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    August 16, 2007

    The fix was in for Hillary, take 2

    Posted by: Chris

    Addendum at the end of the post....

    Hilary Rosen is the most powerful person behind the gay rights movement that almost no one "outside the Beltway" has ever heard of.

    Picture21She was the longtime chief lobbyist for the Recording Industry Association of America (blame her for Napster's downfall) and longtime string-puller at the Human Rights Campaign. Most who have heard of her know her as also Elizabeth Birch's longtime partner, though they split up earlier this year.

    It turns out she was also the producer behind last week's HRC-Logo presidential forum. It's a bit dumbfounding that she played that role, including selecting the questions to be asked, considering she has already endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Hilary Rosen for Hillary Rodham, anyone?).

    This explains one interesting sidelight from the forum. Did anyone else notice how, as Hillary entered the stage to sit down with the panelists, the camera cut to Eric Alva, the gay Iraq veteran who has fought for "Don't Ask Don't Tell" repeal? Then, moments later, Hillary referred to Alva in her DADT comments. No chance that was coincidental. It was a gift from Hilary to Hillary, straight from the control room.

    She claimed to have been "unbiased" in her producer chair, but she had no business playing any organizing role whatsoever. More evidence the fix is in for HRC (the candidate) at HRC (the org).

    Rosen has never been shy about her contempt for me and my views and the coverage HRC has received from newspapers I've edited. So I was surprised how much I agreed with her take on the forum, posted on her (relatively new) lesbian social networking site called Our Chart.

    Among her thoughts:

    Barack Obama: He said that the difference between civil unions and marriage was "semantics." I found that remark patronizing. When candidates are selling themselves to be a new kind of politician and someone who will do things differently, they do have a responsibility to take our issues to the next level as well. I didn’t put that moniker on him, he put it on himself. Yet he wants to pick and choose the exceptions.

    Agreed that calling the difference between civil unions and marriage "semantics" was Obama's weakest moment during the forum. But Rosen ignored the rest of what Obama had to say, when he connected the issue of gay marriage to interracial marriage, and then said even though his own parents would have been blocked from marrying by anti-miscegenation laws, Obama would have advised the black civil rights movement to pick its battles and wait on marriage. Not only is that refreshingly honest, it's also correct — at least at the presidential level.

    John Edwards:  I thought he went over board to convince us that he cares. Knowing what I do – that this has been a journey for him, (if people only knew how long it took us to get him to even co-sponsor ENDA when he got to the Senate).

    Agreed as well on Edwards feeling our pain just a little too enthusiastically. I wish people like Rosen had been more upfront before now about Edwards early days of resistance on gay rights. It makes his "journey" all the more suspicious, though Rosen credits the evolution as genuine.

    Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel: In theory I care about what they said, but in practice, I just don’t very much.

    Regular readers know that I agree with Rosen on both Kucinich and Gravel. I guess we know now the real reason Gravel was initially excluded from the forum.

    Bill Richardson: Though I haven’t talked to him since the Forum, I suspect that he heard the words choice v biology and since "choice" is a good thing in women’s rights and a major political word in that other context, he got confused. In any event, I think we should take his sincere multiple apologies at their word.

    Again, agreed, as I wrote here. I thought the press obsession with Richardson's "choice" gaffe was unfortunate, but par for the course for Richardson's mistake-prone campaign.

    Hillary Clinton: I heard her despair at Melissa Etheridge’s characterization of the Bill Clinton legacy (a powerful cut on Melissa’s part) and genuinely believe that she thinks they did better than that. I didn’t like her misstatement of the facts about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell being progress when they knew at the time that no one thought so since we all protested the result. She was right that the existence of DOMA helped defeat the FMA in the last two Congress’s but they had no way of knowing that at the time they supported it.

    Here we part ways. Rosen is willing to credit "her friend" Hillary where many of us are not. And that's what it comes down to because, as Rosen points out, Clinton's defense of DOMA/DADT was disappointing and ineffectual.

    We keep seeing this with Hillary Clinton, whether on DOMA, DADT or even Iraq. Reverse positions without ever admitting error in the original. If she keeps getting these things wrong the first time around, why should we trust her judgment? Why shouldn't we dismiss her own "evolution" as tacking according to more favorable political winds?

    Addendum: One more thing has nagged at me: The candidates supposedly appeared on stage in the order they agreed to the debate.  Hillary was the second candidate (after Obama) to say yes, and that's why the original HRC-Logo announcement included only these two as confirmed participants.

