GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios resigns amid AT&T scandal

Andrea James told Boing Boing yesterday (though I'm just posting this now):
Politico ran a piece last week examining progressive non-profits that received AT&T donations.

Some of them, including GLAAD, then wrote in support of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, and in the case of GLAAD, wrote to the FCC opposing possible net neutrality rules.

GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios resigned moments ago.

More this morning on the story: Politico, Signorile, LGBTQnation.


  1. Resignation isn’t enough, he should be made to go on an apology tour and be forced to make statements written by professional PC police in order to show he is truly “sorry”.

    Then I hope he runs into a bridge abutment.

  2. Net Neutrality is hugely important to minority rights organising. The flood of people coming out has been in part due to the realisation via the internet that there are huge communities out there just like you.

    Get rid of Net Neutality and the open public spaces for people to get together will shrivel and die. Stonewall could only have happened in a big city, small towns just don’t have the numbers to support a thriving community. We have to look outside to other towns and cities to get the numbers to create a sizeable community. Without decent communications, like an open internet, every minority in every small town loses one of their best weapons in the fight for equal rights.

    1. Okay, that’s all well and good, and even if its entirely true and accurate it’s just not a good reason to choose particular companies.

      If you’re feeling alienated, step one to improving that is not alienating potential future allies…. for profit.

      That sorta makes you a dick who should be marginalized by people who like level playing fields and hope for a better future.

  3. Be curious to hear what Dan Savage has to say about this. He was a good source of information on waste,fraud&abuse in Seattle’s gay charities. (Abuse including encouraging “unsafe” behavior.) Nothing on Slog yet.

  4. Good grief! I work with a small social service non-profit, and I’d never even dream of doing anything like that for a company just because they gave us money.

    Maybe if I worked for a bigger non-profit… No, it still stinks.

  5. Oh, this is nasty, but sadly unsurprising. Thank you Xeni/Boing-boing for shining a light in this corner! It really should be examined thoroughly.

    there really isn’t a single significant governmental decision made these days which isn’t about money at its root, is there? -sigh-

  6. You can bet LGBT organizations just made the list of groups that don’t get AT&T donations. Regardless of the cause, a media firestorm is like a hot stove to a manager in a large corporation. If helping old ladies across the street gets some middle manager in trouble, then old ladies will henceforth cross streets without corporate assistance. Sad but true. In a time of unemployment, avoiding criticism is job one.

    1. If the only reason AT&T was giving these groups any money was to support their interest then it wasn’t a real act of charity but a pr campaign. Now that they have been exposed in doing so of course they will not keep trying to buy support from these nonprofits. I understand there can be overlap of interest between the nonprofit and private industry but when that overlap is just about donation to me that sounds more like corruption.

    2. That may or may not be the case: Now that the issue is in the open, it would cost AT&T virtually nothing(compared to the size of the money on the table with the merger and other matters) to “demonstrate that their support for charitable causes is in no way an attempt to coopt them” by continuing whatever support they were giving previously.

      Obviously, corporate philanthropy isn’t disinterested; but 50k/year is a small price to pay to be able to continue pretending…

    1. America, the land of what (and who) a corporation can buy

      I’d like to think we could have a “Mom & Pop” movement. A revolution among the majority of Americans to choose small, local businesses over large behemoth corporations for many of the goods and services they provide.

      The problem is these same behemoth corporations fund things like right-wing radio that would label everyone within the movement as “communists” and “nazis” and convince their flock that it’s crazy “libruls” trying to tell YOU how to shop.

      As long as we continue to pump money into these beasts, they will only continue to get stronger and more dangerous. It isn’t any coincidence that as the mergers get larger (and the corporations become more monolithic and powerful) the middle-class continues to shrink away from the upper-class. It isn’t any coincidence as the corporatists become more powerful we see our civil rights shrinking daily while the war-for-profit machine marches profitably forward.

      The truly sad and frustrating part is that every common American has the power to stop these people if we overcome fear (and in some cases our own personal greed) and unite. Simply support your local small business instead of your multinational corporation on a daily basis and the corporatists will fall.

      You want to fight bravely in a war? The most patriotic thing you can do right now is support small business in America. Take your money out of that huge “too-big-to-fail” bullshit bank and put your money into a local credit union or the like.

      I’m not saying jettison every corporation all at once in your life… but steadily move towards that goal by making choices here and there where you can. If you work for a large corporation, consider looking into starting your own business instead and/or working for a small business.

      It’s the only thing that going to keep America from going completely fascist. Aside from the corporatists, I would hope people of all walks of life could agree on this.

      This would be against Obama. This would be against Bush. This would be against elitists of all stripes that are sucking the lifeblood of average American. And the beauty of it is you don’t even have to fire a single shot in anger to start this revolution and that’s why this would be a revolution that would actually last.

      Washington, D. C. would be forced to listen to the people once we neuter these corporatists in the only place we can hurt them… in their bank accounts.

        1. It’s too late for all that. Your value as an American citizen corresponds to the amount of profit you will generate for corporations over the course of your life.

          Consider the Constitution to be like a hotel loyalty program. The more points you amass, the more rights you get.

          1. My sentiments, too. I’m mostly an ‘underground’ advocate these days, participating in certain systems and exchanges as little as I think I can get away with. Talk is cheap and I’d rather advocate by living the example.

        2. You’re *already* preaching to choir.

          You’re right, but you never know who else might be lurking, tired of all this shit and wondering what actions they can take amidst all these frustrating situations.

  7. AT&T are doing the thing you should expect them to do. While their PR machine might want you to believe they are primarily a charity that must charge phone users for the sole purpose of funding their benevolence, only an idiot would believe that to be the case.

    GLAAD, on the other hand, (and I mean every policy-level person there no matter who is falling on a sword over this.) are the bigger shit-heels here, or so it should appear to less cynical people.

    Personally I’m not surprised much at all. I recall a furor a decade or so back when someone made the mistake of pointing out that the Rainbow Coalition or the NAACP had a tactic that was essentially extortion (in essence, they would protest content of film or TV then rubber stamp it after a donation had been made but with no change to actual content).

    While not the same act I feel it equivocal in the sense that they both show more interest in funding than in the public masthead of the orgs.

  8. Why resign? If you’re going to take the money then come up with a good defense and stick to your guns.

  9. Sad. I loved Jarrett Barrios when he was a local Cambridge politician. He truly seemed like one of the good guys.

  10. And once the FCC consolidates its control over the internet, it won’t abuse its power, oh no. While the FCC stood up to Comcast on Bittorrent, what do you wanna bet that was just a tactical move to further their quest for power? Once they are firmly in control, do you really think they won’t reverse course and become hostile to peer-to-peer technologies? The Washington power brokers are hardly allies of the commons in the copyfight. There is no perfect solution to the net neutrality problem. It’s a never-ending fight. But while the FCC will occasionally be an ally, it is not a dependable one. Once the FCC is ensconced in the drivers seat, they won’t care what EFF or you or I think.

  11. Should public advocacy groups refuse to accept corporate money?

    This is literally a “money where your mouth is” kind of question for those who are interested in campaign finance reform. Could YOU do all that “great work” you are doing influencing the system if you were only funded by the actual constituents that you represent?

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