Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Palin: Homosexuality is a "Choice"

Even if her "best friend" made that "choice," it's a a "choice," and she's not going to "judge" people on that "choice" -- and what usually follows after that is, Just don't ask for special rights for your choice! How many times have we heard this one?

What Really Caused the Financial Meltdown?

(via JoeMyGod)

Gay marriage, of course!

And hey, we also cause Washington Mutual to go under!

On Today's Show

At 3:30 EST, Sheila Tendy, economist and contributor to Huffington Post, will join us again to talk about the bailout rejection in Congress, the market crash and what the future portends.

In our third hour, 4:30 EST: the debate over an LGBT high school in Chicago. A public hearing on the pros and cons of a high school for LGBT students found divisions within Chicago's gay community. Is it about creating a safe space, or is it segregation? Andy Thayer of Chicago's Gay Liberation Network, will join us to talk about why he thinks such a school gives students a false sense of security and doesn't prepare them for the real world.

Listen to The Michelangelo Signorile Show weekdays live from 2-6 pm ET on Sirius Satellite Radio’ s OutQ, Channel 109. Not a subscriber? Not a problem! Listen online any time with a free three-day pass.

Destroying the Republican Party, and America

Conservative columnist David Brooks has only now realized that House Republicans are destroying the Republican Party, now that they've caused a calamity in the economic markets with their warped ideological pursuits:

It has been interesting to watch them on their single-minded mission to destroy the Republican Party. Not long ago, they led an anti-immigration crusade that drove away Hispanic support. Then, too, they listened to the loudest and angriest voices in their party, oblivious to the complicated anxieties that lurk in most American minds.

Now they have once again confused talk radio with reality. If this economy slides, they will go down in history as the Smoot-Hawleys of the 21st century. With this vote, they’ve taken responsibility for this economy, and they will be held accountable. The short-term blows will fall on John McCain, the long-term stress on the existence of the G.O.P. as we know it.

Of course, he and his ilk empowered these ideologues (and George W. Bush, free-marketer-suddenly-turned-socialist, as well as deregulator-turned-regulator John McCain) all the while, as they a wreaked havoc with their political philosophies, ultimately bringing the economy to ruins. But hey, country first!

McCain's Big Stunt Backfires Big Time

This AP story sums up how McCain really took ownership of the Wall Street bailout when he "suspended" his campaign and now he's paying the price.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Delusions on the Right

Conservatives are freaking out that McCain might lose the election. And I sure hope they listen to Bill Kristol, who is spinning out lots of desperate advice. In his column in the Times today, after admitting that "McCain is on course to lose the presidential election to Barack Obama" he tells the McCain campaign that McCain needs to pull more stunts like last week's "suspension" of his campaign, let Palin loose on the public completely, and bring back Jeremiah Wright!

The idea that they think Wright is fodder -- now that we have Sarah Palin's witchhunter, on video -- is pretty hilarious, and delusional.

Fundie Pressure on McCain about Mark Buse

The religious right base is just beginning to turn the screws on John McCain over the revelation last week that he has a gay chief of staff, Mark Buse. Focus on the Family was inundated with calls -- we know, because many of you were calling too, and you were hearing from the people who work there. James Dobson has been silent so far, but Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. (pictured here) is leading the charge already:

A conservative Christian pastor and political activist says the revelation that John McCain's Senate chief of staff is an open homosexual should compel the presidential hopeful and his running mate Sarah Palin to "rise up" and "unashamedly" declare their support for traditional marriage....According to [Maryland Pastor, Bishop Harry] Jackson, the announced "outing" of Buse is a calculated political move. "I think this attack has come at this moment because of the issues of marriage amendments in these states and the issue of a pro-family agenda," the pastor suggests. "And I wish [McCain] was more engaged positively, because he's getting the negative attack no matter what."

And there is more to come as more people come forward. Stay tuned.

Yet Another Suicidal Hillary Supporter

Yes, we've dealt with many of these people before, but tedious as it is we can't ignore them and must challenge them. This is a video clip of the call from Karen in Arizona from last week on the show, which many of you will remember. She called in to say that I don't let people -- specifically disgruntled and angry Hillary Clinton supporters -- have their say and vent their opinions. I reminded her that the primaries are over, and we now have a choice between only two candidates, and then I let her rant on anyway. The moment I finally jumped in, she accused me of cutting her off.

The clip begins at that point. As you can see, she is angry. I'm not sure what these people hope to accomplish beyond a childish tantrum. Some listeners and commenters here also seem to think I should be nicer to these people, but I think they really want me to legitimize their positions, and I'm not going to do that. They keep claiming they're either going to vote for McCain or write in Hillary's name. I'm sorry, but that's not a sane alternative, and I'm not going to coddle these people when they need to have sense shaken into them. And if that's not going to work for them then others who might be thinking of doing what they're doing need to hear these people challenged so that maybe they won't be as idiotic.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Palin Screws up Again

This time she actually agreed with what is Obama's position on making attacks inside Pakistan if there is intelligence re: terrorists. A student got past the handlers and asked her the question at an event yesterday. And McCain retracted the statement for her this morning while appearing on ABC. Jeez, they won't even allow her to retract her own statements!

I love the part where he says:

"In all due respect, people going around and… sticking a microphone while conversations are being held, and then all of a sudden that's—that's a person's position..."

Yeah, John, it's called an interview.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Woman Overboard!

You may remember when conservative feminist-bashing columnist and author of Save the Males, Kathleen Parker, came on the show and got quite huffy with me back in June. Well, she's called for Sarah Palin to drop out to "save McCain" and we do have to give her credit for being one of the few conservative columnists to speak honestly about Palin:

"Like so many women, I've been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I've also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does...Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first." "

Having read Parker's dreadful book -- though she accused me of not reading it -- I must say that it's understandable why Palin is an insult to her intelligence, as Parker is a woman who is up on domestic and foreign policy, even if she is wrong-headed about it. While Palin might be adored by all those religious right church ladies, she clearly is an embarrassment to conservative professional women (like Kay Bailey Hutchison, who you remember was shocked at the pick) who worked hard to prove they were intellectually on a par with their male colleagues, actually believing they and other women would be treated as equals.

The humiliation is particularly acute because women like Parker bash feminists but in fact Palin proves one of the critiques feminists make: Conservative white males elevate and put out front women who are willing robots spouting the party line -- kept in a little box for use whenever necessary -- and bypass smart, independent women who might threaten them.

So, add Parker to the list of David Brooks and George Will who've criticized Palin.

Will more be jumping ship?

Listener Survey Comments

This week on the show I read listener survey comments on two different days, largely because we got very distracted the first time, after I only read a few. I took a call -- since I do ask people to call in and tell us what they think of the comments -- from Karen in Arizona, who some of you will remember went on a total rant after responding to one of the comments; she was a Hillary Clinton supporter who just will not support Obama. Oh, she was priceless. I will to put the video up of that call.

Anyway, the phones started ringing with people responding to her and, well, the program ended and we never finished reading the comments. So then I read some more comments later in the week, and there were several about Karen's call (but in one of them below, the listener seems to think her name is Rachel). Anyway, below are some of the listener survey comments I read on the show this week, edited for space, posted per most Saturdays. Let me know your thoughts, and please take the survey if you are listener to the show and haven't taken it.


I was totally into Michelangelo both at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. He really inspired me to share what has been going on in the world of politics with family and friends. My entire family are Conservative, Right-Wing Republicans, so now I feel equiped to handle them when politics come up! The only thing I am not liking about the show, and Michelangelo touched on it the other day, is that long uber-disgusting opening monologue about boils, plucking stuff, infested things, etc. It is the longest run-on sentence I have ever heard in my life. I think you need trumpets and fanfare, or something more upbeat for an opening!

First, why do whomever created this survey want to know what alcohol I drink? Second, I love your show and appreciate your passion for politics. You are so well spoken and I admire how take on all these bigoted, narrow minded, homophobic, sheep. Thank you for not letting them get away with anything.

Love the show but you talk too much. That said, I love it when you have one of those hate mongers on and you get into a fight.

I appreciate that you actually talk, ask questions and are respectful to people with whom you don't agree. Also you have important guests and some sort of an outline and show format or agenda. I can hear it. Thank you. I have always said if we want to be treated the same as others then we shouldn't act differently. .

I just recently began listening to the show. Because of the importance of this political season, I'm trying to get all discussion from the left or progressive point of view. For many years we've been deprived of common sense radio. Keep up the good work!

Basically you represent an ilk to me that is the reason I consider myself homosexual, not gay. Shade of gray are good, not scary as gays like you see them. We don't all agree, we don't have to. You are repugnant to me on many levels, yet I love to listen and be remined of why I left the "gay" thing and found real comfort in my individuality. It's twisted, but keep up the horrible work. I love changing the channel!

I'd love to hear you get into more hard-hitting issues that face our community that doesn't have to do with politics. Even if you could devote an hour a day to something else. I like listening to you, I'm just bored of your freakin' election ... good God, we elect a prime minister in Canada in five weeks. Why does it take the biggest democracy in the world two years to get the job done?

The only thing I dont like about the show is thats its only 4 hours long. Many times I find myself at the end of 4 hours thinking "no...dont go now". I wish you were on 8 hours to fill the day. I love the show. The sign of a good talk show host is that he/she can carry the show without relying on taking calls all the time. Keep doing what you're doing. You're the best.

Love the show. Only area of change that might be nice is to suggest to MS that he is a touch more gentle with the callers who are not terribly bright. I know they've got to be shuffled off air fast, but sometimes it's done so brusquely that I find myself feeling sorry for the poor inarticulate bastards that occasionally call in. Gentle and fast are a possible combo and one that might be more effective here. Not wimpish - just a touch more kind - after all, they cannot help being born stupid anymore than some of us can help the fact that we were born with IQ's over 130.

Last night I heard a debate with a woman named Rachel who was ranting on and on about how she wasn't going to vote for Barack... that Hilary should have been the candidate yada yada. This woman was so ignorant and so obnoxious.... that I almost called into the show to tell Mike to HANG UP ON HER! Just then, he turned it around from a soft listening voice to: "how old are you rachel" "in your 50s? well you act like you're 16. GROW UP." I loved it. I had pulled up to my house and debated whether the get out of the car but instead listened to you give it back to her. She asked "what are you STUPID?"... she was just the absolute WORST. I'm so glad we have people like you who put people like Rachel in their place. Thanks Mike.

I heard both exchanges with Karen today and the guy on Monday who didn't like Obama because he was against gay marriage. I do not think you were too tough on either one of them. You challenge people to THINK about what they are saying. I don't see you as attacking them. Rather you challenge people who say stupid things. I really enjoy the show and really enjoy your lively discussion with those who call in.

While there are many non-social fiscal issues that we disagree on, we do agree on many social issues, gay rights, healthcare and marriage. I find your show very interesting and appriciate the Coast Centric thoughts and attitudes, although there are times you forget there are people that to not live on a coast. It is wonderful that our community can support all walks of life and attitudes. (Ps. I live in Denver, I hope you had a good time here.)

I podcast a lot of talk shows from AirAmerica and Democracy Now and Nova etc. MS show is probably the best out there since Sam Seder left AA. Super smart, informative and way too unacknowledged. I would pay for a podcast, I have friends that would pay for a podcast.

I am a 42 year old married, hetero, democrat, female in Kansas (yuk!) and I LOVE listening to you! I can't wait for you to come on each day so that I can hear someone express what I feel. Thanks so much & keep it up!

Your show is like a daily meal for my brain, giving it all the mental protein and vegetables it needs. Then I listen to Derek and Romaine for dessert! ;-)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Watching the Debate

So far, 20 minutes in, McCain is putting out all his same old lines. Obama seems a little tense, as with every time he's in a debate, but doing well. Your thoughts?

Clips of the Week: "Suspend My Campaign"

Our Friday feature on the show, Clips of the Week: the dumb, sometimes smart -- mostly not -- things they said all week, all put to music by our producer David Guggenheim. This week: "Suspend My Campaign"

On Today's Show

At 3:30 EST: Are people born conservative, destined to become wingnuts? Researcher John Alford, co-author of a new study out of the University of Nebraska joins me to talk about the "startle response" and his just published study that showed that people who startle easily tend to be the same people who want to control and contain things through more extreme measures.

In the 4:30 EST hour, John Diamond, author of The CIA and the Culture of Failure: US Intelligence from the End of the Cold War to the Invasion of Iraq.

Tune into the Michelangelo Signorile Show weekdays from 2-6 p.m. EST on Sirius Satellite Radio’ s OutQ, Channel 109. Not a subscriber? Listen online at any time by getting a free three-day pass.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Did Condi Gay Rumors Doom Her Chances as McCain's Running Mate?

Imagine if John McCain had picked Condoleeza Rice as a running mate rather than Sarah Palin. Say what you will about Rice -- and I certainly have -- but she perhaps could have been much more formidable than Palin, even with Rice's Bush baggage. It might be a whole different race -- if not, according to an investigative reporter, for the fact that Rice has been speculated about, particularly in the past year, as a lesbian. And a lot of that blew up on my show and right here on this blog.

Many of you will remember back to September of last year when Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Glenn Kessler broke the news on my show that Condi Rice owned a home with another woman.

He'd written a biography of Rice, and I surely wasn't his first interview (though I was in that first dozen or so, probably, since it was the week the book was published). And yet, I was the first one to ask about some curious facts he'd unearthed and which were prominent in his introduction and then later in the book, regarding Rice's ownership of a home with a woman described as her closest female friend, Randy Bean, a Democrat and filmmaker who worked at Stanford. The two had actually owned the home with Rice's other best friend, a gay man who worked in the Clinton administration, Coit D. Blacker, a Stanford professor, who eventually sold his share to the two women. Even if Rice and the also-unmarried Bean weren't in a relationship, the fact that her second closest friend is a gay man (and also a Democrat) was quite fascinating.

My post about the interview that day was linked up up across the web almost immediately, and to this day is still popular. (Certainly it caused enough of a commotion that Bean felt compelled to give an interview weeks later to Radar, denying she is a lesbian or was involved with Rice.)

Well, now Ian Halperin, an investigative journalist, author and blogger who blew the lid off Scientology's homophobia (among other things), reports that a Republican National Committee source claims Rice was being pushed hard by some McCain advisers as a VP running mate, well before Palin, but that the idea was shot down eventually because they thought the fundies would go nuts over the rumors. He sites the Kessler book as having fueled the speculation about Rice:

According to a prominent member of the Republican National Committee privy to the search process, many in McCain’s inner circle argued furiously for the selection of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice over the other top contenders, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Tim Pawlenty.
“Once Obama selected Biden instead of Hillary,” said the source, ” they had this theory that Condi was the perfect candidate to put up against him. She’s tough, conservative and a hawk, not to mention a football fanatic, which would be more than enough for white men. They never expected traditionally Democratic Blacks and women to vote for her in large numbers, but argued that if she could just sway 5-10% of Blacks and 10% of women to defect, it could be enough to tilt the election towards McCain in a number of crucial swing states. At this point, Palin still wasn’t on anybody’s radar screen.”