    So why wasn't Hillary second on the stage, after Obama, instead of last — where she could capitalize on building expectations for her appearance and leave the last impression with viewers?  More evidence still that it pays to have "your girl" in the control room?

    For a complete summary of gay issues in the U.S. presidential campaign visit www.gaynewswatch.com/whitehouse08



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    1. donovan on Aug 16, 2007 9:38:34 PM:

      I love this blog. Where else can you come to watch an exiled, widely detested but self-aggrandizing editor who employed Jeff Gannon ruminate about the lack of professionalism and general foolishness of people who dislike him?

      I guess the 15 people reading this blog must be shocked by these important revelations. And take a look at that shot of Hillary C! Maybe she just got a look at Crain on the dance floor. Wink. Wink.

    1. Citizen Crain on Aug 16, 2007 10:10:47 PM:

      Nicely done "donavan." I think you hit all the usual points, except for my gay bashing. Couldn't think of something sassy to say about that? Meanwhile, care to respond to the substance? Or do you have nothing to say?

    1. Rebecca Juro on Aug 16, 2007 10:24:22 PM:

      Mark this day down, Chris...I think we're actually in complete agreement here.

      She's a total Hillary shill and this forum demonstrated that quite clearly, along her staunch support of HRC's exclusive and elitist agenda.

      I guess I should thank her though. I was actually leaning toward the probably inevitable and supporting Hillary, but Obama's dogged attempts to drag the discussion toward goals that are actually achievable demonstrated to me that out of the frontrunners, he's clearly the candidate who understands who makes up the real LGBT majority, and that we're not living in million dollar homes and making 200K+ a year.

      Just more proof of who HRC's real agenda is intended to support...and it sure ain't most of us.

    1. Kevin on Aug 17, 2007 6:56:18 AM:

      Wow! That Donovan sang every single note right on key, huh big C? Except he left out "fucking faggot"... It's disappointing how brain-dead so many gay Democrats continue to be that cronyism, viciousness and dirty tricks are all that they seem to have left. I miss the days when there was an actual debate of ideas, or even a semblence of one. Thanks for continuing to report the truth, Chris. Hopefully one of these days the Clinton machine will produce one homosexual who can think and vote at the same time.

    1. Andoni on Aug 17, 2007 9:05:29 AM:

      Yes, I too noticed that the camera cut to Alva as Hillary was walking in and when she noted him, I thought the fix was in said so in a comment. This is the way I put it in my comment under Citizen Crain “Obama Gets an A” (quoted here):

      “Hey Amicus, I will bet you $100 that the only reason that Hillary knew Alva was in the audience is that someone from HRC briefed her on that. HRC folks are so connected to the HRC (the other HRC) campaign, that she got advance warning. If you have ever been in one of these TV situations, you would know that the lights are SO FUCKIN BRIGHT, that you can't see shit in the audience. The only way she could know he was there to recognize him is that she was briefed on it beforehand. And did you notice that the camera went to a cameo of Alva after she took the stage, but before she recognized him. A definite foreshadow....even the producer knew this recogniton was coming. Amicus, it was a staged set-up like the rest of her campaign. Very little is genuine or spontaneous. Play the video again and see how you were duped.
      Posted by: Andoni | August 11, 2007 at 09:45 AM"

      Now that I know Hillary Rosen produced this show and she is on record as Hillary Clinton backer, this qualifies as A SCANDEL in my mind and needs shouted from the mountain tops. Do they think we are stupid? I guess they do!

      I think the other campaigns should complain. There should also be editorials in the various gay media. This is no different that the NBA scandal where the ref had money on the game as he was working it.

      Also, if Hillary Rosen helped choose the questions, that brings up all sorts of other questions. Some people think they were out to get Richardson and Edwards with the questions they got. But I am upset that Hillary got the first 3 questions from Joe Solmonese. The questions seemed tough on the surface, but really weren’t. Then Joe allowed Hillary to eat up the clock rationalizing the past and saying very little about the future. When Jonathon Capehart (the real journalist) got his turn, there was NO TIME left.

      What other candidate got the first 3 questions from the same panelist and ate up almost all the clock with the questions from the first panelist?

      There is a scandel here if only the journalists will pursue it.

    1. Double T on Aug 17, 2007 5:26:24 PM:

      Quick Note.
      Maybe Hillary last was and/or wasn't planned. If I were producting this show, I would want both of my "big draws" on opposite ends. If I had Obama, then Hillary, most people might tune out at that point.

