Congratulations, Dan Savage!

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By Bruce B. Brugmann

Congratulations to Dan Savage, editor of the Stranger in Seattle who writes a syndicated sex column called "Savage Love" for the Voice/New Times chain and other papers. I am toasting him once again with a Potrero Hill martini at our neighborhood local.

Dan performed heroically in the referendum on Bush, the war, and neocon policies. He helped knock out Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania with personal appearances in the state. He managed to get key endorsements into his column in the ll New Times papers that traditionally don't endorse. He helped voters in Arizona (the non-endorsing Voice/New Times is headquartered in Phoenix) to be the first in the nation to reject a ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage. He kept a liberal and activist spark alive in his column in the Village Voice (and the other Voice papers purchased last fall by New Times and were therefore shut out of doing endorsements and strong election coverage. They were besides the Voice, the Minneapolis City Pages, Seattle Weekly, Nashville Scene, LA Weekly, and OC Weekly, all of whom traditionally did endorsements and strong election coverage until the sale to the Voice. The OC Weekly to its enormous credit did endorsements.)

Dan also wrote a typically useful op ed piece in today's New York Times, titled "The Code of the Callboy" in which he explains why the callboy outed Ted Haggard, one of the most powerful evangelica ministers in the country. "Ultimately," Savage wrote, "it was Ted Haggard's hypocrisy--railing against homosexuality and campaigning against gay marriage while apparently indulging in sex romps with a gay escort--that prompted Mr. Jones to shove him out of the closet. The homophobia promoted by Mr. Haggard and other agents of intolerance, if I may use John McCain's phrase (he's not using it any more), undermined the callboy code of silence that Mr. Haggard himself relied on. Most callboys are gay, after all, and most are out of the closet these days.

"And while most callboys will continue to respect a code of silence where the average closet case is concerned, the Ted Haggards of the world have been placed on notice: You can't have your callboy and disparage him too."

Repeating: Dan, in this critical election, showed he had more real balls than MIke Lacey, the editor of the Voice/New Times papers.Dan, Keep it up, B3, savoring the ascendancy of San Francisco Values and Guardian editorial positions

PS: Repeating: The staffs of New Times papers have been long baffled by the New Times non-endorsement policy. And the staffs of the Voice and other Voice papers who had been endorsing and doing strong election coverage were particularly baffled when Lacey shut down their endorsement process this year without explanation. What are Lacey and the Voice/New Times afraid of? Of annoying their advertisers? Of giving up control to local chain editors who may be (gasp!) more liberal and activist than the gang in Phoenix? Are they worried that endorsements and strong political coverage would disclose just how cynical and out of touch Lacey and New Times are in their politics and in their view of the cities i n which they have papers? That chain-driven endorsements would expose the template that Voice/New Times uses in their papers? As always, I will send this blog and these questions to Lacey in Phoenix for comment. Stay alert.

By the way, MIke, what do you think of the election results? Will your papers be allowed to comment on them?

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Dan Savage comes through in the clutch. The gay sex columnist endorses in his pre-election column in the Voice and other New Times papers, but the Voice and New Times papers do not endorse. Hurray for Dan Savage!!!
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