Archived entries for Blogs and Media

New gay travel magazine, ManAboutWorld

My friend Ed Salvato – the ultimate gay travel guru – has teamed up with Billy Kolber (also no slouch in the gay travel department, as founder of Out & About) to create ManAboutWorld magazine, a new travel publication for the iPad. I’m thrilled to be contributing to it occasionally; here’s a piece on Vancouver I wrote for the November edition. For the full effect be sure to download the App and see the magazine for yourself!

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NOW/NEXT: VANCOUVER

The beauty of Vancouver can drive a grown man to cry. With its forest of glass towers nestled where the mountains of the Canadian West rise and fall into the Pacific, Vancouver is one of the world’s most beautiful spots – but somehow still off the radar of most travelers.

An influx of money and Asian immigrants has changed the look of Vancouver over the past three decades from self-described backwater to cosmopolitan global city. At its heart, though, it remains a genuinely down-to-earth place (the recent debut of “Real Housewives of Vancouver” notwithstanding) rife for exploring.

Befitting the region’s progressive reputation, Vancouver is also home to a sizable gay population, which hoists its rainbow flag in the Davie Village section of the West End (not to be confused with West Vancouver, to the north, or the West Side, to the south).

Get your bearings at ground zero, near the corner of Thurlow and Davie Streets, but don’t be alarmed if the crowds happen to be thin: locals in this outdoorsy place are as likely to be found at the neighborhood’s many lively watering holes as they are doing what Vancouverites do best – being out and active in their slice of paradise.

Exercise is religion here, but so is good food. A pair of upcoming events is perfect excuse (as if you needed one) to plan a winter visit. January brings the two-week Dine Out Vancouver Festival, touted as the largest food festival in the country, with more than 200 restaurants offering up their diverse menus on the cheap. The huge Vancouver International Wine Festival follows in February and is a tippler’s time to try the surprising fruits of the Okanagan, the wine-producing area in the province’s interior, and a variety of other vintners from around the globe.

Continue reading…

“Enemies of the People”

Last month, I attended the International Center for Journalists annual awards dinner in Washington, where Cambodian documentarian Thet Sambath was honored. His film, “Enemies of the People” chronicles years of interviews he conducted with Nuon Chea, the Khmer Rouge’s no. 2 man. It was only after a number of years of filming him before Thet Sambath admitted to Nuon Chea that his own parents were among those killed by the regime. The film is excellent — scary, enlightening, and heartbreaking.

New York Times: In a Cambodian friendship, a Secret Quest

NLGJA

Last night I headed down to Mitchell Gold on Lafayette Street for NLGJA’s annual Headlines and Headliners benefit, the biggest annual fundraiser for the organization. As usual it was a star-studded but not stuffy affair, emceed this year by the hilarious Kathie Lee and Hoda (see the clip below for the pair’s thoughts on the event during the next morning’s Today Show).

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Everyone and their mother seemed to be there: ex-Newsom babe Kimberly Guilfoyle, the fabulous Megyn Kelly from FOX, Andy Cohen, Andy Towle, Kenneth Walsh, Manuel Gallegus, Jeanne Moos, Jill Dougherty, Carl Quintanilla, Andrew Shue, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and fellow Mainer Contessa Brewer. But the best looking group was definitely this trio:

Mallick on Palin

heather_mallickThe New York Times has really been overdosing on Canada coverage lately, and it’s been good to see. The latest dispatch from north of the border appears in today’s paper, with the Times’ man in Canada, Ian Austen, writing about the controversy that’s swirled around Heather Mallick, a brilliant writer who admittedly went a little too far in her criticisms of Sarah Palin.

In a piece for the CBC, the former Globe and Mail columnist said Palin had taken on “a toned-down version of the porn actress look,” had “white trash” supporters, and even claimed that Republican men are sexually inadequate (“It’s possible that Republican men, sexual inadequates that they are, really believe that women will vote for a woman just because she’s a woman,” she wrote.).

Of course she was summarily denounced for it by some in the U.S. media — including, you guessed it, FOX News. Following the receipt of hundreds of complaints, the story was removed from the CBC web site.

Mallick explained, “My problem is that I have to write with a certain kind of reader in mind, and that person is always going to be my vision of an intelligent Canadian…I don’t write for Fox viewers.” In the final zinger of the Times article, Mallick went on to say, “It wasn’t satire though; it was straightforward political commentary, admittedly with jokes…I had no idea anyone would take the remark about sexually inadequate Republican men literally!”

The curse heard ’round the world

No TV outburst has ever been quite as amusing as this week’s gaff by WNBC’s Sue Simmons. The other night, during a tease for the 11 o’clock newscast, she must have thought her mic was off because this came out of her mouth…I’ve been watching the clip on loop for days and it just gets funnier each time.

Errors galore!

The CBC British Columbia homepage featured this headline the other day. I couldn’t believe it! Actually, I can…errors run amok, even among the media.

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The Washington Post featured this incorrect headline today:

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Reuters offered up this headline error:

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Panama

Our BFF, Jeffrey Kofman, has a fun report on efforts to expand the Panama Canal.

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Thomas Roberts

thomas_roberts2Today marked the biggest splash in the gay media world in some time: everyone in the blogosphere seemed to take note of CNN anchor Thomas Roberts’ public coming out this weekend, which happened mere days before today’s announcement that CNN is canceling his 4-6 p.m. news slot on Headline News.

