Bil Browning

My apologies to Andy Towle

Filed By Bil Browning | June 03, 2008 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics, Site News
Tags: Andy Towle, blog wars, DNC credentials, gay blogs, LGBT community, make an apology, Mea Culpa, Towleroad

I'll just come right out and say it. After all, coming out is good for queers.

I owe Andy Towle an apology.

When I wrote my post about DNC credentials, I used Andy's blog, Towleroad, as my example. I was angry at the DNC for slighting us, but I took it out on Towleroad. While I tried to say that Andy wasn't the target of my ire, I didn't do a good job of it. Instead, I piled on.

I mentioned that Towleroad is in my RSS feed as a favorite. I read it every day. If it's good enough for me to read, why should I be surprised that the DNC thinks it's good enough for credentials? After all, I should have expressed myself more clearly; I don't think Towleroad should lose their credentials, I think we should have been credentialed also.

To make matters even worse, I was wrong with some statistics about Bilerico Project vs Towleroad that I need to correct immediately. When you're wrong, you're wrong. See just how wrong I was after the jump.

I took my statistics about Towleroad from copy on BlogAds designed to sell advertising. If I'd done my research instead of just cocking off at the mouth fingers, I'd have noticed that our demographics are actually pretty darn similar. Look at these graphs from QuantCast, a website demographics firm.

Bilericodemo2.jpg (Click to embiggen)

I claimed that Towleroad was almost exclusively rich, white males. While their audience has more income than ours, our gender and racial demographics are almost the same.

QuantCast, of course, doesn't measure gender beyond male or female, but according to them, we have 1% more female readers than Towleroad. We're only 2% more ethnically diverse than Towleroad - and Andy has more Hispanic readers than we do. Andy's readers tend to have a higher household income, but his average age range puts his readers in the peak of their professional careers.

Andy's site is a popular site because he puts out a quality product. I read it every day along with thousands of others from the LGBT community. There's a reason why. You see, not everything has to be politically related to be of interest to the LGBT community.

Check out our most popular posts as one commenter suggested. Two of the posts are guest posts from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The rest? Racy Big Brother posts, comedy videos about naked young starlets and the like. Now granted, some of those posts were made popular after Andy linked to them, but that's more of an indicator of his sheer volume of traffic than the quality of the posts. The most ironic part? Four of the Top 10 posts were written by me - none of which were politically related.

Which, I guess, is the long version of saying that apparently I was full of shit. Mea culpa.

The real villian here isn't Towleroad. They're trying to provide the best coverage possible for their readers. The DNC made the decision on credentials - not Towleroad. Instead of stupidly firing in Andy's direction, I should have aimed at the real target.

I'm sorry, Andy, for holding you up as an example of why we should have been credentialed. I didn't do my homework and I wrote while I was angry - always a stupid mistake (especially when publishing immediately to the internet!). I should have known better. I acted like a boor. My apologies.

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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 3, 2008 1:00 PM

To make an error in reference to someone else is common (I have as you know). To admit it and make the argument in favor of the person you have wronged is, and old but apt expression, noble.

To apologize when wrong is always the correct and adult thing to do.

As for your original point, I don't anyone begrudges Towle the right to blog from the convention. We simply feel that Bilerico also belongs there.


I appreciate your apology and, as someone who has been publishing daily for nearly five years now, understand the hard work and passion that goes into creating Bilerico as well as your desire to represent the LGBT community in the most vital, and capable way possible. Our sites have different approaches — a great thing about the blogosphere — but we share goals – putting out great content that educates and entertains while informing and awakening a community still struggling for many basic rights and safety from violence and harassment. I have always believed that pop culture as well as hard politics and corporate leadership plays a major role in advancement, and that mix is the approach we've taken with Towleroad.

I too wish the DNC had opened their doors to more bloggers. A wider variety of voices and reporting only benefits us in the end. Again, I thank you for your apology. I also look forward to any input or angles you might be willing to share for our convention coverage or anything else.

Andy Towle

I checked you out the other day because of this post, via Qweerty, was pissed because I like Towleroad a lot, thought you were making big claims about being better or something, said I'd be watching and the bitch better put out. Well I have been watching and the bitch has class. I'm impressed. Good luck with credentials and any other achievements you set your sights on.

It takes a lot of courage and class to publicly admit one is wrong.

To your original point, Towleroad isn't the issue -- I'm a reader myself -- the problem is with the DNC.

Thanks a lot, Bil. This post really eases my mind. I was fearful, especially as others starting joining the chorus, that this was going to be another divisive battle that LBGT's are famous for. I would hope that other authors on this site join you in no longer praising Bilerico by trashing Towelrod. This site is too good for that sort of thing.


I acted like an asshole. When you do that, the only thing you can do is apologize. :) Thanks for stopping by and being so gracious. (And for not ripping me a new one on your own blog! That was better behavior than I displayed!)

Rikard - This classy bitch is now demanding that you stick around and join the conversations. *grins* We need some more spicy commenters.

Lena and chuck - You hit the nail on the head. TR isn't the issue - the DNC is. Instead of aiming at them directly, I fired in a circle and hit friends instead. You're right, Chuck. Too often we fight amongst ourselves instead of joining together for the common good.

Oh, Bil, where would Bilerico be without your foot-in-mouth disease?

We wouldn't have half the contributors we do now, I'll tell ya that.

It's great that you were able to apologize. It takes a big person to do that.

I hearts you, Bil. You're one classy broad to say you're sorry.

I too have to apologize here. While I could say in my own defense that I was going by Bil's stats, wrong is still wrong and I too own up to that. In addition, I failed to observe one of the most basic rules of good journalism before I published my own post: Confirm information through at least two sources.

While I tried to make clear that I had no intention of bashing Towleroad in my original post, perhaps, like Bil, I didn't do a good enough job of making that clear and if so, then for that I do apologize to Andy Towle for that as well.

That said, I do believe that, as I wrote in my original post, the real issue here is the DNC's lack of interest in true American diversity despite all of its rhetoric to contrary. LGBT blogs should be offered more slots in general, and Bilerico should certainly have been offered at least a few of them.

In addition, I also stand by my previous statement that those of us who feel as I do about the reality of the DNC's "big tent" should make our displeasure known when the DNC comes calling, as they surely will, for our hard-earned Queer donation dollars in the future.

And hey, don't get me started on Aravosis...

From what others have said, Towleroad doesn't focus much of trans or lesbian issues. Pam does. So, the reality is that we have to suck it up and survive on the information that comes from all the LGBT bloggers who will be there. It means they will be spread a little thin.

I only hope that since the LGBT bloggers realize that they are few and far between, that they ALL make an effort to cover ALL the issues facing LGBT people, even if they may not have covered those subjects in their writings.

We are a family and we will hanging on every word that comes out of the convention, regardless of who writes them. So, share information, ask the tough questions that may not interest you personally and cordinate your efforts with the other LGBT bloggers there. Teamwork can accomplish a lot.