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Activists Attend White House Correspondents’ Dinner Receptions, Press About Repeal Of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tells

05/02/10-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
Last night, a couple of activists decided attend to several of the receptions held in conjunction before the the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Who were these activists? Get Equal? Dan Choi? No. They were two people from oft maligned main stream lobbing groups , namely Jarrod Chlapowski of HRC and Alex Nicholson of Servicemembers United.

So, Chlapowski and Nicholson booked a room at the Hilton and went out to rub elbows, where they pressed the flesh and pressed for a lot of information.

While there, Nicholson talked to Rahm Emanuel, the White House Chief of Staff, and pressed him on the issue of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Emanuel admitted that there is a thirty to forty percent chance that it will happen this year. Chlapowski took this to mean that it will likely not pass this year.

They then talked to Senator Scott “Mr. 41″ Brown about trying to force repeal and tried to get him on record as supporting repeal. Senator Brown was not willing to do so as of this moment, though he was fascinated by the fact that both Chlapowski and Nicholson are veterans. Despite that, Chlapowski definitely believes that it was productive. The two talked to a variety of people who were there including RNC Chairman Michael Steele, Senator Susan Collins and actresses Betty White and Cynthia Nixon.

Today’s rally was lightly attended, even from the artful photography that was going on. Few to no press were there, and all of them were LGBT oriented news sources. Perhaps, had Get Equal decided to go in for the reception last night, they could have made the news big time by getting loud and maybe even chaining themselves to Rahm Emanuel. Instead, they declined, and Chlapowski and Nicholson went instead and engaged in what John Avarosis has described as “HRC’s half-pregnant activism.” In this case, the HRC’s Chlapowski was the one who got into the event and not the more vocal activists.

This is an executive editor’s note…. Our original references to Mr. Nicholson and Mr. Chlapowski “crashing” this event have now been termed “not accurate” by our sources… Mr. Nicholson and Mr. Chlapowski did not attempt to get into the White House Correspondents Dinner proper, but did attend ancillary “public” receptions at the Washington Hilton before the event.

Apparently however, we upset Mr. Nicholson in even posting this story because he feels we broke a confidence in posting this news. For that were are very sorry.

It was never our intent to upset anyone, except for maybe Mr. Obama and those folks over at the Pentagon and in the White house who promise change, then call all of our efforts to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell “just more noise from the village people” … and send out letters saying “sorry about your luck… but we have an election coming up.”

It has also long been the editorial opinion of this site… based on very good information… that several of the recent radical protests against DADT have done far more damage then good for our cause and the recent push back we’re seeing from the Pentagon and the White House is a direct result of those actions, so we do feel that in posting this story, we were trying to show people out there that the hell raisers in this movement are not the only ones trying to deliver this message, and that we don’t have to club people over the head or chain ourselves to the White House fence in order get attention while sending the message DADT is wrong to the people who count.

We truly think Mr. Nicholson and Mr. Chlapowski showed a great deal of intuitive in seeing an opportunity to press the cause for the repeal of DADT and in seizing that opportunity… We applaud them both for going to these receptions to deliver the message for all of us, even if they are not happy with us for reporting them doing it…. We think it still a very courageous act and as such very worthy of reporting.

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21 Responses to Activists Attend White House Correspondents’ Dinner Receptions, Press About Repeal Of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tells

  1. Unite the Fight

    May 2, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    “It has also long been the editorial opinion of this site… based on very good information… that several of the recent radical protests against DADT have done far more damage then good for our cause and the recent push back we’re seeing from the Pentagon and the White House is a direct result of those actions . . .”

    Though I don’t always agree with GetEqual (it appears they still have a lot to learn about Capitol Hill and how to truly get our message across), do you not see anything wrong in the sentence above? We demand our rights vocally (like Obama encouraged), rather more vociferous than the White House is used to, they petulantly push back because it makes them look bad and break promises, and we’re the ones to blame?

    I see the point you’re making, but I don’t think this is the way to argue for it.

    • Bridgette P. LaVictoire

      May 2, 2010 at 9:35 pm

      “In the wake of Lt. Choi’s arrests, he has remained defiant even as the Pentagon and the White House appear to be pushing the timetable back further and further on repeal of DADT with a potential repeal not coming until 2013. His defiance and the defiance of the groups supporting him has not wavered about civil disobedience.”

      that’s in the one about the arrests today.

    • Unite the Fight

      May 3, 2010 at 10:58 am

      Paula,
      Now this is clearer. I agree – they’re not strategically getting our message across with these actions. They need to be smarter about it. It’s like a tree falling in the forest – if no one’s around, no one will hear it. I think they have the right to be defiant and express the anger over their rights being violated – the attitude I don’t have a problem with, it’s worked for decades on civil rights- it’s the effectiveness that gets us the win.

      However, back to that original sentence – it just appeared to shift the blame of DADT repeal setback on us rather than our Commander-in-Chief. As I know you agree, we need to keep the pressure on him and on Congress, and respond appropriately to the deliberate road blocks they are putting in our way. If the Pentagon and WH are reacting to our protests with mocking derision and more road blocks, what does that say? That they speak out of both sides of their mouths – they claim to support us but undermine our efforts. I think anger combined with knowledgeable strategy of politics and media savvy is the key. GetEqual right now unfortunately seems to only have the anger. I believe in time they’ll get the latter. Unfortunately for DADT, we may not have the luxury of time.

    • Wake Up AMerica

      May 3, 2010 at 9:28 pm

      I have always said you will never solve anything with anger! I have been saying for months that some of these groups are doing NOTHING for our movement except of course making us look like a bunch of idiots without brains!! Anyway my point here is we need effective leadership in our agenda going forward with a PLAN! If they think pushing and screaming are effective tactics to get things moving in the right direction then we are all in for a sad ending to a very passionate movement! WE NEED A LEADER! not a CHEERLEADER!

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