NBC's Ann Curry, CNN's Don Lemon Headline 'Revolutionary' Gay Journalist Convention

The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association held their annual convention this weekend in Philadelphia, and the keynote speakers were CNN's Don Lemon and NBC's Ann Curry. Their pictures were featured under the motto "Creating a Revolution." The group says it's "working from within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues." (That often means censoring conservative views, not just correcting errors.) Comcast, the majority owner of NBC Universal, is a top financial backer of the convention.

The plan was for Curry to be interviewed by Javier Morgado on "How does she see network news evolving?" And "does she believe in the ‘greater good’ of the work that journalists do?" Morgado, a gay activist, spent 11 years at NBC, including five years as Senior Producer at the Today show, and he managed the network's political coverage for the 2004 presidential election and the 2006 midterm elections as Senior Political Editor.

Morgado served on the NLGJA Board of Directors from 2006 to 2009, and on the "NBC News Diversity Council" from 2007 to 2009. Morgado boasted to the gay magazine Metro Weekly that he's been a major fundraiser for NLGJA's spring "Headlines and Headliners" event in New York City: "'I basically head up their biggest fundraiser each year, which generally raises $150,000 in one night,'' he says of the annual New York event. ''I love doing it. It's sort of a big star-studded night, where people pay [to] meet all the big A-listers in the TV business.'' NBC's Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford headlined in 2010. Openly gay MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts was the host in 2011

CNN's Lemon was scheduled to be the Saturday luncheon speaker, interviewed by openly gay media reporter Gail Shister, a longtime Philadelphia Inquirer reporter who now works with the TV Newser blog at Mediabistro.

Also slated to speak at the gay journalists convention: openly gay NPR White House correspondent Ari Shapiro, and also White House press spokesman Shin Inouye, who was offering "an inside look at the White House media room."  AP political reporter Philip Elliott was scheduled for two panels, one a 2012 political outlook with Shapiro.

The president of NLGJA is David Steinberg of the San Francisco Chronicle. Jen Christensen of CNN is the vice president-broadcast, and Trey Graham of National Public Radio is the treasurer. Steinberg claimed to the Philadelphia Inquirer, "We're not activists...We're journalists, so we work from within the newsroom, working on behalf of fair and accurate coverage of the community."

The Inquirer article really didn't glean anything from Curry on the fairness or unfairness of media coverage of gay issues. A few tweets suggested the flavor: There's "Journalism is chronicling what we're doing now so people understand where we're going."' And "If you dream of perfection, don't go into journalism. There are SO many ways not to be perfect. Do it to make change."

And there was this tweet: "Thanks ! They just gave all the members of student projects free ipads and flip cams!"

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis