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Thursday, May 5, 2011

S.F.'s Westfield Mall Denies Blackballing Gay Blog from Media Event

Posted By on Thu, May 5, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Is it all bloggers or just gay bloggers?
  • Is it all bloggers or just gay bloggers?

Update 2:26 p.m.: A Westfield Mall spokesman called SF Weekly to clear up what he said was a miscommunication. According to the spokesman, "the event was open to all credentialed media, and it was our understanding that all media had gained access. It was unfortunate that a miscommunication occurred, that was not the intent."  

Original story 12:23 p.m.The Queerty, a national LGBT publication, was reportedly banned from a San Francisco event celebrating the imminent opening of the new Target store. And considering that Target has already been spotlighted in the press for its donations to antigay politicians, the move seemed a bit curious.

The publication sent a blogger to the Westfield Mall's morning photo-op at the Metreon, where the new Target will be. But when the Queerty got to the press event, it was "gently asked to leave," according to the blog.

After being booted from the event, which included San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, the writer called the Westfield's PR guy, Peter Bartelme, to ask what the hell was up with that.

This is where the story gets even more peculiar.

According to the Queerty this is how the conversation went between the publication and  Bartelme:

When we said, "Queerty, a national LGBT blog," there was a pause. "Can I call you back?" he asked.
Bartelme then called the publication back a few minutes later, only to tell the reporter that the Westfield was not allowing bloggers to cover the event.

Now that just makes no sense. Is it all bloggers? Or just gay bloggers? What about bloggers who are straight but work for a gay publication, or vice versa?

So SF Weekly's Snitch blog called Bartelme to find out, considering this rule would have barred us from attending the event.

We left a message with him, and we'll update you when we hear back.

One thing is for sure: You can try to kick reporters out, but they will always come back with an even better story.

Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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