So what went wrong? “It was the persistent rumors about her sexuality that ultimately killed her chances and removed her from the list,” says the mid-level RNC official. “In Washington circles, it’s just assumed Rice is gay and nobody really cares. But in the glare of the media spotlight, those rumors were bound to get magnified a thousandfold and the mainstream media would have had an excuse to reveal the facts that would have caused conniption fits among the Republican base.”

Very interesting.

More Palin Madness

She is imploding before our eyes. The exchange about Russia and Putin and, well, everything, is just insane. They are freaking I'm sure.

Selective Revelations

Eric Hegedus, former honcho at the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, weighs in on how the media jump at outing Clay Aiken but didn't go near -- yet -- John McCain's supposedly out chief of staff, Mark Buse.

On Today's Show

All the breaking news in the campaigns, the Sarah Palin train wreck interview and much more.

At 4:30 EST Susan Wise Bauer, author of The Art of the Public Grovel: Sexual Sin and Public Confession in America.

Tune into the Michelangelo Signorile Show weekdays from 2-6 p.m. EST on Sirius Satellite Radio’ s OutQ, Channel 109. Not a subscriber? Listen online at any time by getting a free three-day pass.

Barney Frank: Bush Meeting is McCain Photo-Op

Barney Frank says that taking time out to trudge up to the White House where McCain and Obama will meet with Bush -- at Bush's request -- is just eating up time on a deal that's almost done:

"Frankly, we’re going to have to interrupt a negotiating session tomorrow between the Democrats and Republicans on a bill, where I think we’re getting pretty close, and troop down to the White House for their photo-op, and then come back and get on to it," Frank said.

“We’re trying to rescue the economy, not the McCain campaign,” he added.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Total Train Wreck

Real Leadership

The McCain stunt of course dominated the show today, and actually for a half a minute we thought it might be brilliant on the part of McCain, desperate as it was. But when Obama came out, he really showed what leadership is about.

We took calls for more than an hour after McCain's appearance but before Obama's. Many people had hoped Obama would do exactly what he did in refusing to "suspend" (whatever that means) his campaign, and saying we don't need to postpone the debate because presidents are challenged by a lot of things, can do more than one thing at the same time and need to actually be seen by people.

Actually, he did better than anyone had hoped. McCain looked like a fool by the end. Glad to see Democratic leaders hitting hard on it as well, pointing out how it is all politics. Not sure how the media will spin all this, though, and obviously haven't seen much as we've been on the air. What did you think?

On Today's Show

At 3:30 EST: The Bailout: So many questions, so little details and precious little time. Economist and Wall Street attorney Sheila Tendy joins us to talk about the financial crisis the $700 billion bailout and who is going to pay for it.

At 4:30 EST Susan Wise Bauer, author of The Art of the Public Grovel: Sexual Sin and Public Confession in America.

UPDATE: With the breaking news of John McCain suspending his campaign, we have regretfully canceled our 3:30 guest but will of course reschedule, and may cancel our 4:30 guest as well as we take calls on this extraordinary news.

Tune into the Michelangelo Signorile Show weekdays from 2-6 p.m. EST on Sirius Satellite Radio’ s OutQ, Channel 109. Not a subscriber? Listen online at any time by getting a free three-day pass.

Video: Second Ex-Boyfriend of McCain's Chief of Staff

This is a video clip from the show when Jeff Ardnt called and said that he was also a past boyfriend of Mark Buse, John McCain's chief of staff, after we began reporting on Brian Davis coming forward as an ex-boyfriend of Buse.

Ardt didn't give his last name on the program, but we took his number and he was contacted later by Sirius OutQ News and confirmed his account, on the record, for the news, as I posted earlier. He gave a lot more detail on the show, however, than was reported in the news clip, and as promised here is the video clip from the show.

More McCain Lies and Hypocrisy

When it was revealed on Monday that John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis was on Freddie Mac's payroll -- even as McCain was criticizing Obama for having had, earlier in the year, a Freddie Mac executive as an advisor -- John McCain said that Davis hadn't worked for Freddie mac for years.

Now we find out that in fact Davis was paid by Freddie Mac precisely because of his influence with John McCain right up until this August:

One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

The disclosure undercuts a remark by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years.

Mr. Davis’s firm received the payments from the company, Freddie Mac, until it was taken over by the government this month along with Fannie Mae, the other big mortgage lender whose deteriorating finances helped precipitate the cascading problems on Wall Street, the two people said.

More straight talking, right?

Log Cabin Responds, Pam Eviscerates

The Log Cabin Republicans have responded to the John McCain/Mark Buse hypocrisy revelation, and it is pretty lame and ridiculous. Pam Spaudling exposes the contradictions in their argument, as they still seem to be trying to couch John McCain as pro-gay, even as he is opposed to every gay rights measure! Go read Pam now! I'll be weighing in later with my own response.

New ABC Poll Has Obama Ahead by 9

It's nothing to get comfortable about, not in this election and these times, but the new Washingon Post/ABC poll has Obama with the biggest lead he's had since he got the nomination --52-43 -- and reveals lot of very interesting changes in the electorate and facts that don't bode well for McCain, largely because of the economic issues:

...Just 9 percent of those surveyed rated the economy as good or excellent, the first time that number has been in single digits since the days just before the 1992 election. Just 14 percent said the country is heading in the right direction, equaling the record low on that question in polls dating back to 1973...

...As a point of comparison, neither of the last two Democratic nominees -- John F. Kerry in 2004 or Al Gore in 2000 -- recorded support above 50 percent in a pre-election poll by the Post and ABC News...

...Two weeks ago, McCain held a substantial advantage among white voters, including newfound strength with white women. In the face of bad economic news, the two candidates now run about evenly among white women, and Obama has narrowed the overall gap among white voters to five percentage points...

.... Over the past two weeks, the percentage of independents with favorable views of Palin dropped from 60 percent to 48 percent. Among independent women, the decline was particularly sharp, going from 65 percent to 43 percent. Her favorable rating among whites without college degrees remained largely steady, but among those with college degrees, it dropped nearly 20 percentage points...

...Among Republicans, conservatives and white evangelical Protestants, strong enthusiasm for McCain's candidacy has dropped by double digits...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Another Mark Buse Ex-Boyfriend Comes Forward

Another ex-boyfriend of Mark Buse has come forward, on the record, to say that he was involved with Buse.

As I was talking on the show about antigay John McCain's chief of staff and the fact that he is gay, a listener named Jeff called into the program from Pittsburgh to say that he too, like my source Brian Davis, dated Mark Buse years ago. He said a lot about how Buse was very out, and very open in his relationship.

The veteran journalist Lisa Keen, reporting for OutQ News, followed up and contacted the man, Jeff Arndt, who agreed to go on the record. Her report is here if you want to listen in. I will post some video of the conversation from the show, which has many more details about Buse that Arndt revealed, when I get a chance. Below the audio is a transcript of the report.


Sirius OutQ host Michelangelo Signorile has confirmed that a big player in Senator John McCain’s camp is gay. Political correspondent Lisa Keen reports.



Two men who say they’ve dated or been in a relationship with John McCain’s chief of staff helped radio talk show host Michelangelo Signorile out him this week.

Signorile on Monday announced during his daily show on Sirius Radio that he had confirmed to his satisfaction that McCain’s Senate office Chief of Staff Mark Buse is gay.

Signorile said he had heard rumors during the past month that Buse was gay but it wasn’t until he was contacted by Arizona resident Brian Davis that he began working on the story. Davis told Signorile he was prompted to reveal the information about Buse because of McCain’s rightward shift on gay issues. Signorile said he then got confirmation of Davis’ story from Davis’ mother and a long-time friend.

Then, during the course of Monday’s program discussing Buse’s sexual orientation, a resident of Pittsburgh, Jeff Arndt, called in to say he, too, had been in a relationship with Buse – had dated him for about a month.

