The Best Of The Dish Today

Andrew Sullivan —  May 7 2014 @ 9:00pm

Repatriation Of Soldiers Killed In Afghanstan Helicopter Crash

The intrepid FOIA work by San Francisco gadfly and AIDSy role model, Michael Petrelis, gave us proof in Jo Becker’s own words that her book tour and promotion for Forcing The Spring were being jointly “coordinated” by her publisher, Penguin, and the Human Rights Campaign and AFER. So HRC’s head, Chad Griffin, was integrally involved in the promotion of a book that describes him as the gay Rosa Parks on the first page. We also learned that Becker tried to get another much-praised source, San Francisco City Attorney, Dennis Herrera, to bulk purchase the book for sale and hold an event at San Francisco City Hall.

herrera committee payment to chad 2Petrelis has also – through FOIA – made another discovery. Herrera paid Chad Griffin’s p.r. firm $175,000 in late 2008 to help him reach out to donors who may not have seen marriage equality as a cause to support. The conflicts of interest here are myriad. And, given the NYT’s embrace of the book – the cover of the magazine, the Book Review, the first choice of New York Times editors for a book in print, and Becker’s liberal use of her New York Times affiliation, it’s a good thing that the NYT Public Editor has decided to investigate. Stay tuned.

Earlier today I tried to tackle the question of culture, conservatism and immigration – by looking at the British political scene. We got a first-hand account of what it’s like to live on Soylent – the high-tech food substitute that tempts me so. And a reader turned the question around as our first Book Club discussion wound down: what if modernity needs Christianity to survive?

The most popular post of the day was “And Sometimes There Is A Smoking Gun Email,” followed by my post yesterday on the new world and a new era for American foreign policy, “Letting Go Of Global Hegemony, Ctd.

See you in the morning.

(Photo: Mourners gather to pay their respects as the cortege passes by following the repatriation of five British servicemen who were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan at RAF Brize Norton, on May 6, 2014 in Brize Norton, near Oxfordshire, England. Captain Thomas Clarke, Warrant Officer Spencer Faulkner and Corporal James Walters, of the Army Air Corps (AAC), who were serving as the Lynx aircrafts three-man team when they died alongside Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan of the Royal Air Force and Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas of the Intelligence Corps, were believed to have been passengers on the flight. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has denied claims by the Taliban that insurgents shot the helicopter down in Kandahar province on April 26, claiming it was a tragic accident rather than enemy action that caused of the crash. By Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.)