Rebecca Juro

Non-Shocker: DNC Limits Diversity, Continues Pandering To Rich White Gay Men As Per Usual

Filed By Rebecca Juro | June 01, 2008 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media, Politics, The Movement
Tags: Democratic convention, DNC, politics

Just the other day, Bilerico Project Publisher Bil Browning reported that the Democratic National Committee Convention credentials committee has snubbed the Bilerico Project in favor of Towleroad, a blog mainly directed toward the interests of wealthy white gay men. Of course, this kind of behavior is nothing new for the HRC...um...I mean the DNC. Sorry, sometimes it's so hard to tell the two apart.

To be fair, Pam's House Blend did get the nod, and quite deservedly so. PHB has a great, diverse collection of bloggers from all segments of our community and covers a wide rage of LGBT-relevant political topics. Towleroad, to be blunt, doesn't. Indeed, one could argue that the only two real qualifications of Towleroad to be credentialed at the DNC Convention are that the author is gay and he gets a lot of readership. Personally, I really don't see the relevance here. The New York Mets have a lot of fans and I'm sure many of them are LGBT (I'm one of them), but that doesn't means those who blog about the Mets deserve credentials to a political convention.

While I'll admit to a certain amount of personal bias here given that I'm a Bilerico contributor and served as an editor at the site for several months, it's nonetheless a position well-supported by the facts. The Bilerico Project features over 60 writers from all walks of LGBT life blogging on a dizzying array of LGBT-relevant cultural and political topics. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, Barney Frank and many other Democratic political leaders and hopefuls have blogged with us. We're regularly linked and featured in a variety of community and mainstream publications. We came in second for "Best LGBT Blog" in the 2007 Weblog Awards (above even PHB, which won the title in 2005 and 2006, I might add...Towleroad wasn't even a finalist), an absolutely astounding feat for a blog barely more than half a year old at the time of the voting.

I'm not trying to bash Towleroad, mind you. I'm not a reader, but so what? I am white, but I'm not rich gay man. I follow the blogs that speak me and people like me. Towleroad, with its 95% male readership, and 52% of its readership making more than 75K and 40% pulling six figures or more just isn't directed at my demographic. Towleroad just doesn't speak to me- as a working class person, as a woman, or as a transperson because it's not inclusive of any of these groups. If this is what passes for "LGBT" in the minds of those at the DNC it's easy to understand why we're getting just about exactly as much benefit and support from our current Democratic-controlled Congress as we did when the GOP ran things. The words are prettier perhaps, but the elitism and exclusivity is all but identical.

Is this really the message the Democrats want to send us this year? Seems to me they're basically say to us "Shut up and be happy we let even one of you in the door. Now piss off, politics and relevance be damned, we've got rich white guys to pander to.".

What can we do? We can make our point by calling Jenni Engebretsen, Damon Jones, Natalie Wyeth at 720-362-2006. We can drop a note to the general press office. We can e-mail Aaron Myers, Director of Online Communications for the convention. And, on top of all that, we can remember this when we get those phone calls from the DNC later this year asking for our hard-earned working-class dollars. Donate to Obama, certainly. He's earned our support though his public support of us and our rights. When the DNC comes calling with its hand out, though, let's give them exactly what they deserve too.

Personally, I'm going to suggest the DNC go find some rich white gays to go beg money from. After all, it should be easy for them...I'm sure Rhode Island Avenue isn't very far from their DC offices.


Recent Entries Filed under Media:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


This definitely is about more than us or TR or PHB. There were only 2 LGBT blogs on a list of 120, and two not-queer blogs maintained by queer people. We're more important to the Democratic party's victories than that, but apparently they don't think so.

Actually, there were 3 queer blogs - TowleRoad, PHB, and ThoughtTheater. AMERICAblog was also included, but the main focus there is not LGBT issues.

I feel obligated to point out though that Towleroad is not the enemy here. It's fine that they have credentials; they have a huge audience.

The problem is that the DNC chose based on sheer traffic numbers. This isn't about "Towleroad is bad for applying" but "The DNC is bad for picking a tiny amount of gay blogs without doing real research." LGBT sites are under-represented - period.

Personally, Bil, I think really the biggest problem is that the DNC apparently considers a blog as exclusively-oriented as TR to qualify as LGBT in the first place. To me that says a lot about how we're seen by these people and what qualifies as diversity in their minds.

As with print media, the DNC should not be credentialing an entire blog, but individual journalists. Pam will do a great job asking tough questions, and as a regular contributor to this site (who happens to have her own blog) will be able to serve the same purpose as if bilerico.com had received credentials.

I'm sure that BET and other "exclusively-oriented" media have received credentials. There is nothing wrong with that, because the point is to reach as many people has possible through a broad range of media outlets. That might also be a reason why TR received credentials. Traffic is very important!

Very few people read just one blog, and anyone can watch the convention online or on television and blog about it. There are thousands of "gay" blogs, and very few slots for credentials. There are certainly other angry bloggers out there, but some seem to have a sense of entitlement.

The Bilerico Project has a contributor who has received credentials, which is just like the NY Times having a reporter at the convention. You are luckier than most blogs, so quit complaining!

As with print media, the DNC should not be credentialing an entire blog, but individual journalists. Pam will do a great job asking tough questions, and as a regular contributor to this site (who happens to have her own blog) will be able to serve the same purpose as if bilerico.com had received credentials.

I'm sure that BET and other "exclusively-oriented" media have received credentials. There is nothing wrong with that, because the point is to reach as many people has possible through a broad range of media outlets. That might also be a reason why TR received credentials. Traffic is very important!

Very few people read just one blog, and anyone can watch the convention online or on television and blog about it. There are thousands of "gay" blogs, and very few slots for credentials. There are certainly other angry bloggers out there, but some seem to have a sense of entitlement.

The Bilerico Project has a contributor who has received credentials, which is just like the NY Times having a reporter at the convention. You are luckier than most blogs, so quit complaining!