Mike Signorile Vs. Chris Barron

SiriusXM host Michelangelo Signorile has posted an audio clip of today’s on-air meltdown by GOProud chairman Chris Barron. Signorile writes:

Barron has come on the show several times in he past. My program was among the first media outlets to give his group any attention when it first broke off from the Log Cabin Republicans. We’ve had a spirited but respectful discussion, as we disagree on just about everything. He seemed to revel in it, enjoying the back and forth, and certainly was not as angry and defensive as he is in this interview.

Not only did GoProud always come on the show when asked — either Jimmy LaSalvia or Barron would come on — but they reached out to my producer to come on the show at other times when we did not ask and we declined, as it wasn’t the best time or was not about something we were interested in. I say that because Barron outright lied in this interview, claiming that he often doesn’t come on my show (implying I asked and he declined), supposedly because of the way I treat him. That’s when I ended the interview. I’m not going to put up with a liar who had clearly become flustered because he was caught in a contradiction so now was changing the subject.

Listen to the full (and brief) interview.

Joe. My. God.

—  David Taffet

Signorile: Celebrate ‘DADT’ Repeal, but Heed the Lesson


Radio host Michelangelo Signorile discussed Obama's victory on 'DADT' repeal this week, and why a lot of other folks deserve the credit too.

Writes Signorile on his blog:

"In the end, through a series of fateful events — from Harry Reid pulling the government spending bill, clearing the schedule, to Senators Lieberman and Collins creating a stand-alone bill — "don't ask, don't tell" repeal passed. In addition to fate and timing, it was because DADT repeal took on a life of it's own thanks to activists' relentless pressure, disrupting the president's events, protesting Congressional leaders. It's not a coincidence that other promises made by the president, where there was much less pressure from the left early on, didn't pan out. And that's the lesson of the DADT repeal saga for the LGBT movement and for all progressives."


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Mike Signorile on heeding the lesson of the path traveled to DADT repeal

Michelangelo Signorile has a good clip up from his show, “Celebrate DADT Repeal, But Heed the Lesson,” where a listener from Oklahoma made the argument that Obama’s original plan (repeal of DADT via Congress) was what he wanted and eventually what was accomplished, despite calls from certain quarters for him not to appeal the ruling of Circuit Court Judge Virginia Phillips. Mike:

I took the opportunity to discuss why, though this is a big victory for the President, it only happened because of those activists — including grass roots activists and bloggers – putting the pressure on (I’ve posted a video from the segment below). Even Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman Senator Levin, just a week before the vote, was pointing to the president’s foot-dragging, about which the Human Rights Campaign, throughout the year, was refusing to criticize the White House.

In the end, through a series of fateful events — from Harry Reid pulling the government spending bill, clearing the schedule, to Senators Lieberman and Collins creating a stand-alone bill — “don’t ask, don’t tell” passed. In addition to fate and timing, it was because DADT repeal took on a life of it’s own thanks to activists’ relentless pressure, disrupting the president’s events, protesting Congressional leaders. It’s not a coincidence that other promises made by the president, where there was much less pressure from the left early on, didn’t pan out. And that’s the lesson of the DADT repeal saga for the LGBT movement and for all progressives.

While things worked out positively (thank you Mr. President), it’s quite interesting that the revisionist history is already being created, where activists “hated” the President, criticizing the administration’s every move and that somehow bloggers were obstructionists. That sounds more like apologist mewling rather than actually reading the archives to see that the call was for the President that the promises the President made, along with his repeated statements to hold him accountable, was all that was going on.

Now admittedly, there was way more rancor here in the comments than in any posts I wrote on DADT, but usually those get conflated with my own opinions on things. Yeah, we were all very tough on the administration, but was there any time where I said he 1) needed to lose in 2012 or 2) needed a primary challenger? No. The fact is I simply wanted promises made to be kept. The Cheetos-PJ wearing crowd pointed out the strategy flops, the foot-dragging and the very real contentious, even combative nature of Press Secretary Robert Gibbs any time a DADT question was asked. Bloggers didn’t make that up.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Must read column: ‘The Bully Pulpit’ by Mike Signorile

This is a very important and insightful column from Mike. Yes, the situation is getting better for LGBT adults, but not kids. The haters are, directly and indirectly inflicting pain and suffering on kids:

Breaking every nasty stereotype perpetuated by bigots, the kids of gay parents are indeed all right. The irony lies in the fact that it’s the children of straight parents who are very much in a full-blown crisis, be they gay and victims of bullying or the perpetrators of bullying themselves. It’s hard to know if gay teen suicides are on the rise or if media reports—and the use of the Internet to get news out—have focused more attention on them. But one thing is certain: They’re happening at an unacceptable rate.

Syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage, who started the It Gets Better Project on YouTube in response to the suicides, believes that despite the gains of the gay equality movement and the coming out of celebrities here and there, life is worse today for LGBT teens than it was 20 years ago, particularly for those living far from urban areas. While the gay political movement has made dramatic strides, he says, most of those advances have been for adults in big cities. And, at the same time, the religious right has come full force out of its own closet—condemning homosexuality and pushing “ex-gay” therapy. In suburban and rural areas, preachers attack gays, ugly campaigns have been waged to bar gays from marrying, and politicians rail that gays shouldn’t be teaching in schools.

Savage is on to something: As we have moved ahead with a civil rights movement for LGBT adults—marriage, employment nondiscrimination laws, adoption and gay parenting—the organized political movement has largely ignored the backlash our success has triggered and, more significantly, ignored how that backlash hurts gay youths. Yes, there are excellent groups focused on these issues, such as the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. But many gay adults, unless they have children themselves, are far removed from these issues and often see fighting discrimination in their own lives as more important. It’s true, of course, that progress for LGBT adults helps everyone in the long run. If LGBT people had full civil rights—equal marriage rights and federal constitutional protections against discrimination—homophobia would diminish in society and young people would grow up in a better world. Surely that’s a common goal of all of those fighting for marriage equality and an end to discrimination. But in a world of instant gratification we sometimes forget that full equality is going to be a long time off. And the hate will only get worse.


—  admin

Mike Signorile takes on ‘the love’ of a ‘Christian’ and his thoughts on gay suicides

I don’t know how Mike Signorile is able to handle some of the hateful people who call in to spout not only ignorance, but have no empathy for LGBTs who encounter discrimination, bullying, and physical attacks. Here’s an example of the latest “Christian” caller. Gee, what would their Jesus do?

The hate coming from the pulpits of most faiths cannot be denied as a factor in these suicides, and in gay-bashings. But many Christians don’t want to believe that, even as they condemn homosexuality. One of them, James from Louisiana, a self-described Christian, called in to say that it was wrong to point the finger at the churches even though he does people homosexuals are going to hell. I was not in the mood for this crap, not today.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Signorile has had it with the religious-types who are killing our kids with their messages of hate

Watch this video of Mike Signorile’s conversation with a right-wing Christian caller from the show yesterday. I think Mike captures the anger in the LGBT community. And, I don’t think a lot of people outside the LGBT community and our close allies understand just how pissed off people are. The haters are killing our kids. And, our elected leaders are telling the world that we’re not equal. From Mike’s blog post:

The hate coming from the pulpits of most faiths cannot be denied as a factor in these suicides, and in gay-bashings. But many Christians don’t want to believe that, even as they condemn homosexuality. One of them, James from Louisiana, called in yesterday. I was definitely not in the mood to put up with any crap!

I think Mike is speaking for a lot of us here:


—  John Wright

Tune in: Signorile, panel give late summer closet-cleaning advice

SignorileOn today’s edition of The Michelangelo Signorile Show” (Sirius 109/XM 98, 2-4PM ET), guests Mike Rogers, Michael Tripplett, and LZ Granderson will join the eponymous host for a discussion on “outing” in the age of Mehlman.

Full press release:


In the wake of discussions this year about Federal Judge Vaughn Walker (who overturned Proposition 8) and former RNC Chairman and Bush ‘04 campaign manager Ken Mehlman, SIRIUS XM’s Michelangelo Signorile will host and moderate a panel discussion called “20 Years Later: Outing and the Ethics of Reporting on the Sexual Orientation of Public Figures” live from the 20th Annual National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) LGBT Media Summit & National Convention in San Francisco, CA.

Signorile will host this discussion live on his daily SIRIUS XM show on Friday, September 3 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm ET (replays 4:00 – 6:00 pm ET) on OutQ, SIRIUS channel 109/XM channel 98. Panelists include:

– LZ Granderson, columnist for ESPN.com’s Page 2, host of web-based ESPN360 talk show “Game Night”

– Michael R. Triplett, contributor, Mediaite.com, part of the NLGJA Board of Directors and member of the NLGJA Rapid Response Task Force

– Michael Rogers of PageOneQ.com and BlogActive.com

For over two decades SIRIUS XM host Michelangelo Signorile has been among the most outspoken and controversial critics of American politics and culture. As a gay activist and journalist, he earned acclaim as the father of the “outing” phenomenon, sparked by his 1990 Outweek cover story about publishing magnate Malcolm Forbes’ homosexuality. He has continued to be on the forefront of reporting on these issues for his whole career, in-depth coverage of Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Mark Kirk, Mark Buse and others. Signorile was featured in Kirby Dick’s movie Outrage.

Signorile covers the issues of the day in-depth daily on The Michelangelo Signorile Show, his live, four-hour call-in show on SIRIUS XM’s OutQ, the nation’s 24/7 LGBT channel, engaging in an active and ongoing dialogue with listeners across the country on the air as he reports, comments, rants and madly obsesses about politics, media, pop culture and a host of other things that irk and interest him and interviews a variety of newsmakers and community leaders. The Michelangelo Signorile Show airs weekdays from 2:00 – 6:00 pm ET on OutQ—SIRIUS channel 109/XM channel 98. OutQ is trailblazer in LGBT media, offering groundbreaking coverage of social and political issues, as well as music and entertainment programming, all of which is produced by and for the LGBT community. Signorile continues the dialogue and posts daily commentary audio clips and more on his widely read blog/site: www.signorile.com.

Good As You

—  John Wright

On the air with Signorile Show guest host Lizz Winstead — and a Q of the Day

Guest hosting on The Michelangelo Signorile Show this week is the incredible hmmm…jane-of-all-trades, stand-up comedian, writer and co-creator of The Daily Show; the late Air America’s co-founder, program director and one of its on-air personalities, Lizz Winstead. Whew, that was only a small sampling.

She’s a big fan of the Blend and we finally met at this year’s BlogHer (photo at right).

I will be on with her at 3:30; you can listen in on Sirius XM’s OutQ: Sirius 109, XM 98 and on the Sirius XM iPhone app. Get a free seven-day pass or, if you have an iPhone, go to the app store and download Sirius XM for free, for a 7-day trial, and listen on your phone.

She wants to talk about my post from the other day, “Daily Kos diary: ‘Who Are The LGBT Community?’ I ask: how do we address leadership?” I sort of went off on a tangent after pointing people to the DKos diary to discuss the lack of clear leadership, how institutionalized leadership can fail of its own weight, and whether we need to define a unified “LGBT community” in terms of representation. After all, the media thinks of us as our Beltway orgs. The faces, economic circumstances and culture are quite homogeneous when the tired producer pulls out a rolodex card to call for a quote and go on air.


UPDATE: The interview is over, of course, so the bulk of the post is below the fold now.

I just nabbed this pic below from producer Sean Bertollo. It’s Lizz while on the air with me (gee, what did I say – maybe she mentioned Sarah Palin):

Blender Orion45 raised some good points in the comments about leaders that I blanked on while on-air with Lizz. It spurred me to do a Q of the Day:

What people in the LGBT community should be seen as a leaders and quoted by the MSM, or on-air as talking heads who are currently not?

We have discussed the need more women, voices of color, regional diversity and certainly have some economic diversity. For instance, poverty is a LGBT issue, and civil rights affect those with less more profoundly.

Available, low-cost or free media training to create a pool of leadership is sorely lacking. Mike Rogers has had training Joel Silberman do some with attendees at conferences, but we don’t have a speaker’s bureau, or any organization to help the lazy producer’s out. And that’s why Joe is always on the air.

A TV/radio producer doesn’t want to think – they want to know if:

1) You’re available;

2) You have access to an affiliate or studio, or Skype as a last resort;

3) You’re well-versed in the subject at hand;

4) You are actually good on camera/radio and know how to generate a sound bite or get your point across as briefly as possible;

5) You have some kind of bio information for them to gauge your credibility if you’re not affiliated with an organization. The one thing that almost guarantees a call is if you’ve published a book. Seriously. It’s still the marker of gravitas.

That last one is just one reason you won’t see me on the air, since merely being a blogger (unless you have those hallowed connections) is not usually sufficient enough to be a go-to person from the POV of the MSM if they have access to org people. I don’t have time to write a book and blog and work a full time job at the same time. I absolutely cannot fit another project of that magnitude on my plate. And so it goes, right?

