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!



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


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).

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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.


The Washington Post featured this incorrect headline today:


Reuters offered up this headline error:


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.


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).

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.





I love headline writers



‘One of the most disturbing and disgraceful media performances’

mining_disaster_0104It’s been horrifying to watch how the West Virginia mine disaster has played out. The images of Appalachian coal miners and their hardscrabble communities is almost unbelievable to those of us on the rich coasts. Watching it all, I kept thinking, “this is not America I know.” Their world is simply not one I can fathom.

The media coverage has been interesting, to say the least. Cyd over at the Dooryard said the story was being sensationalized, and the conflicting paper headlines this morning reflected the chaos of last evening’s erroneous announcements (photo, right).

But for me it was reporter Bruce Morton on CNN who had the most simple and poignant story to tell. In a short 90-second piece he talked about the history of the coal mining industry and ended by saying, “My late father grew up in a coal mining town — that’s a long time ago now. And I always thought the smartest thing he ever did was walk away from it.”

Depending on when you picked up the paper this morning, you may have received a different take on the mine disaster. Below is the Globe‘s first edition, and then its revision. Luckily for the west coast papers, the three-hour time difference meant they mostly got the story right (except for the LA Times early edition), while the New York Times and just about every paper east of Minneapolis did not. Industry publicationEditor & Publisher called the errors and eventual retractions, “one of the most disturbing and disgraceful media performances of its kind in recent years.”


Liberal leader quits over blog

It’s hard to get away from things you’ve placed on the Internet, especially once Google has found them and cached them. Take this snapshot from Mike Klander’s blog (now deactivated) for instance. Klander is executive vice president of the federal Liberal Party’s Ontario wing, and he posted this and other “Separated at Birth?” comparisons for the enjoyment of his friends.

Here New Democratic Party candidate Olivia Chow, wife of federal NDP leader Jack Layton, is compared to a pretty nasty looking doggie. She’s running for Parliament to represent portions of downtown Toronto.

While Klander did delete his site when he realized bloggers and reporters had stumbled upon it, Google has retained much of the original content in its cache. . He has since resigned.


Thank god we live in a two-newspaper world

We’re lucky we don’t live in a world with just one news source. Consider these varying takes on last night’s return of Midwest Airlines Flight 210 to Boston. While both articles turn out fairly well balanced, the Milwaukee paper offers up a bit more “dramatic” headline on events. Meanwhile, the Globe simply reports that passengers were “a little puzzled at the fuss.”


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: A Midwest Airlines flight that developed a problem with its landing gear shortly after departing from Boston to Milwaukee made a dramatic emergency landing Tuesday night.

Boston Globe: “The pilot did not declare an emergency, and waved off fire and rescue equipment…Passengers coming off the plane at Logan last night appeared to be relieved, tired, and a little puzzled at the fuss

Ford pulls ads in gay pubs

jaguar_gay_adIn an apparent bow to pressure from the Mississippi-based American Family Association, Ford Motor Company this week has agreed to pull advertising from gay and lesbian publications for its Jaguar and Land Rover brands. The AFA had initially called for an outright boycott of Ford, but cancelled that when the Detroit firm agreed to pull its ads from magazines like the Advocate.

“The decisions with regard to advertising was a business decision,” Ford spokesman Mike Moran said. But it was a different story from the American Family Association’s chairman, Donald E. Wildmon, who in a statement expressed satisfaction. “They’ve heard our concerns,” he said. “They are acting on our concerns.”

In an unprecedented alliance, 19 of the countries biggest gay advocacy groups have demanded a meeting with Ford this week. “We are deeply dismayed that Ford has entered into a confidential agreement with the extremist American Family Association that requires Ford to stop advertising in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender media,” the group said Monday.

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