Monday, May 11, 2009

Bumhole of the Month: Hollywood Publicist Howard Bragman

BragmanDonkey Enquiring minds want to know why openly gay Hollywood publicist Howard Bragman is representing at least one homophobic business owner, hotelier Doug Manchester. Has Howard "The Fagman" Bragman overdosed on poppers or is the recession really that bad that he has to work for his oppressors in order to pay his mortgage?

Manchester, who owns two Hyatt Hotel properties in San Diego, donated $125,000 to the successful just-say-no-to-gay-marriage Proposition 8 campaign, which was approved by California voters in November 2008. (It is important to note that the Hyatt Corporation is said to have an excellent record when it comes to the rights of sexual minorities, according to Human Rights Campaign, a leading lesbitrangay lobby group in Washington, DC.)

BoycottHyatt In July 2008, Californians Against Hate, headed by Laguna Beach activist Fred Karger, co-launched a very successful boycott of Manchester's businesses with Unite Here! Local 30, since Manchester also has a terrible record on labor issues.

The world famous El Coyote Mexican Cafe in Los Angeles was also added to the gay community's shit list after the manager gave $100 to a Yes on 8 group. Many people boycotted the restaurant and patrons were often greeted by angry protesters.

Most of the world found out about Bragman's association with homophobe Manchester in a May 8, 2009, Michael Stetz column published in the San Diego Tribune. Oddly, the only quote from Bragman in the column is: "I understand what he [Manchester] did and why he did it." Wow, could we be any more vague than that? Spoken like a true publicist!

According to information in the Stetz column, none of which has been confirmed, Manchester is offering money to LGBT groups and $100,000 in conference rooms for them to hold events. Manchester has repeatedly refused to rectify his problems with labor unions, so I cannot fathom that any deserving LGBT group (or individual) would now go to his properties and take advantage of these so-called free rooms.

Perhaps Bragman needs his meds adjusted because his current representation of gay-hater Manchester is a far cry from Bragman's own words in a November 2008 column published in The Huffington Post. At the time, Bragman wrote, "So am I really under some obligation to give El Coyote money that may eventually be given to groups that oppose my civil rights? I think not. I will guac elsewhere." [Lie #1]

In the same column, Bragman writes, "But unlike El Coyote and other 'Yes on 8' supporters, I am willing to stand by and own my political beliefs -- even when they may cause me economic harm." [Lie #2]

He ends his column with: ". . . don't expect to see me sipping a margarita at El Coyote. I will not fund my own demise and I won't go where I'm not wanted." [Lie #3; any more lies, Howard, and your nose will be bigger than Pinocchio's!]

After reading his forceful column in support of gay marriage, gay rights, but opposing those who oppress us, why on earth is Bragman now defending Manchester's actions? The $125,000 donation from the hotelier to Yes on 8 is way more than the mere $100 from the El Coyote manager. (If I scratch my head any longer trying to figure all this out, I may draw blood and won't be able to finish this column.)

I realize this is harsh, but Bragman brings the word "whoremonger" to an entirely new level! There's no better way to define the award-winning Bragman (APLA and GLAAD) who comes across as a staunch gay rights activist but then just six months later is getting a paycheck from a man who oppresses sexual minorities. "Whoremonger" can also be used to define former President Bill Clinton who refused to honour the gay rights/labor movement boycott by recently appearing at a function (for money) at one of Manchester's hotels.

Prop8 What Bragman has failed to realize, according to Karger, is that Manchester's $125,000 donation was basically seed money for Yes on 8 in the early stages of the signature process. Without that seed money from Manchester (and from Terry Caster, owner of A-1 Self Storage), "There probably would not have been a Prop 8 and same-sex marriage would still be the law in California," Karger said.

Karger told Crusader's Corner that others in the LGBT community that he has recently talked with do not want to accept Manchester's offer of money.

"It is a very sad situation that Bragman has created. On one hand you have so many LGBT organizations that are in need of money, but they do not want to cross the picket line and accept his offer of free conference rooms for events at the boycotted hotel. It's a cruel strategy to try and divide the gay community like he is doing. That's very surprising for anyone who has an ounce of self-respect."

According to Wikipedia, Bragman resides in Los Angeles with his male partner, a horse trainer, which is a very good thing now that Bragman is most certainly a horse's ass!