But back to MSM access – print journalists have it easier, btw. Most just need to know who to call/email, so it’s a matter of being quotable and again, to work quickly as they will be on to the next story or interviewee in short order.


Also, I wanted to pimp tomorrow’s program because Mike’s broadcasting on a significant topic from the National Lesbian & Gay Journalist Association conf. (I wish I could be there, but it was one of those hard choices I had to make — not enough in the Blend piggy bank to afford to go to the extremely expensive San Francisco).

Michelangelo Signorile Hosts 20 Years Later: Outing and the Ethics of Reporting on the Sexual Orientation of Public Figures

Tomorrow 2:00 pm ET

Tune in to hear Michelangelo Signorile host and moderate the panel discussion 20 Years Later: Outing and the Ethics of Reporting on the Sexual Orientation of Public Figures live on his daily OutQ show from the 20th Annual National Lesbian & Gay Journalist Association media summit and national convention in San Fransisco.

Hear the discussion live with panelists LZ Granderson, columnist for ESPN.com’s Page 2, host of web-based ESPN360 talk show Game Night, and Michael R. Triplett, contributor, Mediaite.com, part of the NLGJA Board of Directors and member of the NLGJA Rapid Response Task Force.  (2 hrs)

Rebroadcast: Tomorrow 4:00 pm ET

It happens to almost every “change agent” organization at some point; good leadership seeks challenges to convention to keep adept and nimble in its mission. Poor leaders attempt to stifle or ignore change because of fear of loss of power or access. The strange thing about the latter is that in this mode, the weakness in leadership is quite obvious to the very people an organization is attempting to influence, or change policy or raise money from. That leads to isolation, a defensive posture, and ultimately one is discredited or a leader is toppled.

Of course that doesn’t solve the problem of an organization in distress — that leader is usually replaced by someone breathing the same stale air and nothing fundamentally changes.

That’s what spurs renegade organizations to form because they see the system is broken and too incestuous to change.

I addressed this from a different angle later with “What is ‘holding this President accountable’ – and who determines what that means?”

Obama told us to hold him accountable (do you think he regrets saying that aloud now?), but we’re all apparently struggling with what that means. Obviously, there are plenty of flat-out angry and profane critics, more nuanced ones, and those who fall somewhere in between.

Who is to judge what to take seriously — or dismiss — in terms of criticism of this President?

A good number of self-appointed arbiters of what is appropriate criticism and what is productive or not productive populate the comments and show up on Facebook/Twitter to “set the record straight” all the time. But these people are no more qualified to hold an opinion than anyone else. It’s just that — an opinion. Take it or leave it. Certainly the White House does, even if they have thin skin over there.

The real issue is influence, real and perceived. The fact is there are so many blogs/columns out there — by professional politicos, armchair activists and citizen journalists — and no real way to know who’s reading and being affected by the arguments presented.

That generates fear and paranoia. We’ve seen a lot of that now, haven’t we? Perhaps this is generated by the notion that there are now people of some undetermined influence who really aren’t qualified to be influential, either because they:

1) Don’t have Beltway experience in a professional capacity with a campaign, org or think tank;

2) Lack sufficient gravitas (not a published author/academic, member of the MSM, etc.);

3) Just aren’t part of the DC “A-list” — a known quantity that is well-connected; or

4) Don’t have deep pockets, which gets you into almost any door in DC, regardless of your gravitas rating.

So join us; hopefullly it will be interesting!
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Signorile explained the real impact of Mehlman’s actions on LGBT Americans

Mike Signorile provided much needed context to the discussion about Ken Mehlman. There were real, often harsh, implications for LGBT Americans. Here’s an excerpt of what Mike said:

But we cannot sweep under the rug what happened. I spent the day on the radio listening to people tell me about how their lives were destroyed in these campaigns in Arizona, people being forced to move, their neighbors turned against them. In Wisconsin, people’s homes defaced, their children attacked. These campaigns were brutal. They used homophobia, they used hate and they used religious bigotry. That needs to be addressed. He needs to be held accountable and history needs to record it. It cannot be swept under the rug.

Note that John King admits to being a friend of Mehlman. You have to wonder how many of those insider media types knew Ken was gay, but either “protected” him or were strongly encouraged not to report it. I suspect Mehlman’s news wasn’t news to many of them.


—  John Wright