Their slogan is, “We’re here, we’re queer. We’re on deadline.” But on April 16th, when the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) held their 2015 “Headlines & Headliners” fundraiser in New York City, they were cheering a strip-tease performer from Chippendales.
Chippendales strippers usually perform for sex-starved women. This time the audience consisted of sex-starved gay men.
It was an eye-opening experience that included stars from CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. The emcee was Javier “Javi” Morgado, Executive Producer at CNN’s “New Day” program, who introduced the live auction of two VIP seats at the Las Vegas Chippendales show. He’s a former board member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. Tyson Beckford, who has joined Chippendales in Las Vegas as their celebrity guest host, participated in the live auction, encouraging higher bids.
I paid the $150 ticket price to get into the event. This isn’t the first time I had covered and filmed the event, and I never encountered any problems in the past. But this time the group told me to leave. My own video shows the confrontation.
The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association is financed by all of the major media organizations, from MSNBC and CNN on the left to Fox News on the right. It has issued a “Stylebook” to advise news organizations on how to use “lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender terminology.” For example, you are not supposed to use the term “ex-gay,” even though thousands of former homosexuals do exist. The gay “Stylebook” warns that the term “ex-gay” is “mostly rooted in conservative religions” and has been “generally discredited as therapy in scientific circles.”
That this is complete nonsense can be demonstrated by the well-known case of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray. For years she publicly called herself a lesbian, even writing an essay titled, “I Am a Lesbian.” But she got married to de Blasio and has two kids. The gay “Stylebook” is why you rarely see interviews with ex-gays on the air. They are not supposed to exist.
The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association event was actually a public event, in the sense that tickets were available to anybody who bought them. That’s how I got in. In addition to the ticket prices and the financial sponsorship from big media organizations, the auction sold special VIP access to such programs as Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN. Other auction items included MSNBC star Rachel Maddow’s book, access to the MSNBC “Morning Joe” program, an “adults only” stay at a hotel and spa, and two tickets to “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”
This year’s event was different because of the inclusion of a live auction of two VIP seats to the Las Vegas performance of Chippendales. The auction price went up and up until, finally, at around $1,500 the vacation was sold.
CNN had a big contingent that included its president, Jeff Zucker, and correspondents Brian Stelter, John Berman, Christine Romans, Richard Quest and Brooke Baldwin.
MSNBC sent Contessa Brewer and Willie Geist. Gerri Willis from Fox News was there.
The mix of attendees shows that, on the matter of gay rights, there’s no competition among the big media. They’re on the same side.
I filmed the strip-tease auction and wanted to film the main speech by Meredith Vieira, the day-time talk show host, but was approached by someone with the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association who said I would have to stop filming. I refused and suggested calling the cops. Then, I was approached by Matthew Berger of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, who was accompanied by the building’s security guard. Berger insisted it was a private event that I couldn’t film. I noted that I had filmed it two years ago with no resistance.
Berger is a former reporter for NBC News and the National Journal who went to work for Dezenhall Resources dealing with “crisis communications.” Berger definitely had a crisis on his hands this time.
It may have been the videos of this event that I had taken in the past which had caused the group a problem. Those videos featured a big media star, Natalie Morales of NBC News, boasting about how they had changed public opinion in favor of gay marriage. Natalie Morales declared, “Many of us here in this room—the media—we are responsible for opening the world’s eyes to these issues and the stories that have brought about such change.” These comments seem to cast doubt on the idea of a “fair and balanced” media on the gay rights matter.
Not wanting to cause a physical confrontation, I eventually agreed to stop filming. But according to others who covered the event and recorded the remarks, Meredith Vieira described the next phase of the campaign.
“The transgender community continues to make strides to gain greater acceptance with more portrayals in the mainstream media,” she said. “This past year we saw Laverne Cox make history as the first transgender person to grace the cover of Time magazine, the series ‘Transparent’ on Amazon won two Golden Globes and next week Bruce Jenner breaks his silence in an interview with Diane Sawyer about what many expect to be an open conversation about his transitioning…It is because of organizations like NLGJA that push for fair and accurate coverage of the LGBT community that we are where we are today, continuing to educate decision makers in newsrooms to sensitively cover the issues confronting each and every one of us.”
Of course, the group is not promoting “fair and accurate” coverage at all. Their gay “Stylebook” dictates coverage of the issue to benefit the seemingly endless parade of sexual minorities.
The next stop, as Vieira made clear, is the “rights” of the transgendered. “Bruce Jenner: the Interview” is scheduled to air on April 24.
At the same time, CBS’ soap opera, “The Bold & the Beautiful,” has unveiled a transgender story line about what the New York Daily News describes as one of the show’s most popular female characters, fashion model Maya Avant, being born male.
After the transgendered get their rights, what’s next? My bet is on special coverage for members of the “leather community” who practice forms of sexual bondage. There is actually a New York Bondage Club where people can get tied up, punched, wrapped, or tied down on a cross.
I’m sure The Huffington Post, always on top of the latest bizarre sexual trends, will be updating us on the demands for the rights of those engaged in this “alternative lifestyle.” Indeed, the publication has run several stories about this perversion, even one about the show “Ellen” featuring NBC’s Matt Lauer in bondage gear.
As someone “schooled” by Communist Frank Marshall Davis, a pornographer and pedophile, it is possible that President Obama will extend these bondage practitioners special rights before he leaves office.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org