Arndt: "I was good friends with Mark, and dated Mark back in the 80s" Signorile: "You DATED Mark Busey? Back in the 80s when he was working for McCain?" Arndt: "Yeah, I knew lots of people that worked for Republicans in DC."

Arndt did not identify himself on the air but later agreed to do so.

Neither Buse nor anyone from McCain’s Senate or campaign offices returned calls and e-mails offering an opportunity to confirm or refute the claims.

Coincidentally, on the same day Signorile aired his program about Buse, PBS posted an interview with him, by Judy Woodruff. Buse tells PBS in that interview that McCain is an “extremely open” sort of boss who “wants you to just talk and say what you think.”

Lisa Keen, Sirius OutQ News.

Miami Herald Blog on Mark Buse

Steve Rothaus at the Miami Herald has picked up the Mark Buse/McCain story. While it's a blog and not the print edition itself, I think it still marks the first traditional media publication to pick up the story. Believe it or not, it matters even to some gay outlets: 365gay.com has now picked it up only because the Miami Herald picked it up.

It's outrageous that LGBT issues are treated as something that can be discarded or suppressed unless you force it out there, but that's how it is. The fact that there was 626 comments on Daily Kos about McCain's gay chief of staff shows the interest, relevance and importance of the story to many people. The media of course can't get answers from Sarah Palin (or McCain) on a variety of issues, let alone gay issues, and don't seem to really be making a stink about it. It's astonishing that she has not yet given a press conference (McCain gave his first in 39 days today, for 15 minutes) and they are letting her get away with it.

On Today's Show

On the ground, from Alaska to Turkmenistan to Washington.

In the 3:30 EST hour, activist,author and scourge of the "ex-gays," Wayne Besen, joins us on his return from Alaska, where Sarah Palin's church promoted a "conversion" therapy program for gays, trying to turn them heterosexual. Wayne will give us the report from the front on Palin, LGBT issues and this election.

At 4:30 EST, Ken Silverstein, Washington editor of Harper's magazine comes back on the show to talk about his new book, Turkmeniscam: How Washington Lobbyists Fought to Flack for a Stalinist Dictatorship. On assignment for Harper's and armed with fake business cards, Silverstein went deep undercover in Washington and beyond as a corporate henchman for the repressive government of Turkmenistan, and he found plenty of beltway lobbyists willing to whitewash the regime in return for big bucks.

Listen to The Michelangelo Signorile Show weekdays live from 2-6 pm ET on Sirius Satellite Radio’ s OutQ, Channel 109. Not a subscriber? Not a problem! Listen online any time with a free three-day pass.

Photo of Mark Buse and Correction

The video in my piece below on Mark Buse, John McCain's gay chief of staff, is not from 2000, but from 1993. (It was the march on washington of that time, not the Millennium March). I have corrected it.

And here is a more recent photo of Buse (thanks to JoeMyGod)

UPDATE: Joe has a lot more today on Buse and his career as lobbyist, and working for John McCain.

McCain Keeps Manhunt Money

As one of our commenters noted re: the post on McCain's gay chief of staff, it doesn't seem like a coincidence that on the same day the story broke we get the news that the McCain campaign, contrary to a previous report, is not returning the donation from the Manhunt co-owner, Johnathan Crutchley:

Indeed, while the contribution caused a bitter backlash against Crutchley inside the gay political world (and a backlash against that backlash), there was never any indication of a backlash from the Republican side. McCain has never been well suited to the role of culture warrior, and his aides declined at the time to comment on Crutchley or the contribution.

Indeed, Crutchley gave one of the cycle's clearer statements of McCain's own approach to divisive social issues.

"If we have an experienced, seasoned person defending the country in this dangerous age, we will be able to argue about the gay agenda later," he wrote.

That seems to be a line right from the campaign, a way of saying we, and our base, don't care about these things -- like the hypocrisy of being antigay but having gay chief of staff -- and won't respond to them. But I have a feeling that they're hearing from the religious conservatives on the Buse story.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hypocrisy Bombshell: Antigay John McCain has a Gay Chief of Staff

What does John McCain’s loyal chief of staff – a man who apparently is in a long-term relationship with another man, and appears to be open about it to John McCain -- think about the fact that Sarah Palin devoutly worships at a church that promotes “converting” gays to heterosexuality? What, conversely, does she think of him? More importantly, what does John McCain think about all of this? And don’t we deserve some answers from the American media?

Over the past month I’ve been contacted by three different individuals (two of them members of the Log Cabin Republicans) claiming that McCain’s Senate chief of staff, Mark Buse, is gay. None of these individuals would be quoted by name, though each described Buse as being rather “open” to those around him and to his family – in a “glass closet” rather than deeply undercover or trying to appear heterosexual.

Then I was contacted in recent weeks by 46-year-old Brian Davis, an Arizona resident, who told me about his intimate relationship with Mark Buse (confirmed by Davis' mother, as well as by a long-time friend), and who decided he needed to tell the truth about Buse, on the record, in light of John McCain’s dramatic shift to the ideological religious right in this election and his choice of Sarah Palin, starlet of the evangelical movement, as a running mate. (Repeated calls to Mark Buse's office and calls and email to McCain's communications office in the Senate regarding this story were unreturned. Mike Rogers, the blogger and activist who revealed the truth about Senator Larry Craig and others in politics, today reports this same reality about Mark Buse that I report here, with separate, independent sourcing.)

“We met in June of 1986,” Davis told me about the night he first laid eyes on Buse, who was also in his early 20s at the time. (Below is a video Davis gave to me, which, though it is of poor quality, shows both of them inside Buse’s apartment in Washington years later, in 1993). “It was at a bar in Phoenix called Connections," Davis continued. "I will never forget it, because it was a big night. Divine was performing there that night.”

The reference is of course to the legendary, late drag queen and star of John Waters’ early films, certainly a memorable figure and huge attraction on the gay dance club circuit at that time. Brian Davis says Mark Buse loved Connections and enjoyed going out to the gay clubs in Phoenix in those days.

Today, Buse, 44, is one of the closest and most loyal men to Senator John McCain. He knows McCain's family "intimately," says Davis, and has spent much time with Cindy McCain. When Buse was in his early 20s, when Brian Davis met him, Buse worked as an intern for McCain, back when McCain was a House member. Twenty years later Buse has risen to the highest position in McCain’s Senate office. During those two decades he left McCain for a while to become an influential K Street lobbyist for Exxon Mobil, AT&T Wireless and other multinational corporations, emerging as someone very valuable to those companies – and to John McCain -- after he returned to McCain's Senate office.

Some media attention has in fact focused on Buse’s lobbying years, particularly in light of McCain’s claims that he takes on “the special interests.” In The New York Times’ controversial story last February about McCain’s relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman – and, according to the paper, the rumors among some advisers that McCain appeared to be having an affair with the woman -- the Times noted, for example: "Mr. McCain has hired another lobbyist, Mark Buse, to run his Senate office. In his case, it was a round trip through the revolving door: Mr. Buse had directed Mr. McCain’s committee staff for seven years before leaving in 2001 to lobby for telecommunications companies."

But though some in the media have focused on Buse’s role as a lobbyist, none have looked at another increasingly relevant detail: Mark Buse’s sexual orientation. And yet, it’s a detail that reveals hypocrisy about John McCain that is as clear as that of his reputation to take on the corporate interests while he has registered lobbyists on his staff and campaign.

John McCain is opposed to every single gay rights measure of recent years –- from a hate crimes bill, to an anti-discrimination bill to an attempt to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military –- and is publicly on record supporting a ballot measure in California this November to strip gays and lesbians there of their legally-won right to marry in that state. If that isn’t enough to make it relevant to report on his 20-year-relationship with a close aide and chief of staff who is gay, the fact that Sarah Palin is now on the ticket -- garnering support for McCain from previously reticent antigay leaders like James Dobson of Focus on the Family –- surely does.

Mark Buse, after all, is a public figure in his own right. His role as chief of staff to a man running for president has elevated him and certainly his controversial former role as a prominent lobbyist has brought media scrutiny to him. And he is running the Senate office of a 72-year-old presidential candidate who has had recurrent cancer and who might well usher into the White House as president a woman who, by what evidence we have, has melded her politics with her evangelical religious beliefs.

Sarah Palin has been a prominent and visible member of two controversial churches in Wasilla, though much of the media has shied away from telling us much about them (even though cable networks had no problem giving us every minute detail about Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s former pastor, and his church). Palin adheres to Pentecostalism, a religious fundamentalist movement that is vehemently antigay and believes in the literal interpretation of the Bible. Little has been asked of Palin –- or of the McCain campaign –- about the relationship between Palin's faith and her political positions, even as many of us have seen her worshipping in her church on YouTube, explaining “God’s plan” for Iraq, praying to God for a pipeline, and thanking a Kenyan evangelical pastor known as a "witchhunter" for laying hands on her and helping her become governor.

As a member of the Wasilla city council Palin reportedly inquired about banning a children's book about gay parents – Daddy’s Roommate -- and she is a darling of the evangelical right, which is hell-bent on keeping gays from attaining further rights and stripping them of every right they've already won. She is opposed not only to marriage for gays but to domestic partnership benefits: Though the media has often gotten it wrong when they cared to look into it, Palin only vetoed a bill that would strip partnership benefits for government employees because the Alaska Supreme Court ruled the bill unconstitutional. Palin’s current church, the Wasilla Bible Church, just this month promoted a “conversion” therapy conference for gays, organized by Focus on the Family in Anchorage.Palin has not come out against the church’s sponsorship, though the American Psychological Association has condemned these programs as psychologically harmful.

Mark Buse’s sexual orientation and his relationship with McCain certainly are relevant facts in light of Palin’s positions, beliefs, past political career and silence on the issues right now. And John McCain is the person responsible for making them relevant by choosing Sarah Palin as a running mate.


“I met Mark that night and we went back to my place,” Brian Davis, who is now an Arizona trucker, continued, telling me about when he met Mark Buse . “The following day I came home from work and there were flowers for me. I was always hoping that I would get into a long term relationship. Back then, I was like a cute little twink. I didn’t have trouble picking up guys and used to hope the guys would be interested long term. But you know, usually they weren’t. But Mark sent me flowers. The following weekend we went out dancing at Connections again. My watch broke on the dance floor and I put it in my pocket. The following week Mark came over and gave me a present -- a brand new Gucci watch.”

Davis was working for American Express in Phoenix at the time. Buse was attending Georgetown University, interning on the hill for John McCain, then a member of the House. It might seem odd for a college student to be able to buy a Gucci watch for his older boyfriend, but this wasn’t just any college student: Mark Buse, like John McCain’s wife Cindy, comes from a wealthy family that had built an empire in Arizona. Buse Printing & Advertising clearly has had its own close relationship with John McCain over the years: According to an article last year in the Washington Post about McCain's PAC's overspending, “McCain's PAC paid $7,274 to Buse Printing, a Phoenix shop run by the family of Mark Buse, who was staff director at the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. McCain chaired the committee at the time.”

Brian Davis says Buse’s affection didn’t end with a Gucci watch. Buse asked him to move back with him to Washington. After first conducting a long-distance relationship for several months, Davis moved to DC. They lived in two different apartments in Washington during their relationship. In that time Davis says he met John McCain several times at his office. Whatever John McCain might have thought of the relationship, Davis doesn’t think Buse had told McCain about it at the time – he was introduced as Buse’s “roommate” --but he’s pretty sure that Buse came out to McCain as the years went on.

Within a year of Davis’s move to DC, he and Buse broke up, Davis explained, after Buse turned to him one morning in bed and said, “Brian, I’m not in love with you anymore.” Davis was heartbroken. He says Buse left him for another man –- the man he says Buse now lives with today. But Davis got over it in time, and remained in touch with Buse, having a friendly relationship, and checking in on the phone or seeing one another every few years. The video below is from 1993, on the weekend of the march on Washington for GLBT rights. Davis attended the march, though Buse, he says, did not, and would not do something that public. (In the video, Davis is holding the camera, in the mirror; Buse is the man who eventually hides behind a pillar). The last time Davis says he spoke with Buse was in 2003.

Davis describes Buse as someone who, like himself at the time, was “more on the conservative side” on fiscal issues but cared about gay rights, and who really believed John McCain would not bow to extremists. And that’s why he can’t believe Buse went back to work for John McCain: Davis, like other self-described libertarian and Independent gay men, voted for McCain in his Senate elections and supported him for president in the 2000 primary. But, he says, he couldn’t possibly support John McCain now for president, not with his lurch to the extremist right.

Davis remembers the John McCain who called people like Jerry Falwell an “agent of intolerance,” something McCain of course took back after he decided to run for the 2008 presidency. He even remembers Buse having been upset when McCain did something seemingly opportunistic and ugly in pandering to the far right back in 1993, something he says Mccain apologized to Buse about. Davis in fact inferred from his discussion with Buse about the incident that McCain likely knew by that time that Buse was gay and that Buse cared about gay civil rights issues.

“It was around 1993, and Mark was upset, because McCain was going to speak before an antigay group, the Oregon Citizen’s Alliance,” he remembers. “Mark went to him and said this group is antigay and expressed his personal feelings. McCain said he didn’t know the group’s agenda when he accepted the invitation but that now he couldn’t cancel.”

I was in Oregon throughout 1992, covering the gay rights battles there for my first book, when Lon Mabon, leader of the OCA, put a measure on the ballot to declare homosexuality “unnatural and perverse” in the Oregon Constitution. The measure had a good shot of passing ( though, thankfully, it did not). Worse yet, it inspired an ugly wave of hate and violence in a previously placid place. I wrote a piece about it for the op-end page of the New York Times, sounding the alarm.

While it’s possible that McCain didn’t know what the group was about, it seems implausible: fighting the gay movement was the OCA’s major issue, and certainly its cash cow, even if the group did stand against other issues, such as abortion. As I noted in my op-ed, several Republican senators were pacifying Mabon, fearing he would mount a campaign against embattled Oregon Republican Senator Bob Packwood. Those senators -- including McCain’s good friend and current economic advisor, former Texas Senator Phil Gramm -- were feting Mabon in Washington, and more importantly, staying silent about his dangerous, hate-filled campaign in Oregon. In essence, they were throwing gays to the wolves as a way of keeping those wolves at bay.

Oregonian columnist Jeff Mapes last April chronicled the events of 1993 and McCain’s speech (his piece includes articles from the time) which caused much outrage in the gay community in Arizona and elsewhere. He concludes that McCain was part of the effort with Gramm and others to placate Mabon. In response to the uproar, McCain carefully tried to use his speech to talk about tolerance, but Lon Mabon himself didn’t find it objectionable at all. He of course got what he wanted: John McCain speaking at his event.

Whatever the truth about McCain’s motivations or knowledge of the group, Brian Davis says that McCain told Mark Buse that it was a mistake and that it wouldn’t happen again.

It's a telling anecdote and it raises many questions about the events of today and this election. And really, those questions mirror other questions many have been asking about John McCain for a long time.

Has Mark Buse been assured by John McCain that his bowing to religious conservatives is all just politics, that he’s just stringing along the fundies, and that he wouldn’t sell him and his kind to the far right as president? If that is the case, what would the Christian right think about that now and don’t they have a right to know?

And, if true, how would Buse and certainly McCain then explain the choice of Palin, beyond admitting that it is simply a reckless gamble, since it’s quite possible she could become president and bring the ideologues into the White House? Is there some other plan for how do deal with Palin?

Or has McCain’s shift to the far right been more profound rather than solely opportunistic? Perhaps he does truly stand behind his positions against gay rights and perhaps he truly respects Palin’s politics that appear to erase the lines between church and state. In that case, has Mark Buse completely sold out, perhaps transformed by those years as a lobbyist and perhaps having different priorities now -- gay rights be damned?

What else does the reality of Mark Buse's life say about John McCain? Does he see his own chief of staff, someone he has known now for 20 years, as someone who should have no rights, no hate crimes protections, and no employment protection in the private sector? Does he see his own loyal chief of staff as someone who should be hounded by Christian conservatives, pressured to enter damaging “conversion” therapy programs, and made a target of violence that is inspired by the hate spewed by agents of intolerance?

And what does Sarah Palin think of all of this? Does she know about John McCain's gay chief of staff? Is Palin an opportunist too, and is her allegiance to the evangelical right skin deep? Or, is she a true believer who would believe Mark Buse should be sent to an “ex-gay” therapy program to “convert” him to heterosexuality? If she were to become president, will she give more power to the people who would very much like to put every gay American through such a program?

These questions are not going to go away. As I was working on this story I got wind that activist Mike Rogers – the “most feared man on the hill” as the Washington Post called him – was working on it as well. On Friday, Mike, with separate and independent sourcing, went to John McCain’s office to give Buse a "Roy Cohn Award." He filmed it and today he reveals whom he gave the award to on his much-read site, Blogactive.

The traditional media may be petrified to pick up this story but people across the country who see McCain's hypocrisy and who support equality will only demand more answers. Certainly our media could serve us better by getting us those answers rather than once again putting their heads in the sand.

On Today's Show

In the 2 PM EST hour: Activist and closet-buster Mike Rogers of Blogactive will join me to "co-break" a story that you're all going to find very interesting. He will tell us who he gave a "Roy Cohn Award" to on Friday, and at the same time, this blog will publish a lengthy and sourced piece about the individual, and we're going to talk all about it on the show and get your reactions.

In the 4:30 EST hour: How the rights of all Americans, not just those targeted by the Bush administration as terror suspects, have been compromised in Bush's war on terror. I'll speak with Steven T. Wax, author of Kafka Comes to America: Fighting for Justice in the War on Terror, A Public Defender's Account.

Listen to The Michelangelo Signorile Show weekdays live from 2-6 pm ET on Sirius Satellite Radio’ s OutQ, Channel 109. Not a subscriber? Not a problem! Listen online any time with a free three-day pass.

Fears About Marriage in CA

Activists have been worried that conservatives are outspending us in California, and that though the polls look good, it could all turn around.

This story raises the alarm even more:

Could Senator Barack Obama’s popularity among black voters hurt gay couples in California who want to marry?

That is the concern of opponents of Proposition 8, a measure on the November ballot that would amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, which was legalized in May by the State Supreme Court.

Go to Equality for All and do what you can.

Big Story Today

I'm breaking some news here today, shortly after the show begins. I wrote a lengthy piece (the post below is a reference for the piece, which is why I posted it last night), in conjunction with some work that Mike Rogers at Blogactive is doing as well (he has two items about it; scroll down). Okay, those are are all the hints for now! Mike will be coming on the show shortly after 2 EST today, and we'll jointly break the news and I will post my story here at that time. So listen in.

Listen to The Michelangelo Signorile Show weekdays live from 2-6 pm ET on Sirius Satellite Radio’ s OutQ, Channel 109. Not a subscriber? Not a problem! Listen online any time with a free three-day pass.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

NY Times Op-ed from 1992

This op-ed piece ran in The New York Times on September 3, 1992. For some reason the Times does not have it in its online database, though it is listed in the news summary at the very bottom.

Behind the Hate in Oregon
By Michelangelo Signorile

The New York Times

September 3, 1992 In Oregon, something similar to an "ethnic cleansing" is underway. It has transformed a once tolerant, progressive state into a repressive, frightful place.

Because of an antigay ordinance, the library shelves in Springfield are about to be purged of all books that "promote homosexuality." If voters approve a similar statewide measure in November, the same purification is likely to happen across Oregon. And libraries are just the beginning.

This energetic campaign is the work of the Oregon Citizen's Alliance, whose mass mailings make clear the caliber of its propaganda and its intended target: "Homosexual men, on average ingest the fecal material of 23 different men per year." The accusations vary in content, but not in virulence. "Homosexuals are 15 times more likely to commit murder than heterosexuals."

While those assertions play well to the ignorant, the alliance's most effective rallying cry to the rest of the populace--one that plays especially well in a depressed economy--is its distorted claim that gays are seeking preferential treatment: "Homosexuals already have the same basic rights as everyone else...however, homosexuals want 'special rights' granted to their behavior."

Mail is not the alliance's only channel. It has set up tables in shopping malls. Spokesmen regularly pop up on radio and television interviews. The group runs ads on cable TV exploiting gay pride parades.

In the name of preserving "family values," Lon Mabon, the group's leader, often quotes Patrick Henry: "We must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!"

The twisting of patriotic oratory, among other tactics, seems to be working. The alliance places a measure on the statewide ballot in 1988 to rescind then Gov. Neil Goldshmidt's order barring discrimination against gays in state jobs. It passed. In May, the alliance lobbied in Springfield for a measure to prevent the town from "promoting" homosexuality. That also passed.

Mr. Mabon's organization is now pushing an amendment to the Oregon Constitution declaring that homosexuality is "abnormal, wrong, unnatural, and perverse" and that "state monies shall not be used to "promote, facilitate or encourage" homosexuality. Political analysts expect the measure to pass. "I think it has a good shot," said Tim Hibbitts, a pollster in Portland.

What is the organization's larger agenda? To end "reverse discrimination," the "dismembering of the unborn child," redistributionist welfare," and "atheistic, humanistic liberalism" in Oregon. Joined by similar organizations in California, Maine and Colorado, the alliance plans to take its show on the road.

In such an atmosphere of hatred, many lesbians and gays have decided to sell their homes and leave the state. After the alliance's victory in Springfield, local gay leaders had the windows of their cars and homes shattered in the middle of the night.

In the weeks that followed a lesbian activist was run of the road by thugs who screamed, "Queer!" In Portland, the windows of a hair salon with anti-alliance stickers were smashed by a gang yelling anti-gay epithets. The owner of a women's erotica shop had her car vandalized by people holding signs that read "Homosexuality is a Perversion."

In June, the offices of Campaign for a Hate Free Oregon, an organization opposed to the alliance, were burglarized. Soon thereafter, people whose names were on the lists started to receive anonymous, threatening telephone calls. Portland's two gay newspapers also had their files stolen.

The alliance has waged war on government as well. It is a driving force behind an effort to recall Gov. Barbara Roberts, who supports gay rights. The group has also demanded that Tom Potter, Portland's police chief, resign because his daughter is a lesbian.

Neo-Nazi groups have picked up the scent of fascism and are moving into Oregon, recruiting youths and turning out at alliance rallies. In recent days, a black woman and a white woman who live together in Portland had crosses and swastikas burned on their lawn. Officials of the Homophobic Violence Reporting Line point to a surge of "firebombings and attempted homicides." Portland police confirm an increase in the severity of violent crimes against gays.

Last month, Mr. Mabon was feted in Washington by Housing Secretary Jack Kemp and Republican Senators Orrin Hatch and Phil Gramm, who were trying to deter him from an independent campaign against Senator Bob Packwood of Oregon this fall. Who knows what was promised behind closed doors, but Mr. Mabon backed down. And the Republican Party, whose convention he likened to an alliance rally, has been shockingly silent. Meanwhile, the campaign of terror in Oregon continues.

Copyright The New York Times 1992. All rights reserved. Not for reprint without sole permission.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Listener Survey Comments

It's been a while since we read some listener survey comments on the show, since we were on the road for three weeks, covering the conventions, etc., and just overwhelmed with news. Finally this week I read some, and as usual I'm posting them here, edited for space. There are a lot of them -- and believe me, there were so many, many more that we didn't read -- because it's been a while. And remember, if you're a listener to the show and have not taken the survey, please click through on the right of the page and do so, as it helps us out.

Michelangelo,I am so impressed with your dialog, especially your energy in covering both the Democratic and Republican Conventions. I have never been interested in politics, however your show and coverage of the issues and candidates has shown me how important it is that we educate ourselves on these issues. I am a minister in a very gay friendly church. All are welcome in our church. My pastor and I discuss these issues on a daily basis, carefully looking at ways to educate those in our own church family about inclusive issues. I have not voted for many years because of my disenchantment (if you will) of the right wing evangelical garbage that has been out there. Thank you for what you are doing. You educate and strengthen the rest of us to be advocates for humanity.

Thanks for going to the RNC. I don’t think a normal person could hold up there for a whole week or even three days. I think you throat was just the beginning – if you had stayed there longer it could have been much worse!

Your coverage of the Democratic Convention was outstanding - the best on radio or TV. I'm impressed by your preparation - and you continued to broadcast and blog after your voice went south! Your show is a lifeline. We need to defeat McCain/Palin - do we ever. Thank you, Michael, for being a strong progressive voice.

mike- you did a GREAT job at the RNC. i was truly amazed. you are a brave man! i think some of those wackos aren't used to being questioned and you did an excellent job asking penetrating questions. really, i am very, very proud of you.

You are at your best when you ask unique questions. You are at your worst when you "beat a dead horse".

I LOVE when you mock the anti-gay right with audio clips! For example, Larry Craig's "I am not gay."

I enjoy the Michelango show for the most part, but inevitably turn the channel after a short time because the host simply can not stop interrupting his callers and guests. Although the host is well-educated and well-spoken, he is remarkably rude and inconsiderate to those who have either called his show or are being interviewed.

Mike, I commend U for your patience with the hilary supporters deciding to back that alaskan parasite. I was a hillary supporter and when Hillary lost the pres nomination, and then wasn't picked for VP...I was pissed and even I thought of backing another side just in spite, but after the speeches at the Dem. Conv., I knew I had do as they wanted, and they asked me to do.

I wouldn't have believed it possible, but listening to your show has made me less liberal. You're opinionated, obnoxious, close minded, and not nearly as intelligent as you think you are. In short, you're the Sean Hannity of the Left. Your in-studio sycophants with their little off-air comments are incredibly annoying. The fact that you're an Obama supporter has actually made me rethink my support of him.

Just heard your interview with Sally Kern again. You are my hero! Thank you for putting yourself OUT there and all that you do to foster constructive conversation about homosexual issues. I've been listening to your show regularly for a year and I am a fan. The "ummm"-factor bugged me a little at first, but I have seen great progress in your speech style. I love your introspective view of your interviews and how you endeavor to offer a tough, but fair, forum for your on-air guests. Although, I wouldn't mind if you had taken your microphone and just bop Sally Kern over the head and ask her "What are you thinking?!?!?" Please keep doing what your doing!

Generally a great show. There are a few issues with which I disagree, but I'd find that with any show. One suggestion, though: turning "antithesis" into an adjective makes it "antithetic" or "antithetical," not "antithical" as Mike says (and says a lot).. He loves picking on the grammar and erudition of people with whom he disagrees. Glass houses, you know... ;)

I love the show. Very informative and politically interesting. One small thing to note is that I sometimes find the opening of the show a little scary. I dont like to hear about blood and boils so I need to turn that off when the show begins.

Michaelangelo, your show is really great. There are very few people who speak out as clearly as you do for our (gay) equality. I love that your interviews are always relevent and on many topics that concern all people not just us gays. So keep up the great work!

hi mike, i'm a democrat for 17 yr now ,but do vote for the rep. some time we got some rep. here help the vol. fire company a lot so ,,, listen to your show make me vote for john mccain more and more ,you make obama sound like a god personal,,i think to write in hillary name in at the the poll place maybe we can her in still,,,yes i'm gay but my job come first an obama is not a truck friend he keep pass law to cut our rate and limit the truck speed to 55mph this will take 14 more hour to go from pa to ca,,can you know the rate will not go up for this, tim from n.e. pa

It's refreshing to hear someone that shares the same viewpoint as I do. I live in Alabama and I'm outnumbered. If you're not a Christian Republican and Alabama fan, life can be challenging here. But hearing a voice that supports the same beliefs I do keeps me sane. The world is filled with sheep and idiots. Thank God for those who will stand up and be themselves. Their light is a beacon for countless others. I'm one of those countless others. MS, you rock. Keep up the fight and kick some ass. Why dones't the world "get it"? You do and it makes me proud.

You can hear Michael breath into the mic and it's very annoying and distracting.

I love the show. Don't change anything! Oh, except block Ron from Texas from the blog. He is clearly a ficticious character meant to get everyone riled up.

I like your show, but when you get snotty You lose the high ground.

I love your monologues Michael, the biggest draw for me is hearing your analysis of the news, I can get the facts anywhere. Your delivery is perfect, people who complain about your pauses, ect don't know what it means to be a great radio broadcaster/speaker. Love the show, keep up the good work

Michael, you are a very intelligent and attractive man, but I must say “Take your Fingers off the Fade Out Button". Let the callers be heard, I am a life time subscriber, and this is our only chance to get out point out, God knows we don’t get that chance in terrestrial radio. No matter if you agree or disagree with the caller let them get a point in, and tell them no 20 minute points. Also sometimes, you do over talk the Guests, if you support or not, you do it. On topics "YOU" are emotionally connected with, you can be the James Dobson on the issue. One Directional - Blinders On - Example: GUNS. I do love your show and love listening, these are just suggestions.

As a retired Army veteran who "kept my mouth shut" for 20 years and who never really got into politics because it was all so overwhelming, I just want to say that since listening to your show I have become much more informed on the governments shinanigans, especially where GLBT rights are concerned. Of course, I saw a different side of the gov't bullshit being in the military. Your presentation of political topics is delivered in such a way that makes it much easier for me to digest. I love your show and look forward to listening. I've only been listening to OUTQ since Dec 07 but you are already like a brother in my heart. I appreciate all that you do for the GLBT community. Stay the course Michelangelo!!

War Denial

This observation in The New York Times re: the financial crisis pretty much sums up the collective denial of the media and the political culture and says a lot about why we don't see more coverage of Iraq and the other losing war, Afghanistan. Here we are, in the midst of two wars -- both of which, but certainly Iraq, brought us to the brink of this financial crisis, in terms billions we have spent in borrowed cash -- and they don't seem to get the fact that we are in wartime and have been for more than half a decade:

The capital almost had the feel of wartime. President Bush appeared in the Rose Garden and gravely appealed for bipartisanship. Democrats, starting with their presidential nominee, Senator Barack Obama, responded in kind. Congressional assistants spent their days glued to cable television, while across the city, people who a few days ago had few contacts with Wall Street outside of their 401(k) statements were speaking knowingly about credit-default swaps and debating the latest moves by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Ben S. Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Clips of the Week: "Fundamentals of the Economy"

Our Friday feature on the show, Clips of the Week: the dumb, sometimes smart -- mostly not -- things they said all week, all put to music by our producer David Guggenheim. This week: "Fundamentals of the Economy"

Also on Today's Show

At 4:30 EST, we'll be speaking with Gabriel Rotello about the online launch of the legendary OutWeek magazine.

Listen to The Michelangelo Signorile Show weekdays live from 2-6 pm ET on Sirius Satellite Radio’ s OutQ, Channel 109. Not a subscriber? Not a problem! Listen online any time with a free three-day pass.

On Today's Show

Like a groundhog, Bush emerges momentarily to tell us he suddenly agrees that the economy is in the toilet, as Congress and the federal reserve work to bail out just about everyone. A great day in capitalism, we will be going through it all.

Also; how it is all playing out on the campaign trail, as Obama's numbers go up, up, up, and Sarah Palin's numbers collapse just as fast as the markets did all week!

Plus: John McCain's new hostility toward Spain, Todd Palin's refusal to testify in troopergate, right-wingers pointing to the LA train conductor as an "unstable homosexual" in their fight against gay marriage and mark foley will not be charged with anything!

And: Are you born conservative? A new study suggests it might all be a genetic disorder.

Oh, and it's Friday -- Clips of the Week!

Listen to The Michelangelo Signorile Show weekdays live from 2-6 pm ET on Sirius Satellite Radio’ s OutQ, Channel 109. Not a subscriber? Not a problem! Listen online any time with a free three-day pass.


(Via JoeMyGod, who predicted this days ago)

The desperate religious fundies in California -- clearly freaking out because more polling shows they are losing -- are now pointing out that the "LA train engineer" was an "unstable homosexual," as an argument against marriage for gays!

OutWeek Online

I have been meaning to post about this for weeks, but we were so caught up in the convention. OutWeek Magazine, the influential publication where I was features editor and columnist -- and where I wrote my columns that kicked off the "outing" debates -- is now online, in full.

The magazine, which only published for two years, from 1989 to 1991, has actually never been available online and few libraries have the entire collection of issues. And yet, as the site notes, OutWeek "was the seminal lesbian and gay publication during the peak era of AIDS activism in the late 80s and early 90s."

Founding editor-in-chief Gabriel Rotello, with the help of The Gill Foundation, Larry Kramer and others, put the entire collection online -- every page, including all the ads -- where libraries can now link into it and students and others interested in LGBT history can access it. And all of you who are interested in reading my "Gossip Watch" columns from the time -- complete with my trademarks ALL-CAPS rants -- can check it out as well.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

McCain's Spain Gaffe

We played the audio today of John McCain's interview with a Miami reporter for Spanish-speaking news outlets, and no matter what the campaign says it is clear that McCain didn't have any idea -- nor really cared -- what the reporter was talking about. I don't think that he believes Spain is in Latin America, but he just heard a Spanish name when the reporter named the prime minister, and was probably bored or not paying attention and then just responded as if he was talking about a Hugo Chavez.

But the McCain campaign would now rather let people believe he is hostile toward Spain -- something we should surely be concerned about, since it is a close ally no matter that it pulled out of Iraq, like many other countries -- than that he was befuddled. The story just gets nuttier.

On Today's Show

In the 3:30 EST hour: Ryan Marlatt will join us, with his ACLU attorney, Christine Sun, to talk about abuse that Marlatt and a friend received at a Kentucky McDonald's where the two men were called "faggots" by an employee. According to the ACLU:

"Marlatt and Eggers then approached the cashier, said they didn't come to the restaurant to be insulted, and asked to speak with a manager. As they waited for the supervisor on duty to appear, the employee who had called them 'faggots' started arguing with them, repeatedly calling them 'faggots' in front of other customers and calling one of them a 'c**ksucker' and 'bitch.'"

At 4:30 EST, Jonathan Anderson, President, PFLAG Juneau, will talk to us about Sarah Palin's real record on LGBT rights in Alaska.

Listen to The Michelangelo Signorile Show weekdays live from 2-6 pm ET on Sirius Satellite Radio’ s OutQ, Channel 109. Not a subscriber? Not a problem! Listen online any time with a free three-day pass.

Who is that Man Behind the Curtain?

Why, it's none other than the 56-year-old "bachelor," California Republican Congressman David Dreier, who recently ran away from me -- and ran behind a curtain -- shortly after I introduced myself (yes, and the video is below).

The last time I saw the guy, you see, was at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York, when, just weeks after he'd voted for the heinously antigay Marriage Protection Act, I asked him, on the air, about the rumors that he is gay but closeted to his conservative constituents. His face turned from sunbed-tan to ghost white as he dodged the question, clearly not realizing who I was nor expecting that I might ask him for such a relevant truth when he sat down to talk. He was just another press-hungry Republican politician, you see, doing as many interviews as he could on Radio Row.

"So, are you saying you're heterosexual?" I continued.

"I'm not going to talk about that issue," he replied, stammering his way off the show.

That clip got a lot of pick up online back then, but for those who need a refresher before we move on, here it is below.

So, at the 2008 convention in St. Paul, I spotted Dreier working Radio Row and surely thought I should follow up from four years ago. Walking along with a bearishly buff body guard, Dreier seemed friendly and eager to talk as I he shook my hand -- until he heard my name. At that point, he freaked! The bodyguard intervened and Dreier ran off behind a blue curtain on Radio Row, only to emerge a few seconds later, scampering off with his guy. See the video below. (And in the audio clip below that you'll hear me introduce myself as he then runs off.)

Obama's Momentum

Obama is edging ahead in all of the polls, including this NYT/CBS poll, which also shows Sarah Palin did nothing beyond the base -- Obama is doing better with women than before the conventions -- while McCain is still perceived as tied to Bush. Obama needs to continue to hit hard, while we all expose the reality of kooky, cut-throat Sarah Palin as well as John McCain's desperate lies. It's working.

Chuck Hagel: Palin Has No Credentials

Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska slams Sarah Palin:

"She doesn't have any foreign policy credentials," Hagel said in an interview. "You get a passport for the first time in your life last year? I mean, I don't know what you can say. You can't say anything..."

:...I think they ought to be just honest about it and stop the nonsense about, 'I look out my window and I see Russia and so therefore I know something about Russia,'" he said. "That kind of thing is insulting to the American people."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wyoming 10 Years Later: Not Much Has Changed

Actually, what has changed as we near the ten year anniversary of Mathew Shepard's death on Oct 10 is not encouraging: The site where Shepard was left to die after being beaten senselessly by two men is now very hard to find, as the fence is gone and the place smoothed over. There is no monument in town to Shepard, the mayor wasn't even going to commemorate the death, and townspeople now don't even speak much about it as an antigay hate crime but rather as a "robbery" gone wrong:

“A lot of people in the community went through a sense of grief, in a very poignant, heartfelt, painful way, and I think eventually the pain became so great that they don’t want to think about it or hear about it,” Rebecca Hilliker, a professor of theater at the University of Wyoming here...

...Laramie has changed in some ways. The city council passed a bias crimes ordinance that tracks such crimes, though it does not include penalties for them. There is an AIDS Walk now...

...And yet, to the bewilderment of some people here, there is no memorial to Mr. Shepard in Laramie. The log fence has been torn down where he lay dying for 18 hours on Oct. 7, 1998. There is no marker. Wild grass blows in the wind.

The Fireside bar — where Mr. Shepard was lured away by Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, who are serving life terms for murder — is also gone, sold and renamed years ago. Without the Fireside, there is no longer a bar in town where gays, jocks, foreign students and cowboys mix together.

McCain's Economic Crisis

For those who wanted a link to this story, which I referenced on the show, it is from the Washington Post, re: how John McCain brought us to the current financial crisis through deregulation.

Sarah Palin's Witchhunter

This is the story we talked about for much of the third hour -- and we played the videos, which you should go and watch.