    1. donovan on Aug 17, 2007 10:28:18 PM:

      What exactly IS the substance you'd like me to adddress, Mr. Crain? Your observation of a shot of Eric Alva?

      You write a post announcing the shocking news that Hilary Rosen, who has endorsed Clinton, has produced the HRC debate. Then you introduce this totally irrelevant statement:

      "Rosen has never been shy about her contempt for me and my views and the coverage HRC has received from newspapers I've edited. So I was surprised how much I agreed with her take on the forum, posted on her (relatively new) lesbian social networking site called Our Chart."

      So, let's see. You're shocked a Clinton supporter produced the dog and pony show but you're also shocked that you agree with so much that she blogs afterward because, um, she doesn't like you.

      Have you ever bothered to research the campaign contributions of media people, Chris? There is nothing that surprising in the fact that somebody produces. reports or comments on an election while having their own political bias. This is true of people working for ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and Fox News and much print media. You've furnished utterly no real proof that Hilary Rosen did anything wrong. You've simply engaged in your usual innuendo.

      So, please, tell us exactly what IS your point? Hilary doesn't like you. She likes Hillary. You don't. But you're surprised how much else you and Hilary agree on. But it's important you include the information that Hilary has been mean to you because of your noble reporting about HRC in the papers (that kicked you out the door).

      Does Hilary like Joe? Does Joe like HIlary? Do either of them like you?

      So sum it up. What is your point?

    1. Citizen Crain on Aug 18, 2007 12:20:33 AM:

      Sorry to burst your world-weary cynicism "donavan," but it's not standard procedure for someone who has publicly endorsed a candidate (much less made campaign donations) to produce a candidate forum/debate. If you don't see that conflict of interest, both in appearance and reality, then so be it.

      Hilary (and HRC and Logo) did in fact "do something wrong," simply by allowing Hilary Rosen to perform that role. Ask any journalist (who doesn't work at Fox News) and they'll 'splain it to you, so you don't chalk it up to my anti-Hillary (and Hilary) "bias."

      I offered two examples of apparent Hillary favoritism just from what we know from the forum. The fact that Hilary Rosen wrote in her blog post that she was even involved in selecting the questions only exacerbates the problem. We can't know what tougher questions might have been asked of Hillary Clinton (I can think of a half-dozen) if she didn't have a plant on the inside.

    1. Andoni on Aug 18, 2007 7:44:34 AM:

      For donovan: Wow, it is news to me that major meida producers, reporters etc. donate money, hold fundraisers, and bundle money for their favorite presidential candidate. I didn't know that.

      I just went to a few web sites that track such things and I cannot find such a support trail for Brian Williams, Charles Gibson, Katie Kouric, Larry King, George Stephanopoulos, Tim Russert for any candidate. Can you site a reference and some examples? Maybe I'm missing something.

      Also, someone should ask Jonathon Capehart whether he was aware that that Hilary Rosen produced the show, helped choose the questions and if he thinks that is ethical journalism behavior?

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Aug 18, 2007 12:56:57 PM:

      Well, "standard procedure" depends a lot on "if you get caught and embarrass your bosses in the process" ( http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19113485/ ).

      And furthermore, as I and others have been screaming for the better part of a year, Rosen and the rest of her cabal in HRC and the DNC have exactly zero problem endorsing and giving money to homophobes if that's what their masters want ( http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com/2007/02/lets-see-if-we-can-follow-bouncing.html )

      So I think we can safely say that Hilary Rosen and the rest of her HRC cronies have been purchased, likely as insurance against those who might object in the gay community for when Hillary has to start heading right next year when it really matters.

    1. donovan on Aug 18, 2007 2:55:35 PM:

      Oh, you're so right, andoni. I made it all up.

      Have you tried Google? Here's the first link that came up for me:


      I'm not endorsing this. I'm just making the point that Rosen's role is not unusual. Some might even argue that it's better she makes her position known from the outset.

      You'll notice that Crain precedes "endorse" with "publicly." If his objection is to public endorsement, compared to the not-so-public endorsement of campaign contributions that must be researched, that's another matter. But the idea that media people are generally working without a political bias is naive to say the least.

      But then we have the case of Chris Crain resisting the reporting of Ken Mehlman's homosexuality for no good reason until he was embarrassed into changing his position. Or his publishing a columnist with absolutely no integrity. Fine ethics there.

