Waymon Hudson

Jamie Kirchick ADVOCATES for McCain

Filed By Waymon Hudson | March 21, 2008 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media, Politics
Tags: Jamie Kirchick, John McCain, The Advocate

It is another example of why the Advocate no longer represents or advocates for the LGBT community. The magazine ran a ridiculous article in the latest issue by Jamie Kirchick, an editor at the New Republic, stating that the LGBT community should "take a second look" at McCain.

It was called "A President to be Proud of." Ugh.

Let's break it down after the jump...

The column asserts that our community should look past McCain's long anti-gay history (he supports "don't ask, don't tell" and DOMA, and opposes adding sexual orientation to the federal hate-crimes bill and ENDA) and instead focus solely on his "courageous stand" against a federal marriage amendment.

Kirchick contends that this shows that McCain is on our side. Really? So he speaks out against one issue, but actually votes in a consistently damaging way and we should applaud? "Believe what I say, not what I do"?? Not hardly.

Kirchick also says that McCain has always stood against the religious right, like when he called Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson "agents of intolerance" and "corrupting influences on religion and politics." Then Kirchick makes the most ridiculous statement of all:

Sure, McCain spoke at Falwell's Liberty University in 2006, but he didn't pander.

That's not pandering?? Think that would be the definition of it, Jamie.

His argument continues to spiral into stupidity when he somehow makes the claim that McCain's support for the Arizona Marriage Amendment is no big deal (I guess that wasn't pandering either...). He argues:

McCain backed a proposed 2006 amendment to the Arizona constitution that would have not only prevented gay marriage but denied government benefits to unmarried couples. While McCain's support for this measure is regrettable, ultimately, what a senator or president thinks about a state-level constitutional amendment is less relevant than where he stands on a federal one.

I just don't understand how anyone can argue these points. If you want to argue about fiscal policy or the war, sure, we can have a logic based discussion. But to somehow try and paint McCain as good for the LGBT community is ridiculous and based in pure partisan lies.

I had written off the Advocate long ago for becoming a stop for celebrities to come and get LGBT dollars (because we all need one more straight celebrity on the cover saying how they "love the gays" while doing nothing for our issues). It seems they have moved beyond that to become a mouthpiece for the right.

Well I can assure you, the magazine and Jamie Kirchick do not advocate for our community or our rights.

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The LGBT community ought to take another look at Jamie Kirchick, then glance at the pictures of our casualties, our dead from the campaign of hate, and look back at Jamie and say "You are one of the people responsible for this."

No more passes for the collaborators who help get our people killed.

You cannot come down on The Advocate for printing an opinion piece of a view that opposing your own.

If The Advocate were strictly a Democratic magazine, then you should be upset, but saying flatout they are no longer advocates because they offer one article on a Republican candidate, is ridiculous.

We can say that the majority of the GLBT community tends to vote democratic, but to only pander to that audience is a dangerous line to walk.

We can say that anyone who votes Republican perforce endorses that party's ritual crucifixion of gay rights every election cycle and rewards the hate speech that gets us killed.

I am sorry but at this point our struggle of true LGBT citizenship and equality trumps other consideration, especially when our opponents are getting us killed.

And Matt, to pander to the conservative collaborationist queers is a far more dangerous line to walks because it sends a message that we will tolerate any kind of oppression.

I am sick to death of conservative-queers who will sacrifice large parts of this community provided "they get theirs," usually filling for their wallets.


This is but the latest in a long line of signs that the Advocate has given up in its mission to represent the LGBT community. I can, and will, come down on a LGBT magazine that seeks to further promote anti-LGBT people.

I think Maura says is best:

And Matt, to pander to the conservative collaborationist queers is a far more dangerous line to walks because it sends a message that we will tolerate any kind of oppression.

It's (wait for one of TBP commenter's fave phrases...) intellectually dishonest for Kirchick to claim that McCain called out Falwell and Robertson, considering this statement from him on Meet the Press:

RUSSERT: Do you believe that Jerry Falwell is still an agent of intolerance?

MCCAIN: No, I don’t. I think that Jerry Falwell can explain to you his views on this program when you have him on.

He's recanted. So it's not like he gets credit for the original statement anymore.

But I think this is the way the (wait for another fave TBP word...) heteropatriarchy repositions itself amongst the queers - no matter how much more important issues like health care are to queer people, or hate crimes or employment discrimination or whatever, it doesn't matter because he's rich, white, male, and is scared shitless of people from the middle east and thinks we should all be as well.

