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January 19th, 2009

Every Snowflake In An Avalanche…

Via Dan Savage…Via After Elton…  HBO is pointing the finger at Obama…

Developing: HBO says they aren’t to blame for not including Gene Robinson in concert special

Contacted Sunday night by AfterElton.com concerning the exclusion of Robinson’s prayer, HBO said via email, "The producer of the concert has said that the Presidential Inaugural Committee made the decision to keep the invocation as part of the pre-show."

Uncertain as to whether or not that meant that HBO was contractually prevented from airing the pre-show, we followed up, but none of the spokespeople available Sunday night could answer that question with absolute certainty.

However, it does seem that the network’s position is that they had nothing to do with the decision.

So who made the decision to closet the Gay Men’s Chorus?  Dan Savage sums it up nicely here

When you’re throwing folks a bone it’s a good idea to make sure they can, you know, see the bone.

It’s five in the morning here in Baltimore, and already my mailbox is chock full of outrage over this.  From the Gay Democrats mail list to the local Baltimore lists its everywhere.  Everywhere but Google news which seems to think that Robinson’s prayer was seen by the whole nation.  Over at Science Blogs they’re calling it an Historic inaugural slap in the face to LGBT community.  One commenter there posted this…

We’d like to have you speak at our inaugural event…
We’d like to put your face up on the screen
Look around you; all you see are Democratic eyes.
Stroll around the Mall until it’s time to speak

And here’s to you, Bishop Robinson,
CNN—your speech they wouldn’t show
Wo wo wo
Bless us with tears, Bishop Robinson,
Heaven knows it can’t be cos you’re gay
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey….

Use another camera while the Bishop says his prayer.
Put it on a crowd scene for the broadcast
Keep him in the closet, Bishop Robinson’s not there
Most of all, we’ve got to hide him from the kids

Shoo, shoo, to you, Bishop Robinson,
CNN—your speech they wouldn’t show
Wo wo wo
Bless us with tears, Bishop Robinson,
Heaven knows it can’t be cos you’re gay
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey….

Standing on the marble steps, with Lincoln looking down
Going through the motions for TV
Laugh about it, Shout about it, Try to spread the word
Anyway, the Bishop wasn’t heard

Where have you gone, Marian Anderson?
The GMC is singing just like you
Ooo ooo ooo
What’s that you say, Bishop Robinson?
CNN sure kept you locked away
Hey hey hey… hey hey hey…

Posted by: Cuttlefish | January 18, 2009 10:38 PM

Several people over at Daily KOS, are covering this.  DrFood mentions, via Pam’s House Blend, that you couldn’t even hear Robinson on NPR…

Bishop Gene Robinson gave a beautiful invocation at the inaugural concert today.  I know because I read it here. (Full text below the fold.)  I didn’t see it on HBO.  Apparently you couldn’t see it on CNN or PBS. (*see update below)  An angry commenter on Pam’s House Blend says you couldn’t even hear it on NPR.

Craigkg is reporting that even those in the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial might not have been able to hear Robinson’s Prayer…

In fact, it is being reported by some who were in attendance that when Rev Robinson delivered his invocation, the speakers were either turned down or off all together.

He goes on to write

The situation with Rev. Robinson and Rev. Warren has become so incredibly similar to the fiasco involving Donnie McClurkin and Rev. Andy Sidden its not even funny. Before the South Carolina primary, Obama held a concert for black evangelicals and invited gospel singer and "ex-gay" homophobe Donnie McClurkin to sing and emcee the event. GLBT activists reacted by denouncing McClurkin’s claims that gays can change their sexual orientation (aka be saved) and Obama for having such a divisive anti-gay figure associated with his campaign. The GLBT community is rightly very sensitive to the legitimization of  the ex-gay movement and the severe psychological damage reparative therapy can have of those subjected to this (being kind here) torture. After some hemming and hawing Obama announced he did not agree with McClurkin’s views on gays, tried to reinterate his own support of the GLBT community and announced that an invocation at the concert would be delivered by openly gay minister, the Rev. Andy Sidden. It was highly questioned at the time having a white gay minister deliver the prayer when several black gay ministers were available and willing to give it. At the concert, Rev. Sidden delivered his prayer in front of a largely unoccupied venue as most people were outside still filing in. Reports put the crowd at one quarter to one third of the eventual attendance at best. McClurkin went on to emcee and perform in  front of the full crowd and delivered his own god saved me from my gayness statement…

At Talking Points Memo…there is the Top Ten Reasons Why HBO Censored Gene Robinson…

1. HBO sound system cannot broadcast gay voices.
2. Program ran over schedule, so HBO went back in their time machine and cut the beginning of the live broadcast.
3. Appearance of a gay men’s chorus went way over HBO’s ‘gay quota’ for the event.
4. HBO is a family-friendly network that does not carry offensive material like frontal nudity, profanity, or bishops.
5. Ellen DeGeneres was jealous.
6. Dumbledore was jealous.
7. HBO was warned that terrorists were watching for a signal that America was gay weak.
8. Rick Warren was jealous.
9. Everyone knows all gays are atheists.
10. Sarah Palin used her special anti-Russian spyware to block the signal.

They also report that NPR silenced Robinson.  Over at TVBarn.com they’re reporting that Robinson’s image was kept out of the NPR gallery of event photos as well.  Also…

A search of Getty Images, NYTimes.com and WaPo slide shows turned up nothing. In short, I found no visual evidence that an invocation was ever said. 

The TVBarn blogger lists three options for team Obama to handle this:  1) Claim it was a technical glitch,  2) Admit they never intended for Robinson to be seen on national TV,  3) Admit they screwed up.  My money is on 1, and they’ll stick stubbornly with it no matter how many people point out that the event began without any problems precisely on time, and that the "glitch" only happened during Robinson’s prayer, and that it still doesn’t explain why the Gay Men’s Chorus was closeted.

So far not one of the mainstream news media outlets I have scanned have reported either that Robinson was silenced, or that the Gay Men’s Chorus was closeted.  However, the comment boards of some of them, like the  are already electric with people angry that they didn’t get to see and hear RobinsonHis prayer was beautiful and stirring to many

Mike Tidmus writes in his post, The incredible disappearing bishop

Could it be that the American media has finally decided these public events should be 100% secular? Don’t count on it, friends, because you know as well as I do that pop-pastor Rick Warren will be front and center and at full volume to kick off President-Elect Obama’s formal Inauguration on Tuesday.

Today’s event at the Lincoln Memorial was entitled We Are One, but apparently We Are Minus One is closer to the truth.

It didn’t have to be this way.  And yet…it did…

Comments are closed.

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