Sunday, June 26, 2011

Boston Globe: Barrios Should Have Resigned

In a stinging editorial the Boston Globe says that "gay bloggers were justified in hounding Jarrett Barrios," the former president of the Gay an Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), for endorsing the AT&T/T-Mobile merger:

Barrios’s fall tarnishes the reputation of the former Massachusetts state senator, a charismatic politician once thought to be destined to hold higher statewide office. But the episode raises deeper questions about GLAAD and its peer organizations. Two other organizations with no official business related to telecommunications — the NAACP and the National Education Association — wrote letters in support of AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile after receiving large contributions from the company. Clearly, some activist groups have grown a little too fond of their corporate backers, at a cost to their credibility. A lawmaker who receives a letter from GLAAD or the NAACP on a mundane piece of business like a corporate merger might understandably give less credence to their letters on civil rights. Shilling for AT&T makes them seem more like paid lobbyists than clarions of justice; it carries more than a whiff of hackery.

GLAAD moved in the right direction, the editorial notes, by having Barrios resign. Certainly, as I've pointed out, the resignation of the former AT&T official Troup Coronado was a welcome development too, in addition to 7 other board members, mostly Barrios supporters. The next thing the board should do to regain the trust of the community and move on from this is withdraw its endorsement of the merger.