What's the interesting is that he gets so much mainstream media time compared to other queers, the majority of whom are left-of-center.

...and nobody has yet mentioned McCain's recent cozying-up to the likes of rabidly anti-gay religious nutjobs like Rod Parsley (called a "spiritual advisor" by McCain's camp) and John Hagee a while back.

How much more evidence do we need that this guy is not our friend? He'll throw us and anyone else under the bus if it'll get him elected.

The author of the article is indeed entitled to their opinion and the Advocate is indeed entitled to publish any op-ed piece they want, but I tend to agree that unless they're publishing said article directly opposite one that takes the opposite point of view in order to perhaps show the wide variety of opinion within the LGBTQ community, they are indeed doing a disservice to us. And I'm also entitled to express MY opinion that the (article's) author has his head up his ass.

Believe me, I don't agree with anyone voting for McCain, and I have my entire Republican family refusing to vote for him.

But I think the blanket statement that "The Advocate no longer represents or advocates for the LGBT community," is rather harsh. I read The Advocate and as such, one knows the shear number of articles done on Obama, and Clinton, and the POTUS race, and the GLBT, far out number any positive opinion piece on McCain.

As a community, we have always been about acceptance. That means accepting and respecting others' opinions, even if we don't agree with them. I don't respect violence or the call for violence, and you cannot say that just because a person votes Republican means they are advocating for violence against the GLBT community.

Intolerance and ignorance breeds violence and that holds true whether conservative or liberal.

Matt, it's OK for them to present differing opinions. But they can't just go printing dishonest op-eds to reach that goal. If Kirchick wants to vote for McCain, fine, but his piece presented the same Maverick narrative we've been hearing from the media and cited but didn't mention that McCain recanted his comments about Falwell and Robertson.

It also contains some real stretches, like that McCain luvs the gays because he said something nice about the gay Republican mayor of Tempe, that he'd "transform the GOP" because... I don't really know why, and that we should ignore his entire anti-gay voting record because he was against FMA.

Throw that in with an insult to gay liberals calling us "single-issue gay voters" and a paragraph that makes no sense comparing McCain to Kerry (news for Kirchick: Kerry's not running for president this year), it's just asinine.

The Advocate doesn't take it's responsibility for insightful LGBT political analysis seriously. That's part of why circulation keeps on dropping for them.

Alex said it best. The Advocate no longer takes its responsibilities seriously. This op-ed is simply the latest in a string of what are, in my opinion, missteps and the downfall of the magazine.

Have we forgotten when the editor ran her piece about forgiving Schwarzenegger his veto against gay marriage because he is good on environmental issues? Or the fact that they feature artists and celebrities on the cover and inside that simply come to sell their products to the LGBT community without giving us anything in return?

How about the most recent issue that's cover story is about how maybe Lawrence King brought his death on himself by being "too out" and that maybe gay youth should go back in the closet? Or their "in-depth" coverage of people living with HIV, where they got three middle class gays who didn't represent anything about the modern face of HIV?

And of course that doesn't even get into the long running anti-trans current of the Advocate…
They have sacrificed their reputation as the “go to” source for LGBT news and views for celebrity fluff pieces and conservative-minded, over-privileged viewpoints.

I respect everyone’s viewpoints. Hell, that’s why I blog. But the Advocate is supposed to be about what is important to our community. I think they have lost their way. Place the current issue of OUT, which is dedicated to transgender issues, next to any recent issue of Advocate and you will see the glaring difference.

Ya know I am not a liberal Democrat but to watch these postings today im even more the glad im not even a Democrat. Im just way to conservative for most of the people here but yes I do enjoy reading what you have to say.Oh dont jump for joy you havent run me off!Im still yes im voting for McCain and when he wins in November you will be asking why.

But being pagan and bi and trans most of you think I must blindly follow you and vote like you do but ya know what I am a lousy follower I wander my own path and make up my own mind.True many times I have voted for the loser or the wrong person but I came to vote for them on my own not because somebody told me thou shalt vote for ______ .

So when we have President McCain feel free to blame silly little old me if it helps you feel better but I am not a tratior to any one when I pick which party or candidates to vote for.I can only be a traior to my self when I vote against every thing that I believe in.Just a bit of something to ponder on but lets hope you have someone to get behind soon and you can get on with electing a candidate to President.

