Will GLAAD Condemn Dan Savage for His "House Faggots" Tweet?

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In this week's feature in the Voice Pride Issue "Does 'Gay Inc.' Believe in Free Speech?" we take a long look at GLAAD, the self-described "PR firm for the LGBT community."

Since the story was published Tuesday afternoon, a few events have happened as if on cue (one nationally, the others on a much smaller scale involving us personally) which made us wonder how GLAAD would deal with satire today.

The most recent and famous incident was when Dan Savage tweeted this yesterday, in reference to the gay Republican group GOProud endorsing Mitt Romney:

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What, we immediately had to think, will GLAAD have to say about this?

It's not just that GLAAD has a 25 year history of policing what the media should and shouldn't say, but that they've left little room for even the satirical use of the word faggot itself.

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ACT UP Did March for Single-Payer Health Care

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In this week's Pride Issue feature "Does 'Gay Inc.' Believe in Free Speech?" we report about how the mainstream gay organizations, even the AIDS groups, were largely absent from Zuccotti Park in 2011 and were not advocating a single-payer option during 2010's raging health care debates.

Reader Eustacia Smith wrote to inform us that ACT UP New York did march for single-payer healthcare.

Earlier in our article, we'd written:

Today's movement is quite unlike ACT UP, the Gay Liberation Front, or the Mattachine Society. In their use of confrontation, those groups looked far more like Occupy Wall Street than the Human Rights Campaign. Today's gay organizations tend to present queer voices that are well polished and well financed.
Because of this, we didn't consider ACT UP to be part of what we were later discussing about today's big gay organizations, as it was never part of 'Gay Inc.'

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Jewish Guild For The Blind Hires Back Music Therapist For Seniors After Voice Investigation

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Arlene Gottfried
Debbie Moran, at the piano, will be reunited with the blind seniors she's worked with for 20 years
We've got some good news to report this Friday: the Jewish Guild for the Blind has hired back its music therapist, Debbie Moran, after a cover story and an on-going series in the Voice highlighted problems at the nonprofit organization.

In March the Voice reported how Moran, who had worked with elderly, blind seniors as the Guild's music therapist and choirmaster for 20 years, had been laid off, even though the part-time employee earned only about $5,000 a year. The reason cited for Moran's axing was "Medicaid budget cuts," even though a review of the nonprofit's tax filings by the Voice seemed to show no such apparent cuts (a fact recently confirmed by government sources), and despite the fact that the group's CEO, Dr. Alan Morse, had received an 82% compensation increase just two years ago, bringing his pay up to over $1.5 million annually.

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Bullyville Has Taken Over Hunter Moore's Is Anyone Up? (Updated)

Categories: Follow-Up

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As of noon EST, Hunter Moore's revenge-porn site Is Anyone Up?, the subject of our recent cover story, has been shut down after being taken over by the website "Bullyville." The letter below is what's currently posted to the domain formerly known as Is Anyone Up:


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Karaoke For The Blind? Jewish Guild Axes Music Therapy Due To Budget Woes, Pays For Karaoke No One Can See (Part 3)

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Part 3 in a series. (Part 1 is here, part 2 here.)

Despite being axed by the Jewish Guild for the Blind after working as their part-time music therapist for two decades, and despite having the organization lie to her clients that she cancelled on them, music therapist Debbie Moran is lobbying on behalf of the group.

She has started without malie a petition to "Restore Medicaid Funding for Elderly Blind."

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Karaoke For The Blind? Jewish Guild Cancels Music Event, Lies to Elderly About Why (Part 2)

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Arlene Gottfied
The Guild told its clients that music therapist Debbie Moran, left, had cancelled on them, when in fact the Guild cancelled on her

Part 2 in a series. Part 1 can be read here.

Blind GuildCare client Rachel Gonzalez hoped things would blow over after their final concert, and that at the very least, music therapist Debbie Moran would be back for a St. Patrick's Day sing-a-long. After all the, Guild had told her in December that even though they were axing thrice weekly music therapy sessions, "Debbie would be back six times a year" for one offs.

But it was not to be.

According to Gonzalez, the week before St. Patrick's Day, she and others were trying to pick some music to sing when they'd have the rare chance to reunite with their music therapist.

"They don't mention to anybody that Debbie is not coming," Gonzalez says. Then, at the last minute, "they change the entertainment, and they tell everybody that Debbie cancelled."

