Lizz Winstead comes to Carrboro – and the state of things in NC post-election

UPDATE: With Lizz after her show, which was full of hilarious riffs on the election. Kate & I had a fab dinner w/her as well.

Lizz was on The State of Things with Frank Stasio earlier on Thursday; check out that interview.


Tonight in my neck of the woods — a relative stone’s throw from where I live in Durham, the fabulous Lizz Winstead will be in the house at the Carrboro Arts Center to do her political satire show (tickets are ), the first since the election. I can’t wait hear what she has to say about that debacle; we’re breaking bread before the show, so I’ll get a sneak preview.

Post Election Day humor from comedian and Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead. Fans asked her to perform at The ArtsCenter–so she is! As co-creator and former head writer of The Daily Show and Air America Radio co-founder, LIZZ WINSTEAD is one of the top political satirists in America.  As a performer, LIZZ brought her political wit to The Daily Show as a Correspondent and later to the radio waves co-hosting Unfiltered, Air America Radio’s mid morning show, where she brought on board Hip Hop legend CHUCK D and political big brain RACHEL MADDOW.  Most recently, Lizz wrote and produced an independent pilot of her Off-Broadway hit, “WAKE UP WORLD, a show Rachel Maddow called, “The funniest thing I have seen in years.”

Here’s an interview with Lizz pre-election when she sat down with Metro Weekly’s Chris Geidner.

I’m looking forward to her biting wit — we need something to laugh about here in NC as the elections were a mixed bag. Speaking of which, Ian Palmquist of EqualityNC shared his thoughts about the election and what it means, since our General Assembly is now going to be run by the Republicans.

Read Ian’s letter below the fold.

Dear Friends,

I wanted to write and share my initial thoughts on last night’s election results and what they mean for our ongoing work to win full civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender North Carolinians. I know it was a tough night for me, and I imagine it was for you too.

Openly Gay, African-American Candidate Wins

First, one of the bright spots of the evening: we are thrilled to see Marcus Brandon win a House seat in Guilford County. Marcus will be the first openly gay member in the House, and one of just five openly gay African-American legislators in the country! Having someone like Marcus at the table is a big win for the LGBT community.

The New Majority

We have a new legislative landscape to work in. As you likely know by now, the Republican party has won significant majorities in both the state House and Senate. With the new majority comes new leadership in the legislature and new challenges for Equality NC. We’re going to have to work harder than ever to stop anti-LGBT bills and be more creative to find ways to move forward on our issues.

Fortunately, we’ve always been committed to working with legislators on both sides of the aisle, and we won’t be starting from scratch. There are Republicans we can and will work with, in addition to continuing to build support in the Democratic caucus. Our membership long been bipartisan, and three of our board members are Republican, including Equality NC’s board chair, Dan Gurley, who is the former Executive Director of the NC Republican Party. They are great assets to have as we look for opportunities to find GOP support.

Make no mistake: there will be big legislative challenges ahead. We are likely to see a serious attempt to pass the anti-LGBT constitutional amendment and other attacks on our communities. We’re going to need supporters like you to be engaged now more than ever as we defend our past victories.

We will be calling on the new majority to govern as they campaigned. In most races, the Republicans campaigned not on social issues like LGBT rights and abortion, but on creating jobs and addressing the state budget.

What The Voters Didn’t Say on LGBT Rights

One thing that is very clear from last night’s election results is that voters were not focused on LGBT issues.

While some pundits said that voting for our pro-equality legislation was politically dangerous, legislators in challenging districts who were directly attacked for supporting the School Violence Prevention Act (Sen. Bill Purcell, Rep. Darren Jackson, and Rep. Grier Martin) won re-election.

Equality NC PAC’s endorsed candidates fared well. In fact, none of our endorsed candidates who were previously elected to their seat lost last night. Overall 42 of our 52 endorsed legislative candidates won their races. (Click here for results in these races.)

One other take away from the results is that moderate Democrats who took anti-equality positions out of political fear were not protected by their cowardly stance: Sen. Don Davis and Rep. Nelson Cole, co-sponsors of the Marriage Discrimination Amendment, and Sen. A.B. Swindell, who voted against the School Violence Prevention Act, all lost their races.

Looking Back, Looking Forward

I have to take a moment to recognize the commitment the outgoing legislative leadership had to issues of fairness. House Speaker Joe Hackney and Senate President Pro-Tempore Marc Basnight and other leaders in both chambers have made significant contributions to making our state a better place for all North Carolinians, including LGBT people. We thank them for that and are looking forward to continuing to work with them in the legislature.

Like you, we’re still evaluating exactly what this new environment means as we go forward; we’ll be sharing more of our next steps in the coming days and weeks. But we do know that no matter who is running the legislature, the work of Equality NC to win full equality goes on. Thank you for being a part of our team.

For Equality,


Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Lizz Winstead On Christine O’Donnell

Joe. My. God.

—  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’s Page 2, host of web-based ESPN360 talk show Game Night, and Michael R. Triplett, contributor,, 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