Carry on.

I don't think that anyone should follow blindly, Caty, but do you want to see an inclusive ENDA?
DO you want hate crimes protections?

Are you in transition? You may well need the ENDA
Are you post op and stealth?


I have seen what our so called friends have done to us so as I have said I tend to wander my own path when it comes to the improtant things in life.

But in the things you mentioned im all for them and I just might be more liberal on those issues than many here.Im also for the right to serve in the military for not just gays nad lesbians but for Trans folk to other nations get along with it so whats wrong with it here.

Besides if there are none of us at all on there side why should they even think to listen to those whom they feel are there foes? Better to have us every were and and show those who would put us down that hey im one to so think about it before you bash me.It is much easier to bash a stranger than one you know.

As to my transition I was a cross dresser for years since I was 13 to be exact but now I have begun the full change late in life but still I have started it. Speaking of My many CD friends no place have I even seen that they would be included in ENDA. For are they not Trans folk as well?

carry on

I find myself thinking out loud on a couple of these points...

Matt, it's OK for them to present differing opinions. But they can't just go printing dishonest op-eds to reach that goal.

I didn't really find the piece "dishonest." It reminds me of some of the posts Chris Douglas has done for bilerico supporting Gov Mitch Daniels or Representative Jon Elrod. The argument seems to be: "Since they haven't adamantly opposed our every move, they are actually for us. They just can't act like they're our friends because the cool kids are around."

Have we forgotten when the editor ran her piece about forgiving Schwarzenegger his veto against gay marriage because he is good on environmental issues? Or the fact that they feature artists and celebrities on the cover and inside that simply come to sell their products to the LGBT community without giving us anything in return?

Yet Bill Clinton is often greeted quite favorably by the LGBT community. Clinton did more damage than Schwarzenegger what with DOMA, DADT, etc.

Selling their products is an issue? How's the mag going to make money if it doesn't pitch to the community? Look here at Bilerico - there's an ad in our top banner space and ads in every column. We get dozens of press releases and story pitches every day anymore. Which ones do we usually cover?

1) The stories that will get read - they're interesting
2) The pitches that include an incentive - review our CD/book/movie and keep the copy, etc

The Advocate isn't any different from Bilerico in that regard. They just have to make more money to pay more staff. We float along with Alex, Jerame and I trying to scrape up enough to write ourselves a check occasionally. The Advocate has a full-time staff and printing costs to pay.

Disagreeing with this article and blaming the demise of the Advocate on it seem to be apples and oranges. One really has nothing to do with the other but lumping two negatives together makes us feel better.


I think your own explanation shows how the op-ed was dishonest and intellectually lazy. You say potato, yada yada...

And having the editor of an LGBT magazine tell the community to forget when a governor stands in the way of progress and equality because she liked his energy policy is kind of ridiculous. It is again the lack of any counter-balance that shows the slant of the magazine of late.

And I don't think anyone has an issue with the ads or even reviewing books and music (it isn't what we are talking about, I love ad space), it's the fact that it took almost two months for Lawrence King to appear on the cover (what, they couldn't have bumped Bette Midler a week for a story like that?).

They constantly put celebs on the cover like its US Weekly (Mary J Blige, Gwen Stefani, etc) instead of doing any relevant news to the LGBT community. I remember a time when the advocate covered LGBT issues, not just provided a place to give a shout out to the gays as a marketing ploy. The magazine has become all straight fluff, and when gay issues are covered, they are covered in a conservative, lazy manner like the op-ed piece and the Lawrence King story.

So this article is the latest negative (let's call it an apple) in a string of negatives (more apples...). No oranges to compare here, just the disappointment of someone who grew up sneaking copies of the Advocate into his bag so he could see what gay life was like.

I can't comment on Chris, Bil, because I never read his stuff when he was on the site. Hey, it was pre-relaunch, and I wasn't reading anyone I didn't feel like reading!

Seriously, though, Kirchick was dishonest here for not mentioning that McCain recanted his criticism and then giving him credit (lots of credit) for it. And he's been dishonest in the Advocate before. But they're not going to stop printing his stuff for whatever reason. Every Advocate needs a Kirchick column. I guess we're not being lied to enough in real life.

Oh my goodness... Alex and I are on the same side of an issue!

Thank you, Advocate, for bringing our community together. LOL...