      There is no such thing as journalism without bias.

      The reason this case is so inflamed is Crain's ankle-biting of the HRC. Hello, the dude even said he was surprised how much he agrees with Rosen, even though she doesn't like him. Waaaah.

    1. Kevin on Aug 18, 2007 5:53:33 PM:

      Jesus, David...er "Donovan"... your snide, cornered-squirrel posts betray your hacky lack of a life, in that you spend so much energy attacking a blogger rather than having a life like normal people. Funny how you raise Ken Mehlmen. How about YOU show some courage and identify yourself? Until then, how about you find another outlet for your bullshit?

    1. Citizen Crain on Aug 18, 2007 6:38:57 PM:

      The point here, "Donavan," is that you cited a news story about the issue of journalists contributing to political campaigns. MSNBC did the story because the clear conflict of interest is newsworthy. That's what that MSNBC story is all about. Did you post snarky comments in response to the MSNBC story as well?

      I don't understand how your "sigh" about the issue not being new somehow negates its newsworthiness. There's all manner of crime and corruption every day, and it's newsworthy even though it continues to happen. That's what makes this whole "tired/over it" attitude of so many who comment on the Net so, well, tiresome.

      I would agree with you that the fact that Hilary was up front about her endorsement is better than if she had covered it up. But what percentage of those who viewed the debate or have read coverage about it since are aware the whole event (including the quetion selection) was overseen by a Hillary-backer? I'm guessing almost none, except those who read her blog post and those "15" who read mine.

      If she were truly upfront, it would have been disclosed on the broadcast. But my point is it shouldn't have been an issue. A fair forum wouldn't be produced by someone who is "friends" and a backer of one of the candidates.

      As for your "Waaah" (is that what passes for argument these days?), I can't for the life of me figure out the point you're making. It would have somehow been better to say I disagreed with her analysis, having criticized her ethics? I was giving my honest viewpoint, and saying where I thought there was common ground and where I differed.

      And finally, FYI, you're completely wrong about the whole Mehlman nonsense. I didn't resist anything. My pubs reported the story harder than any other I'm aware of. And I had no personal knowledge to spike or disclose. (For those who care to rehash, the background is here: http://washingtonblade.com/2005/3-25/view/editorial/edit.cfm)

      But don't let the facts get in the way of your conspiracy theory, "Donavan"; that's what conspiracy theories are good for, after all.

    1. Citizen Crain on Aug 18, 2007 6:47:22 PM:

      Sorry, the parenthesis screwed up the link to my Blade editorial about the Melhman mess: http://washingtonblade.com/2005/3-25/view/editorial/edit.cfm

    1. Dan Kane on Aug 21, 2007 9:50:13 AM:

      Hey Chris, it's not WHAT Richardson said, it's how he said it and how he tried to fix it by calling "in" gays like Signorile and Pam's House Blend instead of addressing it with real gays. Check out this brilliant think piece in the Las Vegas Weekly.


    1. donovan on Aug 21, 2007 2:25:35 PM:

      Well, if you can't figure out my "point," we're quite even, because the vaunted "substance" of your own initial post alludes me too. However, I think you give your motivation away by dropping the complete irrelevancy about Rosen not liking you. It has nothing to do with anything of "substance."

      I did not, by the way, advocate for someone in HRosen's position to oversee a debate. I am simply making the POINT that it is not unusual and your alarmist rhetoric exaggerates the problem -- especially considering that you go on to say how much you and Rosen hold in common.

      As for the Mehlman business: Tell it to your former staff.

    1. Kevin on Aug 21, 2007 10:37:56 PM:

      Oh please, whoever you are, crawl back under your rock. You're a loathsome piece of slime who should either identify itself, or shut the fuck up with your bitchy queen nonsense. There, I said it. And you deserved it.

    1. Peggy McGilligan on Nov 10, 2007 3:19:29 PM:

      I got it; and so did everyone else. You'd have to be insane to begin with, to want to see that duo back in the white House. But what does happen when 20 million Mexicans hit the roads in the US? Where’s our country’s leadership? Wonderland?

      Don't forget that according to Dick Morris, the homosexual lobby got the Clintons reelected in 1996. Then there’s the incidence of Al Qaeda flight students, trained at the University of Bill Clinton. Why does this remain a non-issue?

      Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.” The silence is deafening: http://theseedsof9-11.com

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