NY Times Slaps GLAAD
Following on the heels of a similar editorial in the Boston Globe, albeit one that excellently zeroed in only on the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Saturday's New York Times cast a jaundiced eye at AT&T's proposed merger with T-Mobile and the phone giant using nonprofits to push its agenda before the FCC.
The editorial, coming weeks after these matters captured the attention of many bloggers, gay and mainstream online and print media, and net neutrality advocates, is certainly welcome but I do wonder why it's appearing this late in the narrative. There's also the curious fact that the Times has not written about the donations-and-merger controversy in the national or business news sections.
A few comments related to the piece. The Gray Lady in recent years has become so enamored of Gay Inc groups and the people who run them, with nary a negative word or hint of criticism included, that the paper is seen by some as the Gay Lady. Not a healthy situation.
See Sheryl Gay Stolberg's piece on the Gay & Lesbian Victor Fund or Bob Morris' story on the Trevor Project's recent fundraiser for examples of mouthpiece journalism at the Times.
Excerpts from Saturday's editorial:
It seems surprising that organizations dedicated to advocating for gays and lesbians, African-Americans or teachers could take such a burning interest in telecoms that they would endorse AT&T’s $39 billion plan to buy T-Mobile, which is under review by the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department.
Yet since it announced the deal in March, AT&T’s proposed megamerger has garnered the support of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Education Association, among others.
... Glaad said AT&T had a good track record on issues that matter to gays and lesbians. All three noted that AT&T was a union shop and T-Mobile was not. These are all positive things, for sure, but what have they to do with the cellphone market?And the money is causing discomfort within some of the organizations.
... The president of Glaad, Jarrett Barrios, resigned last month as controversy grew over the organization’s support of the merger after it received $50,000 from AT&T. Mr. Barrios also disavowed a letter sent from his office to the F.C.C. last year supporting AT&T’s opposition to the agency’s proposed net neutrality rules, which would bar telecom companies like AT&T from blocking or discriminating against rivals’ data flowing through their wires. ...
AT&T has the right — as a huge corporation, indeed, the duty — to make philanthropic donations. They are just not a good basis to decide the future of the nation’s telecommunications.
Yes, and allowing AT&T to set a corrupt gay group's agenda, one that was decided behind closed doors without any transparency, raises additional questions about the relevancy of GLAAD.