Gonzalez was horrified that the Guild management told people their therapist of 20 years had cancelled on them for two reasons. First, it hurt the elderly, blind people deeply to think she had abandoned them on the one occasion they could see her again.

Two, it was a bald-faced lied.


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Karaoke For The Blind? Jewish Guild For the Blind Thinks Client's Vision Problems Make Her Mentally Deficient (Part 1)

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Arlene Gottfied
Rachel Gonzalez, left, performing in the GuildCare Choir's final concert
Part 1 in a series. Part 2 can be read here.

Last month, the Voice reported how the Jewish Guild for the Blind cut its part-time music therapist Debbie Moran, who was earning about $5,000 a year, allegedly due to "Medicaid budget cuts" -- despite the fact that the nonprofit's CEO, Dr. Alan Morse, had recently seen an 82% pay increase from $843,000 annually to $1.5 million.

The Guild still planned to bring Moran in six times per year on special occasions, even though they were cutting the thrice weekly music therapy program. Now, the Voice has learned, because of our article, the Guild has cancelled even those special sessions (and lied to their blind, mostly elderly clients about why they were cancelled) apparently out of a mixture of spite and not wanting to lose any money if clients revolted.

Also, the Voice has learned that even though the Guild allegedly didn't have money to keep paying for music therapy, the organization does have money for karaoke...which, of course, the blind clients can't see or participate in.

"How the devil am I supposed to do karaoke? Have you forgotten that half of us are blind?" Guild client Rachel Gonzalez asked with exasperation in a recent phone interview.

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Wonkette: Once "Absolutely Independent" James O'Keefe Was Bankrolled by Andrew Breitbart

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Drew Friedman
We doubt this is the last we'll hear from beyond the grave from Andrew Breitbart
In the fall of 2009, Jame O'Keefe was just coming on the scene with a video which would successfully, if deceitfully and dishonestly, dismantle ACORN.

At that point in time, O'Keefe was railing that he was "absolutely independent." In the first investigative piece we wrote for this publication, the Voice showed this was hokum. Working with a tip from Liz Farkas, O'Keefe's classmate at Rutgers, we were able to trace O'Keefe's financial support back to conservative Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel and to the Leadership Institute, the breeding ground of Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist and Karl Rove.

Well, it turns out O'Keefe was even less "absolutely independent" than that. Writing for Wonkette, Farkas and Matthew Phelan reveal that O'Keefe and his partner Hannah Giles were in touch with Andrew Breitbart before their cross country "Pimp N' Prostitute" tour, and that each were on Breitbart's bankroll by September, 2009...when the ACORN videos came out and O'Keefe was still claiming his autonomy.

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La MaMa E.T.C. Responds to Millenium Film Workshop Eviction, Says It "Believes and Supports" Its Misson

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Mia Yoo, Artistic Director of La MaMa E.T.C. (Experimental Theatre Club), responded to our story about Millenium Film Workshop being served an eviction notice from La MaMa on Wednesday night with this statement:
Since December 2010 La MaMa has been talking and meeting with Millennium Film to try and understand how we can help them as they continue to find ways to stablize their organization. We will continue to do so. We believe and support the mission of Millennium Film and consider it a very important cultural institution.

Tamara Greenfield, the Executive Director of Fourth Arts Block who has been mediating between Millenium and La MaMa over the past many months (including a long meeting yesterday) explained what the process has been like for the two non-profits, her belief that La MaMa wants to keep Millenium in its home (under a different configuration, where some of their current real estate can be rented out to increase revenue), and why she thinks there may have been an "overreaction" from Millenium to the eviction notice.

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Kevin Beauchamp and Howard Orlick on World AIDS Day

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C.S. Muncy
Kevin Beauchamp (left) and Howard Orlick
Today is World AIDS Day, the day to remember the 25 million people killed by the disease and the over 33 million people worldwide living with HIV.

Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to profile Kevin Beauchamp and Howard Orlick in the Voice cover story "Maybe I Do and Maybe I Don't." Both Kevin and Howard are legally blind, have been living with AIDS for years, buried their former partners (at very young ages) to the disease, and now work as HIV/AIDS educators and activists. We chatted with them this morning to talk about who they're remembering and how'll they be spending their day.

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