Saturday, April 5, 2014

Andrew Sullivan on Brendon Eich; Huff Post and Entertainment Weekly Exploiting Writers?

Andrew Sullivan on Brendon Eich

I posted yesterday about anti-anti gay bullying with respect to what happened to Brendon Eich and the way he resigned as CEO of Mozilla due to alleged pressure from certain "activists" in the LGBT community. On occasion, I also post about how I sometimes find it interesting that some of my activist peers in the LGBT community preach tolerance and yet at the same time have no tolerance for anyone else. The same people who will call someone a "hater" are so filled with hate themselves they don't even recognize it. And now gay blogger Andrew Sullivan is basically saying the same thing about what happened with Brendon Eich.

Sullivan wrote on The Dish: 'The guy who had the gall to express his First Amendment rights and favour Prop 8 in California by donating US$1,000 has just been scalped by some gay activists.' He continued: 'Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society.

If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.'

I can take this even further. But I won't. The message is loud and clear as it stands. And frankly, I'm getting a little sick and tired of these "activist" types myself. I think it's time they practice the tolerance and diversity they preach. I read something the other day by a gay man that stated if you're Republican you are automatically a racist. I cringed for him because he's so stupid, and for anyone out there who thinks all gay people feel that way.

You can read more here. It's a brilliant post and I'm hoping more posts like this will change the proverbial tides a little. When I posted yesterday on this topic I presented the argument that Eich made a strong political statement with his contribution and he had to pay the consequences, which is true. Sullivan takes it a step further and states that Eich's right to free speech was targeted because of his beliefs, which is wrong even though it happens all the time nowadays.

I'm getting a little sick and tired as a gay man of these "activists" because they by no means represent me...or my own values and ethics. And I think there are more of us...maybe even the majority...who need to speak up more about it.


Huff Post and Entertainment Weekly Exploiting Writers?

When I posted about Arianna Huffington's practices of not paying bloggers yesterday I truly did not expect to see this article to which I'm linking now. Evidently, Huffington Post isn't the only multi-million dollar publication taking on free content from writers, now it seems Entertainment Weekly is doing it, too. And this article by Scott Meslow is calling it shameless exploitation of newbie writers.

You can ignore Entertainment Weekly's spin about "passion and unique voices." This is a deeply cynical decision that feeds off the dreams of inexperienced writers who are hoping to make a name for themselves in entertainment journalism. According to a story in Digiday, The Community will be made up of bloggers discovered "through social media and J-schools." Let's call that what it really is: Entertainment Weekly taking advantage of young writers who want to launch their careers, but aren't sure where else they can be published.
 
Unfortunately, writing is one of the few careers in the world where workers are willing to work for free...without a hint of complaining. I've seen it before, and yes, when I was younger I even did it sometimes against my better judgment. The temptation of seeing your byline and seeing something you wrote in print is often too hard to refuse. And we're usually more than willing to sacrifice what we know is wrong in order to feed the vanity and insecurity that lurks in us all. But more than that, there will always be people like those at Entertainment Weekly and Arianna Huffington who are more than willing to take advantage of our weakest tendencies. And that's a shame, because it's hard to think of another industry that hates to pay its workers as much as publishing. It even goes deeper than freebies when it comes to how published authors get paid...royalties on a quarterly basis where you have to wait months to get compensated for the blood sweat and tears you put into a writing project. And even then most of us never know when the next check is coming, or how much we actually sold.  
 
In any event, you can read more here. And please writers don't fall into that trap that just because you're getting an article pubbed in a place like EW or Arianna Huffington's publication you will land a better writing job or gain some kind of international attention because the odds of that happening aren't all that great. The point is that writers are working hard and providing a viable service. Publications like EW are making millions of dollars and they should be compensating their writers with money just like everyone else in business.
 
At the end of the piece Scott Meslow leaves a very honest message to writers looking to break into journalism. He's even offering to compensate them. If you click the link above you'll find his contact info.

To put this in another way, this message Scott Meslow is telling us is what any good literary agent would be saying, too. And in a way, this is just one more reason why we NEED good agents to stand up for us.








No comments: