Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Clinton talks to Latino gay web portal, Obama should embrace gay media

Kerry Eleveld has a great piece over at The Advocate Online on the different approaches by the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns when it comes to gay media and their stands on LGBT rights (All Politics Is Local, The Advocate Online, April 22, 2008).

I bring this up because, as an Obama supporter, I have no idea why the campaign has been so reluctant from engaging gay media and specifically local gay media - aside from placing ads and offering OpEd pieces plus one or two big interviews with The Advocate.

Sure, I get why Obama might not have spoken to The Philadelphia Gay News but how about Gay City News, Bay Area Reporter, The Blades, etc.?

His explanation to The Advocate? “We tend not to do a whole bunch of specialized press. We try to do general press for a general readership.”

Which is all good and stuff but he still misses a great opportunity to connect a bit more with the gay community which tends to vote at higher rates than the general community.

The Clinton campaign, on the other hand, seems to offer more availability to the candidate when it comes to gay press.

What stunned me this week was that she even gave a brief interview to an upstart Spanish-language LGBT web portal called
Tras La Verdad and probably made history:
  • The interviewer was Veronica Onnassis (above) who is transgender (not sure a trans journalist has ever had access to La Clinton); and
  • Clinton probably was sold on the idea that the portal aims to reach the Spanish-speaking LGBT community in the United States - which also probably makes it the first time that a presidential candidate has reached out to a Spanish language LGBT site.
The Clinton camp probably new it would be a puff piece (the site had endorsed her weeks earlier) - and how!

Here are the questions: "How do you manage to keep balance between work and family?", "Who do you admire?", "What part of the world do you prefer to vacation in?", "If you are elected president, would you work with openly gay persons on your electorate train?", "Are you friends with people who are openly gay?", "Do you have friends who are openly gay?", "Many gays in the Latino community admire you for what your contribution to LGBT rights - How do you feel about the backing of these individuals?"

And of course, "Who is your favorite fashion designer?"
and "What is your favorite color?"

Finally, on the very last question, Onassis asks a policy question by telling Senator Clinton that in her home country, the Dominican Republic, and elsewhere some people with HIV face employment discrimination and then asking if as president she would launch an international policy to stop those abuses.

Senator Clinton said yes.

I still believe Obama will be our next president and hope that this will be resolved sooner than later. But the campaign should engage gay media a bit more.


1 comment:

libhom said...

I think Obama should speak out more in the queer media. However, some lgbt bloggers have noticed that Obama is more willing to speak on our issues in front of predominantly straight audiences than Clinton is.

Clinton, on the other hand, is willing to say one thing in the lgbt press and another elsewhere.