I was shocked when I first read of the outing news on my friend Johnny’s blog–not the news itself, since I’ve always known Thomas is gay, but because I never realized how outing can be such a story for some people. It feels different when the news is about someone you know and is highlighted and magnified by someone else you know. And every other gay blogger in New York. (To be straight, Thomas outed himself–the news just spread like wildfire.) I won’t go on and on about the details: you can read more over at Towleroad.

On Thursday night Thomas and me and our friend Javi whiled the night away at Buck 15 in Miami Beach. We laughed and drank and danced till we couldn’t stand anymore. I never could have imagined that four days later his sexuality would become the obsession that it has become. Coming out was his own decision, and we applaud him for that. But right now it feels as though the fuss surrounding coming out would be easier to stomach if it was about a complete stranger.

Watch this!

If you only watch one thing I recommend, let it be this.

Please check out what is probably the most stunning interview that has ever appeared on television news. Julie Banderas from Fox News was talking with Shirley Phelps-Roper of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, when things got out of hand. As the Pen15 Club notes, “You have not lived until you’ve seen one of Rupert Murdoch’s Playmates – I mean, lady anchors – get into a scripture quote war with a straw-haired, Bible-thumping wingnut. And you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven when the wingnut calls the anchor a ‘bimbo.’ It’s like watching an argument between Ann Coulter’s id and superego.”

Queerty takes Canada

The bloggers over at Queerty are on an interesting northern roadtrip, unearthing drag queens and lesbian cafes in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Edmonton. The best observation from the Dedmonton, aka the City of Subtle Charms? “Who would’ve thought that we would find the highest concentration of talented drag queens in Edmonton…Up until we left for this trip, we hadn’t even heard of Edmonton, which is the capital of the oil-rich province, and we saw more quality drag in one evening there than we have seen anywhere else on our trip.”

Hate crime in Paradise

The story of the gay-bashing of CBS News producer Dick Jefferson and two of his friends as they vacationed in St Maarten is finally picking up some steam in the press. Today, Good Morning America featured an interview by Jeffrey Kofman with two of the victims.

Dick was knocked unconscious with a four-pronged tire wrench; one of his friends, Ryan Smith, is in a Miami hospital with a crushed skull. Ryan’s boyfriend jumped onto the hood of their assailant’s speeding car to avoid being run over by it. The story is awful enough, but the gravity of the situation really is compounded when you know the person; though I can’t say that Dick is a friend of mine, we have met on numerous occasions through mutual friends at CBS and he has always seemed charming and kind.

• From Kenneth in the 212: My Dick Gets Gay-Bashed

Shameless plug

I recently discovered the blog of a charming friend-of-a-friend and I’m seriously in love with it: Kenneth in the 212.

Canadian captive’s gayness kept hushed

james_loneyThere has been a flurry of media reports about the sexuality of James Loney, the Canadian who was held captive in Iraq for the past three months. Since he was abducted, no mention has been made about him being a gay man — good policy that may have saved his life.

He was freed and returned home to Toronto this week where the director of Christian Peacekeepers, the group he was working with in Iraq, made the following statement:

“It’s a sad fact that around the world gays and lesbians are more vulnerable to attack than straights.”

“When Jim was already in a vulnerable position we didn’t, nor his family, want him to be exposed to further danger,” he said.

Excuse me while I name drop

thomas_robertsI was lucky to spend last night on the arm of an attractive and charming date, my friend Chris, at the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association’s annual benefit in New York. I had a good chat about fashion and flying with Laurie Dhue, as we stood in line waiting for our third or fourth cocktail. Across the room, one of my best friends was sizing up Thomas Roberts, the CNN anchor I’ve loved since he first joined the network (he’s been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful Atlantans). Nearby, Greta Van Susteren’s plastic surgerywas sagging.

It was a great event that raised a lot of money for NLGJA, a group I’ve been involved with for five years. I only heard one complaint about the high ticket price: One well-known talking head muttered to his date as the sidled up to the bar for yet another glass of cab, “for the price of this event, I’m going to get my liquor’s worth.”

Maisonneuve

One of my favourite magazines, Maisonneuve, is going torelaunch this fall as Montreal magazine.

Some say the 2-year-old national arts magazine is a cross between the New Yorker (ok that’s a stretch) and Vanity Fair (again, a stretch) while the new magazine coming this fall will be retooled to focus on life in English-speaking Montreal. The city, which the magazine calls “North America’s most unique city,” hasn’t had a magazine of its own in more than a decade.

In case you are wondering where the word Maisonneuve comes from, it’s the name of the founder of Montreal, Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve (and now you know why there is a boulevard called de Maisonneuve there).

As audiences what?

I’m a stickler for grammar, so this New York Times headline made me laugh.

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Work for a stallion in New York

Thanks to my friend John who just sent over the gay boy’s dream job: production assistant for Anderson Cooper.

CNN gives to the gays

CNN today announced a $100,000 donation to the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association to endow a new scholarship fund for LGBT college students who plan a career in journalism.

Top pics of the year

I’m a photo fanatic, and there are plenty of year-end best-of photo galleries on the Web from MSNBCTime, and Reuters, among others. Here are a few good ones.

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I love headline writers

From 365gay.com:

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