair and Balanced Twitter Coverage of Daylight Savings Time

And to think people are saying the parties have polarized and politicized the county on everything. Night.

Screen shot 2010-11-07 at 1.52

Screen shot 2010-11-07 at 1.51




Screen shot 2010-11-07 at 1.51


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

The Blend’s Twitter coverage of The Rally To Restore Sanity

Not attending the Rally to Restore Sanity? The Village Voice’s Steven Thrasher dropped me a note to say is Tweeting it from the time he hops on the HuffPo bus to The Daily Show event, until…I guess his cell phone dies, or he gets back home, whichever comes first.

Anyway, take a look in the left PHB column and you’ll see a widget following his (@steven_thrasher) as well as the official Tweets from The Daily Show (@rally4sanity).

More about the rally:

“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

Who among us has not wanted to open their window and shout that at the top of their lungs?

Seriously, who?

Because we’re looking for those people. We’re looking for the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard; and who believe that the only time it’s appropriate to draw a Hitler mustache on someone is when that person is actually Hitler. Or Charlie Chaplin in certain roles.

Are you one of those people? Excellent. Then we’d like you to join us in Washington, DC on October 30 – a date of no significance whatsoever – at the Daily Show’s “Rally to Restore Sanity.”

Ours is a rally for the people who’ve been too busy to go to rallies, who actually have lives and families and jobs (or are looking for jobs) – not so much the Silent Majority as the Busy Majority. If we had to sum up the political view of our participants in a single sentence… we couldn’t. That’s sort of the point.

Think of our event as Woodstock, but with the nudity and drugs replaced by respectful disagreement; the Million Man March, only a lot smaller, and a bit less of a sausage fest; or the Gathering of the Juggalos, but instead of throwing our feces at Tila Tequila, we’ll be actively not throwing our feces at Tila Tequila. Join us in the shadow of the Washington Monument. And bring your indoor voice. Or don’t. If you’d rather stay home, go to work, or drive your kids to soccer practice… Actually, please come anyway. Ask the sitter if she can stay a few extra hours, just this once. We’ll make it worth your while.

UPDATE: Some video from the bus from Steven:

Photos just in from Steven. Arianna Huffington, and one is behind the stage where Ozzy Osbourne is playing.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Prop 8 Victory Coverage Wrap-Up

What a whirlwind day it has been! Across the nation, and throughout the media, our communities are celebrating the decision of U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who issued his decision in the Perry V. Schwarzenegger yesterday, striking down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. You can read Judge Walker’s full decision here.

This decision is a big step towards marriage equality and we have plenty of reason to celebrate, but we have a long road ahead of us. After yesterday’s ruling, advocates on both sides expect the case to be heard by the 9th Circuit Appeals Court and possibly, the U.S. Supreme Court.  As we celebrate this victory in California, we cannot rest in our efforts to make our voices heard on marriage equality, because our opponents have been quick sound off.

These opponents to marriage equality were quick to deploy their hateful rhetoric after the decision came down. Shortly after the decision was announced, the anti-equality group Concerned Women for America lashed out, saying:

“Homosexual activists use same-sex ‘marriage’ as a political juggernaut to indoctrinate young children in schools to reject their parent’s values and to harass, sue and punish people who disagree.”

Of course, pro-equality voices also rang out yesterday. HRC President Joe Solmonese joined the voices of those recognizing the importance of this decision. “After hearing extensive evidence in support of marriage equality, and essentially no defense of the discrimination wrought by Prop 8,” Said Solmonese. “Judge Walker reached the same conclusion we have always known to be true – the Constitution’s protections are for all Americans, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.”

HRC President Joe Solmonese discusses prop 8 victory with Keith Olbermann

As San Francisco couples quickly found out, it is still too soon to celebrate complete victory; Judge Walker gave the opposition until Friday to make an argument to an appeals court before the stay on same-sex marriage is lifted in the state. This hasn’t stopped our community from celebrating. Throughout California and spreading across the nation, people joyously proclaimed their support of this decision in the streets, on the web and at home with their families.

It takes a lot to ensure that our rights our protected. This may not have been possible without the efforts of Kristin Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo – the couples involved in this case who stood up for their love even when it was difficult. We would love for you to join us in thanking these couples for the journey that they have been through to make this all possible.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright